Nintendo made an operating loss of 4.92 billion yen (about $50 million) on net sales of 81.5 billion yen ($832 million) in the first quarter of its financial year ending March 2014, the company announced today. Net profit was 8.62 billion yen ($88 million), and the company has made no alteration to its prior forecast of a 100 billion yen operating profit in the current fiscal year.
Wii still selling better than Wii U
Just 160,000 Wii U consoles were sold worldwide between April and June, along with 1.03 million software units. The figure is a 51.3 percent decrease on last quarter; the console has now sold 3.61 million units around the world despite Nintendo's initial prediction of 5.5 million systems moved by the end of March. Nintendo says that hardware sales still have a negative impact on the company's bottom line, implying that — even with these unimpressive numbers — the system is still being sold as a loss leader.
The company moved 1.4 million 3DS handhelds over the quarter, a 25 percent decrease on last year, but software sales were 49 percent higher buoyed by titles such as Tomodachi Collection: New Life in Japan and Animal Crossing: New Leaf in the West. Nintendo actually managed to sell more original Wii consoles than Wii U in the quarter, with 210,000 sold worldwide.
The Wii U sales figures are undoubtedly low — it was considered a shock that less than 100,000 units were sold in the US in January alone — but Nintendo will be counting on its upcoming software lineup to turn its fortunes around. At this year's E3 trade show, the company demonstrated several titles in its evergreen franchises such as Super Mario, Mario Kart, and Donkey Kong Country.
Update: Warner Bros. admitted today that it won't include multiplayer in the upcoming Wii U version of Batman: Arkham Origins, citing a need to focus on the larger multiplayer audiences on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC instead. It could be a vicious cycle for Nintendo's console if developers continue to take their desirable content elsewhere.