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  (Source: billmudron.com)
Nintendo reported an operating loss of 37.3 billion yen ($460.9 million USD)

Nintendo posted its first-ever annual loss today after a year of struggling with poor Wii and 3DS sales.

For the fiscal year ended March 31, Nintendo reported a net loss of 43.2 billion yen ($532.5 million USD) compared to the prior year, which generated a profit of 77.6 billion yen ($958.9 million USD).

Nintendo also took a 36.2 percent hit to its revenue compared to the year before. The most recent fiscal year ended with $647.6 billion yen ($8 billion USD) in revenue while the company managed to generate over 1 trillion yen the year ending March 31, 2011.

In addition, Nintendo reported an operating loss of 37.3 billion yen ($460.9 million USD), which was only slightly better than the predicted 41.4 billion yen loss for the year ended March 31, 2012.

Nintendo can place most of the blame on poor Wii, DS and 3DS sales over the past year. For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011, Nintendo sold 15 million Wii consoles. This number dropped to 9.84 million the most recent fiscal year. The Wii took a hit in the software department as well, with 102.3 million software titles sold compared to the previous year's 171 million.

As far as portable gaming goes, Nintendo DS sales dropped considerably from 17.5 million sold in the fiscal year ended March 2011 to 5.1 million sold in the most recent fiscal year. The 3DS, on the other hand, sold very well with 13.5 million sales. However, Nintendo was forced to slash the price last year, meaning each unit was sold at a loss.

The 3DS was released in March 2011 for $249.99. After Nintendo reported a net loss of 25.5 billion yen ($324 million USD) in the quarter ending June 30, 2011 and also realized that it had only sold 4.32 million 3DS units (830,000 in the U.S. total) since launch, the company decided to slash the price of the 3DS to $169.99. The price change was effective August 12, 2011.

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata blamed poor 3DS sales not just on price alone, but also a poor launch lineup of software titles.

"We also must reflect on the fact that we were not able to launch Nintendo 3DS at a time when a sufficient number of strong software titles were ready," said Iwata at the time.

Many say that new devices, such as smartphones and tablets made by tech giants like Apple (iOS devices like iPhone and iPad) and Google (Android operating system), have placed a competitive burden on Nintendo.

While the situation looks pretty bad for Nintendo right now, the Japanese gaming company has a plan to turn it all around. According to Nintendo, it will stop selling the 3DS below cost by the middle of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013, and it will also launch more titles, such as a side-scrolling 2D "New Super Mario Bros. 2" game as well as the latest version of "Animal Crossing."

Nintendo is also hoping that the new Wii U console will save the sinking gaming company for the year ending March 2013.

"Nintendo will release the Wii U, the successor of the Wii, mainly in Japan, the United States and Europe at the end of this calendar year, and propose a new play style of home entertainment with its unique controller embedding a 6.2 inch touch screen," said Nintendo's latest financial report.

Nintendo's outlook for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013 consists of net sales of 820 billion yen ($10.1 billion USD), an operating income of 35 billion yen ($432.5 million USD), an ordinary income of 35 billion yen, and a net income of 20 billion yen ($247.1 million USD). Also, Nintendo plans to sell 18.5 million 3DS units and 10.5 million Wii consoles this year.

Sources: Reuters, Nintendo



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By Labotomizer on 4/26/2012 11:45:00 AM , Rating: 5
First off, for those who say "Nintendo is in trouble". You need to read this article again. It's the first time Nintendo has EVER posted a loss. Ever... Sony is bleeding money, Microsoft has just now started making money on the XBox platform and hasn't actually turned a profit when you look at overall P&L on the platform. One bad year does not a company make. Nintendo has the cash stockpile to last another 10 years if the Wii U is a total flop, which it won't be.

Second, people knock them for Mario and Zelda sequels? Honestly? You do know that there are more CoD games than Zelda games right? And Zelda has been around 25 years, CoD less than 10. Mario gets a true platformer once every 2-3 years, Zelda roughly every 5 years. Mario Kart is a 3-5 year release cycle. They invest huge amounts of time to make sure each game is of absolute top notch quality and brings something new to the table. Your mature, AAA games do that how often? Exactly...

I'm a true gamer, which means I play games on my PC primarily, I play my 360 for some other games (like Madden) and I play my Wii because when it comes to a genuinely fun gaming experience the others don't match what it offers. Mario Kart, SMG 1&2, Zelda Skyward Sword are well worth the price of the console I bought I launch. And Nintendo will be around for a long time to come while the "hardcore" consoles struggle to ever make a profit.




RE: So many have no clue what they're talking about...
By tayb on 4/26/2012 1:31:04 PM , Rating: 2
The Wii was released in 2006 alongside Zelda Twilight Princess. Including that game there have been 5 Zelda games in the past 7 games. Of those 5 games I believe only 2 of them have been actual Wii releases. I think we have had a new CoD game every single year during that same time period.

Hell Call of Duty has been practically re-releasing the same Modern Warfare game since fall of 2007. At least Treyarch visits different time periods.


By fuzzlefizz on 4/26/2012 4:36:49 PM , Rating: 2
The CoD formula still seems to be working.. the Modern Warfare series has been the biggest cash cow game of any game of its generation.

It makes money, period.


By someguy123 on 4/26/2012 10:01:17 PM , Rating: 2
Right...as do franchise games from nintendo, yet for some reason people are telling them throw away that cashflow for the sake of "hardcore", which is such a vague term that has lost all meaning. There are very few games that are any difficult nowadays outside of arcade games like djmax, and every genre is being "streamlined". At this point I can only assume that hardcore = movie.


By Labotomizer on 4/26/2012 4:30:06 PM , Rating: 4
I'm counting home console AAA Zelda releases. If you want to count all the games for every system then we'd have to count each port of CoD and each DLC.


RE: So many have no clue what they're talking about...
By KFZ on 4/26/2012 4:39:17 PM , Rating: 3
I certainly wouldn't say Nintendo is in trouble, and it doesn't need fans rushing to defend it. Nintendo is the big kid on the block and has been for generations. To sit there and deflect criticism with a mantra that this is just one bad year is dense. The writing is on the wall and Nintendo needs to wake up.

Sidebar: Nintendo is very good at reinventing classic games, but it does NOT have a lock on putting hard work and fun into games. Lost Odyssey is an example of a great, underrated RPG, and I enjoyed that new experience. I don't want to play the elf in green for the Xth time, and that's fine. The thing is, I've heard diehard Nintendo fans concede it's not about originality, it's about the fun, so just drop the act and admit when you are biased.

By the way, it's kind of hypocritical to blast Call of Duty's procession. Nintendo wrote the book on milking successful franchises. I'll just leave this here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Mario_games_b...


By someguy123 on 4/26/2012 10:11:33 PM , Rating: 2
While I agree with you that it's never a good idea to ignore poor performance, you're talking about a situation where a quarter of poor performance is being used as reasoning for a rehaul/impending doom of nintendo. It's pretty silly either way.

Also those are a list of games that feature mario, not mario games. I don't know why people point to mascots as though all of their games are identical. How many of those games are of completely different genre? Is it really favorable to have a "new IP", while slapping on TPS/FPS gameplay? Hell they brought back syndicate and turned it into an FPS for some reason. They're doing the same with xcom, though firaxis is also developing a separate strategy version. Seems pointless to single out mascots while ignoring the gameplay completely.


By FITCamaro on 4/27/2012 8:16:55 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft is a far more diversified company than Nintendo though. Microsoft didn't look at the small picture when it started the Xbox. It went in knowing it'd lose money in the short term. But the 360 has more than paid off for it. And the next Xbox will likely grow on its success.

I think its safe to say that no other company could have jumped into the video game console market as effectively and as successfully as Microsoft did.


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