Everyone else may have money problems, but Nintendo is doing great. The company reports a 17 percent growth over the previous year and 501 billion yen of operating profits. That's up 27 percent from a year ago. Nice work, fellas.
To date, Nintendo says they've sold 96.22 million Nintendo DS systems and more than 533 million games. Wii shipments reached nearly 45 million worldwide along with over 312 million games. Wii Fit sales reached 14 million and Mario Kart Wii reached 13.67 million.
It's not all good news, however, the company is lowering expectations for the fiscal year ending in March. Here's how they put it:
For the full fiscal year ending March 31, 2009, the company revised its unit sales forecast for the portable Nintendo DS system upward by 3% to 31.5 million globally, while the DS software forecast was lowered by 7% to 193 million. For the Wii system, with softness in the Japanese consumer market, full year global unit sales estimates for both hardware and software were revised downward by 3%, to 26.5 million systems and 193 million games, respectively, in spite of the overall robust sales outside Japan.
As a result, and with the changes in the anticipated foreign currency exchange ratios, Nintendo Co., Ltd. has revised estimates for fiscal sales and profit projections for the full year ending March 31, 2009. However, the company remained on pace to set historic records for Net Sales and Operating Profit for the full 12 month period.
These numbers are awesome for Nintendo, but I see a problem on the horizon for the game company. Basically, most gamers have a loyalty and love of Nintendo that springs from a childhood appreciation of the fantastic games that used to come out for the Nintendo systems. But Nintendo seems to be translating that love into dollars a bit cynically lately. I don't have a problem with a company trading on the good will of consumers, as long as the consumers don't feel like they're being pick-pocketed. Nintendo is treading the line.
To some extent, the company is taking older franchises and making new versions of them that are slightly spiffed up versions of the older game. Like the latest Animal Crossing. Other than some cool new features, the game is basically the GameCube Animal Crossing with a little waggling thrown in -- and it's being sold as a full price game. Not cool. I also thought the last Zelda was a bit tired -- it came nowhere near the leap forward that say, the first N64 Zelda represented. If this keeps up, it could seriously affect the bottom line... eventually.
What are your feelings toward Nintendo?