Today, Nintendo posted its 2009-2010 fiscal earnings, and the Japanese gaming giant is beginning to stumble. For the first time in six years, Nintendo’s annual net profit fell, dropping 18% to ¥228.64 billion ($2.45 billion) in this fiscal year, which ended in March 2010. Nintendo blamed the slide on the appreciation of the yen, a late 2009 price cut on the Nintendo Wii, and the lack of strong game titles to drive the sale of hardware. Speaking of hardware sales…they lagged a bit, with Nintendo selling 20.5 million Wii consoles, down from 26 million in the previous year. The DSi showed a similar decline as Nintendo sold 27.11 million units, down from 31.18 million in the previous year. Despite the decline, Nintendo remained optimistic for the current fiscal year with a forecast of: ¥200 billion in profits, 18 million Wii units, and 30 million DSi units. The Japanese gaming company dismissed concerns over increased competition from the XBOX 360, the Playstation 3, and the Apple iPad citing its knowledge of the gaming business and its unique hardware, which appeals to a wide audience. Nintendo did not comment on the future of the Wii hardware, but did confirm the rumored 3DS, a new handheld gaming device that will allow 3D gameplay without the need for special glasses. More →
Sure it might turn out to be nothing more than an incredibly expensive fad, but whether you like it or not, 3D everything is going to continue to be shoved in your face for the foreseeable future. Case in point: The Nintendo 3DS (temporary name) which today was announced by Nintendo. Images, specs, pricing, a list of launch titles and just about anything else imaginable have been withheld, but we do know the 3DS is headed for a Q1 2011 release and that “games can be enjoyed with 3D effects without the need for any special glasses” and that the system “will include backwards compatibility so that software for Nintendo DS series, including the ones for Nintendo DSi, can also be enjoyed.” Nintendo has said it will give out further details this June at E3, but man, that’s a lot of time for Nintendo junkies to go sleepless. More →
Many would say the worst is behind us where the recession is concerned but gaming giants Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft would probably disagree. An industry that stumped analysts and remained strong throughout the recent turbulent economic climate is finally beginning to feel the impact of the wave of reduced spending that has attacked most industries in recent history. Video game sales began declining slowly in March but NPD Group has just released June numbers that show a slightly more alarming drop than we’ve been seeing over the past few months. US sales in June dipped a substantial 29 percent YoY — a record drop — and consoles sales were down a whopping 38 percent. Long story short, an industry that held strong on the back of Nintendo’s Wii and DS/DSi is looking like it may finally be approaching relative saturation. The odds of another Wii-like breakthrough reaching market any time soon are slim to none but something better happen in the near future to woo gamers back into opening those wallets. Drops in console pricing are rumored but still not confirmed, though we have little faith that minor price adjustments would have the kind of impact the industry needs to rebound significantly.
The first quarter of 2008 was rough on the typically hardy gaming industry but following a 17 percent decline in overall sales, there is a bright spot for one of the big three console companies as Q2 kicks off. Obviously, that company is Nintendo. Sure the Wii is still leading the pack when it comes to stationary consoles but the big news earlier this month was the arrival of the company’s latest portable gaming console, the Nintendo DSi. A substantial update from its little cousin the DS Lite, Nintendo’s DSi has been available in Japan for quite some time and finally made it to US shores last week. In its first full week of sales, Nintendo reports the handheld sold a remarkable 435,000 units. To put that in perspective, Nintendo moved just over 226,000 DS Lites in its first week of US availability. Bigger screens, dual cameras and a handful of photo manipulation tools highlighted in Nintendo’s supporting ad run apparently add up to big success. The NPD Group reports that Nintendo accounted for nearly 59 percent of all video game hardware sold in March — thanks to the DSi, expect that number to climb in April.
It seems like we’re nearing a point in time when a handheld manufacturer that doesn’t have an app store of some kind will be bigger news than a company that does. The apparent next in line for some app store love — Nintendo. Develop is reporting that the gaming giant is calling out to third party developers in an effort to push non-game content through its on-device portal, DSiWare. This past week at the Nintendo Developer Conference in London, Nintendo is said to have been out in full force in an effort to encourage developers in attendance to start thinking about various applications that might be hocked in its virtual shop. One developer had this to say:
Given the advanced functions in the DSi, such as the microphone and camera, the company told us that there are a variety of opportunities for a variety of apps, both in a games sense and a non-games sense, that we could offer.
And why not? Nintendo’s handheld sales are still through the roof despite tumultuous economic times and with so many handhelds in the hands of the public, adding another source of post-sale revenue beyond game titles is a logical progression. As has become painfully obvious over the past year, on device portals make it oh so easy for customers to spend money and Nintendo would be remiss if it didn’t capitalize on the trend. Parents, guard your wallets.
Before we even begin thinking about the rest of the Wii and DS titles Nintendo just announced… Punch-Out! Ok, now that that’s out of the way we can get down to business. Nintendo just unveiled its list of upcoming Wii and DS titles that will hit shelves between now and the Summer. The list is long and continuing record sales are inevitable — there really is something for everyone waiting in queue. Highlights as far as sales are concerned include Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, Guitar Hero On Tour: Modern Hits and a handful of children’s games on the DS, and The Conduit, EA SPORTS Active and Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus for the Wii. Oh, and did we mention Punch-Out!? Hit the jump for the full list and let us know which titles all you Wii fans are looking forward to.
It’s been out in Japan since November 1st of last year, but this April 5th is as good a time as any for Nintendo to finally launch the DSi in the United States. With the MSRP set at $169.99, Nintendo is hoping that potential customers will be able to overlook the somewhat steep price as a small cost when compared to the advantages the DSi has over its predecessors, the DS and DS Lite. Equipped with a VGA camera on the rear of the system and one on the front which can be used in part to control certain aspects of supported games, the DSi is roughly 12% thinner than the DS Lite and features more spacious 3.25″ displays. A word of caution: If you plan to sell your existing DS/DS Lite and upgrade to the DSi you might want to reconsider if you plan on getting some more mileage out of your Game Boy Advance cartridges – there is no longer a slot for them. Game on!
According to multiple sources close to Nintendo, the company is planning to launch the DSi earlier than expected. How does a ship date of April 4th and a retail price of $179 sound? The DSi represents a modest improvement over the still popular Nintendo DS lite, offering a 0.3MP camera, larger 3.25″ displays, access to the DSiWare game catalog, an SD card slot, improved user interface and new software including photo manipulation software and built-in web browser. The DSi launched in November in Japan and sales of the portable gaming handheld have been brisk to say the least – Nintendo sold over a million units through the end of December 2008. In the US, Nintendo is expected to sell the DSi side-by-side with the DS lite, marketing the DSi as the machine for the gamer and the DS Lite for the casual user.
Nintendo announced Thursday the Nintendo DSi at their autumn conference in Japan. Announced as a “third platform”, it appears as if the DSi will supplement and not replace Nintendo’s current lineup. The DSi will be 12% slimmer than the current DS Lite and will have slightly larger 3.25″ screens. The handheld will incorporate dual cameras, a 3MP on the outside and an internal one on the inside hinge. The new model will also sport a SD card slot, new music software, a built-in web browser and support for a new “DSi shop” to download games and other DSi software over WiFi. The new shop will accept Nintendo (formerly Wii) Points; 1000 of which will be included for free with the device until March 2010. Missing on the DSi will be the Game Boy Advanced Slot so GBA games are a no go. It will be available in white and black starting November 1st in Japan for ¥189,000 (approx. US $179).