But Wii U Sales Still Painfully Slow
Nintendo has posted their FY2013 financial report, which makes for an interesting read (by financial report standards, at least). Though they has failed to meet their sales projections by a staggering 50% margin, an overall profit has defied numerous critics who foresaw another loss for the console manufacturer, and puts them in a strong position next to numerous loss-making publishers.
The TL:DR version is that the 3DS is selling very well indeed, but the Wii U is struggling to shift both hardware and games. If you want to know more, I've rounded up the salient details after the break.
Let's start with the big picture. Nintendo logged full-year sales of ¥635.4 billion (£4.1 billion), which comes in well under January's projection of ¥670 billion, and an operating loss of ¥36.4 billion (£239.5 million). Ultimately, this has lead to the company making a slight profit overall of ¥7 billion (£46.7m), much of which is down to currency exchange gains as opposed to sales. Despite this being less than 50% of their optimistic ¥14 billion estimate, it's still good news for Ninty, whose critics (such as Bloomberg) expected them to post a significant loss. Considering that last year heralded their first ever annual loss, a crippling deficit of £328.7m, things are definitely looking up.
3DS hardware and software sales all failed to meet their targets (13.95 million units sold compared to an estimated 15 million), but still helped buoy up the company in the face of truly miserable Wii U sales. Not only has the new console still failed to ship 4 million units worldwide, but a paltry 390,000 were sold over the last three months, due in part to a non-existent advertising campaign and a dearth of interesting exclusives beyond Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and LEGO City Undercover.
Looking ahead, Nintendo expects to shift a total of 9 million Wii U consoles in the next financial year, and an additional 18 million 3DS handhelds. They're projecting a £362 million profit, suggesting that the incoming software lineup will turn their fortunes around.
“During the next several months, Nintendo expects to launch new titles in the Mario Kart (Wii U), Super Mario Bros. (Wii U), Wii Fit (Wii U), Pikmin (Wii U), The Legend of Zelda (Wii U and Nintendo 3DS), Mario & Luigi (Nintendo 3DS) and Pokémon (Nintendo 3DS) franchises," gushes the report.
“These games, along with titles from Nintendo’s third-party publishing partners, will help drive hardware momentum and introduce new audiences to the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS platforms.”
We'll have to wait and see whether this actually happens, but we're convinced that the 3DS deserves to have one hell of a year thanks to a killer lineup.