Nintendo achieved something it has never done before in its last fiscal year, but it's not something the company would have wanted. Nintendo announced today that for the fiscal year that ended on March 31, it recorded a loss of 43.2 billion yen ($533 million). This compares to a profit of 77.6 billion yen profit in the previous fiscal year.
The loss happened for a number of reasons, including the currently strong Japanese yen which Nintendo cannot control. However, Nintendo also suffered due to declining sales of the Wii console. In the last fiscal year, only 9.8 million Wii units were sold, compared to 15 million Wii consoles in the last fiscal year.
The initial reception of the Nintendo 3DS portable console was also a big issue for the company. Launched in early 2011, early sales of the 3DS were poor due to its high price and lack of major game titles. Nintendo decided to cut the price of the 3DS drastically in August in order to boost unit sales. Nintendo said today it sold 13.53 million units of the 3DS in its last fiscal year.
Nintendo still has high hopes for the Wii U, its next generation game console. First revealed at E3 2011, the reaction so far from both gamers and investors has been muted. However, Nintendo intends to reveal more about the Wii U at E3 2012 in June and will officially launch the console sometime in late 2012.