Nintendo loses grip on handheld gaming, drops into loss

The next-generation Nintendo DS will have to face competition from games on smartphones,

Nintendo reported a 2.01 billion yen (US$24.6 million) net loss for the six months to Sept. 30, as its sales of hardware and software dropped, the company said on Thursday. It sold 42 percent fewer handheld game consoles than a year earlier.

The loss compares to a profit of 69.5 billion yen during the same period last year. Sales of 363.16 billion yen were down about 34 percent compared to a year earlier.

The main reasons for the swing from profit to loss is flagging sales -- of Nintendo's Wii console, of its DS family of handheld consoles, and of related software. Results were also affected by a stronger yen, the company said.

Nintendo sold 6.69 million DS-family consoles during the six-month period, including 2.26 million DSi consoles and 3.21 million DSi XL consoles. In the same period a year earlier, before the launch of the DSi XL, it sold 11.7 million DS-family consoles.

Sales of the Wii dropped less, from 5.75 million units to 4.97 million.

The product that may help the company turn around its fortunes is the portable 3DS, which will allow players to see games in 3D without the use of special glasses. However, the product won't go on sale until next year, missing the important end-of-year holiday shopping season.

Also, the 3DS will enter a market that is very different from when the original DS launched in 2004: More of Nintendo's target market are playing games on smartphones. Reports have also recently surfaced that Sony Ericsson is working on a PlayStation-branded smartphone based on the Android operating system, which would further intensify the competition from smartphones for gamers' attention.

To be able to compete, Nintendo's stand-alone portable consoles will likely have to add more features besides gaming, though they don't necessarily have to become full-fledged smartphones, according to Richard Webb, directing analyst at market research company Infonetics. He thinks that the PlayStation smartphone will become a reality, but that its success -- and that of Nintendo's 3DS -- will be determined by the availability of good games.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonesbusiness issuesPhonesfinancial resultsNintendogamesconsumer electronicsgame softwarewiinintendo dsHandheldsGame platforms

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?