Nintendo disappoints as revenue, profit plummet

Game company's earnings plummet over the last year with revenue down more than 29 percent and profits dropping by 66 percent. Nintendo did say it's sold 3.61 million 3DS units so far.

Don Reisinger
Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
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Mario and Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto demos the latest Zelda game at last year's E3. Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Nintendo's poor hardware sales continue to wreak havoc on the game company, its annual report revealed today.

In its fiscal year that ended March 31 (PDF), Nintendo generated revenue of 1.01 trillion yen ($12.32 billion), representing a steep 29 percent decline year over year. The game company posted a full-year profit of 77.6 billion yen ($946.7 million). That figure was down a whopping 66 percent year over year.

Nintendo's earnings report signals continued trouble at the venerable game company. In September, Nintendo released its six-month earnings statement, which included a $24.6 million loss. During the first nine months of the fiscal year, its revenue and profit tallies were down 31.7 percent and 74.3 percent, respectively.

But Nintendo's troubles didn't just stop with its financial performance.

During its last fiscal year, Nintendo sold over 15 million Wii units worldwide, down from the 20 million it sold during the prior fiscal year. DS sales were down from 27 million to 17 million units sold last year. Nintendo expects to sell just 13 million Wii units and 11 million DS units worldwide during its current fiscal year.

Nintendo even disappointed on 3DS sales. According to the company, it sold 3.61 million 3DS units before its fiscal year ended. Earlier this year, the company said that it expected to sell 4 million units worldwide by the end of the fiscal year. Looking ahead, the company said it hopes to sell 16 million 3DS units units during the current fiscal year.

However, Nintendo might just have a trump card ready to curb its troubles: the company announced today that it will unveil its Wii successor at the E3 gaming expo in June. Nintendo expects to release it in 2012.

Over the past couple weeks, rumors have been swirling that Nintendo would unveil a console at the gaming expo. Those reports have included rumored details on the upcoming console, including the possibility of the device offering more-advanced components than the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. There is also speculation that the console will come with a new controller featuring a 6.2-inch touch screen. That controller would enhance the experience gamers are having through the console, as well as act as another playable device away from the new hardware.

Nintendo's upcoming hardware is rumored to be named "Stream." IGN reported last week that it could retail for $350 to $400 when it launches.