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Nintendo to develop new consoles for emerging markets

Video game maker will design new hardware specifically for new markets rather than rebadging existing hardware.

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata in Tokyo in January. YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images

Nintendo plans to develop new consoles it will market in emerging markets beginning next year, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata told Bloomberg.

Rather than rebadging existing hardware, the video game maker plans to design new devices specifically for the markets, Iwata told the news agency.

"We want to make new things, with new thinking rather than a cheaper version of what we currently have," he said. "The product and price balance must be made from scratch."

Creating new hardware for emerging markets represents a strategy shift for the company, which has historically sold the same hardware to all of its global markets. Iwata is struggling to breathe new life into the company after the poor sales performance of Wii U.

After revising down its annual sales estimate for Wii U from 9 million to 2.8 million in January, it sold just 2.72 million units in the fiscal year that ended March 31. Its lifetime sales stand at 6.17 million compared to the 7 million Sony PlayStation 4 units sold in just six months on the market.

The news came after Nintendo posted a loss of $457 million, or ¥46.4 billion, for its fiscal year -- the third year in a row of losses for the beleaguered company.

Earlier in the day, Iwata announced plans to launch mobile and Web companion apps for its Mario Kart franchise but indicated that the company has no plans to launch games for the mobile market.

"We have had a console business for 30 years, and I don't think we can just transfer that over onto a smartphone model," Iwata told Bloomberg.