Nintendo reported second fiscal quarter profits that beat analyst estimates, thanks to demand for new games on the 3DS and Wii U game consoles such as Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 8. The weaker yen also helped raise the value of overseas sales.
The Kyoto-based video game company said net income was 24.2 billion yen ($224 million) in the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with a loss of 8 billion yen ($74 million) a year earlier. Analysts had expected 5.74 billion yen average profit, according to Bloomberg. While that’s an improvement, Nintendo’s Wii U is still playing catchup in the console war to Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One.
Nintendo reported a 15.5 billion yen gain in the fiscal first half from the weaker Japanese currency. The third-fiscal quarter, which includes the holiday selling season, will be very telling as to whether the combination of games like Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS and the sales of the portable 3DS game system can pull Nintendo out of its slump. Super Smash Bros. for 3DS launched in the U.S. on Oct. 3, and the Wii U version will launch on Nov. 21.
A new version of the 3DS, with additional buttons and a faster processor, went on sale in Japan on Oct. 11. Nintendo will debut the system in Australia on Nov. 21, but it hasn’t announced plans for other countries.
“The new 3DS is selling very well,” said David Gibson, head of research at Macquarie Group Ltd. in Tokyo.
In other news, Iwata went through surgery in June to remove a bile-duct growth. He said in a conference call today that he is back on a regular schedule.