Markets in both China and Hong Kong were closed today in celebration of the Dragon Boat Festival. In Japan the Nikkei 225 Index climbed 1.8% to end the day at 10,067.
Nintendo (NTDOY) unveiled its long-awaited 3D handheld game system Tuesday, sending its shares surging in Osaka Wednesday. The game-console maker's stock spiked 5.2%. Its new 3DS, slated to hit stores late this year, delivers 3D images on one of its two screens and is hugely innovative, having done away with the necessity of wearing goofy 3D glasses. According to the BBC, Nintendo programmers struggled to combine touch-screen and 3D into one screen, so the gadget has two separate screens -- one for viewing 3D pictures, and another with touch-screen functionality.
Gamers greeted the new device with excitement, despite some limitations -- the 3D images can't be viewed from an angle. "We've just had an opportunity to play some titles and really get a feel for the thing ... and we're pretty impressed," blogs Paul Miller on endgadget.com. With a free WiFi connection that remains on at all times and a group of new games on the horizon, the 3DS could be a hit. The first 3D game to hit the stands will be Kid Icarus Uprising, and others from Donkey Kong Country Returns to Mario Sports are in the works.
Nintendo's not the only gamer banking on 3D. This week Sony (SNE) announced that the game Killzone 3D for the PS3 is scheduled to come out in 2011. According to Sony Computer Entertainment chairman Kaz Hirai, "2010 will most likely be remembered as the year that PlayStation brought 3D to the gaming industry," reports techradar.com. Sony gained 1% in Tokyo today.
Other Japanese electronics-related firms rose, with Mitsumi Electric, which makes electronics parts for Nintendo, soaring 4.8% and Hosiden Corp., another company filling parts orders for Nintendo, climbing 2.4%. Advantest, a maker of semiconductor testers, surged 2.5% and Tokyo Electron gained 2.3%.
Japanese car companies got a boost from improving economic sentiment in the U.S. Mazda rallied 3.5%, Honda gained 1.5%, Toyota rose 1.2% and Isuzu was up 1%. Suzuki Motor, which has more than doubled the number of motorcycles produced in Japan since last year, according to webbikeworld.com, climbed 2.9%. Japanese exporters are keeping their fingers crossed that happier U.S. shoppers splash out on imported goods first.