The outlook was bleak, the results were never going to be great, but Nintendo apparently performed better in the last financial year than originally expected, thanks in large part to the plucky 3DS. However, this couldn't stop the Japanese gaming giant from recording annual losses for the first time in its history.
With the figures all in, Nintendo has released its full financial report for the period ending March 31, 2012. In spite of despite making ¥647 (£4.925bn/$7.976bn) billion in sales, Nintendo recorded a ¥43 billion (£328.7m/$531.1m) net loss, with sales actually down 36.2% from the previous year.
In FY2012, 13.53 million 3DS units were sold worldwide, with Japanese sales making up over 5 million of those. But a hesitant launch window, not to mention a lack of compelling software and killer-apps, combined with a quieter Christmas season than had been hoped to create an uphill struggle. However, strong end of year sales for the 3DS, as well as software high points such as Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land, as well as some unspecified third party titles, led to 36 million units of 3DS software sales worldwide.
As for Nintendo's other hardware, the standard DS systems – DS, DS Lite, DSi and DSi XL – sold 5.1 million hardware units, and 60.82 million software units in FY2012. The 2D DS dynasty now has lifetime figures of 151.52 million hardware units and 900.31 million units in software.
9.84 million Wii hardware units were sold worldwide, with a further 102.37 million software units proving there's still some life left in the albino box. The launch of the Wii U this year will hope to boost numbers too.
Additionally, Nintendo have predicted that they will stop selling 3DS “below cost” by "the middle of the fiscal year", following the massive price cut that kicked in this year. The company is also expected to deliver some big games this year, including New Super Mario Bros 2 for 3DS this August, Animal Crossing for 3DS sometime this autumn, and a new Brain Age title for 3DS this summer in Japan. [Nintendo]