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Nintendo expects a profit surge for March 31, 2014 thanks to new games for the Wii U

Nintendo was betting on the Wii U for help in the sales department, but it looks like the new console has disappointed so far -- and it shows in the company's latest earnings report.

For the fiscal year ended March 31, Nintendo posted a year-over-year sales drop of 1.9 percent to 635.4 billion yen ($6.4 billion USD). The company was originally hoping for 670 billion yen. 

Nintendo was able to report a small profit of 7 billion yen, but that's only half of the 14 billion yen that it had previously predicted. The gaming company also saw a wider operating loss than expected, coming in at 36.4 billion yen instead of the projected 20 billion yen.

Many are blaming the Wii U gaming console for Nintendo's lower-than-expected figures. Only 3.45 million Wii Us were sold worldwide for the last fiscal year, which just missed Nintendo's projection of 4 million sales. About 13.42 million units of software sold for the new console as well. The company sold 3.98 million original Wiis and 13.95 million 3DS handheld units.

"For the 'Wii U' system, launched in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013, there were some delays in software development that resulted in intervals between new software title releases at the early stage of this year," said Nintendo. "Taking this into consideration, for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014, we plan to concentrate on proactively releasing key Nintendo titles from the second half of this year through next year in order to regain momentum for the platform.

"We also strive to reduce costs to improve hardware profitability."

Nintendo expects a profit surge from the 7 billion yen this year to 55 billion yen next year (March 31, 2014) thanks to new games for the Wii U. 

In January of this year, Nintendo had announced that it was cutting its Wii U sales targets from 5.5 million to 4 million by March 2013. At that time, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata explained that Wii U sales were lower because of the popularity of mobile devices for gaming and the fact that this is the first time Nintendo has released two versions of a console at once.

The Wii U launched November 18, 2012. The Basic Set ($299.99) features 8 GB HDD, a Wii U Pad controller and it in comes in white. The Deluxe model ($349.99), on the other hand, offers 32 GB HDD, a Wii U Pad controller, power cradles for the Wii U Pad, an HDMI cable and it comes in black.

In addition to an earnings report, Nintendo has also announced that Iwata will become the new Nintendo of America CEO. He is replacing Tatsumi Kimishima, who will now become the general manager within parent company Nintendo Co. Ltd. Nintendo said the reason for this is to streamline its international business. Reggie Fils-Aime, the president and COO for Nintendo North America, will remain in his current position.

Source: Nintendo

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Lesson as old as time
By inperfectdarkness on 4/24/2013 12:38:00 PM , Rating: 5
Consoles don't sell: software sells. Nintendo's key strength is in software. Putting a console on the market without a STRONG compelling reason to buy it--doesn't push unit sales.

Here's to hoping they can cobble together more support in the coming months.

RE: Lesson as old as time
By Rob94hawk on 4/24/2013 12:47:38 PM , Rating: 1
Exactly why I didn't buy it. No Mariokart? Super Smash Bros? Mario Sunshine? etc.. Big hits for my kids. They had no interest so it didn't go under the tree at Xmas.

RE: Lesson as old as time
By The0ne on 4/24/2013 9:24:57 PM , Rating: 2
Pretty much the software is lacking. They apparently didn't learn from previous experience. This time I don't feel bad about some of you bashing the system.

RE: Lesson as old as time
By Vertigo2000 on 4/24/2013 3:13:44 PM , Rating: 2
I bought the Wii U when it launched with the expectation that there would be a steady flow of games released for it over the coming months. I don't think a single title has been added. Extremely disappointing.

RE: Lesson as old as time
By bug77 on 4/24/2013 5:40:18 PM , Rating: 2
I really don't get why people do this. You don't need to own the hardware, you just need to play games. If there are no games, why buy the hardware?

Last time I was almost bitten by this was when UT3 launched. I almost bought a copy because they promised a native Linux client. Good thing I waited for them to make good on their promise.

RE: Lesson as old as time
By CZroe on 4/24/2013 8:56:39 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah. That's a good way to end up paying too much before the inevitable price drop. When I bought my 3DS I waited until the price drop was announced along with the Ambassador Program. I bought it just before the price drop, registered to be eligible for Ambassador status, then used my 30-day price-protection to get 110% of the difference back, and settled in with all the Ambassador perks and a late-comer price. *DEAL WITH IT*

I'm been a life-long Nintendo consumer whore since the NES days but even I skipped the 3DS and Wii U launches.

RE: Lesson as old as time
By Motoman on 4/25/2013 10:59:14 AM , Rating: 2
Excellent point, but I have to admit...I just don't really get the Wii U.

Those who were paying attention know I was/am a huge fan of the original Wii - Nintendo laid waste to MS and Sony with that product, and managed to once again revolutionize the family-room video gaming experience.

But the Wii U? Well...I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to like it in a retail store one day when there weren't any kids around bugging the old man to let them try it. The gamepad thing with the's just forced. I mean, it seems kind of cool at first glance, but in actual usage it just got in the way. You have to switch your focus from the TV to the little screen and diddle around with it, and if it added something to the experience then I guess it would be fine. But best I can tell it's just an awkward intrusion.

I dunno...Nintendo hit a grand slam with the original Wii, but I can't think of any compelling reason why I'd upgrade from my Wii to a Wii U. I'd almost be tempted to do it just for being able to use HDMI instead of composite...maybe hope the graphics look a smidge better on my Wii games. But, that's not exactly a compelling upgrade reason.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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