Nintendo Losses Decrease; 3DS Reaches 19 Million Sold Worldwide

By Ishaan . July 25, 2012 . 8:30am

For their first quarter in the ongoing fiscal year (FY2013), Nintendo incurred lower losses than the year prior, as the company makes its way to profitability once more. For starters, as of today, the Nintendo 3DS is no longer being sold at a loss, which was the case thus far, following a steep price cut last year.


So far, the Nintendo 3DS has sold 19 million units worldwide. For this ongoing fiscal year, Nintendo hope to sell 18.5 million 3DS units by the end of March 2013. The system sold 1.86 million units this past first quarter, so that leaves another 16.64 million to go.


While sales of the device are strong in Japan, Nintendo reiterated in their earnings report that the system could do better on a worldwide scale. The plan is for the Nintendo 3DS XL and the upcoming New Super Mario Bros. 2 to revitalize 3DS sales in the west and to further propel sales in Japan.


Also launching this year is the Wii U, which will be released in North America, Japan and Europe. Between the Wii and Wii U, Nintendo plan to sell 10.5 million hardware units by the end of March 2013.


For their first financial quarter that ended on June 30th, Nintendo posted net sales of 84.8 billion yen ($1.09 billion), down from last year’s 93.9 billion yen ($1.20 billion) in the same timeframe. However, they also posted decreased losses at 17.2 billion yen ($220.5 million), reduced from last year’s 25.5 billion yen ($326.5 million) in the same quarter.


Update: 3DS no longer being sold at a loss. Thanks to reader, James Beatty, for pointing this out.

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  • MrRobbyM

    That’s great news for Nintendo! Now give me a GBA/GC purple 3DS XL and you will have my money instantly :)

    • domonkun

      What about that transparent 3DS XL Mr. Iwata showed off during his Iwata Asks? I wouldn’t even mind paying a little bit extra for something as cool as that!

      • MrRobbyM

        That would be cool as well but I just prefer that color over all else.

        • Jacob Denton

          I’m of the opinion that Nintendo should make everything in purple, see-through, and indestructible gray.

  • LittleMofreaky

    It’s good to see such a cool system finally earn some money. The 3DS XL is gonna create a lot of confidence in the brand. The 3DS ain’t goin’ nowhere folks!

    • Well for now. Give it a few years and then the next new one will be out. Of course with redesigns every year nearly expect it to be 4-5 years from now.

      • LittleMofreaky

        captain obvious^

  • CasualGamer

    As it stands, my next handheld after PSP will be 3DS. Sony’s got to bring a lot more games to Vita to come close let alone surpass 3DS. P4G is a good start.

    • MrRobbyM

      If localizations were a lot more likely for Vita games, then I’d hands-down pick the Vita over the 3DS but the 3DS lineup is pretty good and looks like it has a bright future.

  • James Beatty
    • Ah, I missed that in the report. Thanks for pointing this out.

  • Domii

    Awesome news. I hope that they make their goal, while still leaving some room for the Vita to sell some systems as well.

  • malek86

    It’s weird to see that, despite the increased sales, their overall revenue is down. The 3DS price has gone down, but it should have been offset by their higher sales (40% price cut -> 100% sales increase -> revenue should be higher). So I assume the lower DS and Wii sales are to blame for the fall in revenue. Just 710k Wii’s shipped, that’s really terrible. The Wii U can’t come out soon enough.

    I’m still doubtful that the Wii U will have the same inpact as the Wii did, because it just lacks the novelty factor of motion controls. Even then, they need it to be a resounding success.

    • James Beatty

      Well, the 3DS was being sold at a loss, they are putting a lot of money into the Wii U (developing the hardware, games, etc), and the strength of the yen is hurting them. Combine that with the Wii and DS sales dropping and you should see why they aren’t making a lot of money. 

      • Yup, until 3DSXL which is aimed to be profitable and the WiiU release.

  • James Beatty

    I imagine that for Christmas the 3DS XL and the Wii U will be the hottest items so they will help Nintendo out. With the 3DS and the 3DS XL no longer selling at a loss, and with the launch of digital retail games on the e-shop and a brand new super mario bros game It seems like the system’s re-launch. With japan getting SMT 4, MH 4, and an eventual 3D pokemon i see it doing spectacularly in japan for a while. In the US, it’ll need a little more but with KH 3D, Castlevania, luigi’s mansion, paper mario, Epic mickey, adventure time, fire emblem, new super mario bros 2, and animal crossing coming within a year i could see increased sales.

    • Eh I don’t know how well Adventure Time will actually sale. I know there are hardcore fans of the series, myself included, that might buy it… I probably won’t be able to. :( And I don’t know why you include Epic Mickey. All I hear is complaints about it. I don’t think it will do that well. Everything else seems decent enough though I will only be getting 4 from the remaining list.

      • James Beatty

        Epic mickey power of illusion has been getting nothing but praise for it’s artstyle (the 2D one), I know some hardcore fans getting the AT game, it’s also made by wayforward, who also have a strong following. Getting 4 is pretty good :P I wouldn’t expect most 3DS owners to get more than 5 of those 

        • Really Wayforward? I really enjoy Wayforward. But I still will be only getting four of them. I need to keep a bit of money saved.

  • …And then Nintendo watched, in sheer horror, as NO ONE bought the 3DS XL

    • Except I know at least a few people who will be buying it. I would be one if only I could get enough for my current 3DS.

      • James Beatty

        I’ll be buying one and a friend of mine is picking up the XL for KH 3D. :P

        • I wonder how difficult KH3D will be without the CPP. I don’t even know know how KH3D uses it. But I am sure it will be helpful for me being left handed and all.

  • Still doomed. =P

  • Vampiric

    Nintendo will be fine

    the 3ds is doing great……..

    and wii u will do great

    • You don’t know that the Wii U will do great. We can hope it does, but we don’t know yet.

      • Vampiric

         We kind of do

        Its launching with at least 4 10 million sellers.

        • Four… 10 million sellers? What do we have beyond NSMB U that you see reaching 10 million? I’m not sure if Nintendo Land will be capable of reaching such heights, and besides, that’s very likely to be a packed-in game.

          Wii U will have a good launch, and I’m certain it will do well in Japan. The question is how it will do in the west and what kind of support it will see.

          Even if gets a decent amount of western third-party support (which is looking unlikely at this point), it will never reach the same heights as the Wii did. The Wii was a social phenomenon.

          • Do we know if Pikmin 3 is launching with it? I don’t know if it will sell 10 million but it is pretty popular. And I agree Nintendo World will be a pack-in. If not who knows how well it will sell.

          • Yeah, Pikmin 3 is “launch window,” but I honestly don’t expect it to sell very much. Pikmin has never been all that popular. 

          • Launch window? lol 3DS “launch window” was silly. But really? I honestly thought Pikmin was popular. But if not then that’s ok.

          • Vampiric

             I have mario u, wii fit u, just dance, and possibly either rayman/zombie u/assasins creed

            It will do extremely well in the west.

            Actually its looking very likely and NOBODY

            can predict sales

          • Of course you can predict sales (within certain limitations, of course). People do it all the time. :P

            Of the games you mentioned, only Mario is going to be a surefire 10 million+ hit. It remains to be seen if people will want a new Wii Fit.

            Assassin’s Creed is already on three other platforms. I don’t see why the Wii U version would do that well. A couple million, sure. But that’s the benefit of being a launch game.

            As for Rayman… Rayman Origins bombed really hard. I don’t know why you feel this new one will be any different.

          • I kind of agree with Ishaan here. Though he didn’t mention Zombie U. I thought It looked good, dunno how good though.

          • Vampiric

            wii fit u is a sure fire 10 millioner

            AC III is the best version of the game.

            Rayman grew as a cult hit.

            Now this title should do very very well

            the wii u is bound to sell out

            zombie u will do great

            Honestly if you put the 360 launch and the ps3 launch together you dont have these good titles……..

    • Asura

       Have you seen the chart of Nintendo’s profits? They will be fine if they take major losses for a decade.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    They should have waited geez Nintendo bad call, but  its nintendo we are talking about they will do fine ^_^ 

    • Waited for what?

      • ShawnOtakuSomething

        around Xmes time model 1 only been out for a year

        • How would waiting until Christmas help anything?

          • ShawnOtakuSomething

            “The Sells” even the vita will pick up sells around that time

          • It’ll sell regardless. It’s being launched alongside NSMB2.

          • ShawnOtakuSomething

            oh man I forgot about NSMB2 “haha” true it would. If only the US had that tread in deal :/

  • SirRichard

    Good to hear that they’re turning their situation around fairly quickly, but I wonder why they’re surprised by the Western sales. I mean, I think it’s doing very well considering that the software isn’t fully there yet; at least here in Europe (and in my opinion, of course) there’s not really any stand-out must-have titles (good ones, great ones, sure, but nothing to get nuts over), not much variety in what’s out there either and a lot of it is just bland or something you could get in a better form elsewhere. There’s not even a Brain Training to really sell it to a more casual audience either.

    Yeah, there’s games coming, plenty of them coming and plenty of them are gems, but that’s always been the problem, hasn’t it? They’re never quite here, yet. It’s a fine system, has a lot of potential, but it just hasn’t got the games quite yet.

  • xavier axol

    i don’t know what to feel about nintendo, but i do know for sure that is not sympathy. i see them reinventing the wheel with their hardware, but my biggest problem is their services and software departament. nintendo have one of the biggest ip’s library in the game industry, but yet it’s always mario, zelda, pokemon, and (at times) metroid that take the spotlight from the other great ip’s they have.

    you can criticize sony & microsoft for been a bit cynical in their business model (at times been greedy, copycat, and exploiting their ip’s) in which i somewhat agree. but at times i feel that nintendo is even worst, cause their business model haven’t change and sometimes confused their fan base. example: while is fun to have mario over and over, and at times in different genres (some of them which are really good). nintendo has no confidence in creating a new experience without these ip’s, the game will rely on mario and not the other way around (cause mario has become more than a great icon).

    over the years i have seen a change on nintendo’s based to a more casual audience that has taken a toll on the core, i don’t blame them since these audience are the biggest (by far). that’s why i can’t separated the word nintendo with casual (which in some cases that’s far from the truths). nintendo had done so well over these past years, that is a shame to see a rival company like sony investing so much more than nintendo. in fact: sony has more team developers than nintendo and microsoft combined, not to mention a more friendly only connectivity (not the best) than nintendo.

    so take a gamble on ip’s that you had forgotten and don’t sacrifice the core while keeping the casual around. onces in a while create a game that is so different that it makes you doubt it came from nintendo (titles: like borderlands, heavyrain, valkyria chronicles). and make the online a less of a hassle.

    • Vampiric

      “take a gamble on ip’s that you had forgotten”

      2d mario, 2d kirby, 2d dk, glory of heracles, kid icarus, ect

      I could give examples of how nintendo took gambles on things they hadnt done in 10 years thi sgen.

      The rest is nonsense

      • Asura

         He says forgotten IPs and you bring up Mario, Kirby, and DK? Are you serious?

      • xavier axol

        i’m sorry, but how many kid icarus, f-zero, star fox, sin and punishment, ice climbers, fire emblem, golden sun (oh man, i could go forever!) games did you mention? compared to the millions of mario and pokemon games that had come out this gen. cycle, not to mention a coulpe of zelda, metroid, kirby and donkey kong games while games like pikmin ( which we get to see years apart) get’s the cold shoulder. again i see a yen sign on mario’s eyes from nintendo (and may be pokemon), that all the creativity that goes to separated some mario’s game could had gone to new ip’s. let me ask you this, do you think that mario 64 would been as successful if mario wasn’t there at all (seen how popular was mario bros. back then)? if they can created so many genres, then why put mario in all of them? why can they spend the resources and effort (along with great attention to detail and great ideas) to other games? why is smash brothers be develop by a third party rather then nintendo? after all the money they made, they still have less team developers than sony (shame on them).

        p.s. i like nintendo and will support it’s not so mass comercial games like animal crossing, the last story, xenoblade, and pikmin.

        • Arrei

          Smash Bros. was developed by another party to begin with. Did you forget that Sakurai at HAL Laboratories brought out the first two and Sakurai worked with other studios for Brawl?

          Regardless, I find it odd you lament the lack of smaller IPs when they brought us a Kid Icarus game a few months ago, have a new Fire Emblem coming to our shores next year, and have Pikmin 3 and Animal Crossing 3DS in development as we speak, as well as those “not so mass commercial” games you spoke of like Xenoblade and The Last Story. Is your problem just that there isn’t “enough” of these smaller ones? If there were more, wouldn’t they then become the new targets for those “Mario/Zelda/Pokemon” comments?

          • xavier axol

            yeah i remember that smash bros. was develop by hal laboratory (iwata was it’s former president) with the help of sakurai. that been said, what makes you think that namco can do better? i know how talented sakurai is, but it needs more than him to make the game (i know that namco have amazing developers like the takken & tales guys, it still doesn’t doesn’t garanteed a hit) why didn’t ninty created a team who’s solely purpose is making smash bros.? they made more money than sony & microsoft to hired more people.

            as for the “me wanting more smaller ip’s” well, i was talking about the opportunity nintendo had in the past 6 years till today (you know the wii’s golden years) we didn’t see much games from them, other than mario, zelda, and ect. which took those spots from these great but smaller ip’s. again money talks but nintendo was only interested in making mario. who will complaint to ninty for making pikmin or star fox over mario tennis?

          • Arrei

            I may not know that Namco can do better, but I also have no reason to doubt their ability or criticize Nintendo for handling the series the way they choose. 

            As for the Wii, if that’s what you were talking about, then I honestly feel as though you’re ignoring what they did put out in light of all the Mario games, of which there certainly are many – that comes with being the face of the company, after all. Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn, a couple Wario games, Animal Crossing City Folk, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Punch-Out, Metroid Prime 3/Trilogy and Other M (I mention it because it’s a series that’s never been all that big in their home court), and of course, the Operation Rainfall titles – fair representations from their smaller IPs. Even Zelda only got one Wii-exclusive title, if you don’t count that crossbow mini-game… whatever it was. Pikmin 3 was also likely to have been a Wii title until they decided to make it a WiiU one. The only IP that was really forgotten was poor old Star Fox.

          • Vampiric

             i agree it doesnt make sense

        • Vampiric

           first 2d console mario in 15 years.

          They get a pass………….

          first 2d dk in 15 years………

          nintendo has done more with different ips this gen than any other,

          • xavier axol

            oh my god! you are sooo blind, that you can’t see the bigger picture. well…to each their own, you like what you like and that’s all that matters. by the way you forgot (mario tennis, mario kart, mario party, mario paper, mario rpg, mario pinball land, mario superstar baseball, mario strikers, dr. marip express, mario super sluggers, super mario all-stars 25th, mario golf and the list goes on…. don’t wanna even mention the pokemon games, they feel like iteration even though they aren’t).

  • Shadowman

    Heavy blow to nintendo bank but they want give up that easily I have to much faith in nintendo.

  • Vampiric

    The next financial quarter will look very different

  • Marcelo Henrique Chaves

    “The plan is for theNintendo 3DS XL and the upcoming New Super Mario Bros. 2 to revitalize 3DS sales in the west and to further propel sales in Japan.”MARIO? I want both Monster Hunter localized!

    • James Beatty

      Monster hunter doesn’t move that much hardware here. If it where true then the PSP wouldn’t have faded so quickly in the US. Mario in the other hand, sells well everywhere. 

  • Well, looks like the risky price cut paid off in the end for Ninty. Wonder if it would work as well for the Vita. I know Sony doesn’t like to price drop their hardware this early in their lifecycle, but I have no doubt it’d help the system somehow.

    • It wasn’t the price cut alone that helped the 3DS; it was the price cut combined with hit games that followed soon after. In order for a price cut to have the same impact, Vita would need a similar game (or multiple games) that were capable of moving hardware. 

      •  I understand that, but one thing kinda lead to the other, no?

        • Not at all. It isn’t as if developers only began developing 3DS games after the price cut was announced.

          Games were in development for the 3DS a long time ago. That’s how stuff like Harvest Moon, Rune Factory, KH3D, Monster Hunter and Bravely Default is all coming out now. All these games have been in development for a while.

  • darkfox1

    “While sales of the device are strong in Japan, Nintendo reiterated in their earnings report that the system could do better on a worldwide scale. The plan is for the Nintendo 3DS XL and the upcoming New Super Mario Bros. 2 to revitalize 3DS sales in the west and to further propel sales in Japan.”

     Aughh there is so many games that are coming out in Japan that might not or wasn’t even announced yet. I’m jelly of Japanese 3DS owners they got all the games :(

    • Vampiric

       they are being modest, global sales are fine considering the slow start.

      • Andrew Umukoro

        agreed except that the japaneese sales account for almost half of the worldwide sales. short term it doesn’t matter that much since most of the 3rd party developers for portable devices are in japan. long term we could see a psp situation where it sells really well but losses it relevance in the west due to low amounts of game releseases vs in japan it’s full of life cause of the many releases
        only time will tell though  

        • Vampiric

           I dont think so because 3ds european and US sales are also outpacing what the DS was like.

          It doesnt matter where the sales come from

          the west isnt the be all end all

          • Andrew Umukoro

            the sales in the west and and Europe may be outpacing the ds, but as we all know the first year sales of the ds were far from stellar it wasnit until the ds lite was released that sales went crazy. the sales are impressive but could be much better where it not for more western developers getting behind the console. if you don’t believe me or agree that’s fine but the psp went through a similar faze lost of Japanese developers but slow western release good sales. it lost steam very quickly though. i’m sure the XL will completely change this pattern though  

          • Vampiric

             and the first year of the 3ds, wasnt a walk in the park either

            More western devs are behind the 3ds than ds

            The psp has CRUSHED the ps3 in sales

            japanese support is what you need.

            The psp was a huge success

          • Andrew Umukoro

            which western developers except for the awesome e-shop ones
            are actually supporting the 3ds as of right now
            and I agree the psp sales were great but in the end I think ninty is aiming for a ds level repeat
            japanees developers are the most important for portible games but having a few major western developers would vastly increase sales here. since your on this website you proberbly already know the amazing sales of the 3ds in japan this is largly due to the amazing support we don’t see here. and it’s cause all the big time western developers listen to pachter waaaaaaaay to much lol i.e. “portable market is dooooomed run to ipads and ipods before it’s to late” lmao.

          • Vampiric

             1) Many western devs like the epic mickey guys, the spanish castlevania guys, and more

            2) Nobody including nintendo is expecting a ds level repeat which a is a 150 million seller. Its impossible. Ask sony how that went with the ps3

            3) Its the japanese devs that increase sales of systems, they have the real system sellers

            4) pachter is a moron

  • James Smith

    The XL might be a good sales booster, lot’s of customers have become savvy enough to expect many improved versions from Nintendo.
    The 3DS was similar to the ugly original DS, a sleeker redesign was expected.

    • James Beatty

      I agree with the first part sentence. Pretty much all hardware creators make revisions. If Sony’s history is to be accounted for then we should expect about 5 different vita’s and about 3 PS4s. The Wii U will probably have 2 different versions, the 360 have had 2 already :P
      The 3DS is in no way as ugly or as in as big of a need as a revision as the DS phat though. 

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    Lol,Nintendo doomed?^_^

  • Vampiric

     I dont think things should be doomed

    I dont want the industry to crash

    so I must be as positive as possible

    With nintendo it isnt too hard since I know they will pull through

  • I wonder what will come out first, Final Fantasy Versus XIII or the Wii U. I myself am betting on Versus. Nintendo talks about the Wii U all the time but shows so little. Do they really intend to release it this year?

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