Nintendo says year-end Wii U sales steady

KYOTO Mon Jan 7, 2013 2:28am EST

KYOTO Jan 7 (Reuters) - Nintendo Co Ltd's year-end sales of its Wii U games console were steady, though not as strong as when its Wii predecessor was first launched, the Japanese game maker's top executive told Reuters on Monday.

The company best known for its Super Mario character is pinning its hopes on the Wii U after logging its first operating loss last year, as gamers ditch console games to play on smartphones and tablets.

Nintendo said in October it aimed to sell 5.5 million Wii U devices by the end of March. Wii U, the successor to the blockbuster Wii machine, went on sale in the United States on Nov. 18. The company said later that month that it sold more than 400,000 of the video game consoles in the first week.

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said the weaker yen would have little impact on the firm's profits this fiscal year, but would positively impact its foreign denominated assets.