Nintendo profits tumble as Wii U drags on the bottom line
But software sales lighten the mood in fiscal nine-month report
Nintendo's nine-month financial results showed an ongoing slide in revenue and profit, though it was a more positive story in terms of software sales.
For the nine-month period ended December 31, 2013, Nintendo earned ¥499.1 billion ($4.8 billion) in revenue, down 8.1 per cent on the prior year, which was down 2.4 per cent on the year before that. The company's profit showed an even steeper decline, sinking 30 per cent to ¥10.2 billion ($96.7m). Indeed, were it not for the ¥48 billion the company recouped in exchange gains at the end of the nine-month period its balance sheet may well have registered a loss.
As expected, the Wii U remained the thorn in Nintendo's side, selling just 2.41 million consoles in a nine-month period that included the holiday sales season. Crucially, that's lower than the 3 million units the console sold in the equivalent period in the prior fiscal year, and Nintendo expects fewer than 400,000 more units to be sold by the end of March, 2014.
In addition, the cost of manufacturing the Wii U hardware and the price-point at which it is sold in the U.S. and Europe means that its sale, "still has a negative impact on Nintendo's profits."
The Wii U has sold 5.86 million units in its lifetime, and that's at least enough to make Nintendo's key releases million-sellers. Super Mario 3D World, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD and Wii Party U all sold 1 million copies or more by the close of December, with Wii U software selling 16 million units in total.
Somewhat predictably, the happiest news came from the 3DS, which sold 11.65 million units - down on the prior period's 12.7 million total, but enough to make the 3DS one of the most popular platforms in the market.
3DS software sold a combined total of 57.25 million units. Pokemon X & Y was by far the most successful with 11.6 million units sold worldwide, but it was joined in the multi-million club by Animal Crossing: New Leaf with 3.5 million, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team with 2 million, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past with 2.18 million (despite only being released on Nov. 21, 2013) and Tomodachi Collection with 1.8 million.
The 3DS has now sold 42.75 million units worldwide.