Nintendo played out?

Updated: 
Picture of a Nintendo standGames giant Nintendo has warned of its first ever operating loss. Although it believes it will come back to profit quickly, a lot will depend on the forthcoming Wii U console which had lukewarm reactions at its launch. The company reported a 61% drop in profit for the third quarter last year, reaching 40.9bn Yen, but warned of a 45bn Yen loss for the year that will end in March.

Analysts had forecast a loss around a tenth of that size.

Limp launches


Part of the problem for this financial year is undoubtedly the launch of the hand-held 3DS console. A sharp price cut followed a couple of months after it came out and although it's done well over Christmas, this was only after a lot of discounting.

Nobody should blame Nintendo alone for this. This time last year not only the game industry but the television industry as pushing 3D as a huge phenomenon and the market appears simply to have said "thanks but no thanks".

Then the company previewed its Wii U, the next generation console. This will be out by Christmas, doesn't exist in volume yet, looks like an iPad dedicated to games only - but the market reaction was a bit "meh" (technical term) and the share price took a tumble when the analysts saw it.

Analysts and bloggers have been wrong before, and products which people thought would flop have done extremely well. Nintendo will be hoping that this continues to be the case - but frankly if I want an iPad-shaped thing that's good for games, there's a good chance I'll just buy an iPad.

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