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Nintendo reduces full-year forecasts, confirms Wii U for holiday 2012

Nintendo reduces full-year forecasts, confirms Wii U for holiday 2012

January 26, 2012 | By Kris Graft

Kyoto, Japan-based Mario house Nintendo announced losses for the first nine months of its fiscal year and downgraded its full-year earnings and shipping forecasts on Thursday.

Nintendo said it had to downgrade its earnings forecast in light of a stronger-than-expected yen, which is detrimental to companies like Nintendo that rely heavily on overseas sales.

For the full year ending March 31, 2012, the company now projects losses of 65 billion yen ($837 million), an increase from a previously-projected loss of 20 billion yen ($258 million). Sales forecasts for the year were also downgraded, from 790 billion yen ($10.2 billion) to 660 billion yen ($8.5 billion).

For the nine months ended December 31, Nintendo reported revenues of 556.2 billion yen ($7.2 billion), a 31 percent drop compared to the same period a year ago. The company recorded a loss of 48.4 billion yen ($623 million) for the period, down from profits of 49.6 billion yen ($639 million) year-on-year.

Nintendo also downgraded its full-year global shipment forecasts. Hardware shipments for the Nintendo 3DS handheld are now expected to hit 14 million units during the year, versus a previous forecast of 16 million.

Full-year 3DS software shipments are now projected to be 38 million units, down from a previous forecast of 50 million.

Life-to-date 3DS shipments were at just over 15 million units as of December 31, 2011. Nintendo said shipments of the handheld "increased significantly" during the holiday quarter, as titles including Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 drove momentum, but the company still missed sales targets.

Nintendo added, "With the regained momentum and a strong lineup of software on the way, prospects for the platform remain strong."

Wii hardware shipments for the full year are forecast to hit 10 million units, down from previous projections of 12 million. Life-to-date Wii hardware shipments were at just under 95 million units at the end of December.

Annual Wii software shipment projections were unchanged, and are expected to stand at 100 million units at the end of March. Total life-to-date Wii software shipments were 805 million units at the end of December.

Full-year hardware shipments of the aging Nintendo DS are now expected to be 5.5 million, down from the previous forecast of 6 million units. Life-to-date, Nintendo DS has shipped a staggering 151 million units through the end of December.

Nintendo DS full-year software shipment forecasts were also slightly downgraded, from 62 million to 59 million. Life-to-date DS software shipments were 891 million units as of December 31.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata told reporters that the new tablet controller-equipped Wii U will ship worldwide by holiday 2012.

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