Nintendo had a disastrous holiday season because of weak sales of its Wii U video game console.
Trumped by the Sony PlayStation 4 and the Microsoft Xbox One, the 16-month-old Wii U was under-powered, and its tablet-like game controller didn’t resonate with gamers. As a result, Nintendo slashed its forecast tonight for the fiscal year ending March 31.
Nintendo previously estimated full-year sales of 920 billion yen or $8.81 billion in U.S. currency. Now it has slashed that forecast to 590 billion yen, or $5.65 billion. The company previously expected net income of 55 billion yen or $530 million. Now it expects a loss of 25 billion yen or $240 million.
The company said, “Software sales with a relatively high margin were significantly lower than our original forecasts mainly due to the fact that hardware sales did not reach their expected level. As a result, the total of selling, general, and administrative expenses will surpass gross profit, which leads to an operating loss.”
The yen will be weaker than the original expectations at the start of the year. That’s all the company said for now, and formal numbers will be posted later.
Nintendo’s 3DS is still strong, but the company didn’t provide any details on how well the portable system, and the new 2DS system, sold during the holidays. Satoru Iwata, chief executive of Nintendo, has been under pressure as a result of the low sales of the Wii U. He made no comment on the revised forecast.