Nintendo stock and forecast nosedive after 3DS fails to deliver

Nintendo is lowering its 2011 and 2012 forecast by a whopping 82 percent. Maybe the Nintendo Wii U will be enough to pull the company out of the quagmire.

Nintendo has struggled through a rough week of news. Here, a still from a new Nintendo game, "Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix."

Oh boy. Things just refuse to go right for Nintendo – witness the weak sales of the 3DS, the slumping stock shares, and the profit forecast for 2011 and 2012, which was lowered yesterday by a whopping 82 percent. Now comes news that Nintendo president Satoru Iwata will take a major cut in his salary, an acknowledgement of just how tumultuous things have become for the Japanese tech giant.

"For cuts in fixed salaries, I'm taking a fifty percent cut, other representative directors are taking a 30 percent cut, and other execs are taking a 20 percent cut," Iwata said today in Tokyo, according to Kotaku. Meanwhile, former Nintendo president apparently managed to lose $500,000 in a day, when Nintendo stocks took a major-league nosedive. These are not good days to be a Nintendo executive, present or former!

Out of the loop? Here's a refresher: Not long after the launch of the 3DS, Nintendo trumpeted that one-day sales numbers for the device were the highest of any Nintendo hand-held system in history. From there, it was all downhill: The New York Times reports that sales in the longterm fell far short of expectations, and by June, Nintendo had managed to unload only 710,000 3DS units. Total sales currently sit somewhere above the 800,000 mark.

Yesterday, Nintendo confirmed it would drop the price on the 3DS handset from $249 to $169.99, in an effort to stir up a second spurt of interest in the device. The cut will take effect on August 12; current users will receive a total of 20 free downloadable games. The move was received with some skepticism on the Web, where one blogger joked that Nintendo was attempting the "fastest post-launch price drop (by one-third) ever."

Well, hey, maybe the Wii U will help Nintendo get back on track. Debuting at E3 in June, the Wii U is the successor to the Wii – a next-generation HD console featuring high-definition video, a motion-sensing touchscreen controller, and seriously-amped up graphics. The first Wii revolutionized the video game industry, and earned Nintendo a whole lot of sales. No reason to think the Wii U couldn't do the same thing.

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