This morning, Nintendo posted its fiscal year financial reports for all to see (as they are a public company), and most importantly included that Nintendo has a recorded 36.4 billion yen operating loss ($366 million US) for the fiscal year that concluded on March 31, 2013. Its first reported loss was last year.
And since stats are normally boring and nobody likes looking at them, allow me to break it down into something more consumable –INTERPRETIVE DANCE. Actually, we’ll just break it down the normal way.
Attributed to the depreciation of the yen, Nintendo’s total net profit was upwards of 7 billion yen ($71 million), meaning Nintendo still came out in the clear with a decent wad of cash in tow. The company attributes their not-making-as-much-money-as-before issues to the Wii U’s low sales, saying they had a “negative impact on Nintendo’s profits.”
Also, Satoru Iwata is now CEO of both Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Japan. Tatsumi Kimishima, former CEO of Nintendo of America, will be taking on the role of managing director of Nintendo Co. Ltd., pending shareholder approval. Nintendo of America president and COO Reggie Fils-Aime will maintain his position and report directly to Iwata. According to a Nintendo, the changes will “allow streamlined decision making” and “enhance Nintendo’s organizational agility in the current competitive environment.”
- Profit: 7 billion yen ($71 million)
- Loss: 36.4 billion yen ($366 million)
- Promotion: Satoru Iwata is now CEO of Nintendo of America, not just Nintendo of Japan
- Sidestep: Tatsumi Kimishima moved from CEO of NOA to Managing Director
The company has sold a total of 3.45 million Wii U consoles since launch in November of last year. Its projected sales sat somewhere closer to 5 million by the end of the fiscal year, but was obviously brought down a few notches to an expected 4 million. Nintendo has sold approximately 13.42 million Wii U games internationally, with Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. U consuming 2.6 million and 2.15 million units respectively (globally) of those sales.
Nintendo is also aware that a lack of post-launch software for the console has been a detrimental factor in sales, as they’ve attributed their delays of big titles as part of the problem. This makes sense, unless you like buying a console with very few “must play” titles.
“For the “Wii U” system, launched in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013, there were some delays in software development that resulted in intervals between new software title releases at the early stage of this year, said Nintendo.
“Taking this into consideration, for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014, we plan to concentrate on proactively releasing key Nintendo titles from the second half of this year through next year in order to regain momentum for the platform. Nintendo strives to improve the sales by communicating the compelling nature of our hardware and software to as many people as possible through our new network service called “Miiverse,” which offers an environment where people can empathize with others and share their gaming experiences. We also strive to reduce costs to improve hardware profitability.”
- Nintendo’s Wii U Sales Prediction: 5 million (later reduced to 4 million)
- Actual Consoles Sold: 3.45 million
- Games Sold: 13.42 million
- Nintendo’s Fix: “concentrate on proactively releasing key Nintendo titles from the second half of this year through next year in order to regain momentum for the platform.”
The Nintendo Wii (which is on its way out, and quite quickly I might add) sold a respectable 3.98 million units over the past year, as well as over 50.61 million Wii games.
- Consoles Sold: 3.98 million
- Games Sold: 50.61 million
The Nintendo 3DS handheld sold just over 13.95 million units with over 49.61 million 3DS games. Nintendo’s own flagship game of last year, New Super Mario Bros. 2, reached 6.42 million sales. Overall, the Nintendo 3DS has sold 31.09 units to date since launch, and is paired with 95.03 million 3DS game sales over its lifetime.
- Consoles Sold: 13.95 million
- Games Sold: 49.61 million
- Nintendo’s Fix: “we will concentrate on proactively releasing key Nintendo titles.” (e.g. Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Pokemon X/Y, etc)
Nintendo’s closing thematic message reads as follows:
“Nintendo strives to improve the sales by communicating the compelling nature of our hardware and software to as many people as possible through our new networks service called Miiverse.”
So, as it seems, Nintendo is being a game company. Plan of action: release good games, do it frequently, and give folks a reason to buy the darn systems.
In addition to all of this, Nintendo hopes to reduce the cost of the Wii U hardware to make it sell more, therefor making it more profitable. Whether that means a near-future discount or not is anyone’s guess — but they did it to spike 3DS sales, so I’d wager they’re not above doing it again.