Skip to main content

Nintendo’s first quarter under new CEO sees slight boost to Wii U sales

Nintendo’s first quarter under new CEO sees slight boost to Wii U sales

Share this story

Nintendo has published its second quarter earnings for 2015, showing a slight decrease in year-on-year operating profit, despite the launch of big-name first party title Mario Maker. Nintendo reported a ¥7.8 billion operating profit for the quarter ending September 30th, down slightly from the ¥9.3 billion figure it posted in the second quarter of 2014. While that operating profit was higher, Nintendo investors will be pleased to see the Kyoto-based company is on track to smash its full-year operating profit from 2014 — through the first six months of 2015, Nintendo has an operating profit of ¥8.98 billion, up from an operating loss of ¥215 million through the first six months of 2014.

Wii U hardware sales increased slightly over last quarter, rising from 0.47 million in Q1 2015 to 0.72 million, slightly up on the same period last year in which Nintendo sold 0.61 million. The company says it's still forecast to sell 3.4 million of the consoles by the year's end, the same total it predicted back in May.

These are the first financial results published since Tatsumi Kimishima took over

2015 has been reasonable for software, with Mario Maker selling 1.88 million copies after its launch in September, and Splatoon — released in May and selling 1.62 million copies in time for Q1 this year — selling another 800,000 copies. Nintendo says its Amiibo connected toys are also enjoying "robust" sales, and helping to prop up the lessened demand for 3DS hardware. The 3D handheld's sales are expected to drop 13 percent year-on-year, with Nintendo selling 7.6 million by March 2016.

This quarter's earnings aren't as high as some analysts predicted, but they've held fairly stable — a good sign after the company was devastated by the death of CEO Satoru Iwata in July. This quarter's results are the first to be published since his replacement, Tatsumi Kimishima, took the top job. Although a Nintendo veteran, Kimishima appeared to be an outside choice for the role: where Iwata had joined Nintendo talisman Shigeru Miyamoto on stage, in Nintendo Direct broadcasts, and in puppet form, Kimishima worked primarily behind the scenes, quietly taking jobs as as head of HR, managing director, and boss of Nintendo of America.

Nintendo is planning to work with Japanese mobile giant DeNA

Nintendo recorded a small slip in the sales of 3DS hardware — to be expected for a handheld without any major releases during the window — but saw Wii U sales kept flat by the release of Nintendo's own Mario Maker.

Iwata's loss was felt keenly by both video game makers and players, for now, at least, but Nintendo faces another test in the coming months. The company will soon start to lift the lid on its next console, code-named the NX, and details its plans for smartphone games and apps in partnership with Japanese company DeNA. New CEO Kimishima promised to hold a strategy briefing on Thursday, noting that the partnership with the mobile giant was "on track." That briefing may be the first indication of whether Nintendo's CEO plans to make any major changes to the company's overall strategy.