The Japanese gaming company Nintendo has announced that it has made a loss over the past financial year. This is the first time that the company has made such a loss.
According to Tech Radar, Nintendo have reported a net loss of 43.2 billion yen ($533 million) for the year. This compares with a net income of 77.6 billion yen for the previous year. Nintendo have made a financial loss due to a fall in sales in relation to the Wii game console, and a decline in the volume of games sold for consoles (such as popular titles like Pokemon and Super Mario). A secondary factor was the value of the Japanese yen, which has made exporting more expensive.
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata is quoted by Bloomberg as saying “What went wrong was that sales of the 3DS didn’t take off as we expected. The stronger yen against the euro was also another reason.”
Over the year Nintendo sold almost 10 million Wii devices and has now reached 95 million worldwide sales.
Marketing Week indicates that the fall in the sale of games consoles reflects a general industry trend and parallels a rise in the use of mobile devices, like smartphones, for the playing of computer games. The trend towards mobile devices has affected sales of the Nintendo handheld device, the 3DS.
Nintendo aims to reverse the decline with the launch on the latest generation of the Wii, called the Wii U, which will be available at the end of 2012. The Wii U will be tablet sized device, and will feature HD graphics and motion sensors. The first showing of the Wii U will be at the E3 gaming expo in Los Angeles in June 2012.