Nintendo shocked the world earlier this year by announcing the first annual loss in the company’s history. The loss was attributed to sluggish 3DS sales, but the company had hoped to return to profitability this year. That doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.
Nintendo announced today that its annual net profit forecast has been cut by 70 percent. It’s due in part to first-half losses of $351 million which is 40 percent more than expected. Now the company expects to bring in $75 million in profits this fiscal year, a far cry from the original forecast of $251 million.
The cause of the loss can be attributed to slower than expected 3DS hardware and software sales from overseas. Consumers in the US and Europe just aren’t buying hardware like they were after the price cut last year. The introduction of the 3DS XL probably didn’t do much to spur sales either.
Regardless, the 3DS is doing pretty well for itself. Nintendo was able to push 5 million 3DS units over the past six months. The holiday season is coming up and Nintendo hopes to push 17.5 million units by the end of the fiscal year. That’s 1 million less than original projections, but Nintendo has a plan to make up for it – the Wii U.
The company reports that it expects to sell 5.5 million Wii U consoles worldwide by the end of March 2012. The console has already reportedly sold out across all the major retailers in the US. There’s no word if the console is selling out in Europe or Japan. Even with US sales, Nintendo may be able to reach its numbers and be back in the black by next year.
Even if the Wii U doesn’t perform as expected, Nintendo is still in this. The company is sitting on mountains of cash made from the Wii years. It can afford to experiment in the market a little bit.