Nintendo Woes Continue as Wii U Launch Trails Wii
The company has watched its revenue slide, and has slashed its forecasts “to reflect a lower-than-expected sales outlook.”
Nintendo had a rough end to 2012, and things might become a bit more difficult for the company in the coming months.
The game company today announced its earnings (PDF) for the nine months ended December 31. During that period, Nintendo generated 543 billion yen (about $6 billion), dropping 2.4 percent compared to the same period in 2011. Despite that decline, Nintendo was able to muster a small profit of 14.5 billion yen, up significantly from the 48.4 billion yen it lost in 2011.
The Nintendo 3DS was the highlight of the company’s financials during the period, tallying 12.7 million unit sales, up from the 11.4 million sold last year. The Wii U, however, turned out to be a bit of a disappointment for Nintendo, selling only 3 million units since its launch in November. During the same period on store shelves, Wii sales were 3.2 million and would have been higher if Nintendo’s production efforts could keep up with the massive demand.
The Wii U’s seemingly sluggish performance compared to the Wii hasn’t gone unnoticed. Whereas the Wii was hard to find on store shelves for an extended period, consumers can easily find a Wii U. Even the Wii U’s software sales are slow compared to the Wii, with 11.7 million units sold, compared to over 17 million for the original Wii.
Not surprisingly, the Wii and DS also saw losses during the nine-month period, with total Wii sales reaching 3.5 million units, compared to 9 million during the same timeframe in 2011. DS sales were down to 2.2 million, compared to 4.6 million in 2011.
Given those all of those unit sales, it’s no surprise that Nintendo was forced to revise its forecasts (PDF) for the year ended March 31. The company said today that it has dropped its revenue forecast from 810 billion yen to 670 billion yen due to “a lower-than-expected sales outlook based on sales performance in the year-end sales season and afterward.”
Still, Nintendo is a bit more positive about its chances of turning a profit. The company has upped its full-year net income by 8 billion yen to 14 billion.
To reassure investors a bit more, the company said that they can expect “new entries in the Mario Kart, Super Mario, Legend of Zelda, LEGO City, Wii Fit and Pikmin franchises [to] help Nintendo regain momentum for Wii U.”