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.

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