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Nintendo launched the 3DS last March and announced the Wii U in June, but neither device prevented the company from reporting a $324 million loss during the first fiscal quarter of this year (Apr 1 to Jun 30). Nintendo cites poor sales of both the 3DS and Wii titles as the reason for the deficit, cutting its full-year profit forecast by 82 percent to $257 million from its previous estimate of $1.41 billion.
Despite selling 400,000 units on launch day, Nintendo 3DS sales have dropped sharply. Nintendo expected global sales to reach 4 million units in the first month, but as of March 31 only 3.61 million 3DS handhelds had been sold. In the last three months sales remained slow, with only an additional 710,000 units sold.
That brings the total 3DS sales to 4.32 million (830,000 in the US total), breaking the 4 million milestone. Still, the slow sales are no doubt a disappointment for the company as the achievement comes three months later than expected.
Speaking at a recent shareholders meeting, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata blamed sluggish 3DS sales on the system’s launch lineup, saying “we were not able to launch Nintendo 3DS at a time when a sufficient number of strong software titles were ready.”
New titles are incoming, but they're still several months away. Kid Icarus: Uprising which could release around the holidays, Super Mario Land 3D is expected in November, and Mario Kart 7 is expected in December. Until the holidays, drumming up interest in the 3DS may prove difficult since this summer's two most notable releases, Ocarina of Time and Star Fox 64, are both Nintendo 64 remakes rather than new franchise entries or titles.
Unfortunately, the lack of consumer response to the 3DS hasn't encouraged new games to arrive sooner, but has instead led — at least in part — to the cancelation of Mega Man Legends 3, the delay of games like Shinobi and Crush3D, and two weeks without any virtual console updates.
President Iwata did promise that Nintendo wouldn't be making the same mistake with the Wii U, saying that "we are considering details, such as what software is suitable for the launch, more carefully than ever before."
Without any big releases for the 3DS to boost sales, Nintendo has resorted to dramatic price cut for the new handheld. To make up for the price difference, early adopters of the 3DS will be offered 10 free NES Virtual Console games and 10 free picks form the Game Boy Advance Virtual Console to anyone who purchases a 3DS before August 12. The NES games will be made available September 1 and GBA games should be available before the end of the year.
Jul 28, 2011
Source: Nintendo Financial Report, DailyTech