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Nintendo swings back to losses, as the Wii U pulls it down

Nintendo swings back to losses, as the Wii U pulls it down

May 7, 2014 | By Mike Rose

May 7, 2014 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

Nintendo saw its revenues slump and its profits swing to heavy losses during the last fiscal year, due to terrible Nintendo Wii U sales -- in fact, just 2.72 million hardware units were sold over the last 12 months.

The company noted that while five key first-party releases reached the Wii U during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, including Super Mario 3D World and New Super Luigi U, "the Wii U business as a whole showed slow growth."

This means that in the 16 months that the Wii U has been available, it has sold a total of 6.17 million units. Nintendo says the price markdown on the Wii U in the U.S. and Europe is still having a negative impact on financials.

Regarding Wii U software, 18.9 million software units were sold during the last fiscal year, for 32.3 million to-date. Software sales did not grow sufficiently, says the company.

It's not all doom and gloom, as the Nintendo 3DS continues to steam ahead. Pokemon X/Y have now sold 12.26 million copies worldwide, while Animal Crossing: New Leaf has now sold 7.66 million units.

The Nintendo 3DS hardware itself sold 12.24 million units during the last fiscal year, with total sales now reaching 43.33 million.

Interestingly, Nintendo broke this figure down into the separate 3DS models. The 3DS XL sold 7.87 million units during last fiscal year, while the Nintendo 2DS sold 2.20 million. Thus, the original 3DS model sold 2.17 million.

For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, Nintendo recorded revenues of 571.7 billion yen ($5.6 billion), down 10.0 percent year-over-year, and losses of 23.2 billion yen ($228.6 million), compared to profits of 7.1 billion yen ($69.9 million) year-over-year.

But Nintendo is hopeful for the next fiscal year. With the upcoming launches of Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, plus plans to release many Nintendo DS games for the Wii U Virtual Console, the company believe it can turn the Wii U's fortunes around.

Therefore, Nintendo is projecting revenues of 590 billion yen ($5.81 billion) and profits of 20 billion yen ($196.9 million) for the 2014 fiscal year, with estimated 3DS hardware sales of 12 million, and estimated Wii U hardware sales of 3.6 million.

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