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3DS price cut leads to first annual losses for Nintendo in over 30 years

3DS price cut leads to first annual losses for Nintendo in over 30 years

April 26, 2012 | By Mike Rose

April 26, 2012 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

Nintendo today posted its financial results for the last fiscal year, missing sales forecasts and noting its first annual losses in over 30 years.

The company put this down to the Nintendo 3DS price cut, which it said was necessary to get sales of the handheld back on track with its predecessor, the Nintendo DS. Due to the price cut, the handheld is now being sold below cost, a statement from the company explained.

However, Nintendo said that it still plans to pursue its "Gaming Population Expansion" goal despite these losses, by aiming its games at all possible consumers, regardless of age, gender or gaming experience.

Turning to the overall shift to digital distribution that is currently being seen in the video games industry, Nintendo said that is it looking to adapt to these changes, and is "envisioning the digital distribution of packaged software and is aiming at expanding the digital business."

Part of this added focus on digital is the company's "Nintendo Network", which it is looking to push more heavily as an online network service for both the Nintendo 3DS and the Nintendo Wii U.

Over the course of the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012, the Nintendo 3DS saw hardware sales of 13.53 million, said the company. Japan accounted for 4.8 million of this total, while the Americas saw 4.7 million sold.

Worldwide software sales for the Nintendo 3DS came to just over 36 million units for the full fiscal year. In comparison, the Nintendo DS saw hardware sales of 5.1 million, and software sales of 60.82 million.

The company's Nintendo Wii console sold 9.84 million hardware units during the fiscal year, and 102.37 million software sales.

For the fiscal year, Nintendo posted revenue of 647.7 billion yen ($8.0 billion), down 36.2 percent compared to 1 trillion yen ($12.3 billion) year-over-year, and missing its forecast of 660 billion yen ($8.2 billion). Losses were 43.2 billion yen ($532.2 million), compared to last year's profits of 77.6 billion yen ($956.0 million).

Looking to the next fiscal year, Nintendo expects that it will no longer be selling the 3DS below cost by the middle of the year. The company also plans to launch a number of high-profile titles, including New Super Mario Bros. 2, Animal Crossing and Brain Age during the year.

The company's next home console, the Wii U, is also due to launch "at the end of this calendar year," with the aim to swing the company's finances back to profits. Nintendo expects to see revenues of 820 billion ($10.1 billion) and profits of 20 billion yen ($246.4 million) for the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2013.

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