A post on GamesIndustry this morning reports that Nintendo has revised its sales forecasts for its two major hardware offerings, the Wii U and 3DS consoles. But while a headline like this could be taken as a major sign of poor performance, the truth is a bit more nuanced than that: the Wii U’s forecasts have been cut from 5.5 million units by March to 4 million, while the 3DS’s projected sales have been cut from 17.5 million by March to 15 million. The nearly retired DS console’s forecast was cut from 2.5 million to 2.3 million.
Year-end profit projections, on the other hand, have been revised in the opposite direction, having risen from ¥6 billion to ¥14 billion, a result of the Wii U’s solid (if not earth-shattering) launch in November.
And, perhaps most importantly, the company’s no longer in the red. At the end of 2011, Nintendo had recorded its first loss—a whopping ¥48 billion. At the end of 2012? Nintendo took a net profit of ¥14.5 billion.
In recent years, revised projections have often been far more drastic, signaling financial hardships for hardware and software producers around the industry. The fact that the sales forecasts had to be downgraded at all isn’t good news. But the relatively slight disparity seems to show that Nintendo’s still in decent shape. The fact that it’s no longer hemorrhaging money is another good sign, revealing that Nintendo will be here for at least another few years despite the doom-saying that game pundits and commenters so enjoy.
Even still—wouldn’t it have been better if Nintendo had revised their sales forecasts to be higher? I’m sure the folks in Kyoto would’ve much preferred that to the “eh, it’s not that bad” discussion I’m having here. Maybe when they reveal their new first-party games at E3 this year, we’ll get a better sense of what the Wii U can really do.