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Nintendo Sales Fall 22 Percent Alongside Hardware, Software Declines

Nintendo Sales Fall 22 Percent Alongside Hardware, Software Declines

May 6, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander

Price cuts, fewer software hits and a strong yen hit Nintendo's financials, as the company's full fiscal year results show sales down 22 percent to 1.43 trillion ($15.24 billion).

Net profits were down too -- the company reported 228.6 billion ($2.44 billion), representing a year-over-year decline of 18 percent. Operating income fell 36 percent to 356.57 billion ($3.80 billion). Nintendo's fiscal year closes March 31.

Japan remains Nintendo's strongest market, where sales came in at 985.6 billion yen ($10.50 billion). In the Americas, the company saw 643.1 billion ($6.85 billion), and in Europe it saw 481.3 billion ($5.13 billion) in sales. Sales in other markets came in at 81 billion ($863.70 million).

Much has been made in recent months of the Wii's market contraction, and Nintendo's numbers seem to bear it out, as the company's hardware and software sales both dropped over the year.

By The Numbers

The company sold 20.53 million Wii consoles over the period -- a drop-off of 21 percent compared to last fiscal year. And even despite the roll-out of the DSi XL, sales of Nintendo's portable platform also fell, a decline of 12 percent to 27.11 million units sold. Nintendo says a European shortfall is largely responsible for the decline.

Nintendo said the DSi XL sold 2.08 million units during the fiscal year, compared with 14.80 million DSi units and 10.23 million DS units. The DSi XL, known as DSi LL in Japan, launched in the country in November 2009, and in the West in March of this year.

Despite the declines, Nintendo's present generation of hardware has still set company records -- it's now sold 70.93 million units, more than any console it's ever launched. By comparison, the PlayStation 2, current install base record-holder, has sold more than 140 million units in its decade lifetime.

The DS hardware platform has also broken Nintendo records, as with 128.98 million sold to date, it trumps the Game Boy platform.

Software sales were down in the year as well, with a 6 percent decline for Wii software and a 23 percent decline for DS software to 191 million and 151 million units, respectively.

A Look Ahead

The company plans to expand its "Nintendo Zone" wireless service, offering "unique content such as free downloadable Nintendo DS software", and continue to make portable multiplayer via wireless connection a priority.

"Nintendo's strategy is to achieve the ultimate worldwide objective of 'must-have for everyone' rather than 'must have for every family,'" the company adds.

Nintendo says Wii sales will continue to decline in the year ahead, forecasting a fall to 18 million for fiscal 2011. DS sales are expected to grow -- despite having singled out the the upcoming 3DS hardware, which will launch in Nintendo's fiscal 2011, as a new platform, it now includes the device in its overall DS forecast.

It also points to the upcoming launches of major titles like Metroid: Other M and Super Mario Galaxy 2, plus software it's developing for the Wii Vitality Sensor, which it says will work by reading players' biological data.

With the anticipated unit declines, Nintendo warned of revenue declines ahead, too, planning for 1.4 trillion in sales ($14.93 million) and 200 billion ($2.13 billion) in net profit for the coming year.

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