I don’t have to tell you that Nintendo’s going through a rough patch right now. Now we know just how bad it truly is, as Nintendo has just released their financial report for the fiscal year ending in March 2014.
Some of the big headlines in the report: the Nintendo Wii U has shipped 2.72 million units over the past year (~310,000 units sold from January 1 – March 31 2014), while the Nintendo 3DS shipped 12.24 million units during that same time (with ~590,000 units sold from January – March). Over the life to date of these consoles, that brings the Wii U up to 6.17 million units, and the Nintendo 3DS at 43.33 million units. The company expects to ship a measly 3.6 million Wii U units next year, and a respectable 12 million 3DS units over that same time.
When it comes to software, Nintendo’s expectations and projections were mostly met. The Wii U shipped 18.86 million software titles last year (2.9 million of which came the last quarter), while the 3DS shipped 67.89 million titles last year (10.64 million coming the last quarter). Their life-to-date totals reach 32.28 million for the Wii U and 162.92 million for the Nintendo 3DS. Next year’s software expectations are at 20 million for the Wii U and 67 million for the 3DS.
Now comes the hard truth: Nintendo obtained a net loss of 23.2 billion Yen, which averages out to ~$229 million. Additionally, their cash and other asset equivalents dipped down from $4.7 billion (USD) to $3.4 billion over the past year. A lot of their losses in income are generated in the markdown Wii U hardware units in North America and Europe.
Projecting just 3.6 million Wii U units sold over the next year shows that Nintendo knows to have deadened expectations for the console. Mario Kart 8 comes out later this month, signalling one of the Wii U’s last chances to find a killer app. With the upcoming Smash Bros title coming out in Winter this year, it’ll be up against some heavy competition from the PS4 and Xbox One’s holiday offerings, which would create tougher competition over the season.
If things stay this way for Nintendo over the years ahead, questions about the company’s ongoing policies might have to be addressed. Outside of the Wii, life-to-date units sold for Nintendo console hardware has been on a strong decline. It’s still too early to say Nintendo should get out of the console business, but it’s becoming more and more of a possibility as the years go on.
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