Nintendo placed a hefty amount of blame on its failed Wii U console. Will the company just embrace mobile already?
No longer the young, spry game maker it once was, Nintendo has posted its third consecutive operating loss.
But despite a ¥46.4 billion ($ 457 million) drop in the last fiscal year, the company remains optimistic, announcing an expected profit of ¥40 billion ($ 393 million) for the year through March 2015.
Nintendo places a hefty amount of blame for its financial failings on its Wii U console, which amassed global hardware and software sales of only 2.72 million and 18.86 million units, respectively, during the last fiscal year.
“With respect to Wii U, while five key first-party titles, such as Super Mario 3D World, New Super Mario Bros. U, and New Super Luigi U became million-seller titles, the Wii U business as a whole showed slow growth,” Nintendo said in a financial statement.
The $ 300 handheld system launched in November 2012 as a follow-up to the successful Wii console, but has made little impact on consumers. Even the release of family-friendly games and a drastic price markdown wasn’t enough to reinvigorate interest in the machine, which fell short of Nintendo’s targeted recovery by what President Satoru Iwata in January called “a large margin.”
Nintendo has no intention of giving up on the console, promising to “focus on efforts that seek to stimulate the platform,” via new software for the Wii U GamePad’s NFC capabilities, as well as the addition of Nintendo DS titles to the Wii U lineup.
The company is also pinning its hopes on the upcoming Mario Kart 8 Wii U bundle, set to drop on May 30. For $ 330, you can pick up the Wii U Deluxe Set system, a copy of Mario Kart 8, a red Mario Wii Wheel accessory, and a red Mario Wii Remote Plus controller.
Paired with the winter release of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Nintendo is keeping its fingers crossed that these two universal titles—alongside a more proactive approach to digital distribution via the Nintendo eShop—will help boost sales numbers and return the company to profitability.
Cloudy skies will soon part, at least for those executives who volunteered early this year to take a temporary pay cut. The company president, senior managing director, managing director, and a handful of others agreed to a five-month salary reduction “to take responsibility for [Nintendo’s] poor performance.” The term ends June 30.
This latest financial report comes ahead of the May 20 shutdown of certain online Wi-Fi Connection functions for many Wii, Nintendo DS, and DSi games. Those discontinued services include online play, matchmaking, and leaderboards; affected titles will remain available for offline use.
One thing Nintendo has declined to embrace, meanwhile, is mobile gaming. Though it appears that many fans of the game maker’s older titles would rush to download a version for their smartphones or tablets, Nintendo has said it has no plans to go mobile. To see what games the PCMag staff wants on mobile, check out the slideshow above.