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Wednesday, May 07, 2014
Nintendo Reports Annual loss But Iwata Remains Optimistic

Nintendo made an annual operating loss for the third consecutive year in 2013, as Wii U and 3DS hardware sales and software did not reach their expected levels. However, the company forecast full-year profit.

For the year through March 2015, Nintendo said Wednesday it expects an operating profit of 40 billion yen ($393 million), compared with a loss of Y46.4 billion yen for the just-ended fiscal year. Sales of the Wii U have been dismal and the company said it faces a "challenging sales situation."

Nintendo sold 2.72 million Wii U consoles last fiscal year compared with 3.45 million units a year earlier and less than a third of its initial estimate of 9 million units.

The Japanese gaming company also said that sales of its high-margin game software titles suffered because hardware sales in the just-ended fiscal year were worse than it had originally expected. For the current fiscal year, Nintendo projected a net profit of 20 billion yen on revenue of 590 billion yen, up 3.2%.

Nintendo said it plans to focus on efforts that seek to generate interest in the Wii U by providing software that takes advantage of its GamePad, utilizing its built-in functionality as an NFC reader/writer, and by adding Nintendo DS Virtual Console titles to the Wii U software lineup.

It cited the May release of Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. scheduled to be released next winter as titles that could help stimulate demand for the console.

Moreover, Nintendo will also strive to proactively pursue its digital distribution business through the Nintendo eShop.

The company aims to sell 3.6 million Wii U consoles and 20 million Wii U software units in the year ahead. Chief Executive Satoru Iwata has insisted the company won't put its iconic Mario franchise on devices other than its game console.

At a news conference for the company's earnings Wednesday, Mr. Iwata also said that rumors the company will announce a new game device at the E3 Expo in June are not true.

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