Nintendo sees $25 million loss

Nintendo sees $25 million loss

Tokyo: Japanese videogame giant Nintendo said Thursday it suffered a net loss of $25 million for the six months to September, hit by a strong yen and a fall in sales of game consoles and software.

The maker of the hit “Super Mario Bros" series said that its group net loss came to ¥2.0 billion ($25 million), reversing a net profit of ¥69.5 billion a year earlier.

The yen’s rise against other major currencies, including a 15-year-high against the dollar, has hammered earnings and the book value of Nintendo’s assets denominated in foreign currencies, it said.

Nintendo left unchanged its full-year forecasts, bracing for a 60.6% plunge in net profit to ¥90 billion, which it announced last month after revealing its highly anticipated 3DS console would miss the Christmas season.

Group operating profit tumbled 48.0% to ¥54.2 billion in the period, and sales fell 33.7% to ¥363.2 billion.

Nintendo plunged into the red as global hardware sales of its DS handheld game console tumbled 43% to 6.69 million units. Worldwide sales of DS software fell 23% to 54.84 million units.

The disappointing figures came despite Nintendo scoring a success with new Pocket Monsters software for the DS in Japan in September.

“In the United States and Europe, however, this software has not been released yet and there were few hit titles that could lead hardware sales strongly," the Kyoto-based company said in a statement.

Global sales of the Wii console with a motion-controller also shrank.

Nintendo said in September its new-generation handheld 3DS, which enables users to play 3D games without special glasses, would miss the Christmas shopping season and would be released next year.

With the sales of machines such as the DS and hugely popular Wii easing in a saturated market, the February launch of the 3DS means the games giant will not see the kind of end-of-year sales lift usually brought by a new console.

It also means Nintendo faces losing ground against its rivals.

Sony has released its PlayStation Move system, which enables users wearing special glasses to play 3D games using wand-shaped motion controllers.

Microsoft’s motion-sensing Kinect system for the Xbox 360 system, which lets players use body gestures and does not require hand-held controllers, will hit the Japanese market on November 20.

Nintendo forecast annual operating profit at ¥210 billion, down 41.1% from the previous year, and sales at ¥1.1 trillion, down 23.3%.