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Mario has been in plenty of jams in his day, but never before quite like this.

Nintendo, which was already projecting the first annual loss in its storied history, said today that the loss will actually be more than three times larger than it was previously projecting. The company has been struggling with slower sales of the Wii game console, an initially lackluster reception for the 3DS handheld, and unfavorable trends in foreign currencies.

The company, which has its North American headquarters in Redmond, sold 5.61 million Wii consoles worldwide in the critical 2011 holiday quarter, a marked decline from the heyday of the Wii’s initial years on the market.

By comparison, Microsoft sold 8.2 million Xbox 360s over the same time period worldwide. Sony hasn’t yet reported its holiday sales for the PlayStation 3. Nintendo still leads both Microsoft and Sony in cumulative console sales in the current generation.

Nintendo is looking to the release of the Wii U later this year to start to reverse its fortunes.

More coverage: Wall Street Journal, CNet News.com, and TechMeme.

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