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Nintendo worried by global currency fluctuation

"Uncertainty on how to estimate our profits," says Iwata

The banking crisis affecting the world's economy has cast doubt on Nintendo's profits.

Speaking to the BBC, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata admitted the current financial climate was having an effect, despite the company's shares rising from ¥21,590 (£159) in January to ¥28,740 (£212) in June.

Despite currency devaluation in a number of nations, retail prices for console hardware remain generally fixed - which can lead to significant variance in revenue.

"If the Yen, or any currency, changes over one, two or three years, then that is something that we corporations have to deal with," said Iwata. "However, if over a week a currency fluctuates by five or ten percent, there has to be something seriously wrong with the economy.

"From that perspective, we cannot say our [global] economy as a whole has been stabilised and there is uncertainty on how to estimate our profits," he said.

Iwata also reiterated earlier statements that, although a new Nintendo home console has been in development for some time, a release in the near future is very unlikely. "Do we need to launch a successor to Wii right now? I don't think so."

Though Iwata is adamant it is currently too soon for a new Nintendo console, the company's hardware sales are not as robust as they once were.

In Japan last week, sales of the DS range were around 10,000 fewer than a month previous. In the UK meanwhile, Chart-Track figures revealed that a decline in DS and Wii purchases had led to one-third slump in overall console hardware sales during the first half of 2010.

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.

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