Nintendo Posts Profits Despite Missing Wii U And 3DS Shipment Goals
Nintendo has reported its financial performance for the year ended March 31, 2015. The company is in the process of turnaround, meeting or exceeding its revised forecast from January 28 across the board.
The company closed the year with ¥41.8 billion ($349.2 million) net income, a significant increase from last fiscal year’s loss of ¥23.2 billion ($193.8 million). This exceeded both the latest forecast of ¥30 billion ($250.6 million), which was revised upward from the start of the fiscal period.
Nintendo fell short on Wii U shipments, moving 3.38 million during the year against a target of 3.6 million. The company is revising down its sales projects again, expecting to ship only 3.4 million Wii U consoles in the current year. Lifetime Wii U sales now sit at 9.54 million.
3DS shipments fell short also, with 8.73 million handhelds shipped against a goal of 9 million (already revised down earlier this year from 12 million). Nintendo has revised this year’s target down also, and expects to ship 7.6 million. Lifetime 3DS family sales are now 52 million.
Wii U software shipments amounted to 2.4 million units against a goal of 2.5 million. Nintendo projects another decrease, expecting to ship 2.3 million in the current fiscal year.
3DS software shipments exceeded forecast with 6.27 million units. Nintendo is revising down its target here, as well. The company expects to move 5.6 million copies in the current year.
As for the upcoming titles on Wii U, the schedule continues to look thin. Splatoon is due at the end of this month (and there is a Nintendo Direct for the title today). Project Giant Robot, which still doesn’t have a formal name is slated for the first half of this year.
After that, it’s Mario Maker in September and Yoshi’s Woolly World sometime in the fall. Other 2015 titles do not yet have release windows. These include Star Fox, Project Guard, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Devil’s Third, and Fatal Frame. The Legend of Zelda and Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem are still labeled “TBD.”
As for third-party games, the only one from a major publisher listed is Lego Jurassic World. The remainder are indie titles.
Nintendo’s financial statements mention amiibo figures in forward-looking statements, but there is no specificity around performance to date. It is possible Nintendo will provide more information when it briefs investors at the upcoming meeting.
The financial aspect of this report (arguably the most important) reflect well. As Nintendo further develops its mobile relationship with DeNA, I expect this to only improve.
What is concerning is the constant downward revisions on Wii U and 3DS console sales. We know Nintendo is working on its next console (NX), and until it arrives, the Wii U is serving as a stop-gap. While Nintendo’s first-party offerings are mostly solid, enjoyable efforts, the thinness of the library continues to be the biggest barrier to the console’s financial success.