back to article Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle

Nintendo is reeling after it posted a $96m loss on the quarter to June 30. The Mario maker said that the quarter, its first of the fiscal year, brought total sales of 74.69bn Yen ($726m), down 8.4 per cent over last year's quarter, and a net income loss of 9.92bn Yen ($96m) compared to a 8.62bn profit last year. That eyebrow- …

  1. Uncle Siggy

    Oh a-no-ah!

    Momma mia!

  2. DaddyHoggy

    Four years ago we bought a Wii for the family + Wii Fit + board + four controllers + loads of Nintendo (made rather than licensed) Wii titles.

    We have also moved from a brace of DS lites to DSis and again a collection of games but that was also a few years ago.

    As a family we have no interest in the Wii U and definitely not in the 3DS, but since there don't seem to be any new games for the DSi and decent Wii games are now rare we're not buying software either.

    So, if we're typical of Nintendo's demographic I'm not surprised their profits have turned into losses - they haven't made anything we've wanted to buy for several years...

    1. shiftnumlock

      Try it before you knock it

      I don't know how many kids you have but the Wii U game pad keeps Dads in control with cutting edge A-Symmetrical game play. Nintendo Land is chocked to the brim with it. Something every gaming parent should check out.

      Monster Hunter on 3DS is equally cool. Four player monster hunts are a blast. Sorry you're missing out.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They need to drop the gimmicks.

    Nintendo have been doomed since they launched the GameCube then the sorry excuse for a gaming system called Wii. They need to get back into the console graphics war that is the PS4 Vs Xbox One.

    This coming from an Ex-Nintendo fanboy who has owned the NES,SNES,N64 as well as all the handhelds.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: They need to drop the gimmicks.

      Quite the reverse. The Wii was a stroke of genius, it brought Nintendo a whole demographic that was more or less completely ignored by Sony and Microsoft.

      The Wii U failed to follow up on that. It made the connection between individual player and device more intimate, not more casual - which means the Wii U is less attractive for group, party and casual play. Meanwhile, the Kinect is eating their lunch.

      Nintendo needs to either forget about the Wii U and crank out some decent titles for its successful platforms, particularly the DSi and the Wii, or come up with a controller that beats the Kinect.

      1. RAMChYLD

        Re: They need to drop the gimmicks.

        Problem is, unless they re-open the Nintendo Wifi Connection for the two devices, the Wii and older DSes are pretty much dead. To wit, Nintendo shut down WFC for both the Wii and pre-DSi systems back in May, the devices are pretty much screwed where multiplayer and online services are concerned. And even then certain DSi titles have ceased online support.

        1. Captain DaFt

          Re: They need to drop the gimmicks.

          That was Nintendo's big mistake.

          Sony and Microsoft still support last generation, Nintendo basically sent the message, "Didn't buy the latest from us, means you can't play with us!"

          So instead of storming the stores for Wii U, most just opted for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, a tablet, a PC, or just started playing more games on their phone instead.

          Brand loyalty? You weren't loyal to us, why should we be loyal to you?

          It'll take quite some fancy stuff to bring lost fans back.

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: They need to drop the gimmicks.

          Nintendo used GameSpy for online play which was closed down by its new owners (why buy it then?). They couldn't/wouldn't replicate their API in-house.

          There were quite a few PS3 and PC titles affected too.

          1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

            Re: They need to drop the gimmicks.

            Have to concur the games had embedded tech from GameSpy which also affects a large amount of PC games when the service was discontinued. Developers who had not gone to another platform as Steam nowadays require to use services provided by volunteer communities. Console users have little hope of online games ever working again (Which is a shame as Mario Kart worked well on the wii)

          2. Captain DaFt

            Re: They need to drop the gimmicks.

            It wasn't just that. In fact My Wii was gone before it got that far.

            The Wii U was barely in the stores when Nintendo shut down all its Wii specific channels; Messaging, weather reports, news, etc.

            Except the store, you could still spend money on a system that that they had already turned their backs on. (Along with all the owners of same.)

            Amazingly, Wii U sales actually dropped even lower after that. (Imagine that!)

      2. Greg J Preece

        Re: They need to drop the gimmicks.

        Quite the reverse. The Wii was a stroke of genius, it brought Nintendo a whole demographic that was more or less completely ignored by Sony and Microsoft.

        The problem with focusing previously on the "party market" is that they're very fickle. Just ask the guys that made Guitar Hero. The Wii was a trend, not a console, and the U is a pretty crap follow-up to that if you're going to try and keep the momentum. It doesn't hit the price point, it doesn't have the right games, and Nintendo's attitude to online play is absolutely lousy.

    2. kalsolette

      Re: They need to drop the gimmicks.

      The Gamecube was an excellent console that matched the other machines very well spec wise.

  4. Dave Stevens

    They're into a niche market now.

    I bought a couple gamecubes for the kids back then. And 4 or 5 gameboys.

    My grand daughter still plays her DS, but she barely played with the Wii. I think I have 3 games she hasn't opened yet because the thing isn't hooked to her tv. I put a playstation 2 there instead. Why do those nunchuks things need batteries? It's like being back to the dark ages of the original gameboy advance.

    I don't consider the 3DS to be an upgrade, so I bought her a tablet instead.

    Nintendo used to make products that you could buy blindly for your kids. Now it's just some gimmick based alternate platform for those who are still hooked on Nintendo's franchises.

    For kids, you might as buy a PS3 or a 360. It's cheaper and all they want to play is Minecraft.

  5. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    "Lack of hit games"

    If only they hadn't been so hostile towards third party publishers...

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: "Lack of hit games"

      >If only they hadn't been so hostile towards third party publishers...

      ... or even been a bit quicker about releasing some titles from their own popular franchises.

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: "Lack of hit games"

        That would probably help too, at least in the short term, but I would argue that relying on the repeated rehashing of a relatively small number of franchises is a large part of the problem. Who asked for another Mario Kart?

  6. Yaro

    Lack of hit games is likely an effect of their poor decisionmaking last year when they took the seminal first full year of the Wii U and churned out almost nothing but platformers and the "Year of Luigi."

    They need to push Zelda and Metroid hard on 3DS or Wii U.

  7. Bad Beaver

    They need to step up their game

    Having had opportunity to fool around with the Wii U a couple of time I can say that it really is a fun system. But: The interface is a little sluggish, this makes browsing the store etc a little frustrating. There are some great titles but there is no abundance. The latter is especially true for the Virtual Console: There are true gems in there (like Pop'n Twinbee!) but there should be a lot more.

    1. Greg J Preece

      Re: They need to step up their game

      Sluggish is right. Remember that patch earlier this year that brought the U's boot time "under 30 seconds". Thirty bloody seconds? My PC boots in seven! What the hell was the boot time before that?

      As one user put it when the patch was announced:

      Well shoot, this is usually time I spend doing laundry. Or building a car. Or learning to speak a new language. Or creating a new color in the spectrum (I think I'll call it "tulra").

  8. Bert 1

    Peer pressure and annoying hardware

    My kids have had both a Wii, and a DS each. Both were really good.

    The problems at upgrade time were twofold:

    1) Most of their friends were using XBox - so in order to get online chat we needed an XBox. We are still on the XBox 360 though, and have no intention of getting a new one.

    2) We didn't want 3D, so we bought a 2DS. Both me and the kids were surprised and disappointed to be punished by the fact that this did not fold!

    For both those reasons, we won't be buying Nintendo again.

    Oh, and the games are just more of the same. Even that Zelda one with the trains wasn't a patch on the boat one :-(

  9. Andy 73

    Just got a Wii U

    Our boy has just had his birthday and we got him a Wii U to replace an aging Wii. With Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8, he's delighted. It's a nice system and the fact that there are few games doesn't matter to him because the few that do exist are outstanding and games he plays for years (literally, he restarted Mario Galaxy recently and played it through, missing nothing).

    Nintendo have never played well with third parties (Rare were the one exception and they played a clever political game to get in there), so they've always been more dependent on their own titles. It makes the consoles look more limited compared to Playstation and XBox, but doesn't hurt the owner if they're happy with the Nintendo 'style'.

    As a techie, of course I'd love a system that gives photorealistic graphics, real online environments and so on, but as a Dad I play casually and cannot see the point of investing in the Xbox or Playstation ecosystems when the vast majority of games are just cannon fodder and very expensive for the limited time I can put into them. We bought the Wii U knowing there were enough games to 'last until Christmas' and the upcoming releases look like they'll go far beyond that. I enjoy dipping into Mario and if I want something more 'sophisticated', it'll go on my PC.

  10. stephajn

    Bought Wii U a month ago

    I got a PS3 back in March because now they are so cheap with the PS4 out. I chose the PS3 because was told it could play PS2 and PSOne games. To my dismay and disappointment, I found out that is only partially true. Still, I was (note WAS) as huge Final Fantasy fan, and I knew that is where I'd get my fix of the latest and greatest. Immediately bought FF XIII trilogy as soon as I could find it. Was horribly disappointed with my purchase of those games and wished I had taken the time to see the game reviews first. So I got some other games....again....disappointments overall. However, I grew up playing Nintendo for the most part. Final Fantasy 3/6 (depending on how you want to look at it) was my first exposure to the series and I was a fan since.

    But now, a month ago I bought a Wii U. So I have the PS3 and the Wii U sitting side by side in my living room...and yet....I find myself reaching for the Wii U a bit more.

    I do agree with a previous post that Nintendo needs to push some of its other franchises in a big way. We need a good Zelda adventure unique to the Wii U and not just an HD remake of Wind Waker. (Waiting for Hyrule Warriors....) We need another 3D Donkey Kong perhaps....and get your ass in gear on Metroid for crying out loud!!!! lol (Sorry...taking my pill now)

    I do appreciate the HD remakes that are being done nowadays. (Kingdom Hearts on PS3 as an example)

    I'm even wondering what would happen if Zelda got to be a first person game as opposed to 3rd person. Worked well for Metroid.... Or imagine first person Mario game? whole point is this: I had my prejudices about the Wii U, but when I gave it a good solid try, I was quite impressed. It has its place, but when I think Nintendo, I generally don't come up with titles like Call of Duty or Wolenstein: New Order. (Or South Park: The Stick of Truth...heh heh)

  11. P. Lee Silver badge

    Also... Prices!

    Mario Kart still selling for $36 in Costco. Say what? I normally stick to the under $5 / under $10 sections on Steam which includes a lot of big name games. I have over 130 of them. So the Wii has Sports and not much else in my house.

    Yes, fun > HD graphics but you'd have to give me a pretty good demonstration of extremely amazing fun *before* I parted with $36 for a game, on an ageing console. Age isn't a factor per se, but analogue ports on TV's and computer screens are fast disappearing.

    Perhaps I'm not the target demographic, but its a pretty dangerous game for a console maker to ignore other form factors as competition. I can't see the tablet generation paying $36 for a game either.

  12. Belardi

    Wii U blows for many reasons.

    The Wii-U has soo many faults. Being that its last-Gen technology with current Gen pricing with a huge controller (Hello... kids?! Small hands! They like small light controllers!)

    The $300(US) Wii-U doesn't equal the feature set, the titles, the flexibility of a new $200 PS3!! $270 gets you a PS3 with a 500GB HD and a game. Want to play DVD or Blu-Ray on your WiiU? Nope.

    If Nintendo *WAS* smart, the would have not bothered with its dumb-tablet controller. Just improve the Wii-Controllers (PS3 levels) and sell it for $250 about 1-2 years earlier would have done well.

    For many people... $300 for such a thing, is not worth it. A $400 PS4 is easily 10x the better.

    PS: Reg.UK = PLEASE stop using he video ads!

  13. Beta311

    Time Has Come for Turnover

    Well, the proof is in the pudding. Nintendo needs a new start. The best thing that can happen for this company is a house cleaning. Nintendo's leadership needs to be fired.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time Has Come for Turnover

    Well, the proof is in the pudding. Nintendo needs a new start. The best thing that can happen for this company is a house cleaning. Nintendo's leadership needs to be fired if they are to ever see clearer skies.

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