Mario's in the red

Blame Kinect, blame Playstation Move, or just blame poor planning on Nintendo's part, but the Japanese game giant posted its first half-year loss in seven years last week. After years riding high on strong sales of the Wii and DS, Nintendo is suffering from it having been a while since they released anything really new (and no, a controller combining the original WiiMote and last year's MotionPlus doesn't count).

In fairness, Nintendo does plan to make a profit for the year overall, though it'll be the lowest for several years. And part of the problem is the strong Yen, which makes it hard to sell at a competitive price overseas (which is why a Wii now costs the same as an XBox 360).

The arrival of the 3DS next year should liven things up a bit - portable consoles have always been a big part of Nintendo's profits. But with Microsoft's Kinect leapfrogging the Wii in terms of raw ease of use - there's no controller! - the big N had better have something nifty up its sleeve in the next couple of years if it's going to return to its former glories.

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