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Nintendo expects to sell 9 million Wii U consoles in year to March 31

Packages of Nintendo Co's Wii U gaming software are pictured at the company headquarters in Kyoto, western Japan January 7, 2013. REUTERS/Yu
Packages of Nintendo Co's Wii U gaming software are pictured at the company headquarters in Kyoto, western Japan January 7, 2013. REUTERS/Yu

TOKYO (Reuters) - Nintendo Co Ltd said on Wednesday that it expects to sell 9 million of its new Wii U game consoles in the year to next March 31, after a disappointing start since their launch in November.

In the latest business year that ended on March 31, the creator of Super Mario sold 3.45 million of its successor to the hit Wii machine. It initially forecast sales of 5.5 million but later lowered that to 4 million.

Nintendo, which began by making playing cards in the late 19th century, is counting on the Wii U, its first console in 16 years to come with a dedicated Super Mario game title, to revive its fortunes as sales of the six year-old Wii slacken.

The Japanese gaming company forecast sales of its handheld 3DS console to rise nearly 30 percent to 18 million.

(Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Edmund Klamann)

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