Nintendo six-month profit falls 52%, full-year estimates cut

Weakening Wii sells only 5.75 million units during six months, down from 10.1 million; just $2.5 billion in annual profit now expected; new large-screen DSi hits Japan November 21, US & EU Q1 2010.


Anyone doubting that the Wii's momentum is ebbing was rebuked today by Nintendo's own earnings report. For the six months ended September 30, 2009, the company saw its profits plummet by 52 percent, falling from ¥144.8 billion ($1.6 billion) from April to September 2008 to ¥69.5 billion ($766 million) from April to September 2009. On a year-on-year comparison, overall revenues fell from ¥836.9 billion ($9.22 billion) to ¥548.1 billion ($6.0 billion), a decline of 34.5 percent.

Shrinking earnings are likely causing some tension among Nintendo's staff.
Shrinking earnings are likely causing some tension among Nintendo's staff.

As has been indicated by both American and Japanese sales reports, the main reason for Nintendo's flagging fortunes is the Wii's slowing sales. Worldwide, the console sold just 5.75 million units during the six-month period, down from 10.1 million during the same period in 2008. Lifetime sales of the Wii now total 56.14 million units.

Wii software was less impacted, falling from 81.4 million to 76.2 million during the six-month window. This trend may change, though, since the Wii's price dropped to $200 in the US at the end of September.

In a brief statement, the company admitted a lack of blockbuster games was partly to blame for the Wii's flagging fortunes. "With respect to the Wii, software titles which briskly drive hardware sales were not launched in the first half of the [fiscal] year [ending March 2010]," read the statement. "In addition, the negative impact of the Wii hardware price reduction and appreciation of the yen were also absorbed."

The DS platform fared better, with worldwide April-September hardware sales dipping slightly from 13.7 million units to 11.7 million units. The figure included some 7.2 million units of the DSi handheld, which has now sold 10.1 million units since launching last November in Japan and in April in the US and EU. Life-to-date DS hardware sales now total 113.48 million units, but DS software sales fell from 85 million units to 71.1 million units during the last six months.

Despite today's announcement of the new, larger-screen DSi XL, Nintendo believes that decreased Wii and DS sales will impact its earnings more than previously expected. The company revised its profit estimate for the year ending March 31, 2010, to ¥230 billion ($2.5 billion), down from the ¥300 billion ($3.3 billion) it had previously forecast. The new figure marks a decrease from the nearly 280 billion yen ($3.1 billion) profit the company posted for the financial year ending March 31, 2009.

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Avatar image for Never3ndingLife

this is PS3's year.. but i still love Wii

Avatar image for Agelu

They got carried away with so much success. They are still doing well, just not as much as before. I wish they implemented the "Nintendo Quality Seal" again... or something like that, and be harsher on what games they allow to be published... And they need new great games of course. Come on, N...

Avatar image for _Elric_

The Wii is never going to get a big push of quality third party titles. The hardware is so weak the best it hope for is gimped ports of 360/PS3 titles. The Wii's hardware is not in the Good enough category. Even the freaking DVD drive on it is crippled. A-list third party IPs are being developed on one of three platforms first: 360, PS3, and PC and then it is migrated from the base system to any other supported platform via a port. When you start porting things from a PC/360/PS3 developed title down to a PS2, Wii, PSP, or DS caliber system you are going to have to make severe trade-offs and there is just no MONEY in it for A-list developers unless the parent company subsidizes it.

Avatar image for diggyman

I'm glad that Iwata san has publicly acknowledged that they're lacking in the "good games" department, but now they need to do something about it. How does a company let it get this far though? I mean there's way too much shovelware on this system, more than ive seen on any other system (PS2 comes second).

Avatar image for FrogDude14

Well Nintendo, why don't you stop making 3rd party crap that's about PILLOW FIGHTING and start listening to your fans, huh? AND THAT DOESN'T MEAN MORE MARIO GAMES >:( I personally would love Nintendo again if they had more people working on Pikmin 3, that Kirby game thats been held back since the days of the gamecube, and maybe a new StarFox game.

Avatar image for 06JRM06

This is what happens when the consumer has to dig through crap upon crap for decent titles for a console. Wii has only its first party titles to keep it afloat. Sooner or later the consumer will demand more than their Marios, Metroids, and Zeldas --which already take forever to create. So not only do Wii owners rarely get good third party titles, they also have to wait a long time for good first party ones. And I'm sorry, but that's just not good enough. It's disappointing and shameful.

Avatar image for flameducky

@hatieshorrer: WTF are you reply to? I never left a comment on this article!

Avatar image for hatieshorrer

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for flameducky

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for gary_safc

@ verity666912 . I'm sure you will play your wii again in november when new super mario bros comes out lol

Avatar image for gary_safc

Good games are coming. Black wii getting released on 6th November UK. mario bros. zelda . metroid. cod 4. Re darkside chronicles. . i love Nintendo

Avatar image for shanethx1138


Avatar image for MERGATROYDER

People are just realizing that after a year, they don't care for the Wii anymore. It's value is twice as much as it's worth. Who is going to buy anything for the Wii when everyone is buying MW:2 for the PS3 and 360.

Avatar image for verity666912

Nintendo haven't brough anything good out for a while, but when you think about there are some good things coming (although its not many). I bought a 360 in august because i was so bored with my wii and now i haven't turned my wii on since the end of july. & i have always been loyal to nintendo. its a shame.

Avatar image for FinalDuo1886

Capcom vs Tatsunoko Isn't a terrible game. I'm jealous that it's a Wii exclusive. :(

Avatar image for wahyudil

The -N- admitted himself ,"In a brief statement, the company admitted a lack of blockbuster games was partly to blame for the Wii's flagging fortunes"

Avatar image for SuprSaiyanRockr

@ firehawk998 I agree entirely. If nintendo focused on making good quality games, more people would buy those games. nowadays, it seems even the ps2 has better standards than the wii.

Avatar image for SuprSaiyanRockr

that's the problem with the wii... a few great games lost in a sea of terrible ones. plus no upgradeable hdd, no dvd or blu ray capability... Did I mention the sea of terrible games?

Avatar image for njp62

Really if Nintendo tried to solely cater for the hardcore gamers like the 360 or PS3 did i don't think they would be doing aswell as it's the core crowd that have made the wii so successful.

Avatar image for Flint247

Well, even if Nintendo does fail in this generation of consoles, at least they already succeeded in the previous generations. :)

Avatar image for gameking5000

So work to do Nintendo...

Avatar image for firehawk998

To me the problem with Nintendo is not its first party titles. It is the third party titles that is giving problems. Making a good game like Mario or Zeda takes a long time to make but just like any other console when a first party games takes time to make there are good thridparty games to fill the time then. Nintendo are now these days trying to deliever just that but due to the removal of the Seal of Quality many third party companies takes the wii as a cash gimmick. You will see that most of the Wiis lineup are either party games or a poors mans version of Wii sports. nintendo has managed to sell a lot of Wii now they must focus selling the software.

Avatar image for HappyBB

Wow, this is such a good news!! Wonderful!! See, it now proves that software makes a console. Game library like Wii has is disappointing. I hope this gives Nintendo and everyone else a good lesson. Excellente!

Avatar image for CVM_123


Avatar image for CVM_123

so awesome

Avatar image for Gen007

Where is the games? Thats my question to nintendo. I havent seen anything remotely interesting in so long that's ive lost all hope. I havent turned on my wii in close to over a year now it literally has a thick layer of dust over it. I guess they dont care though too busy rolling in dough and re-releasing the DS to make even more money. I cant blame em though it is alot of money.

Avatar image for teknicz

Wow, what a lot of "end of the world"-type comments. They're still making a huge profit...but I guess people will read whatever they want to read in any article.

Avatar image for slickvic1990

this is what happens when there is way too much shovelware on the Wii and not enough good games. I own a wii, and have been dying for some good games. RE:Darkside and Dead Space Extraction were a start, but i think there will be an upswing. Mario Galaxy 2, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, red steel 2, no more heroes 2, Final fantasy crystal bearers, Metroid Other M, etc. are all good games coming out that should move some systems.

Avatar image for creepy_mike

"With a barrage of sequels apparently..." And I'm looking forward to them almost as much as Assassin's Creed 2, Left 4 Dead 2, Modern Warfare 2, Mass Effect 2, Dead Rising 2, and Bioshock 2. Anywho, I concur with others' hope that Nintendo will realize they can't just coast off the Wii's novelty anymore. Maybe now they'll retract their previous commitment to do so for 10 years? Time to kick R&D on a new system into full gear, says I!

Avatar image for Flint247

I hope this is a wake up call for Nintendo. The Wii started off great in 06, but after 08, it started to fall. Don't lose focus, Nintendo!

Avatar image for andrew_ribbons

"Monster Hunter 3, Red Steel 2, Final Fantay Crystal Bearers, Sin and Punishment 2, Mario Galaxy 2....... NINTENDO WILL RISE AGAIN!" With a barrage of sequels apparently...

Avatar image for Dragonrider617

This is PS3's year!!!!

Avatar image for monson21502

just a 2.5 billion profit.... now thats funny

Avatar image for okassar

Hope Nintendo catches the drift "don't try to pull another gimmick move because next time you won't enjoy nearly as much success, the only reason it worked now is because people trusted that you would not rip them off....until this gen."

Avatar image for monson21502

great news. glad to see people stop going crazy over this system. i bought one in feb of 07. kept it about 10 months only played it one month and it just sat there. i would put it at the worst system i ever bought....

Avatar image for InfinityMugen

Another emotional roller coaster for the wannabe analysts on this forum. Never fails. In my opinion, Nintendo has delivered. The 3rd parties took too long to play catchup but it is now costing Nintendo. This pervasive anti Wii Bias among the industry also doesnt help. In addition, a lot of the great games scheduled for 2009 have been pushed back so I'm not really concerned about this "Wii haz nothin but shovelware nonsense". Dont get me wrong, I dont think Nintendo is perfect. Nintendo does have an image problem and they need to tone down Wii Fit and start to balance out their software that caters to both the new and established gamer a bit more efficiently. This balance is what has made the DS the gaming behemoth that it is and I have no doubt that Nintendo can replicate that success with the Wii. A few dips in Nintendo's profit, and the fanboys come to get their licks without applying critical thinking. Pathetic.

Avatar image for wiouds

That because they went after the masses at the cost of leaving the sophisticated gamers. Sophisticated gamers like those that go to gaming websites, like gamespot, to learn more about games.

Avatar image for soulless4now

I'm sure wii sales will pick up some during the holidays, but everyone who wants a wii pretty much has one by now.

Avatar image for daqua_99

I hate the people saying "Nintendo betrayed the hardcore". Ummm, look at the Gamecube. Nintendo tried to target their core market, but they all deserted them. In business if there is money to be made businesses will go there. The so-called "hardcore" left Nintendo last generation. Nintendo deserted no one, it was the "hardcore" that deserted Nintendo

Avatar image for chefstubbies

Hahahahahaha... This should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone. And this is just the beginning of their dipping profits.

Avatar image for EcksBocks360

Though they didn't know it at first, Nintendo created the Wii to be a fad, where people practically have sex with it for a year or two and then it slowly dies. Video game consoles, unfortunately, do not work that way.

Avatar image for ForsakenWicked

@ Sepewrath This is just my opinion. I feel Nintendo has abandoned the core gamers by giving some sort of childish look to their games. For example, Paper Mario. I remember back in the N64 days having a great time with that game. Then, they released a NGC version. I simply couldn't get into the game as it looked so childish. Aside from that, they have decreased challenges in games (IMO). LoZTP was way too easy. Then on other games as Mario Kart Wii it just seems as Nintendo said: "Hey, lets not do AI for this game. Instead we'll just throw all sort of items and totally unexpected situations at the player". Really, Mario Kart Wii is so lame due to that and I had seen it coming ever since I played Mario Kart Double Dash. They still make some good games but I feel that is not enough to keep all those previous fans with them. I bought my Wii almost 2 years ago and have barely bought any games for it since I was way too disappointed with LoZTP and SSBB. As I said, this is just my opinion and I think some other users will agree with me on this one.

Avatar image for wiidsduelpack

Feel proud that I told Nintendo there games sucked and they needed on line play and multi player when I reviewed Metroid Prime Trilogy. Nintendo should of seen this coming when they stopped making good games. They need to bring back their franchises.

Avatar image for Tremblay343

Make good games and people will want to buy it maybe? I bought mine at launched and haven't used it anywhere near as much as my 360. No where even remotely close to my PS3.

Avatar image for Dr_Feelgood

I believe the real problem is not too many casual games and too few core games (though this is a problem), but a lack in quality in general. Besides the odd game here and there, many games on the Wii are reviewed poorly. Even if you accept that taste differs among players, many games are buggy and should not have shipped in the state they were in (The Conduit being a prime example). If Nintendo wants the Wii to continue to be successful, it needs to be releasing hard core games along with casual titles. Another thing Nintendo should do is release the Wii Fit Board separately, and look to release games that take advantage of the various peripherals the Wii offers (Zapper, Wii Wheel, Wii Fit Board, Motion Plus, Wi-Fi, etc), as these can really make the game more engaging and hard core players are more likely to buy peripherals than casual gamers. Finally, Nintendo needs to stop the flow of shovelware on the system and enforce high standards for their Official Seal of Quality (meaning Data Design can eat a dick).

Avatar image for endocrine

If nintendo had 3rd party support (especially with their hardware install base), they would be making even more bank right now.

Avatar image for DonatelloToAll

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for Sepewrath

lol I still have no idea what people are talking about when they say "oh Nintendo has abandoned the hardcore" what is Nintendo doing any different from what they always done? Mario, check. Zelda, check. Metroid, check. Franchise revivals like Punch Out and the Excite Series, check. Other franchises like MK, Smash Brothers, Warioland, check. Things like Star Fox and F-Zero will come because they always come, so premature check. How exactly have they abandoned thier fanbase, what reality do you people live in? The drop in sales is attributed to the fact that there were no huge 3rd party games to flock to this year so far and Nintendo hasn't released a blockbuster title yet. Doesn't mean they haven't release a couple of good ones i.e. Punch Out and Excitebots

Avatar image for hatieshorrer

@mastodonfatguy -_-; I understand you feel betrayed but until Nintendo announces a Starfox on Wii you might consider looking at Sin and Punishment 2. It looks like similar gameplay to Starfox so I dont see the current situation as that bad.