Here’s a reminder of just how fickle the video-game business can be. Nintendo this morning released a revised financial forecast for its current fiscal year, projecting a loss of 20 billion yen, or $263 million — which would be the first time in Nintendo’s history that the company hasn’t turned an annual profit, according to a Reuters report.
Nintendo was founded in 1889 — 122 years ago.
The company has so far resisted calls to expand its games to smartphones, which are cutting into the market for its iconic handheld gaming devices.
Nintendo raced out to a huge lead over the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 with the original Wii console, but has seen interest wane as Microsoft and Sony have come out with their own motion-based control systems, the Kinect and the PlayStation Move.
Nintendo cut the price of its new 3Ds handheld from $250 to $170 earlier this year after disappointing sales, and it’s slated to release its new Wii U console next year, hoping to reignite interest in its home console technology.
Microsoft has recently been running the table in the U.S. video-game market, with its Xbox 360 coming in ahead of the Wii and PS3 in console unit sales for many months running now. But Nintendo’s latest rise and fall demonstrates how nothing is permanent in the video-game business.
Nintendo’s North American headquarters are in Redmond, just down the road from Microsoft.
Here’s a rundown of the situation from Nintendo’s financial report this morning.
Nintendo continues to pursue its “Gaming Population Expansion” goal based on the idea of putting smiles on many people’s faces by offering brand-new entertainment that anyone can enjoy, regardless of age, gender or gaming experience.
During the six months ended September 2011, for the “Nintendo 3DS,” the worldwide sales of its hardware were 3.07 million units. As regards the “Nintendo 3DS” software, “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D” became a million unit seller; however, “Nintendo 3DS” has yet to have many hit titles. The worldwide sales of “Nintendo 3DS” software resulted in 8.13 million units. Since a significant price revision made in and out of Japan in August, “Nintendo 3DS” hardware sales have been improving. Nintendo is preparing to release a solid software line-up for the year-end sales season.
The effect of the price revision is expected to appear and we expect to see the sales of “Nintendo 3DS” hardware and software grow during that time. As for the worldwide sales of “Nintendo DS” series hardware (which represents Nintendo DS, Nintendo DS Lite, Nintendo DSi and Nintendo DSi XL) and “Nintendo DS” software, they were 2.58 million units and 28.99 million units respectively.
With respect to “Wii,” its hardware bundled with “Mario Kart Wii” or “Wii Sports Resort” was newly launched to have its compelling and unique nature easily recognized. As a result, “Wii” hardware sales were 3.35 million units. “Wii” software sales resulted in 36.45 million units because of fewer hit titles and a small number of new titles.
Previously on GeekWire: Valve’s Newell predicts Apple will shake up game consoles