It’s fair to say that Nintendo’s recent history been a bit of a sad sight to behold. The gaming giant, which turned 125 years old last month, has faced plenty of financial difficulty, posting another financial loss for 2013 with few signs of improvement. A lot of the blame was placed at the feet of the company’s flagship home console, the Wii U, which had failed to impress in terms of sales figures.
However, Nintendo then showed signs that its fortunes were going to turn. After an impressive showing at E3 2014, the company took strong forward steps to compete with its rivals. The release of Mario Kart 8 was a huge commercial success, becoming only the second Wii U game to sell a million units in the US and the fastest-selling Wii U game ever. Talk that the game may have saved the Wii U was not an overstatement – last quarter showed strong Wii U sales, even though Nintendo’s financial figures were still down.
Nintendo has now released its financial report for the second quarter of the financial year, and it spells more good news. The company may well have turned a corner, showing a profit for the quarter thanks in no small part due to the weak value of the yen. But more importantly, it was a milestone for the Wii U, as a strong quarterly showing of 610,000 units sold pushed its overall sales figures past the 7 million mark. That’s over double the amount of Wii U consoles sold in the same time frame last year, and means that the units shipped in the 6 months to September tops 1.1 million.
Wii U games have been selling well too. Alongside the success of Mario Kart 8, which has continued to show steady sales, Nintendo also highlighted Hyrule Warriors as a money-maker. Overall, Nintendo has sold 43 million Wii U games in the last 6 months. It wasn’t just the Wii U that helped Nintendo reach a quarterly profit of 24.2 billion yen, though. The success of the 3DS continues to grow, with Super Smash Bros. for 3DS selling over 3 million copies worldwide in September alone.
So what’s next for Nintendo? The company will be hoping to continue this modest success with a series of new game releases. The much-anticipated Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is expected to be a commercial success, much like its sister release for the 3DS, whilst the releases of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are also set to be hits. Meanwhile, Nintendo will be hoping that the launch of the Skylanders-esque Amiibo range will also be successful, and the company is aiming to sell another 3.6 million Wii U consoles by March 2015.
What do you make of this news? Do you think it’s the first sign of Nintendo’s changing fortune, or is it a false dawn for the Wii U? Let us know in the comments.