Super Mario 64/Nintendo
Zynga isn’t the only volatile stock this week — Nintendo over-the-counter shares fell 17 percent today after the Japanese gaming company lowered its forecasts for sales of its games and latest hardware, the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.
The affected forecasts stretch from April 2013 to March 2014. Nintendo expects Wii U sales to come in at 2.8 million rather than the expected nine million, and 3DS sales to be 13.5 million rather than 18 million for the year. In the previous year, Nintendo sold 3.45 million Wii U’s and 13.95 million 3DSes, and still reported an operating loss for the year.
And these new dismal numbers come in the wake of a chart-topping December for the 3DS and a best-ever month for the Wii U in the U.S., according to NPD. In other words, it ain’t gonna get better.
Meanwhile, the company expects total software sales for the year to come in at 66 million games sold for the 3DS (vs. 80 million predicted) and 19 million sold for the Wii U (half of the 38 million that was forecast). As Mario might say, mamma mia!
The solution? Nintendo might finally, maybe, be thinking about branching out into mobile games — an idea that it has long dismissed as antithetical to the way it marries hardware and software. But at a press conference today, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata pointedly did not commit to moving the company’s IP to iOS and Android.
“We are thinking about a new business structure,” Iwata said, according to Bloomberg. “Given the expansion of smart devices, we are naturally studying how smart devices can be used to grow the game-player business. It’s not as simple as enabling Mario to move on a smartphone.”