Nintendo reports first annual loss of about $460 million

Nintendo has outlined its first ever annual operating loss, and detailed its plans for the coming year in terms of strategy and predicted sales.


Nintendo has reported its results for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012, and they weren't pretty. The company reported an annual operating loss of 37.3 billion yen (approximately $460 million), the first time in the company's history of reporting such a loss. This is a slight improvement from its adjusted forecast from January, which predicted a 45 billion yen loss.

The company suggests that the "sales slump" from early last year never fully recovered, and as a result Nintendo sold roughly 3 million fewer Wii units, and 2.5 million fewer 3DS units, than expected. Nintendo claims these slumps, along with price reductions, a slower holiday season, and the strong yen, are the causes behind its loss.

Despite the sour financial news, Nintendo is positive on its predictions for the coming year. The 3DS is selling more consistently, but since the price drop Nintendo has been selling it at a loss. The company plans to get the manufacturing cost below the sales cost by the end of this fiscal year. It also is counting on big franchise games like New Super Mario Bros 2, Animal Crossing 3DS, and Brain Age, along with the continued success of Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7, to carry the system this year.

In terms of hardware, the company plans to move 18.5 million 3DS units. It also predicts 10.5 million Wii unit sales, but interestingly that figure lumps Wii and Wii U sales together. Overall the company is planning on a 35 billion yen operating income profit for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013. Strategically, Nintendo claims it will lean on the Wii U, and make more use of the "Nintendo Network" and digital distribution.

The company itself didn't acknowledge the increased adoption of mobile games, but analysts certainly have. Analyst David Gibson told Reuters that smart phones and tablets have beaten Nintendo for "consumers spending and, more importantly, time." Another, Nanako Imazu, says Nintendo should "deal with the change and let Mario games be played on non-Nintendo devices." But, he acknowledges that we won't see that attitude shift for a few more years.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 26, 2012 9:00 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Nintendo reports first annual loss of about $460 million.

    Nintendo has outlined its first ever annual operating loss, and detailed its plans for the coming year in terms of strategy and predicted sales.

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      April 26, 2012 9:09 AM

      Yeah, the Wii U better be a hit for them.

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      April 26, 2012 9:38 AM

      Great news! Expected loses were $800m

      Bad news for stupid nintendoomed analysts - they know who they are, mentioned in this article.

      So nintendo gamers ... who already know the WiiU is 3-4 times more powerful and resourceful than X360 should ask? What's the launch line up?

      I will say one thing that I can say without getting in any trouble is that the launch lineup for the Wii U is going to surprise some people. It’s going to be pretty damn good.

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        April 26, 2012 9:40 AM

        Its amazing how much insider knowledge you have about the industry, what company do you work for?

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        April 26, 2012 9:43 AM

        Nintendo should hire you, if you don't work for them already.

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        April 26, 2012 9:46 AM


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        April 26, 2012 9:48 AM

        never fails, we missed you in the Crysis 3 Wii U thread

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        April 26, 2012 9:52 AM

        Nobody will buy a Wii U, it's a stupid name that will confuse casuals who already think they own one and Nintendo lost most core gamers years ago so they won't buy one either.

        There. I said it.

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          April 26, 2012 11:39 AM

          yeah, associating it with the wii is a bad move. how many parents are going to bother with the wii u, they just bought junior the wii and he hasn't touched it in a year.

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          April 26, 2012 12:19 PM

          I seem to remember people saying nobody would buy a Wii because the name was stupid and it was underpowered.

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        April 26, 2012 10:28 AM

        3-4 times more powerful? Have you been paying attention to what developers have been saying? You know, the ones who actually makes game for it.

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          April 26, 2012 11:26 AM

          We shall compare our arguments again, when the device is fully operational.

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            April 26, 2012 11:31 AM

            Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL battle station!


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        April 26, 2012 11:19 AM

        Yeah, it will impress with no CoD, multi-month old games, and no Crysis 3.

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          April 26, 2012 11:22 AM

          I don't, nor most of the nintendo community, care for 3rd party software.

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            April 26, 2012 11:24 AM

            so you never played one of the best games ever made for the gamecube, Resident Evil 4?

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            April 26, 2012 11:30 AM

            When you say "nintendo community," do you mean the people who bought the Wii, or non-casual gamers who bought the Wii? Because I would argue that non-casual gamers care a lot about certain 3rd party games, while the non-casual gamers who love Nintendo aren't enough to carry a console to success (see: Gamecube).

            As an owner of a 360 and a middle-of-the-road gaming PC, I have no reason to buy a Wii U. It offers nothing besides three or four games that I could get on another platform, and I don't want to spend >$200 on something I will barely use and replace with a new system a year or so after that.

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            April 26, 2012 1:15 PM

            You NEED to care Ruski, its the difference between a NES library and a Gamecube library.

            Nintendo can only put out so many high quality games each year for core gamers. 3rd parties are essential to the continued success of a platform because they are able to keep the core satisfied with a new semi-high quality game every month while nintendo readies the next smash or zelda.

            Look at the last year of the Wii's life, other than zelda it's been DEAD. NOA is grasping at any piece of software they can put out (rainfall games, NPC Pikmin 2) to have SOMETHING new on the shelves.

            If they don't get 3rd part support, there is no reason for the core gamer who buys 5-10 games a year to invest in it if they aren't already hardened Nintendo fanboys. If they can't convince Crytek, Irrational, Dice, Valve, Epic, Bethesda, Rockstar, ect. to put the marquee games out for the console then Wii U will be dead in the water by year 2-3 when the next xbox and playstation start to pick up steam.

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              April 26, 2012 4:33 PM

              They are - but for most hardcore people not. Im talking about the hardcore community - not the wii casuals.

              Nintendo already said they do not like the idea of DLC - we do not know how will they handle that for 3rd parties

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                April 26, 2012 5:04 PM

                If it's successful ONLY with the loyal nintendo fan, we get the gamecube. Great 1st party titles, huge multi-month droughts of quality software, 3rd party multi-plats either missing features (online) or not released on the system at all.

                You need sales from 3 groups for a healthy platform
                1.The Loyalist: The person who stood out for hours waiting for their console at launch because they love the games said company makes. This person buys around 5-10 pieces of software a year. Smallest group
                2.The core audience: The person who may not have an allegiance to any company but loves games and just wants the console that will play big games that the 1st and 3rd parties put out. This person will buy 5-10 pieces of software a year.
                3.The extended audience: The person who plays once in a while, usually with friends at a party. This is the largest group of people but since their life doesn't revolve around video games, they only buy 1-2 high priced (ie non mobile) games a year because the ones they have will last them a long time.

                The gamecube only captured the attention of group 1 and to a lesser extent group 2.
                The Wii captured group 1 and group 3. There was some group 2 at the start but it quickly dried up because they had to sell their wii to get a 360 or ps3 to play the multi platform games that they wanted to play from the top tier development teams.
                In order to have the best chance of success AND the biggest amount of AWESOME games you need to capture all 3, much like the ps2 did during it's lifespan.

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        April 26, 2012 11:21 AM

        How are you always one of the first comments in these articles. Do you have an RSS feed for these and filter out only Nintendo news or what?


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        April 26, 2012 11:23 AM

        You are like the Iraqi Information Minister when it comes to Nintendo stuff LOL.

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          April 26, 2012 11:29 AM

          Sorry, I do not condone orchestrated terrorism through false information.

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            April 26, 2012 11:45 AM

            You got that false information part down, though

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        April 26, 2012 11:23 AM

        Are you naturally this oblivious or was it a skill you acquired over time?

        How can anyone consider a huge loss to be great news? That's akin to saying "Great news! Someone spread shit on only one half of my sandwich!"

        Wii-U is going to tank big time. My kids hardly use the original Wii any more and have expressed no interest in the new one. The only thing Nintendo has left is the handheld scene, and I don't think the 3DS is doing that well.

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          April 26, 2012 11:44 AM

          By examining this futile attempt at discrediting the information provided we come to an obvious conclusion:

          While the counter points would be amusing in another situation, rather put, a whole different situation, this does not apply for the point of view the situation proves to be positive.

          It is positive for the nintendo community to see analysts being wrong and innaccurate.

          Secondly, claiming such conclusions based on poor subjective opinion does not result in accurate predictions, quite on the contrary, our

          My calculations would indicate that you're kids are fairly irrelevant in the console's market performance. One of the reasons is that they, as many other people, probably possibly quite obviously wouldn't have been able to have an idea about the system other than how does the non-final version of uPad controller look like. In order for them to get to actual information while the advertising of the device didn't even started is at low percent. There has been little mainstream penetration of the WiiU information except the wrong information as we speak - i doubt your kids are research experts - on the other hand - you as their protector might work harder to introduce them proper information, learn them how to dig it up, and help them to be independent as well as to avoid the deceptive mainstream media.

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            April 26, 2012 12:09 PM

            As a follow up for the analysts:

            The bad news for analysts is obviously when they're wrong. Many less-informed investors rely on them.

            The hardcore communities score their points when investors are wrong - precisely because the communities do a much better job with information research, analysis, which requires years of experience and information from not only the gaming industry as per software development aspect but also from the hardware point of view in the advanced semiconductor tech industry.

            Analysts are usually less-participant in these deep areas. Some may have purely financial background which offers them nothing in terms of industry experience they try to predict things. These have different mindset and look from a purely business view and stirring up raw numbers of financial data, inaccurate trend predictions ("oh smarphones arrived, nintendo needs mario on iphone or they're doomed"), wide-industry charts, inaccurate or region-specific customer surveys,

            Most of these analysts don't have to keep a recordbook of a company or to keep it's legacy original or intact - they predict what's hot for the investors to hop on. They don't have the gamer's view, they don't have the customer's view, they have purely business view (oh zynga is making trillions with facebook games , now everyone should follow suit or they're doomed)

            What we are here are the small minority of the community that insures it's stability, integrity and legacy - the gamer and consumer cares for the legacy. The analyst is a capitalistic pawn who has no job nor intention nor any drive to protect the great legacy - nintendo is much smarter than these - they will not sacrifice and bend to some stupid market business whackos who care only about business, nobody ever thoughs why if nintendo LIKES what it does with their first-party games and doesn't want to see their belowed franchises be shit on and dependant on an inferior device with a crippled input system that the game has not been designed for.

            The bottom line is - Analysts are much more times wrong when predicting nintendo than they are predicting other companies - take for example console companies - for a fact that sony and microsoft are fairly easy to be predicted is true for the communities as well - they don't do anything on their own - they just respond to what nintendo did.

            Analysts aren't the enemies - they are sometimes unwanted because of their unbased, unresearch, and ignorant predictions which the community has knew on contrary weeks or months before. When analysts agree with community views then we're on the same page and it's all goood free PR for the company as well. When analysts are correct and community is wrong ... well ... that happens when the community is not as it should be, it's not as strong and smart - that would indicate in this case the company that's on a verge of collapse.

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              April 26, 2012 12:35 PM

              Creativity and talent .... is what drives nintendo. They know better and community agrees.

              We're getting what we would like - tho - at some point nintendo was forced to do it because of the competition, not really because of the hunger of it's fans - nintendo fans rarely cared about graphics - hardcore gamers never care about graphics and it's the way it was and should be.

              Much of the slack nintedno gets is from non-fans, markets, general industry, and 3rd party developers - Much of those are obviously the biggest whiners called americans.

              You think that what microsoft is doing is actually good? - you think ridiculing them selfs on E3 is actually legacy worthy ... or praise worthy ... the fact that americans can easily bash whatever that is non-american is obvious. But please note your self, how many evil business practices microsoft made that nintendo did not - this is a fact here, figure it out.

              I respect nintendo more than any company because of their ongoing resistance against the american market trends that i call capitalism on steroids - Nintendo does not want to cater into markets they have not researched them self - they do not do anything what does not make sense from a gameplay, design, creative point of view - they do not rely on their marketing team which ... they do not operate like the filthy american corporations that also do their best to rob you from your freedom.

              Speaking of Analysts, Investors, Nintendo and losses - The media obviously dependant on pageviews made up their drama story of nintendoomed loses which by far aren't as bad as other companies around here, the amounts that nintendo has in reserve are too big to cause any slight point of concern. Analysts obviously want profits, if it's not, than it's bad and it's going doomed and investors are going to go away whaaaaaaaaaaaaaa chaos ...
              .... speaking of nintendo in this particular case of investors demanding non-nintendo platform games ... Investors actually have pretty much no relevancy in such demands like this ... why is this you might ask, well boys and girls, the major Nintendo investors are current employees(Iwata, Miyamoto ..etc) and the retired Yamauchi family.

              Nintendo does not only resist the mobile/social gaming trends, they're completely against it. Watch GDC 2011 Keynote.

              "On my business card I am a corporate president, in my mind I am a game developer, but in my heart I am a gamer" - Satoru Iwata, CEO, Nintendo

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                April 26, 2012 1:00 PM

                Let me summarize a brief response to all of that...

                Nintendo is not creative, or least not anymore. Everyone thinks they innovate because of the wii-mote, but since then they've just ridden out the wave. They've had so much cash and time to really step up in the market and get both casual and hardcore alike. They haven't done anything of the like, and the WiiU has so far failed to impress.

                Who knows, people buy anything and everything these days, but your analysis is extremely narrow and jaded.

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                April 26, 2012 6:39 PM

                ... they do not operate like the filthy american corporations that also do their best to rob you from your freedom.

                Baghdad Bob! Long time no hear. Glad to see you found another use for your skills.


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          April 26, 2012 12:23 PM

          I only have this to say on the matter. I've been a lifelong nintendo fan, starting with the NES with Rob the robot, and have owned every console of theirs since. I will not be buying the Wii U. They have lost my trust and there is little they can do to regain it at this point.

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        April 26, 2012 11:40 AM

        Hahaha... best gimmick account ever.

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        April 26, 2012 12:44 PM

        You are a strange creature, Mr. Smellx.

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      April 26, 2012 9:50 AM

      Wow, they never made a loss even on GameCube? I know that thing was made at a profit, but even so it sold like shit comparatively.

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      April 26, 2012 12:16 PM

      That mario comment is comedy gold. Maybe we can get Halo on the PS3 and God of War on the Wii U too. Lol.

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      April 30, 2012 4:57 AM

      I think they need to get serious and develop a cutting edge system with high end specs that shits all over the x-box. I've never really liked the X-box and I wouldn't mind seeing all it's fan people upset by the thing I loved more than anything from my childhood, Nintendo.

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      May 2, 2012 11:36 PM

      Probably just the first of many at this point. Oh well, it was getting hard to get overly excited over the millionth tired version of Mario or Zelda anyway.

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