Nintendo is readying an array of video games for the holidays in an aggressive attempt to catch up for lost time from the sales delay of its 3DS portable machine last year.
Nintendo, which makes the Wii home console and "Super Mario" and "Pokemon" games, showed some of the gaming titles featuring glasses-free 3-D technology at a packed Tokyo event hall last week.
The year-end holidays will be a key test for the 3DS portable. Game companies make up more than half their annual sales then.
Analysts say it cost the Japanese video-game maker potential momentum when the 3DS was not ready for Christmas last year. It did not go on sale until February in Japan, and March in the United States and Europe, forcing Nintendo to slash its profit forecasts by more than half.
Adding to the woes, the overall gaming business has hit the doldrums recently, as the initial momentum wore off from the Wii and DS handheld, both megahits from Nintendo -- partly because of a scarcity of hit games but also because of the advent of other mobile entertainment, such as cellphone gaming, and social networks.
Nintendo needs to introduce more 3-D games if it hopes the 3DS will catch on, said Yusuke Tsunoda, an analyst for Tokai Tokyo Securities. He added that there were no surprises in the new games shown Tuesday.
"It is OK to sit down and watch 3-D," he said, referring to 3-D movies at theaters and 3-D on TV sets. "But when it comes to playing 3-D games, it can get tiring on your eyes the more you play."
Nintendo has sold just 4.32 million 3DS machines around the world so far. It has sold nearly 150 million DS machines since they went on sale in 2004, outpacing the Sony PlayStation Portable, which went on sale about the same time and whose cumulative global sales total 71 million.
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata showed video footage of games in the works for the 3DS, including the popular "Super Mario" series. He said the company was doing its utmost to offer a satisfying selection of 3-D games.
"We know the hurdle is high," he said. "We will do our utmost to make the 3DS as widespread as its predecessor DS machine."
Iwata noted that the DS and Wii had proven popular with women but that the 3DS had not. He said a pink-color model was going on sale later this year in an effort to woo women.
It was perhaps telling of Nintendo's fading confidence in its in-house games that the climax of the demonstration was for a game by Capcom. The Japanese game developer behind the "Biohazard" games is readying a spectacular 3DS version of its popular "Monster Hunter" series.
Last month, Nintendo slashed the price of the 3DS, to $170 from $250. Such a major price cut so soon after a product launch was unprecedented for Nintendo, underscoring 3DS' struggles.
Early next year, Nintendo will face more competition in portable gaming from Sony, which is releasing its PlayStation Vita. It will cost $249 for a Wi-Fi-only version and $299 for a version that will also have cellphone service.