Nintendo has announced a loss of 36.4 million yen ($366 million) for its 2012 financial year, marking the second consecutive year that the Japanese gaming giant has turned in negative operating income.
The company missed its own prediction of a $220 million loss for the year — as the Verge notes — while it also fell short on sales of its flagship Wii U gaming console. Global sales of the device totalled 3.45 million units, that’s some way short of the 4 million target that the company had set and is actually lower than the number of original Wii consoles sold (3.98 million).
Nintendo specifically acknowledges the significance of this:
“Owing to the fact that Wii U hardware sales has a negative impact on Nintendo’s profits, the operating loss was 36.4 billion yen.”
Firmwire issues affected the initial launch of the device and the company admits that “there were some delays in the software development” which, it says, affected the release of new titles. In order to regain “momentum” for the platform, it is aiming to launch a number of top titles during the second half of the year. Over the next twelve months it is forecasting that Wii U sales will hit 9 million units.
While Wii U has been well received, it remains to be seen whether the disappointing sales are as a result of the titles launched, or whether the lacklustre response reflects changing consumer interests and habits around gaming. Mobile and tablet consumption has never been higher and, while Nintendo refuses to launch titles for iOS, Android and other platforms, it could be that it is feeling the effects of a diminishing market of console buyers.