Today offered an interesting meld of good news and bad from Nintendo. On the one hand, the publisher finally attached a February 25 Japanese release date and a ¥25,000 ($299) price tag to the 3DS, its glasses-free 3D gaming handheld first revealed in April. On the other, Nintendo more than halved its profit forecast for its in-progress fiscal year, saying also that revenues would fall 24 percent to ¥1.1 trillion ($13 billion).
The link between the two stems from Nintendo's lofty expectations for the 3DS, which Japanese media reports indicated was initially planned for release in Japan by late 2010. According to a financial statement released by Nintendo today, the publisher now expects to sell 4 million units by March 31, 2011--also known as the end of its in-progress fiscal year. Accompanying software sales are expected to hit 15 million units during the same period of time, according to Nintendo.
Nintendo's 3DS hardware and software sales are just a fraction of what the publisher plans to sell of its entire line of handheld devices and games before the end of its fiscal year. Before its earnings revision today, Nintendo projected DS hardware sales of 30 million worldwide, a figure that included the 3DS's tally. Now, the publisher expects total DS sales to come in at 23.5 million units through March 31.
Likewise, software received significant revision today. It was once projected at 150 million units, but Nintendo now expects to shift 125 million pieces of DS and 3DS software by the end of its fiscal year.