Strong Mario Kart 8 Performance and Rise in Wii U Hardware Sales Can't Keep Nintendo Out of the Red

Japanese game giant posts $97 million loss for the latest quarter, as Wii U sales climb to 6.68 million; Mario Kart 8 lifetime sales reach 2.82 million copies.

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Nintendo today announced financial results for the April-June quarter, revealing a major loss despite an increase in Wii U hardware sales and a strong performance by powerhouse racing game Mario Kart 8.

For the three-month period ended June 30, Nintendo posted ¥74.7 billion ($730.5 million) in revenue, down 8.4 percent year-over-year. In terms of profit, Nintendo posted an overall loss of ¥9.9 billion ($97 million), compared to a profit of ¥8.6 billion ($84 million) last year.

Nintendo sold 510,000 Wii U consoles during the quarter, up from 160,000 units sold during the same period last year. The company shifted 4.39 million Wii U titles during the period, which is up dramatically from the 1.03 million games sold last year during this quarter.

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Mario Kart 8--the fastest-selling Wii U game ever--was a bright spot on Nintendo's sales sheet, with 2.82 million units sold since its release in late May. Nintendo suggested Wii U hardware and software sales could have been stronger had it not been for a "lack of other hit titles this quarter."

On the portable side, Nintendo sold 820,000 3DS systems during the quarter along with 8.57 million games. These figures are down year-over-year, as Nintendo sold 1.4 million 3DS systems and 11 million 3DS games during this quarter last year. In addition to standard 3DS systems, Nintendo includes 3DS XL and 2DS sales in its 3DS category. Notably, 2DS figures were not included in last year's earnings, as the system went on sale in October 2013.

Nintendo also pointed out that the controversy-surrounded simulation game Tomodachi Life, released during the quarter, "gained wide popularity," but no official sales number for the title was provided.

Looking ahead, Nintendo plans to release a range of high-profile Wii U titles from summer to the end of the calendar year, including Hyrule Warriors, Bayonetta 2, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, and Super Smash Bros. In addition, Nintendo will roll out its toys-to-life platform, called amiibo, later this year. For 3DS, Nintendo's major upcoming games include Super Smash Bros. and Pokemon Omega Ruby/Pokemon Alpha Sapphire.

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