Nintendo profits continue to dwindle as it relies heavily on first-party support

The Nintendo NX can't come soon enough.

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Nintendo might be riding high on the wings of its amiibo sales, but its latest financial report shows it’s depending far too much on its first-party titles.

NIntendo’s profits for the period ending last December were 40,558 million yen (around $336 million), which is down from last year’s 59,515 million yen (around $493 million). Even though it’s financials continue to dwindle, Nintendo should be happy to at least have stayed in the black.

First-party games sold best on Nintendo systems, including Super Smash Bros., Super Mario Maker, Splatoon, and Animal Crossing, which may point to a potential problem if the company can’t secure more support from third-party publishers. We know Nintendo’s first-party content is among the best in gaming, but its finances could see a vast improvement if popular third-party franchises, such as Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed, were developed for Nintendo hardware.

With the Nintendo NX reveal expected to happen sometime in the coming months, we’re certainly curious to see if it’s the hardware that can finally get Nintendo out of the financial issues it's found itself in since 2011. Although if it’s anything like what we heard in a recent survey, it may underwhelm.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 2, 2016 1:40 PM

    Daniel Perez posted a new article, Nintendo profits continue to dwindle as it relies heavily on first-party support

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      February 2, 2016 4:06 PM

      Daniel, what is underwhelming about that survey? 900p? Tons of games on PS4 and XBO run at 900p and lower. Are those systems underwhelming?

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        February 2, 2016 4:12 PM

        those systems came out in 2013 shortly after the Wii U. Nintendo's next system is a generation after them, likely to be 3-4 years once it launches, so it's reasonable to expect/hope for better performance from a next gen system.

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          February 2, 2016 4:20 PM

          900p is a totally arbitrary number to make a judgement by. It doesn't take into account tons of factors, like framerate, lighting, polygon count, all kinds of stuff.

          Besides, the average consumer doesn't notice the difference between 900 and 1080 anyway, so to say 900p would have an effect on sales is just wrong.

          And lasty, if it is a portable system 900p would be insanely good. The PS Vita is only 544p, and it looks great.

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            February 2, 2016 4:35 PM

            Every paper spec is an arbitrary number to make a judgement by. People work with what they have. Certainly Nintendo's recent history doesn't give people a lot of reason to believe it's going to be 900p but with twice the polycount as the competition and insane new lighting systems.

            No one is saying 900p vs 1080p is going to have some giant effect on sales. Hardware power still matters though. If someone says 'Here's our new next gen console' and it's the same resolution as the previous generation, I don't think it's unreasonable for people to call that underwhelming. That doesn't mean it's a failure, or even that it's the wrong decision to do 900p.

            That said, the PS Vita is a serious failure. As is the Wii U. So if it is a portable system or hybrid portable system it seems fair for people to be concerned.

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              February 2, 2016 5:51 PM

              how are ps vita sales in any way related to what the nx's could possibly be?

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            February 2, 2016 5:53 PM

            900p is completely unacceptable and a total deal breaker.

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              February 2, 2016 8:00 PM

              meh. If it's a console that's portable, I'm satisfied w/ 900.

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              February 2, 2016 8:10 PM

              Im obsessed with image quality but I just cant see the difference between the two when sitting 5 feet away most of the time. If this was on my computer monitor however...

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              February 3, 2016 12:20 AM

              that's a joke, right?

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              February 3, 2016 6:53 AM

              Where does this attitude even come from? I remember playing games on the shittiest of equipment and having the best times. NES hooked up to some old crappy 13" TV with bad colors, some mountain dew and fucking doritos and nothing else in the world even mattered. jfc people spouting this diarrhea need to get over themselves

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          February 3, 2016 6:18 AM

          [deleted]

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        February 2, 2016 5:36 PM

        Yes. Overwhelmingly so.

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        February 2, 2016 8:22 PM

        That survey was debunked as speculation.

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          February 2, 2016 11:52 PM

          Daniel, you really should update your story to reflect this.

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      February 2, 2016 4:08 PM

      Isn't this always the case with Nintendo since ... ever?

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        February 2, 2016 4:13 PM

        Not really. Nintendo for a long time had, relative to the rest of the gaming industry, an amazing war chest of funds. And it wasn't until the GameCube era that they ever even posted a loss in the company's history. The worrying part is for a company that is also making it's own hardware and is reliant on its first party sales. 330ish million in profit does not go as long as it would.

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          February 2, 2016 4:18 PM

          I know the NES and SNES did pretty good outside of first-party games, but I didn't get into the N64 and beyond, but it seemed that they focused more on first party and didn't have as many 3rd party games that Sony and Microsoft got.

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            February 2, 2016 5:40 PM

            Nintendo has never valued 3rd party.

            It's important to remember that the cost of creating AAAgames has gone up, and continues to do so.

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              February 2, 2016 5:44 PM

              Don't know why that posted [Continued]

              They're selling to an audience that hasn't seen a sizable growth since the PS2 ear of games. Nintendo is varying for the same pie as Microsoft, and Sony, but the kinds of games they make while unique only appeal to a small number of the same pie, or at the very least a number that isn't interested in the investment to play those games.

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      February 2, 2016 8:13 PM

      If you think back, Nintendo never had clearly superior hardware. The closest it got was the SNES, which had some features better than the Genesis, but not superior in every category or spec box. This was kinda Nintendo's thumb at the industry. It didn't need to dump untold sums into R&D. It just made better games. In that light, i could totally see how 900p internal rendering would be enough; assuming it would trade for rock solid 60fps and other bits that would really add to the experience, not just eye candy. If they are doing more with some kind mobile/handheld hybrid, they're going to trade some GPU-esque muscle for features to support this hybrid concept.

      They struck gold with the Wii because the Wiimote really lowered the barrier against holding a controller. It worked to lower the barrier to having a system, but the financial analysis report stated that the major of game sales happened at the time the system was purchased. Meaning your aunt and uncle bought a game or two with the system and never bought anything else. The Wii U tried to latch onto the tablet lower the barrier to casual gaming. But, that just didn't translate into a better gaming experience; especially for the price point that was key to your aunt and uncle to buy the Wii.

      So, I'm wondering if Nintendo is trying to find that sweet spot again. Or, are they going back to the core gamer market? It's not easy to serve both. I just don't see Nintendo trying to get back into the core gamer market. I think to do so would mean collapsing their mobile IPs into the console, and they're not ready to do that. For big name franchise IPs, they don't have a lot of competition in mobile. There's Android/iOS gaming, but there's not a lot of titles that directly compete with a 3/DS title beyond what EA's been doing.

      There's the promise of that Ingress Pokemon. But, this is Nintendo. I don't think they'll jump the shark with it. It'll still be very segmented on what it will do on whatever the mobile aspect is vs the console features. And, the US market won't agree with the idea. I know that's a bit pessimistic, but Nintendo is still a very Japanese-style thinking company. I hope I'm wrong about that. I think it would be better if they went to a mobile phone strategy coupled with the console through some kind of 1st party cloud gaming server - almost like what we thought 1) the Dreamcast VMU was supposed to be 2) what we thought should have been possible with the Gamecube to DS connection 3) thought, again, whould should have been possible with the Wii to 3/DS connection 4) what we all KNOW is possible on a phone game connected to the cloud with our console for many different kinds of interaction; especially based on Nintendo IP.

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        February 3, 2016 12:08 AM

        as recently as the GameCube Nintendo was competing on horsepower and roughly as powerful or more powerful than the competitors of that generation

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          February 3, 2016 5:18 AM

          I don't think game cube had the texture power that the ps1 had.

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            February 3, 2016 6:06 AM

            The GameCube could match or beat the PS2 on pretty much everything. The PS2 was the weakest of its generation by far.

            The only thing that really held back the GameCube was the small disc size, meaning stuff like video often looked like shit, and it had less space for textures. But for multiplatform games, it would usually still beat the PS2 in looks and framerate.

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              February 3, 2016 6:18 AM

              The game cube deff had higher polygon count and frame rate. But not as good of rendering quality as I remember. Made great cartoon looking characters but not realistic rendering. But I'm going off foggy memory at this point.

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                February 3, 2016 6:33 AM

                You remember incorrectly I think. The GameCube and PS2 were pretty much on par. Neither were capable of 'realistic' rendering in an actual game setting. Compare multi-platform ports to get a better idea. Also Resident Evil 4 was kind of amazing. I'd say it looks better, with sharper textures on the GCN: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkKX-nU9fX4

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                  February 3, 2016 6:40 AM

                  The GCN was more powerful than the PS2, there's little question about that. Both GCN and XBOX games were, for the most part, held back by PS2's dominance. The PS2 may have beaten the GCN in peak memory bandwidth, but textures would have looked much better because GCN had hardware texture compression.

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        February 3, 2016 1:28 AM

        I'm sorry but not upping the ante on hardware not only pushed Nintendo into market niches it was one of the most colossal blunders of all time. They were console gaming at one point. Insisting on cartridge gaming not only was a huge mistake but they allowed Sony to enter the market. People were disappointed with the 64 as the PS1 was a game changer. Gamecube was a decent system but once again they insisted on using proprietary media. It had too much to go up against as Xbox and PS2 were launched at the same time. Sony put up another solid system in the PS2 and had a ton of goodwill from the PS1. They got lucky with the Wii but they essentially created a new market. Whether that was intentional or not we'll never know. It was a woefully underpowered system which couldn't compete against the PS3 and 360. AAA titles were not selling well great despite a huge install base. Great system for kids, parties and those that loved Nintendo games.

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