Nintendo president: "I feel deeply responsible" for poor performance
"Posting an operating loss for the fourth fiscal year running is something unacceptable," Satoru Iwata says, as he outlines his plan to help Nintendo regain momentum.
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata is none too pleased with the company's latest earnings report, which saw the beloved Mario and Zelda company post its third straight year of operating losses. He went on to explain that it would be "unacceptable" for this trend to continue next year.
"Posting an operating loss for the fourth fiscal year running is something unacceptable," Iwata said in prepared remarks posted on the Nintendo website today. "I feel deeply responsible for this and I need to fulfill my responsibility by recovering the momentum of our business."
Iwata said Nintendo hopes to return to "Nintendo-like" profits as soon as possible, but cautioned that he can't right the ship overnight. "The success of a video game platform business depends greatly on its momentum, and it inevitably takes time to rebuild the business once the platform has lost its momentum," he said.
As part of the presentation, Iwata explained how he plans to regain momentum for Nintendo. Part of this includes leveraging the 3DS install base (43 million units so far) to make the current fiscal year a "significant harvest year" for the device. Nintendo has a number of marquee titles in the works for the platform this year, including a Super Smash Bros. game, remakes of Pokemon Ruby and Pokemon Sapphire, as well as Tomodachi Life.
In terms of third-party 3DS games, Iwata said Capcom's Monster Hunter 4 will play a "key role" in the platform strategy for the system. Other titles called out were Yokai Watch2 (Japan), as well as Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth and the latest installment in the Taiko no tatsujin Don to Katsu no jikuu daibouken series (Japan). In addition to these games, Iwata said there are "many more" under development, including unannounced titles.
Switching to the Wii U, which has sold 6.17 million units to date, Iwata explained that this platform was "unable to recover the momentum sufficiently even in the last year-end sales season" and that it may take one full year for the platform to regain momentum. Flagship titles due out for the Wii U this year include Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros., Iwata said.
Another way in which Iwata said the Wii U can regain momentum is by making games that leverage the system's GamePad in new and exciting ways, he said. More information about games that do just that will be shared during Nintendo's E3 briefing next month. Finally, Iwata Nintendo will deliver a system update for the Wii U that will deliver a "quick-start" menu for the system either before or during summer. It promises to reduce loading times.
Nintendo also today announced a Skylanders-style initiative for Wii U and 3DS, which the company will discuss further at E3.
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