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Nintendo sticks to its console guns despite Wii U flop

Tim Hornyak | Feb. 3, 2014
Nintendo won't be abandoning hardware or licensing its game titles for use on smartphones, its President Satoru Iwata told analysts in Tokyo.

The Wii U needs to embrace user-generated content such as the ability to play Super Mario levels cooperatively online, Ward said. "I'm sure some big news will be broken at this year's E3 event in June, but little announced on the call today seems likely to give the Wii U a big lift near-term, and this is really the part of Nintendo's business that needs a lift," he added.

Founded in 1889 to market traditional Japanese playing cards, Nintendo has been reeling amid the recent popularity of smartphones as gamers move from consoles to phone handsets.

The briefing came the day after Nintendo reported disappointing results for the October-December quarter of last year, with operating profit down 6.9 percent from a year earlier to ¥21.7 billion ($211 million). Revenue was ¥302.6 billion, down 11.5 percent from ¥342 billion.

On Jan. 17, Nintendo warned of a net loss of ¥25 billion for the year to the end of March, instead of the ¥55 billion net profit it had forecast last April.

It had posted a ¥7.1 billion net profit for the year ended March 31, 2013, but this month blamed the poor performance on sluggish sales of high-margin games during the year-end period. Disappointing hardware sales were behind that, it suggested.

The game giant slashed estimates of sales of the Wii U, launched in 2012, from 9 million units to 2.8 million for the year to the end of March 2014, and revised downward its sales projections for the 3DS console from 18 million units to 13.5 million for the same period.

It sold 2.4 million Wii U consoles in the nine months from April to December 2013, down from 3 million units a year earlier.

 

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