Of all the electronic companies we would expect to fall, Nintendo, we would have to say, would be the last on our list. This is Nintendo we are talking about. The gaming company of our childhood. Nintendo brought us the original gaming console with Tetris and Super Mario Brothers, the Gameboy, the Super Nintendo where one too many games of Donkey Kong were played, and then the Wii – the closest thing to interactive gaming we’ve had since Dance Dance Revolution. Before we all have to go through the AnyWho white pages to find a local retailer for vintage gaming consoles, let me explain. Nintendo is not dead and gone forever – yet.
For the first time since the company began producing electronics, Nintendo expects to report an annual loss. The company is projected to lose $264 million, or 20 billion yen, by the time its fiscal year ends on March 31, 2012.
What’s so shocking is that the company’s previous projections had it producing a profit of 20 million yen for the fiscal year. So what happened? The Nintendo 3DS. The handheld console was expected to sell well as other DSs had; however, this particular model wasn’t well received and Nintendo had to slash the price almost immediately. Wii sales also started off strong this year, but then quickly piddled out as the year progressed. Currently, Nintendo has sold 3.3 million Wiis. This time last year, they had sold nearly 5 million.
The dramatic appreciation of the yen has also resulted in Nintendo’s losses to skyrocket. The exchange rate loss totaled 52.4 billion yen alone – which doesn’t look great when Nintendo shows losses of 70.2 billion yen for the first half of the year.
So what does all this mean for Nintendo? Are we about to lose the most iconic gaming system of all time? Doubtful. However, this could mean a gaming revolution for Nintendo. If the sales of the Wii and the DS don’t improve, Nintendo may be forced to create a new gaming system that once again captivates sales.
But don’t expect too much. The poor economy has severely hurt several gaming companies, and we may start seeing more gaming giants desperately try to keep their heads above water.