Nintendo made an operating loss of ¥18.4 billion ($187 million) on sales of ¥115 billion ($1.17 billion) this quarter as Wii U sales continued to lag. The company sold 300,000 Wii U consoles between July and September, an 87.5 percent improvement on the previous quarter; sales were buoyed by a price cut and the Legend of Zelda bundle, but Nintendo notes that it is still losing money on the hardware.

Wii U software showed more improvement

Wii U software showed a more marked boost, with 5.27 million units representing an improvement of over 400 percent on the previous quarter. Nintendo points to titles such as Pikmin 3 and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD as sparking growth. The company also managed to sell 2.49 million 3DS portable systems, a year-on-year decline of around 20 percent. 3DS software sales were at 16.37 million, a 40 percent year-on-year improvement buoyed by the Western release of Animal Crossing: New Leaf and titles from last year that continue to perform well.

Nintendo hasn't altered its forecast of a ¥100 billion operating profit for the current fiscal year, pointing to the recent release of Pokémon X and Y and the Wii U's upcoming Super Mario 3D World. It still expects to sell 9 million Wii U systems worldwide by the end of March 2014; the current total sits at 3.91 million.

Nintendo still expects to sell 9 million Wii U systems by April

The company has given no indication of any planned deviation in its hardware strategy, despite frequent calls for its franchises to be ported to smartphones and other mobile devices. Nintendo is experimenting with free-to-play models for some of its games, and announced today that it will "try new promotional activities" such as a free campaign for upcoming fitness title Wii Fit U.

Additional reporting by Aaron Souppouris.