Nintendo spills sales and release dates

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A 66 percent drop in profits for the year will get a company talking. Today Nintendo held an investors briefing where it announced its full-year results, and they weren’t good. Sales fell 29.3 percent for the year to 1.1 trillion yen ($13.5 billion). As is usually the case, Nintendo mainly blamed the rising value of yen for some of its losses. The transition between the Nintendo DS and 3DS was also blamed as DS sales slowed while customers waited for the 3DS.

Satoru Iwata, Nintendo’s president, said that he regrets the way Nintendo has marketed the Wii, which has done well with casual gamers, but may have alienated core gamers. “I now regret that we didn’t tie up with someone outside the company to market the Wii. If we had done that, the fate of the Wii might have been different,” said Iwata (via Reuters). “Now I am aware that we should not rely too much on ourselves. You will see what I mean by this when we market the 3DS and the Wii in the future.”

Below are some details we’ve learned from the briefing, thanks to Google Translate.

Game sales

  • Pokemon Black & White are exceeding the sales of the last two Pokemon games, selling more than five million units in Japan and nearing three million units after just a few weeks in the United States. Sales in Europe are high as well.
  • Art Academy has sold 1.9 million copies around the world, thanks to strong European sales.
  • Just Dance 2 has pretty much doubled the sales of its predecessor, selling more than 4.5 million copies.
  • Wii Party has sold about 2.5 million units in Europe, 1.8 million units in Japan, and a little over 500,000 copies in the United States. Nintendo hopes to boost U.S. sales of the game.

Successor to the Wii

  • Nintendo will announce “exact specifications” at E3 on June 7, 2011.
  • Nintendo will “propose a new structure in the home game we play in the Nintendo.” (Can anybody translate this better?)

Release Schedule

  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D will be released June 16 in Japan.
  • Star Fox 64 3D will be released on July 14 in Japan.
  • Excitebike 3D will be the first of “3D Classics” to arrive for the Nintendo 3DS and will be free on the Nintendo e-shop for a limited time.
  • Super Mario 3D will be shown at E3 this year.
  • Mario Kart 3D will be released by the end of the year.
  • Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles are progressing for release on the Virtual Console.
  • Tower of Pandora (Wii) will be released May 26, 2011
  • Dead or Alive Dimensions will hit Japanese shelves on May 19.
  • Namco’s One Piece Unlimited Cruise SP will be released May 26 in Japan.
  • Resident Evil: The Mercenaries will be released on June 6 in Japan.
  • Tales of the Abyss will be released on June 30 in Japan.
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