Nintendo released their financial results for the fiscal year gone by this morning, reporting their first ever annual loss in several years. Factors blamed for the loss include the global price cut for the Nintendo 3DS and the currency exchange rate.
The 3DS hardware, which is currently being sold at a loss, will return to profitability by the middle of the ongoing fiscal year, which will end in March 2013, Nintendo’s statement says. Games such as New Super Mario Bros. 2 (August) the new Animal Crossing for the 3DS (fall), and a new game in the Brain Age series (summer) will all be released in Japan this year and be part of the initiative to help the company return to profitability. The upcoming Wii U home console is also on course for a global launch by the end of the year.
Additionally, Nintendo are also placing importance on their digital strategy going forward. The company will use their new Nintendo Network, which will be available on both 3DS and Wii U, to push multiplayer games and provide add-on content for their titles. For instance, New Super Mario Bros. 2 is confirmed to be compatible with future downloadable content, according to past statements made by company president, Satoru Iwata. Digital releases of retail games are also being prepared, although no timeframe as to when this service will be available has been provided.
For the fiscal year gone by, Nintendo posted a loss of 43.2 billion yen ($532.2 million), as compared to the previous fiscal year where they made a profit of 77.6 billion yen ($956 million). For the ongoing fiscal year, Nintendo estimate profits of 20 billion yen ($247.1 million).