Nintendo's Wii U sales down, revenue disappoints

The game company reported that its revenue was down 8 percent in the 9 months ended 2013. Nintendo's profit slipped 30 percent year-over-year.

Don Reisinger
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.
Don Reisinger
2 min read

Nintendo on Wednesday released its financial earnings for the nine months ended December 31, and once again, there appears to be trouble in Mario land.

The company posted revenue during the period of 499.1 billion yen ($4.8 billion), representing an 8 percent decline compared to the previous year (PDF). Nintendo was able to post a profit during the period of 10.2 billion yen ($99.6 million), but that was down 30 percent compared to the same period in the prior year.

Nintendo acknowledged its troubles during the first three quarters of the year, saying that its Wii U console "still has a negative impact on Nintendo's profits, owning mainly to its (price) markdown in the US and Europe and software of software, which has high profit margins, did not grow sufficiently."

According to Nintendo, it sold 2.4 million Wii U units during the period, bringing its grand total to 5.9 million worldwide. During the same period in 2012, Wii U hardware sales hit 3.1 million units. Nintendo's other hardware also has faced some trouble, with the 3DS family of devices seeing its sales drop during the year, along with the Wii and DS.

Perhaps the worst bit of news for Nintendo is that it expects to sell only 400,000 Wii U units worldwide during the first quarter of 2014.

Last week, Nintendo acknowledged its woes in the hardware space. The company's CEO Satoru Iwata acknowledged that his company must evaluate other opportunities, including those in the mobile market, to improve its operation. Some outsiders have called on Nintendo to scrap its current strategy and go after something else.

Looking ahead, Nintendo has precious little good news to share, saying on Wednesday that it expects "sales to decrease significantly" during its fiscal fourth quarter (first calendar quarter).

EA's Mixed Results
In other gaming news, Electronic Arts announced its financials for the fourth quarter of 2013. The company revealed that revenue slid from $922 million in 2012 to $808 million in 2013. The company's losses also widened from $45 million in the prior year to $308 million in 2013.

So, what happened? EA blamed it on last-generation titles, which saw lower-than-expected demand in the fourth quarter.

That said, there was one bright side to the EA news: The company was the top publisher on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One during the quarter. EA titles accounted for 35 percent of all software sales on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 "in the Western World."

Watch this: The Nintendo Wii U still has a lot to prove