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Nintendo pinning hopes on Wii U as profits fall

Game giant Nintendo will be hoping for big sales of its upcoming console, the Wii U, after reporting an annual loss for the last financial year.

It is the first time the Japanese company has posted a financial loss in 30 years, which has been put down to a number of factors.

Nintendo reported an annual loss of 43.2 billion yen for the last financial year, which is the equivalent of around £329 million.

It is a sizeable figure, and one that that is rather worrying for Nintendo. It is even more worrying given that the company recorded a net income of 77.6 billion yen the year before.

But, believe it or not, things could be worse. Nintendo had actually expected to make a loss of as much as 65 billion yen, as the strength of the currency made exports far more expensive.

Smartphones have made things much harder for Nintendo, as casual gamers opt to play games on their phone rather than by a dedicated gaming device.

But the company has said it expects to return to profit this year, as the yen gets weaker and the Nintendo Wii U is unveiled.

The success of Nintendo’s next-gen console will be crucial to its sales performance this year and next, but some industry experts are not sure the Wii U will be enough.

“The games console market is declining altogether because mobile phone devices are allowing casual gamers to play much more easily wherever they happen to be,” Stuart Miles, head of Pocket-lint, told the BBC.

Talking about the gaming giant’s next-gen console, Miles added: “I don’t think Nintendo’s Wii U is likely to change that trend.”

The console is certainly an ambitious one, and Nintendo can expect to make enough sales out of curiosity alone. You know you’ll be tempted to buy one just to try out that crazy controller.