Friday 31 October 2014

Nintendo hopes to up its game with series of new product launches

Published 08/05/2014 | 02:30

A boy uses a Nintendo 3DS to take a photograph of penguins at an aquarium in Tokyo.

Japan's Nintendo ended the last business year by booking its third straight loss, but said a series of new video games such as 'Mario Kart 8', pictured, would revive sales and return it to profit.

Nintendo had a torrid 2013 as sales of its Wii U console fell far short of projections due to a paucity of games, while casual gamers were not given enough reason to upgrade from popular predecessor Wii due to the consoles' perceived similarity.

The company hopes to dispel that perception by demonstrating the difference of the Wii U through new games, while building on the relative popularity of the 3DS handheld console to end the current business year back in the black.

Nintendo yesterday forecast operating profit of 40 billion yen (€242m) for the year ending March 2015, compared with the 21.2 billion yen estimate.

The forecast would reverse a 46.4 billion yen loss for the year that ended on March 31, when sales slid 10pc to 571.7 billion yen.

"We've set the forecast at a somewhat conservative level," chief executive Satoru Iwata said at a news conference.

Poor sales of the Wii U since its December 2012 release led analysts to question the long-term prospects of the video game industry, but a strong showing by rival consoles from Sony Corp and Microsoft Corp have quashed such doubts.

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