Nintendo Earnings: Nintendo 3DS gains strength, but company is fragile ahead of Wii U launch

nintendo earnings 3ds gains strength but company is fragile ahead of wii u launch recovers future still dim

The road to recovery after a life-threatening injury is long and arduous, so it’s no surprise that Nintendo is still picking itself back up off the ground. The Super Mario maker is still reeling from the end of its fiscal year in March, when it reported its first ever annual loss. Nintendo reported earnings for the April to June quarter on Wednesday, narrowing losses year on year, but the company’s future in relying on Nintendo 3DS and Wii U sales remains dim.

The company saw a net loss of over $220 million for the period, an improvement over the same $326 million loss the company reported during the same period in 2011.

The catastrophic launch of the Nintendo 3DS handheld during the first half of 2011 was the cause of last year’s losses, and it’s promising to see that the handheld was responsible for Nintendo’s gains in 2012. Where the company sold just 710,000 Nintendo 3DSs in the 2011 June quarter, it sold nearly 1.9 million this year, with healthy software sales of 7.4 million. During this period though, Nintendo was still selling each 3DS console at a loss, but it promised that as of Wednesday, the device will no longer be sold below manufacturing costs. With major titles on the horizon like New Super Mario Bros. 2—whose predecessor has sold nearly 30 million copies over the past 6 years—the Nintendo 3DS has the potential to finally be an earning machine for Nintendo, albeit one far less powerful than its predecessor.

Speaking of that predecessor, the Nintendo DS continued to decline over the quarter. Nintendo sold just 540,000 DSs, a decline of more than 62 percent from the 1.4 million DSs sold during the same period last year. After 8 years, the Nintendo DS is still selling, but it’s reign as video game hardware market leader is finally over.

The Wii plummeted as well, with 710,000 consoles sold between April and June, down from nearly 1.6 million last year. That the console is still selling in the hundreds of thousands each month is impressive considering the relative age of the technology. It simply isn’t keeping Nintendo flush with cash like it was even two years ago, even with more than 8.4 million in software sales over the period.

Nintendo is at a critical juncture. It is recovering from the losses of the past 18 months, but it’s still fragile. The Nintendo 3DS may be selling above manufacturing cost and those sales will be maintained by new games, but the Wii U doesn’t have the luxury of lowered manufacturing costs. Nintendo is releasing its new home console into a stagnant market and it will need to price the device low to compete with the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Pricing the device low will of course hurt Nintendo on manufacturing costs though. If the device is a phenomenon like its predecessor, Nintendo should continue this recovery into 2013. That’s a big if though.

Product Review

Razer Phone 2 fixes everything wrong with the original

The Razer Phone had a great screen, strong speakers, powerful performance, but a mediocre camera, no water resistance, and a high price. With the Razer Phone 2, Razer has improved on the predecessor in every way.
Gaming

The PS5 rumors are heating up with reports of a potential 2020 release window

PlayStation 5 rumors have been circulating for over a year now but there's still plenty we don't know. Here's everything you need to know about the PS5, including rumors about its release, specs, and games.
Gaming

Join the after-party with our 'Super Mario Party' unlockables guide

Unlock hidden characters and an exciting new mode called Challenge Road with our Super Mario Party guide. You'll be surprised at how simple it is to uncover all the little secrets this Nintendo party game has stowed away.
Gaming

One game console is better than the rest, and we're not afraid to say it

We've seen a relatively large influx of new consoles in the last year, including the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One X, so we've updated our recommendations for the best dedicated game hardware.
Gaming

From Blackout to Zombies, here's everything we know about 'Black Ops 4'

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 arrives on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 12. Here's everything you need to know about the game, including info on multiplayer, Zombies, Blackout, and Signature Weapons.
Gaming

GameStop manager marks ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ launch by mimicking cover art

To celebrate the launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, GameStop stores held midnight launch events across the United States. One manager even cosplayed as the cover star from the game, complete with an accurate haircut.
Product Review

'Black Ops 4' learns a few new tricks, but it's Call of Duty to the core

Despite nods to hero-based tactical gameplay, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s multiplayer feels as stable as ever -- even as the game trades in its story-driven campaign for the new Blackout mode.
Gaming

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.
Mobile

Here’s our guide on how to get ‘Fortnite’ on your Android device

'Fortnite: Battle Royale' is one of the biggest games in the world right now, and it's finally on Android, even if getting set up is a bit long-winded. Here's how to play 'Fortnite: Battle Royale' on an Android device.
Mobile

Put your iPad Pro to the test with these great games

Did you recently purchase a 10.5-inch iPad Pro, or are you enjoying the 12.9-inch version? If so, we've rounded up a few of the best iPad Pro games currently available on Apple's mobile platform.
Gaming

Open-world video games are getting too big for their own good

As technology has progressed, open-world video games have grown increasingly bigger. What seems like a universal positive has shown problems preventing the genre from truly moving forward, however.
Product Review

The Oculus Rift is cheaper, the Vive Pro is better. Is the original Vive still worth it?

The Oculus Rift may have brought virtual reality into the public eye, but HTC’s Vive, built in partnership with Valve, does it better. Does the Vive still represent the true future of virtual reality, or are there better competitors on…
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Gaming

As deaf gamers speak up, game studios are finally listening to those who can’t

Using social media, personal blogs and Twitch, a small group of deaf and hard-of-hearing players have been working to make their voices heard and improve accessibility in the gaming industry.