The accounting period just before launching a new console is always a tough one: who's likely to shell out for a machine when a newer, shinier model is on the horizon? Perhaps that's partly to blame for a sharp decrease in Nintendo's third-quarter profits which saw the company's operating profit drop to $1.3 billion / £814m, compared with $2.31 billion / £1.4 billion for the same period in the previous year.

The company didn't alter its operating profit forecast for this financial year, sticking with $2.5 billion / £1.56 billion, obviously hoping for great things from the Japanese launch of 3DS on February 26th.

As for its current consoles, Nintendo cut its sales predictions for Wii from 17.5 million to 16 million, and shaved a million from its DS sales forecast, from 23.5 million to 22.5 million.

Nintendo hopes to sell 4 million 3DS consoles in its first month on sales, which should help to bump up its financial standing.

Note all figures are converted from Japanese yen and are provided here as guides only.