Wii U sales slump hits Nintendo
Nintendo sank to a loss for the fiscal year to March as sales of its Wii U game machine continued to lag, but the Japanese technology giant promised to return to profit this year.
Kyoto-based Nintendo reported a 23.2 billion yen (£135 million) loss, a reversal from a 7 billion yen (£40 million) profit the previous year. Annual sales fell 10% to 571.7 billion yen (£3.3 billion). It did not break down quarterly numbers.
Wii U sales have fallen short of company forecasts. In January, Nintendo lowered its Wii U sales projection for the fiscal year through March from 9 million to less than a third of that at 2.8 million units.
The company remained upbeat and said it expects to sell 3.6 million Wii U machines for the fiscal year through March 2015, helped by the planned release of popular games such as Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros.
Sales projections have been lowered repeatedly as people increasingly switch to smartphones and other devices to play games.
The Wii U has a touch-screen tablet controller called GamePad and a TV-watching feature called TVii.
Lowering the machine's price during the past fiscal year has been sufficient to revive sales.
Adding to its woes, Nintendo acknowledged that for the fiscal year ended March its relatively popular 3DS handheld also did not sell as well as it had expected.
The dismal results come despite a favourable exchange rate, which has in the past dramatically helped Nintendo earnings. The yen has been weakening, and that works as a plus for Japanese exporters.