Nintendo Reports A Loss Of $489 Million, 3DS And Wii U Both Fall Short

Nintendo Reports a Loss of $US457 Million, 3DS and Wii U Both Fall Short

Nintendo has published its numbers for the most recent financial year, and it's sadly not doing all that well.

The company ended up with an operating loss of 46.4 billion yen, or $489 million, for the fiscal year ending in March, managing to move 590,000 3DS units and 310,000 Wii U units in the last quarter (i.e. the first three months of 2014). Total lifetime sales for the 3DS and the Wii U are now at 43.33 million units and 6.17 million units, respectively. The Wii U's performance is mentioned by the report as a contributing factor to Nintendo's loss of profits:

The global sales of the "Wii U" hardware and software [for the fiscal year] reached only 2.72 million and 18.86 million units respectively... The "Wii U" hardware still has a negative impact on Nintendo's profits owing mainly to its markdown in the United States and Europe, and unit sales of software, which has high profit margins, did not grow sufficiently.

On the other hand, the 3DS is doing relatively well, with 12.24 million units of hardware and 67.89 million units of software sold during the fiscal year -- though neither console managed to hit January's expected sales numbers for hardware, and in the software department, only the 3DS performed according to expectations.

To stimulate Wii U sales, the report mentions plans both to increase the number of Nintendo DS games available via the Wii U Virtual Console, and to introduce new software taking advantage of the Wii U Gamepad, which Nintendo considers the system's "most important differentiator." As for the 3DS, Nintendo plans to release more key titles for the handheld in the coming fiscal year, hopefully generating "robust profits".

Consolidated Financial Statements, May 7, 2014 [Nintendo] Notice of Full-Year Financial Forecast Differences with its Results [Nintendo]


    Just scrap the WiiU and release a next gen Zelda on Playstation 4. That'll boost their profits for sure.

    Last edited 08/05/14 6:19 am

      As a massive Nintendo fan. This ^^^

      They make the best games on the planet but they just don’t have the background skills or flexibility to adapt to what people expect from a modern day console.

      Ask Nintendo to build you a box with a controller that plays offline games and they’ll make you an absolute gem. Ask them to do just about every other aspect of the modern day console business, from the OS and the online systems, to the pricing model, to the hardware and they’ll screw it up. They just don’t have the skills or experience to build a top-of-the-line console in 2014 which doesn’t have a sales gimmick.

      They wanted to sell 9 million plus WiiU’s last year. They revised that down to 2.8m and then didn’t even hit THAT target . Now they say they’ll sell 3.6m next year with 2 new-gen consoles on the market? No chance in hell of them hitting that target, absolutely none. If I was an investor I’d be furious at them for even suggesting that they will go near that sales figure for 2014/15.

      I’d love to see them walk away from the home console business and make 3rd party games for MS/ Sony/ both. It will undoubtedly lose some of that Nintendo magic that they get out of their own hardware, but as it stands I don’t own a WiiU at all because I don’t see it as worth the investment at this stage. When someone like me, who would have Nintendo games making up 4-5 of his top-10 games of all time, can’t justify the purchase of your console then it’s time for a radical change.

      Plus how good would a new Zelda/ Metroid/ Everything Nintendo be on proper next-gen hardware? Games that they could design to the standards they want on a timeline not built around the need to prop up their own flailing hardware business.
      I think a great deal of the “stagnation” issue with Nintendo franchises is based on the fact that they have to design their titles around boosting sales for their consoles in the absence of 3rd party support and there’s never time to reinvent the wheel.

      *They still make great handhelds though.

      Last edited 08/05/14 10:43 am

        I agree with you wholeheartedly. The GameCube was my last Nintendo console and it was the tipping point where I realised I want a console to do some if the things Xbox and Playstation were doing.

      If you think that a company will get higher profits for the release of some SOFTWARE on a rival platform than from owning their proprietary hardware platform with lots of exclusive, crazy popular franchises, then you surely haven't had more experience with business than that of a lemonade stand.

      Who the hell gives a crap about Zelda getting some higher polygon count in another platform? As if that were the reasons why you go to a Zelda, or Mario, or any other Nintendo franchise.

      The Wii U is not giving losses for being less powerful than the other "last gen" platforms: It's not like the people that give a crap about frames or resolution or polygons are interested in the games that Nintendo makes anyway; they want their FPSs and realistic driving simulators and the such. The losses come from poor marketing, low amount of releases (especially at the onset) and from expecting it would automatically inherit the Wii's massive popularity.

    This will only continue while they keep being stubborn about price. The Wii U Mario Kart bundle is $428. You can get a PS4 for $549. You can get a XBone with Forza and Titanfall for $599. People shopping for one console aren't going to make their decision about what they'll be playing for the next 5-6 years based solely on $100-150 price difference. Put simply, for what it is and what it offers, the console and software are both overpriced. Nintendo do not understand this. Sony cut their teeth with the PS3, made a loss on each console sold but realised why people weren't buying it in droves and made changes. Nintendo need to do the same but given their reulctance to do so so far and with the massive lack of third party support I can't see them doing the same.

    Sorry to the Nintendo fans but Mario Kart, Zelda and Super Smash Bros Brawl won't be enough to shift a console in this day and age. They're expecting 3.6 million Wii Us to be sold this year, in the first three months they've sold less than a tenth of that and that isn't going to improve as Sony and Microsoft pick up steam later in the year.

      It needs to be priced at a price point where people are happy to buy a PS4 or Xbone AND a Wii U. So many people bought a Wii + another console, but very very few people I know are buying a Wii U + another console. With Mario Kart and Super Smash coming out, there are plently of Nintendo only games available, and a few decent 3rd party titles too, but certainly not enough to be your only console...

      It's not just about price, the business model is completely different. Nintendo has to profit per console as unlike Sony or Microsoft, gaming's one of their only sources of revenue.

        Well in the case of Sony, gaming is one of the few areas they're doing well in. So not only do they need to make a profit there, they need to make a big enough profit to try and prop up other parts of the company that are losing money hand over fist.

          That explains why Sony is gouging any territory that's not the US

    Pricing isn't the issue, the Wii U has been readily available for prices lower than $200 in some parts and hasn't made a difference. The console hasn't been marketed in the right way at all, it didn't take advantage of the extra year it had on the market and hasn't shown people why the GamePad is a great idea.

    Nintendo will see it through for a couple more years to ensure people like me and developers don't loose trust in the brand (you can't just scrape a $400 console and not expect people to get annoyed and harm dev relationships, see Sega). The system does have some of the best games out available on it, Mario Kart and Smash will drive some further sales.

    Nintendo on the other hand have tones of money and will be just fine, I am sure there next system will do better, oh, and they will never go 3rd party, they make a lot of their money from hardware and one of the reasons why there games are so awesome is the hardware is made for them.

      Pricing isn't the issue, the Wii U has been readily available for prices lower than $200 in some parts and hasn't made a difference.
      Some part being everywhere else than Australia!
      I'd LOVE a WiiU, but not gonna spend 300+ bucks on a console just to play Pikmin 3. $300 will get me through 5 Steam sales.

        It's worth being able to play NSMBU, Mario 3D World, W101, Pikmin 3, ZmobiU, etc and coming soon MK8, Zelda U, X, etc.

        If you like Nintendo games and want to play them in awesome HD then you should get the Wii U, $300 is a good price really. Also, the GamePad lets you play the games without the TV, it's so handy, and then there is the VC games.

        I don't know how Nintendo managed to screw up the marketing on this thing so badly.

      "Nintendo have tons of money"..................they lost nearly half a billion dollars last year.

    Gamepad fuckin blows. It's uncomfortable and the battery life sucks.

    All their core games are just rehashes of old. Mario kartlooks like its just going to be the same old shit. Sonic racing transformed looked way better.

    The pricing on virtual games is insane too. Old games should only be a few bucks. Treat it like the app store and everyone will spend like crazy to get some of that nostalgia feels.

    I have a wiiu. It collects dust. Paid 209 for the black one at dse. If I had the choice again. Would have passed.

      You're the first person I've heard say the gamepad is uncomfortable... personally I think it's far better than the PS4 controller (not held xbone so can't comment).
      If you think the battery sucks you need to get a life - sitting there playing nonstop for four hours? dude, go get some excercise or something. You can also pay about $25 and buy a larger battery for the gamepad that pretty much doubles the battery life - if it really is that much of a problem to you.

        I agree with lanceuppercut. I really hate the feeling of the gamepad, it feels cheap and toy-like. I bought the Pro controller, which is much nicer. The WiiU is still the least favourite console that I own (I haven't turned my Xbone on since 2 weeks after launch, PS4 is used semi-regularly)

        What an intelligent response! Thank you!

        I could call into question your small friend circle, as to which everyone must seem pro nintendo? Or the fact that you hold too much attachment for a gaming console to get offended by an opinion and feel the need to attack on a personal level. (Had a look at your old comments, dude is jonesing hard for Nintendo)

        Or the fact that you are making ridiculous assumptions about my fitness level. Which by all means, if you have proof back it up. Display it for all to see! I can reassure you though, that I am far from inactive. Why in this day an age are gamers still lumped into the unfit category still?

        Or the fact that your concern as to how I spend my own time is a little unsettling. If I so choose to play the wiiu for four hours straight than so be it. (Not that I have though, as stated, not a fan of the console)

        But that would just be silly.

        You don't get to tell other people what they shouldn't consider a problem when it's based on preference.

      I don't buy the "rehash" argument, aside from the occasional Naughty Dog/Indie Game release, what are the other consoles offering that isn't just a rehash of something?

      Since 2003 15 COD games have been released. Since 1992, there's been 8 Mario Kart titles.

        Why is everyone using COD? I don't care about COD haha,

        But COD is the action blockbuster equivalent for games. The yearly no brain movie with the big explosions that the masses love.

        Just because another franchise has been pumped out more than another doesn't validate it. There are still EIGHT mario karts. The nostalgia feels have definitely worn thin and not just on me by the looks of the sales numbers.

        I love Zelda games, have them all, but I never completed Skyward Sword, it was nothing new.

        They need a new WOW franchise that will bring new people in as opposed to trying to sell to the same captive audience again and again.

        If they must keep it to established brands then why not a new Luigi Mansion on the Wii U, the 3ds one was friggin awesome.

        Make the damn pokemon game everyone wants on the wii u.

        New Star Fox Adventure?

        Factor 5 really should not have gone out of business. How great would a new rogue game be right now? Assuming they were able to retain the rights.

        Also, do we really need more 2d or 2.5d platform games? The indie market on PC is dominating that space and making better platformers for a fraction of the cost.

      The comment about their core games being rehashes is such a ridiculous comment when you consider how many other franchises rehash every single year with no real difference at all.

      When Nintendo make a new Mario or Zelda, they change the game a lot, there is always something new to make the experience all new, it's a new game using known characters. Not to mention they only make 1-2 of the main Franchises per console generation.

    Oh and all the games are rehashes of old games? yeah because that new COD game looks totally fresh and innovative... I didn't almost fall asleep during the trailer at all.

      The problem with Nintendo games is the rely more on Nostalgia to get people to buy them then simply being popular. Call of Duty got where it go for being good at what it does, we can decry it for being shallow and sandy but it does do what it does better then anyone else.

      Where as Nintendo's focus seems to be around capturing those feelings of when you first picked up a Mario or Zelda rather than taking those into a new direction. Mario Galaxy was a perfect example of what Nintendo should be doing with their franchises, taking the character and basic style of play and transplanting it into such a unique way to play. Releasing 4 versions of New Super Mario Bros. isn't exactly what gets a large portion of the public excited.

      The main problem I see with Nintendo is that it is missing a killer franchise that speaks to the new generation of gamers, Mario and Zelda sell to the converted already. Nintendo needs a franchise to capture some of the same people who buy Call of Duty each year ( not saying they need a CoD clone) rather than relying on Mario to sell a system.

    Their premium pricing strategy across their entire eco system is what annoys the hell out of me. I have a 3DS but hardly buy games for it because of the price point of most of the decent software being in the $60 range, which never comes down. While on the other hand I play the hell out of my vita because so many games are available for $30ish. I got Persona 4 Golden for $22 yesterday for crying out loud.

    The fact that they are still trying to RRP the wiiU at $400+ is idiotic, sure there have been sales at the $200+ range, but if they seriously want to ship hardware and software they have to change their tune, drop the console price point for the premium to $200, get rid of the basic, move all WiiU VC price points to something like $1 for Nes, $2 for SNES, $3 for N64. Hammer digital sales hard, so you can pick up mario games from the GC, Wii, and early WiiU for cheap, like $10 - $30 price points. Start introducing a platinum range of games, so their prices drop at retail.

      So this ^^^

      The pricing of Nintendo games is absolutely f*cking riduclous.

      Think of it this way, I love Nintendo but don’t own a WiiU. I’ve also never owned a PS3.
      For FAR cheaper I can buy a PS3 with comparable hardware and get access to DOZENS on classic games for under $30.

      1st party Nintendo games will hold their price for FAR longer than every other game on the market.
      I’d bet you anything I can get copies of both The Last of Us and GTA V for the same price as a first party launch game for the WiiU. I’m guessing I can get a copy of The Last of Us from my local JB for cheaper than the 8 year old Mario Kart Wii.

      Yep we have 5 3DS games in our house: the two Marios, OoT, Nintendogs + Cats and Splinter Cell. I have plenty of interest in other titles but I'm not paying $50 - $60 for a handheld game - and they never drop in price with age - I figure when all the titles end up at Cash Converters it'll be a real good system!

    Release Bayonetta 2 Ninty and we are good ;)

    Have there been any new Wii U games (good games at least) since Mario last year?

      Donkey Kong, Pikmin, Wind Waker remaster and the best version of Splinter Cell Blacklist.

    Many were happy to buy the Wii, because it was cheap and the kids would love it. But at > $400, a console has to have some serious grunt and developer backing.
    The WiiU has - or at least is perceived to have - neither of these, and those that would spend that kind of money on a console have some strong and obvious alternatives.
    Or, if you want a games device with a screen, most generally go for the iPad.

    I'm not surprised that they are reporting a loss, little shocked at it’s near a 1/2 billion:-S

    But I think Nintendo has really lost the plot, no so much on the Wii U but in general I like the concept of the Wii U I think it could be great but the lack of games 18 months after release is shocking.
    With no basic video play back (dvd / blu-ray) because they use internal media disc's, a shockingly small memory bank 8 or 32gb is nothing in 2014, my phone has more (yes i know you can use external but i don’t want extra things floating around my consoles)
    Those are some of the reasons I won’t get a Wii U

    I have a 3DS I like it games are good but what grinds me again about Nintendo, is that they don't reduce the prices on 1st party games, shit Super Mario 64 for DS is still $59 and it’s not even a 3DS game.
    So simply I don’t buy any more games for the 3ds (I have 5) and instead I play my Vita almost every day on the train games are way cheaper (hell borderlands 2 is releasing at $39.95)

    I think Nintendo as a company need to take a step back work out what is going wrong, I think you will find that they are sinking money into crap they don't need to, look at more off the shelf components to build a console.
    Instead of sinking money into spec based designs like the 1.24 GHz Tri-Core IBM PowerPC "Espresso" and the Wii U Optical Disc those things don’t come cheap, take off the shelf items it reduced both costs by amazing amounts.
    They also need to keep up with the gaming trends, (i.e. strong move to HD) push more money into 3rd party exclusives, they can still do their own thing that’s what Nintendo is good at changing the way we play, but they also need to keep up to date

    Thats my rant

    Last edited 08/05/14 9:32 am

      from memory nintendo are the only ones with third party exclusives these days.

        Sony has linked up a load of Console exclusives for the PS4 , games that are only otherwise found on the PC
        FF14, War thunder, Warframe, dynasty warriors, guns of icarus

        No, there are still some other third-party exclusives. For example:
        - Atelier Escha & Logy was only released on PS3
        - Titanfall was a Microsoft exclusive but was made by Respawn and published by EA
        - Tales of Xillia 2 will be PS3 only (Namco)
        and so on.

        The early days of a new generation usually have many exclusives (relatively speaking) because the console manufacturers are trying to push the console numbers towards having majority market share.

        Nintendo's problem right now is that in their major markets the Wii U is priced at a loss, but software sales are insufficient to make up that loss.

        But I agree with deadboykilla that their policy of premium pricing, forever is probably not doing them any favours. I don't have a Wii U, but there are probably a few games for the Wii that I would have picked up if the pricing were a bit lower. As we're now in the long tail of those titles, dropping the price a bit would almost certainly gain more than was lost in reduced per-sale revenue.

          Yeah I don't understand the mentality there - take Super Mario Galaxy (upwards of $60 most places I've looked) surely they've recouped costs on that many times over but sales would've ground to a halt - re-releasing at a lower price point later on would've caught the people who were in the fence about it - indeed they could've boosted the audience for the 3D titles

          Actually, the attach rate is quite high. The software is doing quite well.
          The problem is the over production of consoles (and these consoles not moving) have had the most significant impact on their bottom line. This cost is most likely going to be a short-term one off as its easy to scale back production until units are sold.

      where are you buying your games from? the current 3ds first party games haven't dropped (ebay has most cheaper though) but I picked up mario 64, new super mario brothers, mario party and mario kart for $40 in a bundle. The ds games are cheap if you look around but I'm guessing your prices are probably based on EB which is the most horrible store ever for price drops.

      Off the shelf components cost more in licencing to other companies, microsoft and sony can develop tech that is used in other releases where as nintendo only use their tech for gaming which is why it's a bad investment either way.

      Last edited 08/05/14 10:20 am

      So simply I don’t buy any more games for the 3ds (I have 5) and instead I play my Vita almost every day on the train games are way cheaper

      Between PS+ and cross-buy, I barely even buy games for my Vita (although I have bought a a couple on sale like Persona 4 Golden for $22 and Everybody's Golf for about $10), yet my collection is overflowing with more games than I can play.

    Wow you guys really don't like Nintendo eh?

    I've been holding off getting a Wii U until Mario Kart and Smash Bros come out. Then it's fingers crossed for a new Metroid I guess.

    the gamepad was a bad choice for the controller. It doesn't really add a whole lot (a better idea would have been 3ds remote play for that feature like the vita) and it increases the production costs of the console by a large amount which is why they can't really drop the price much further yet. Add in the fact they've been slow to release their main series games (why the hell wasn't zelda and metroid planned for release before the one and the ps4?) and their in a bit of trouble with the console now.

    Their current approach seems to now be limiting games and vc titles to the wii u and not giving them to 3ds owners in the hopes 3ds owners buy wiis for vc titles, to me this is just going to lead to a drop in 3ds console sales (if people start looking at the releases and think it's becoming less of a priority to nintendo) while the wii u sales don't really increase.

    I have no idea how they save the wii u right now beyond releasing some incredible first party titles, some new IPs may be the way to go to actually have gamers take notice, I think in general a lot of gamers who aren't big nintendo fans don't even bother looking at the usual nintendo releases because there's a big attitude of one mario game = every other mario game (which i don't agree with).

    ITT: The same circlejerk as every other "nintendo dying becuase of wii u" thread before it.

    I think the Wii U represents the biggest generational leap out of the 3 main consoles. (Partly because the Wii was behind in tech and there was less risk with the PS4 and Xbone) What Nintendo are doing is innovating. Pushing boundaries. Unfortunately it hasn't worked this time but as a Wii U owner I'm still happy with their performance and quality of upcoming games. It seems this time to be a niche market. However I am happy that they are still innovating and coming up with new ideas after the cemented market of the long last generation.

    Pricing isn't the issue, and there are some great games. At this price, people will buy it if they want it. However, all these articles highlight some of the basic lack of understanding of finance and business amongst both gamers and games journalists.

    The reason why the Wii U has had such a hit on Nintendo's bottom line is largely due to their overestimation (and consequently production) of the actual console, and the revenues it didn't bring in.

    This will in part solve it self as they can scale back production and clear stock, and they'll have eventually made less of a loss (potentially even a profit, due to games) on what has been produced.

    I just think the Wii U will end up like the GameCube, a system that has some real gems on it.

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