Nintendo Hit With Dramatic Decline in Sales

The company sold only 3.35 million Wiis between April and September, down from 4.97 million in the same time frame of 2010. Game shipments dropped dramatically from 65.2 million last year to 36.5 million units.

The 3DS is not as strong as Nintendo hoped for and sold just 3.07 million units (8.13 million games). The forecast for game sales for the fiscal year was reduced from 70 million to about 50 million. The regularDS console dropped from shipments of 6.69 million to 2.58 million devices. Nintendo said about 29 million DS game units shipped during the quarter, down from 54.8 million in 2010.

"Nintendo faces a very harsh time now" said Koichi Ogawa, chief portfolio manager at Daiwa SB Investments, Bloomberg. "Competition in the video-game industry is getting severe, and Nintendo must fight for customers who are using smartphones and tablets."

Nintendo's quarterly revenue declined by 41 percent to about $2.8 billion; the net loss was about $26 million. The company told analysts that that it may be reporting its first annual loss in 30 years. President Satoru Iwata stressed that the upcoming Wii U will be introduced in June 2012, and there is no doubt that Nintendo will rely on the success of the console to recover from its current struggles.

Douglas Perry is an author and journalist from Portland, Oregon. His many articles have appeared in the likes of Tom's Guide, Tom's Hardware, The Oregonian, and several newspapers. He has covered topics including security, hardware, and cars, and has written five books. In his spare time, he enjoys watching The Sopranos.

  • jdwii
    Nintendo is the only console maker i like as i can play most other games such as COD and BF3 on the PC. I still love Mario games.
  • killabanks
    I think we maybe witnessing an end to the gaming giant. Or they might follow sega's route and drop the consoles
  • drapacioli
    If they do go down I hope they don't take their great franchises like Mario and Pokemon with them, those are too good to die.
  • BigOlSillyGoose
    Honestly, I'm not sad to hear this. I think nintendo has misplaced their resources and relied too heavily on turning out new gimmicky hardware. They need to spend more time developing new and interesting IP's.
  • AbdullahG
    Of all the console developers, Nintendo is the only one I support. I've been playing Mario, Sonic, etc. games all my life. Heck, I still have my N64, Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advance, DS, DS Lite, Gamecube, and Wii lying around, and I play on them occasionally. I'd hate to see them fall.
  • Azisien
    Honestly I see no reason why their sales should have gone anywhere but down over the past year. Sit there and think about the hard hitting titles that have come out for the Wii in 2011.


    Got anything? Yeah, me neither. Instead of supporting their console that dominated the market for several years with more first-party titles, they pushed (rushed?) out a new half-upgrade for the Nintendo DS with gimmicky 3D as its "best" feature. The two flagship games for the 3DS were 15 years old and on the Nintendo 64, AND neither of them were out at launch.

    Meanwhile, phones, tablets, Xbox 360, PS3, and hell even PC see continued support all the time. There may be turn around with some AAA titles like Skyward Sword, Mario Land 3D, and Mario Kart 3D on the horizon, but the lost ground will not return quite as easily anymore.
  • lpedraja2002
    Guys this doesn't mean that Nintendo will cease to exist, but they certainly need to step it up with their games. Relying on old Nintendo Classics won't do much to save their console if the other titles are crap, which was the Wii's case. Nintendo have on their side the most recognizable games in history but they made the mistake of going cheap on their hardware and that made it difficult for developers to make appealing games for the Wii. They should step it up with the Wii U and instead of relying on that damn controller they should beef up their GPU to not just a "little more powerful than current consoles" but to a level which makes the current consoles look like crap. Then developers will have all the extrapower to make a good looking innovative game.
  • tomfreak
    if u aint smartphones/tablet, u have to stay ahead of technology like graphics and good exclusively game, Give something that the smartphone use cant have.
  • jonyb222
    I think Nintendo will be "Fine" they might go through a tough patch but they're not dying anytime soon.

    As for why they're having a tough time, well I (as well as good portion of people here) am no expert so all I can say would be that it's most likely a mix of things:

    1) The 3DS doesn't differentiate itself enough from the other DSes, this is just an idea of course. The Wii U might have the same problem, kid wants a Wii U, parent tell them they already have a Wii.
    2) As some people said there wasn't that many launch titles, I'd argue that while that is a valid point I don't think it's as important, in fact people might be getting a bit tired of the same old IPs, though that's up to opinion.
    3) Recession, people just don't want to spend, half of Europe is in a debt crisis after all
    4) Looking at wikipedia it says they've sold 90 million Wiis and 150 DSes... let's be honest, that had to slow down at some point and I don't know about other people but I've NEVER had a Nintendo console break on me, which means I never went out and bought a replacement one... ok a bit of a weak argument, I really wanted 4 points, there are probably many more possible reasons for sales slowing down

    From what I've seen of it I think the Wii U has a lot of potential and I look forward to seeing how it pans out.
  • SteelCity1981
    The Portable gaming days are numbered. With cell phones now that are able to play games around the same level as a portable gaming system and can do much more, it was just a matter of time before Nintendo's portable gaming reign would start to come to an end. If Nintendo was smart they would create an hybrid portable gaming system that allows you to call text and download apps with a Nintendo based phone service network and heavily compete against cell phone companies on a global scale that you pay a monthly pay as you go fee each month.