Nintendo's First Ever Annual Loss is Imminent

Paul Lilly

Nintendo isn't accustomed to losing money on an annual basis. In fact, it's never before happened, at least not in the last 30 years in the electronics business (Nintendo's history actually dates back to 1889 as a playing card company). Be that as it may, Nintendo now expects to lose 20 billion yen, or about $264 million, for its fiscal year ending on March 31, 2012, the company said.

That's a complete 180 turnaround from Nintendo's previous forecast, in which it projected a 20 million yen profit for the year. But losses for the first six months are already at 70.2 billion yen, or $926 million. One of the main reasons for this is the poor reception to Nintendo's 3DS handheld console, in which Nintendo was quick to slash the price.

"Sales of Nintendo DS hardware and Nintendo 3DS software were weaker than expected," Nintendo said in a statement (PDF) . "In addition, yen appreciation was beyond expectation level and the exchange losses totaled 52.4 billion yen. These are the main factors of the variance."

Wii sales haven't been a whole lot better. Nintendo sold 3.3 million Wii consoles during the first half of its fiscal year, down from almost 5 million Wiis one year prior. Wii software sales dropped from 65 million units a year ago to 36 million so far this year.

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