Nintendo's initiative to broaden the video game market continued throughout the past fiscal year, as the Kyoto-based company reported record sales and profits on the back of strong hardware and software sales.
But for the year ahead, Nintendo projected sales and profit to plateau.
During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009 the Kyoto-based company laid claim to two significant hardware milestones.
The Wii sold 25.95 million units during the year, pushing the console to 50.39 million units life-to-date, making it the "fastest home video game hardware in history" to cross that mark, Nintendo said.
The DS sold 31.18 million units during the fiscal year, reaching 101.78 million sold life-to-date. The handheld "exceeded 100 million units faster than any console or handheld video game hardware in history," according to Nintendo.
Hardware sales helped drive net sales for the year to •1.8 trillion ($18.5 billion), a 10 percent year-on-year rise. Annual net income was •279 billion ($2.8 billion), a nine percent rise, while operating income was •555.2 billion ($5.6 billion).
Nintendo's homeland Japan generated the most sales and profits by geography, followed by the Americas, then Europe and other territories.
First-party DS software performed strongly, with Pokemon Platinum selling 3.75 million units and Kirby Superstar Ultra selling 2.36 million.
While released in Japan and North America, neither game has launched in Europe. During the fiscal year, Nintendo also launched Rhythm Heaven and Wagamama Fashion Girls Mode, both of which Nintendo said performed well.
Catalog titles Brain Age and Brain Age 2 sold a total of 7.31 million units during the fiscal year, logging 31.12 million sold worldwide life-to-date. The number of DS million-sellers, including first- and third-parties, climbed from 57 last year to 91 this year.
On the Wii, Mario Kart sold 15.4 million units, Animal Crossing: City Folk sold 3.38 million and Wii Music sold 2.65 million. Nintendo's "evergreen" Wii Fit sold 16.37 million units worldwide during the fiscal year, with 18.22 million sold life-to-date.
The number of Wii sellers from first- and third-parties climbed this year to 54 from 26 last year, according to the company.
However, not all is rosy on the horizon. Nintendo expects sales and profits to level off or even go down in the year ahead, projecting net sales for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2010 to reach •1.8 trillion ($18.2 billion, flat), net income of •300 billion ($3 billion, an eight percent rise) and operating income of •490 billion ( $4.9 billion, a 12 percent decline).
During the current, just-started fiscal year, Nintendo expects to sell 26 million Wii units and 30 million of DS (3.02 million of which are DSi). The company expects to sell 180 million DS software units and 220 million Wii software units worldwide during the year.