Nintendo president Satoru Iwata made various announcements after the company’s quarterly financial for the period of April to December last year and Nintendo reported its first annual operation loss. Nintendo confirmed the loss of ¥48.4 billion ($624 million) down from a ¥49.6 billion ($640 million) profit for the same period in 2010. Additionally, the Japanese-based company is predicting an annual operating loss of ¥45 billion ($580 million.) Nintendo also cut its sales forecast for Wii from 12 million to 10 million and 3DS from 16 million to 14 million. “We had higher expectations for the year-end season, but failed to meet them,” said Iwata.
It should be noted that the 3DS had a very strong holiday as some really good games became available for the portable console during that period. Nintendo had already cut the price of the 3DS in order to encourage more sales, something that prove to be extremely successful and the company is now reporting that they have sold more than 15 million units since the handheld was launched.
In addition, Satoru Iwata officially stated that the Wii U is coming to North America, Europe, Japan and Australia before the end of the year. He also provided some additional details about the console like the fact that its controller will use a new communication technology called NFC. Apparently and according to Iwata, it “will become possible to create cards and figurines that [it] can electronically read” and “will enable various other possibilities such as using it as a means of making micropayments.” The NFC functionality (NFC stands for Near Field Technology,) may change the way in which users pay for new games or additional content. The NFC is becoming increasingly used in the United States and even upcoming smartphones like the iPhone 5 are expected to integrate this functionality. In other countries like Japan, the use of this technology is really common and it allows users to make basic digital payments in a quick and convenient way.
Iwata also confirmed the new online service which Nintendo is calling the Nintendo Network. The company is expecting to be able to sell retail games through this new service, but they haven’t made a decision regarding when they are going to make it available. “The decision must be made by taking into consideration such factors as the relationship with the wholesalers and retailers,” Nintendo president stated, “and the best way to be embraced by consumers, as well as the environment surrounding the market and consumers, such as the required memory capacity on consumers’ SD memory cards.” The Wii U is also expected to allow users to have multiple accounts associated to the same console.
Finally and regarding new games, Iwata confirmed the existence of a new 2D Mario game which is being developed for the 3DS. “We are planning to release a totally new side-scrolling action Super Mario in 2D as a key title for the Nintendo 3DS in the next fiscal year,” he said.