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Weak Nintendo earnings show there's nowhere to go but up for Switch

Weak Nintendo earnings show there's nowhere to go but up for Switch


But people still like Pokémon

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If last week's reveal of the Nintendo Switch sparked widespread excitement around the company for the first time in a while, today's second-quarter earnings release is a reminder that there's still some way to go. Nintendo reported revenue of 137 billion yen ($1.32 billion), down 33 percent year-on-year, slumping to an operating loss of 5.95 billion yen ($57.1 million) after making 8.98 billion yen operating profit in the same period last year.

Nintendo sold just 530,000 Wii U systems between July and September, down 53 percent on 2015, and software sales were also down 33 percent because, well, basically nothing of note was released. Nintendo is winding down production on the unsuccessful console, only expecting to ship 800,000 units for the entire fiscal year.

The 3DS was a bright spot, however, which helps illustrate why Nintendo is focusing on portability even for its next home console, the Switch. Although Pokémon Go itself isn't a Nintendo game, the company said the ubiquitous smartphone app drove sales of 3DS hardware up 19 percent as well as sales of earlier Pokémon games for the platform. Kirby: Planet Robobot also performed strongly, and Nintendo can also point to next month's release of Pokémon Sun and Moon as a guaranteed future hit.

Nintendo isn't planning to release further information, including details of the hardware or pricing, on the Switch until next year. With the Wii U's barren Christmas release schedule, Nintendo fans should at least have plenty of time to focus on catching pokémon over the holidays.