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Nintendo Announces Q1 Loss, Maintains Return to Profit Forecast for Year

Nintendo DS3
Courtesy of Nintendo

Company faces increasing competition from smartphones and tablets in the crucial casual gamers market.

TOKYO – Nintendo announced lower than expected losses of 17.2 billion yen ($220 million) for the quarter ended June 30, on sales down nearly 10 percent to 84.8 billion yen ($1.09 billion) compared to the same period last year.

Sales of its Wii console have fallen sharply as the company prepares to launch the updated Wii U later this year, while the company has failed to shift as many units of its portable 3DS since it bowed in March 2011, particularly outside Japan.

The Kyoto-based game giant maintained its forecast of returning to the black in this financial year, to March 2013, with profits of 35 billion yen ($448 million).

Many analysts see the company’s projections as overly optimistic given the shift of casual gamers, Nintendo’s core market, to playing on smartphones and tablets. Much will depend on the successor to the Wii, which will feature Nintendo’s new social gaming Miiverse, as well as a host of new features, including a separate 6.2-inch screen, a camera and various sensors to enhance game play.

Nintendo recorded its first-full year loss as a public company in the period to March 2012, prompting CEO Satoru Iwata to take a 67 percent pay cut.

Email: Gavin.Blair@thr.com

Twitter: @GavinJBlair