Nintendo predicts first annual loss in 30 years

Nintendo's latest financial results have come in and the numbers are not just bad, they could be history making for the Japanese game publisher. Bloomberg reports that the company predicts that it will record a net lost of 20 billion yen ($264 million) for its fiscal year. That could be the first such net annual loss for the company in 30 years and the first since the first NES console was released way back in 1983.

The predicted loss means that the company is not only losing ground in the console wars to both Sony and Microsoft but also possibly to smartphone makers. Indeed, analyst Koichi Ogawa, of Daiwa SB Investments Ltd, said today, "Competition in the video-game industry is getting severe, and Nintendo must fight for customers who are using smartphones and tablets."

A perfect example is the launch of the Nintendo 3DS console earlier this year. Despite a lot of hype about the console, which offers glasses-free 3D gaming support,  sales have not met expectations, even after an $80 price cut in August that cut the price down to just $169.99 in the US.

So what can Nintendo do to stem the tide? Many people believe that Nintendo needs to enter the smartphone or tablet business and offer a gaming-styled product for those consumers. We actually think that would be a great idea. Wouldn't you want to play the new Super Mario Bros. on a Nintendo-branded smartphone or a new Zelda game on a tablet? We certainly would.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Sony buys out Ericsson, continuing their joint venture

Next Story

Windows 8 Task Manager's new features for large scale ops

41 Comments

View more comments

Dermot said,
Nintendo just need to get with today's technology, not years ago.

Even their unreleased Wii U is the same power as a xbox 360? technology from 2005..

But at least they will be able to run some half decent games on it that are not fluffy and cuddly..


But it has no harddrive... So enjoy the long load times, no DLC, etc...

Agreed with both posts. Although they like to make the technology cheap, they can make a long time investment as Microsoft and Sony made with their respective consoles.... Now they are paying off.

Dermot said,
Nintendo just need to get with today's technology, not years ago.

Even their unreleased Wii U is the same power as a xbox 360? technology from 2005..

But at least they will be able to run some half decent games on it that are not fluffy and cuddly..

Do you actually have any credible source that states the real specs of the wii u in detail to confirm that? Or are you just talking out of your ass again like people been doing since e3 since they apparently can't stand the thought of nintendo possibly 1-upping their beloved sony or ms?

I'm willing to bet it's the latter as i don't recall any confirmed specs for the wii u being posted yet.

thealexweb said,
I've bought a fresh DS in the past year so I did my bit

I did too
Sold it after a couple of months for €60.-

Ramcee said,

I did too
Sold it after a couple of months for €60.-

Well I've still got mine, I got my DSi XL for £115 about 6 months ago, I was in Asda the other day and it was £160 0.o

Looks like people are starting to get sick of Mario and no online gaming environment for their "Mii's" to play in. Can't say I told you so Nintendo, it was good while it lasted.

sk8bit said,
Looks like people are starting to get sick of Mario and no online gaming environment for their "Mii's" to play in. Can't say I told you so Nintendo, it was good while it lasted.

I think you nailed it. I think you can only get away with re-working Mario Mark and Mario World so many times before only your most hardcore fans remain!

sk8bit said,
Looks like people are starting to get sick of Mario and no online gaming environment for their "Mii's" to play in. Can't say I told you so Nintendo, it was good while it lasted.

No, it's not because of that. The problem is with the 3DS itself. First of all it never had any good games to be bought off. Second, 3D is more a gimmick than anything else; aside from the wider screen, people already had their DSi with Camera and market support. Why would they want to upgrade to a newer device, when it hasn't been more than 2 years since they got a device that superficially makes the same, besides displaying 3D content and having a wider screen?

Regarding Wii. The Wii's magic has been over. It's been 5 years already, and you can get a more powerful device for near the same price. It was about time Nintendo revealed the new console, but due to crisis insurgents it was not possible, same can be said of Sony and Microsoft. Sony should be selling PS4 next year, and it won't be like that.

And yeah, Nintendo's almost screwed up, they need to solve the main problem: Social networking. The thing that Nintendo lacks most. It's not because the hardware, but the ability to interact with others, and facebook and Twitter have been able to prove that. The next move they should do is to emphasize more in social connectivity and then emphasize in surpassing (not catching) the hardware that their main rivals present.

Jose_49 said,

No, it's not because of that. The problem is with the 3DS itself. First of all it never had any good games to be bought off. Second, 3D is more a gimmick than anything else; aside from the wider screen, people already had their DSi with Camera and market support. Why would they want to upgrade to a newer device, when it hasn't been more than 2 years since they got a device that superficially makes the same, besides displaying 3D content and having a wider screen?

Nice of you to show how uneducated you are and how you don't really have a clue what you're talking about. Now, go read about the hardware differences and maybe watch some videos such as this http://www.ign.com/videos/2011...ions-trailer?objectid=77738 - the best looking of the first generation games(and remember that first gen games usualy don't max a system out). Then come back and try to say the 3ds is just a ds with 3d after educating yourself on the fact that it's an entire generational leap or so in power over the ds.

Chicane-UK said,

I think you nailed it. I think you can only get away with re-working Mario Mark and Mario World so many times before only your most hardcore fans remain!

It's weird cause right now Activision rehash a LOT MORE than Nintendo. I think there's already more COD games released than real Mario games ever.

People aren't sick of Mario. Their first party console games are still blockbusters.

However nothing happened on the Wii front this year and I don't think there was any reason to buy a new Wii in 2011. Zelda will be the one real 2011 game. If they had better 3rd party support this might be different. As for the mobile space I see they were leaning on 3DS hard but I don't see why.. do people really carry around dedicated gaming devices? I'm surprised the DS sold so well.

They need to: release a great new console with superior motion control enhancements that Kinect and Move can't compete with yet still works like a traditional controller. The Wii U gimmick of a tablet controller will not fly.
Then they need to release a handheld that is modern and compelling, looking like more than a DS with weak 3D. It has to be multimedia yet suited for children and cheap enough for every kid in the family to have one. Cheap.
Then they need to work on their services.. design a connected experience that brings people together in a way that XBox Live won't. Return to the old days where 2 or four people actually had a reason to play each other instead of all single player.

Adding from my post above, and extending yours, I need to highlight the scarce in multiplayer splitscreen gaming. Nowadays, the only thing we have is Fifa, CoD and Halo, and each time I get with my friends we don't know what to play due to the small amounts of local multiplayer it is provided. We wanted to try out Battlefield 3, but it wasn't possible because it lacked the splitscreen option. If they were to release more hardcore games with splitscreen support (which can be done if they enabled multiple WiiU controllers) the console could turn to be good.

As much as I don't really like Apple, a Nintendo acquisition by Apple would make perfect sense. Apple have enough cash to buy Nintendo four times over, and both companies are extremely innovative.

Simon- said,
As much as I don't really like Apple, a Nintendo acquisition by Apple would make perfect sense. Apple have enough cash to buy Nintendo four times over, and both companies are extremely innovative.

Blasphemer! To the stake with you.

Simon- said,
As much as I don't really like Apple, a Nintendo acquisition by Apple would make perfect sense. Apple have enough cash to buy Nintendo four times over, and both companies are extremely innovative.

That would be gross.

Simon- said,
As much as I don't really like Apple, a Nintendo acquisition by Apple would make perfect sense. Apple have enough cash to buy Nintendo four times over, and both companies are extremely innovative.

You forget. Apple is an American company. Nintendo is a Japanese company. The Japanese are too proud and would never allow something like that to happen.

Good. I'm glad they did. Hope they continue so that we can have something new and different. Wii U, we will see.

What do we need Nintendo for, anyways? How many regurgitations of Mario and Zelda do we require? In the console space, all they can do is come up with a new gimmick every so often. The same for the mobile space, plus they don't offer any solution to play their games on the same device that makes calls.

Although I think Nintendo screwed up (to put it mildly) when they sold rare to MS, I still have a place for all of their franchises and they will always have pride of place under my TV. I think they were too late developing their next gen console though, why they didn't release a rehashed version of the Wii that was HD compatible I will never know, as surely that would have kept the 3rd party developers interested... I would also hazard a guess that Sony and MS are only just now able to turn a profit on their hardware, where as Nintendo never sold their hardware for a loss, which means that their cash reserves are much better than the former.

As for the portable race, I am not sure what they can do... It has always been their staple ever since the original gameboy and probably the most adictive game ever created, tetris! but mobile phone harware has caught up and moves at a far greater pace than Nintendo could ever refresh at. As a developer they do have far more to lose by releasing games on other platforms (3DO anyone) and unlike Sony (who I think are incompetent and refuse to have a single product of theirs anywhere near me) don't have a mobile division to fall back on. And I can't see them doing a joint venture with another hardware company as look what happend when they tried before with the SNES CD drive, no release and a competitor.

I would also add that not all of nintendo systems are a success, (VirtualBoy, N64DD...) but when they do hit the nail on the head it is usually monumental.

It's alot of things Nintendo could do better. Personally, I've been saying for years that you can chase the casual market and make a "quick" buck, but in the end you're going to need more than that. They are called casual for a reason because they are fickle.

Say what you will about what defines a "hardcore" gamer, but at the end of the day they are going to be the ones that support your products and give you money year over year. Nintendo either took that group for granted or just didn't give a damn.

I wish they would have an online system/portal that was more akin to PSN/Live. If they don't want to put movie playback features on their actual system fine, however have an on demand library of content that is similar to what itunes, sony, microsoft, and everybody else has. Those who say they don't want that they just want to play games, you can still just play games, but I really believe you are in the minority. Today people want their devices to do more than just the basic features. That's why phones can do so much today.

All the other companies have evolving devices, yet Nintendo refuses to change with the times and acknowledge that people want more. I think the Wii U could bring them the hardcore back, but if they do the exact same thing they've done in the last few years: no online presence, a major game every 6 months, and just overall lack of support then they are going to bomb big time with the Wii U. I think there are people at Nintendo who think all they need to do is make the next system HD and change nothing and then they will win, but they just don't understand it's so much more to it IMO.

Looks like it may be the beginning of a long downward spiral for Nintendo. The 3DS isn't as well-received as they hoped it would be, the Wii U is being marked dead on arrival by most critics, and there's a severe lack of first-party games on the Wii this year. I didn't even realise that last one until a few days ago. I read this Kotaku article about a new Kirby game (Kirby's Return to Dreamland), and in it, they mention that it's the first Nintendo-published Wii game since June, and only the third one this year so far.

I think it's the time for Iwata to go. I applause his willing to innovate but so far it's not really working.

I know Batman: Arkham City is coming to the Wii U. Thats hard core.

Nintendo may go down in flames, like Sega with the previous two gaming systems. Need extremely strong 2nd and 3rd party support

Commenting is disabled on this article.