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Following poor Wii U sales, Nintendo now projects losses this year

Following poor Wii U sales, Nintendo now projects losses this year

January 17, 2014 | By Mike Rose

January 17, 2014 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

Nintendo has been forced to revise its fiscal full-year expectations, projecting losses rather than profits as previously estimated, due to slow 3DS and Wii U sales.

The company originally hoped to sell around 9 million Nintendo Wii U consoles for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014. However, this projection has now been severely cut down to just 2.8 million.

This means that by the end of March 2014, the Nintendo Wii U will have sold 6.25 million units in its lifetime. For the sake of comparison, at last count the PS4 had sold 4.2 million in six weeks, while the Xbox One had managed 3 million in the same time frame.

Meanwhile Nintendo now says that the 3DS handheld will sell around 13.5 million units, down from the previously projected 18 million, while the original Wii is on track to sell 1.2 million, down from the projected 2 million.

Software isn't looking good either. Nintendo was hoping to sell 38 million Wii U games and 80 million 3DS games, but these expectations have now been cut down to 19 million Wii U games and 66 million 3DS games.

As a result, Nintendo now expects to see revenues of 590 billion yen ($5.7 billion) for the full fiscal year, down from the previously projected 920 billion yen ($8.8 billion), and losses of 25 billion yen ($239.6 million), swinging from the previously projected profits of 55 billion yen ($527.2 million).

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata admitted that "it is now expected that our sales will fail to meet our previous forecast by a large margin."

Although he said that the 3DS continues to show strong sales in Japan, outside Japanese markets the hardware is not faring so well. The 3DS was still the top-selling platform in the U.S. during 2013, yet this was not enough to hit Nintendo's sales projections for the handheld.

And Iwata said that while the Wii U showed some promise towards the end of 2013, thanks to the release of titles like Super Mario 3D World, it still "fell short of our targeted recovery by a large margin."

"In particular, sales in the U.S. and European markets in which we entered the year-end sales season with a hardware markdown were significantly lower than our original forecasts, with both hardware and software sales experiencing a huge gap from their targets," he added.

The Nintendo president also noted that some increased costs were incurred due to the yen appreciation against the U.S. dollar and euro, and expanded advertising expenses, which were increased by 8 billion yen ($76.7 million).

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