Nintendo severely adjusted its forecasts for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014, almost halving its original net sales projection
and reducing expected Wii U shipments from 9 million
to 2.8 million. The Japanese company noted the Wii U's "significantly lower" than predicted overseas sales, as well as the price cuts made worldwide to the console, as factors in the profit revisions. Below-target 3DS sales overseas were also noted, as was increased expenditure on research and development.
Nintendo's net sales projection dropped from ¥920 billion to ¥590 billion, which converts as $8.8 billion to $5.6 billion, respectively. Rather than posting a net profit of ¥55 billion ($530 million) for the fiscal year, the company is bracing itself for a net loss of ¥25 billion ($240 million).
Today's adjustments suggest Nintendo saw a welcome if not spectacular upturn in Wii U sales and shipments over the holidays. The company shipped 460,000 consoles across the first two quarters (March - September 2013), so a rise to 2.8 million by March 2014 represents a significant improvement. If that figure proves accurate, then by March 2014 the company will have shipped 6.2 million units total since the console's launch in November 2012. Also, Wii U software shipments for the fiscal year are expected to reach 19 million now, exactly half the original projection. That will take software sales totals since launch up to 32.4 million.
3DS projections for the fiscal year also took a hit, down from 18 million to 13.5 million. In today's announcement, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata noted strong sales in Japan, but a failure for the handheld to reach targets overseas, and particularly in Europe. The estimate for software shipments dropped from 80 million to 66 million.
We'll get a clearer sense of how Nintendo performed across the holiday period on January 29, when the company will release release its Q3 financial results. The company will then hold a Corporate Management Policy Briefing on January 30, when it will divulge "more information on our short-term as well as mid-term prospects."