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Nintendo Reports Revenue Decline and Expects Wii U Sales Crawl

Corporation continues to post operating profit; 3DS sales continue to fall; Only 800k Wii U sales projected for entire financial year.


Nintendo has reported a decline in sales for the fifth straight financial year, although its profits have climbed.

In a note to investors, Nintendo reported sales of 4.5 billion for the twelve months ending in March. That represents about an 8 percent decrease compared to the previous financial year, which in itself was a 4 percent decrease to the fiscal year prior to that. Since 2012, Nintendo's annual revenue has been in decline.

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Operating profit, however, increased by 32 percent, reaching $295 million.

Nintendo said the lack of key titles for the Nintendo 3DS resulted in a decline in sales of the handheld. It noted that, in 2015, it launched Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, which it said "energised the entire 3DS business during the prior fiscal year."

Sales of the 3DS throughout the twelve-month period was put at 6.8 million, continuing the long-term decline for the popular handheld, which in the past three years has sold units of (in reverse chronological order) 8.7 million, 12 million, 14 million.

3DS software sales reached 48.5 million units.

Wii U hardware sales, meanwhile, were reported as 3.2 million units for the entire year, which is consistent with the console's annual sales figures since it launched in late 2012. Total Wii U sales now hang at 12.8 million, which means unless there are drastic turnarounds in fortunes, it will stand as the worst selling mainstream Nintendo console ever.

Nintendo expects it will report a further sales loss in twelve months during its next annual earnings report, although operating income is projected to climb.

Over the next twelve months, the company projects sales of 5 million 3DSes, and a mere 800,000 Wii Us.

In terms of key performers for the reported financial year, Nintendo highlighted Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer and Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon, which sold 3.4 million and 1.2 million units respectively on the 3DS.

On Wii U, Splatoon sold 4.2 million units, while Super Mario Maker sold 3.5 million units. Nintendo said both these games were "blockbusters" and contributed "to energising the Wii U platform." The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD, which launched in March 2016, was said to be "off to a good start."

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Amiibo sales "continued to maintain momentum and showed strong performance globally." Figures sold 24.7 million units, while the cards sold 28.9 million units respectively.

Looking forward, Nintendo said it plans to release Pokemon Sun/Moon in late 2016. Kirby: Planet Robobot and Metroid Prime: Federation Force are also scheduled for release this year.

Further stories from Nintendo's financial report can be found below.

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