Nintendo has warned investors that it won’t make as much money as it had previously hoped, with the firm slashing its profit outlook.
In fact, a report in the Telegraph notes that Nintendo has dropped its estimations of net profit massively, cutting it down to less than a third of what it was. 20 billion yen (£156 million) was the previous forecast, and the revised version is 6 billion yen (£47 million).
That’s really not good news coming just ahead of the big Wii U console launch in a month’s time.
Sales of the 3DS have suffered, with the handheld hitting 17.5 million units shifted in the last year, but that missed Nintendo’s estimated target by 5 per cent.
That means all hopes are pinned on the Wii U, but Nintendo is making noises about the difficulties console manufacturers are facing in the light of increased smartphone and tablet adoption, meaning increased mobile gaming.
Although that should effect its handheld more than its home console, of course.
The Wii U’s “twist” is that it comes with a touchscreen tablet controller, which can be used to produce some very different gaming experiences.
Stacked against the Wii U, though, is the fact that it only keeps up with the current (now old) Xbox 360 and PS3 in terms of tech, when the next-gen models of those consoles will be out soon – in a year’s time, in Microsoft’s case. At which point, the Wii will look behind the times again.
There’s also the matter of the price, with Nintendo selling the basic Wii U pack at £250. Compared to the basic Xbox, which you can get for £140 (probably less when Xmas offers pop up – and Microsoft looks to make a final push with the hardware), the Wii looks rather steep.
However, if the Wii U titles can succeed in being innovative – and attracting triple-A third-party franchises to the system – the new console may have a chance at clawing some money back for Nintendo.