It’s not game over for Nintendo, but as the company continues to suffer huge financial losses, a soon-to-be turnaround doesn’t look likely.
Due largely to sluggish sales of Nintendo 3DS — a portable game console that projects 3D images without needing 3D glasses and accessories — a strong yen and consumer demand for Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad, the company reported major losses for the nine month period ending December 31, 2011.
Nintendo reported on Wednesday sales of 556.2 billion yen ($7.2 billion) for the period, down nearly 32% compared to the same nine-month period from the year before. It also announced a 48.4 billion yen ($625 million) net loss. This is a striking difference compared to the same period in 2010, when Nintendo raked in a profit of nearly 50 billion yen.
The company slashed prices earlier in the year for its Nintendo 3DS consoles from $249 to $169 to help boost sales, but the move ultimately backfired and influenced a hit on revenue.
Even so, sales for Nintendo 3DS were actually the bright spot of the company’s financial reporting for the period — it sold 11.4 million units worldwide. Other Nintendo products didn’t fare as well. The company sold nearly 9 million Wii consoles, down from 13.7 million in the same period the year before, and only 4.6 million Nintendo DS units in 2011 compared to a strong 15 million in 2010. Video games (software) were also down for the year.
The company has high hopes for its new Wii system — Wii U — which is expected to debut later this year. The Wii U controller is getting buzz for its tablet-looking controller, but it will also launch with HD support and stronger graphics.