Nintendo posts $24.7M six-month loss, Wii sales near 76 million

Slowing console sales, strong yen send game giant's bottom line south; DS sales approach 136 million.

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Today, Nintendo reported its earnings for the six months ending September 30, and the results would not make corporate mascot Mario jump for joy. For the April-September period, the Kyoto, Japan-based company reported a rare loss of ¥2.01 billion ($24.7 million) versus a profit of ¥69.5 billion ($854.6 million) during the same period the year prior.

Nobody at Nintendo HQ was jumping for joy over today's financial numbers, except maybe Wario.
Nobody at Nintendo HQ was jumping for joy over today's financial numbers, except maybe Wario.

Nintendo's six-month revenue was also down year-over-year, falling 33.7 percent from ¥363.2 billion ($4.5 billion) from ¥548.1 billion ($6.7 billion). Today's report came a month after Nintendo revised its annual earnings estimate downward by 21.4 percent.

One factor for the decline was the continuing strength of the yen against the dollar. Another was slowing hardware sales. For the six months ending September 30, the company only sold 4.97 million Wiis worldwide, down from 5.75 million during the same period the year prior. To date, some 75.9 million units of the console have been sold, with an installed base of 10.8 million in Japan, 35.9 million in the Americas, and 29.2 million in other territories. Wii software sales to date total 610 million units.

The DS's sales decline was more precipitous. April-September sales of all versions of the handheld went from 11.7 million units in 2009 to 6.7 million units in 2010. As of September 30, 135.6 million units of the handheld have been sold, including 31.6 million in Japan, 49.3 million in the US, and 54.8 million in other territories. Life-to-date DS software sales total 773.3 million units.

Looking ahead, Nintendo predicts it will sell 4 million 3DSs the first quarter of next year, along with 15 million software units for the handheld. The portable, which does not require 3D glasses, goes on sale February 26 in Japan and sometime in March in North America and Europe. It will cost ¥25,000 ($300) in Japan, with pricing in other territories not yet announced.

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