Nintendo revises earnings down on weak Wii U, 3DS sales

Wii U fails to catch on despite holiday sales push

Nintendo has cut its earnings forecast for the year to the end of March to a net loss, citing disappointing holiday sales of its Wii U and 3DS game devices.

The video-game giant warned on Friday of a net loss of ¥25 billion (US$240 million) for the year, instead of the ¥55 billion net profit it had forecast last April.

The company posted a ¥7.1 billion net profit for the year ended March 31, 2013.

Nintendo blamed the let-down on weak sales of high-margin games during the year-end period, which it in turn attributed to slower-than-expected hardware sales.

It drastically cut estimates of sales of its Wii U game console, launched in 2012, from 9 million units to 2.8 million for the year to the end of March 2014.

Meanwhile, it also revised downward its sales projections for the 3DS console from 18 million units to 13.5 million for the same period.

"We put in place various promotional activities in order to promote sales and expand our audience in the year-end sales season of the previous calendar year," Nintendo President Satoru Iwata told a news conference. "However, it is now expected that our sales will fail to meet our previous forecast by a large margin."

"We can no longer expect our financial performance to recover in the current fiscal year," Iwata added.

Nintendo can't blame a limp video game market. Its revised estimates follow Sony's announcement that it sold over 4.2 million units of its PlayStation 4 console since its launch in 2013. Microsoft said it had sold over 3 million units of its Xbox One console, also released in 2013.

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Tim Hornyak

IDG News Service
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