Nintendo narrowly returns to profit, but 3DS misses sales targets

Promises digital distribution push

Nintendo narrowly returns to profit, but 3DS misses sales targets
Nintendo has returned to profit, reporting full year net income of 7.1 billion yen ($72 million) despite missing its revised sales targets for both the Wii U and the 3DS.

The firm also failed to meet its forecasts for operating income. Nintendo expected to post an operating loss of 20 billion yen ($200 million), but actually incurred operating losses totalling more than 36 billion yen ($361 million).

Nintendo explained that this was "primarily due to the sales of Nintendo 3DS and Wii U being weaker than expected."

But the company was saved from a second consecutive year of net losses by the depreciation of the yen, which provided exchange gains of 39.5 billion yen ($396 million).

Big in Japan, smaller elsewhere

Nintendo's consolidated financial statements explain that, in the twelve month period ending 31 March 2013, "[the] 3DS system established itself as the leading platform in Japan."

However, despite the solid performance of first party titles, the handheld console "did not generate sufficient sales momentum" in overseas markets.

Global 3DS sales across the twelve month period in question totalled 13.95 million hardware units and 49.61 million units of software.

More than 40 percent of all 3DS console sales were made in Japan.

The road ahead

This financial year, Nintendo hopes to improve the 3DS's fortunes abroad by "[concentrating] on proactively releasing key Nintendo titles.

"In addition, we are planning to more actively support the Japanese software developers in distributing their key titles overseas," Nintendo added.

Furthermore, the company plans to push digital distribution on the 3DS.

Nintendo's online efforts – both in connected play and digital distribution – have lagged behind rivals in recent years, but Nintendo plans to push downloadable versions of its boxed games "in order to increase the number of new sales opportunities and improve our profitability."

In the twelve month period ending March 2014, Nintendo forecasts 18 million 3DS console sales and 80 million software sales.
Staff Writer's news editor 2012-2013