Nintendo slumps to another annual loss after dismal Wii U sales

NFC games and DS Virtual Console to help "challenging sales situation".

Nintendo has ended the financial year with another loss due to the Wii U's continuing poor performance.

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The company sold 2.7m Wii U consoles in the last 12 months, meaning it has shifted just 6.1m units since launch in November 2012 - less than the 7m PlayStation 4 consoles Sony has sold since last November.

3.6m Wii U consoles will be sold in the next year, Nintendo expects, meaning that the console will still be below the 10m mark in April 2015.

Nintendo's overall sales fell year-on-year from 635.4bn yen (£3.6bn) to 571.7bn yen (£3.3bn) for an annual overall loss of 23.2bn yen (£134m), down from a slim profit of 7bn yen (£40m) last year.

Not only is Wii U not selling, the console is causing Nintendo to lose money due to its markdown in Europe and North America, and because software sales (where platform holders make up their margins) are so low.

Nintendo highlighted sales for New Super Mario Bros. U (4.16m), Mario 3D World (2.17m sold), New Super Luigi U (1.76m) and Zelda: Wind Waker HD (1.22m), but noted that overall Wii U software sales "showed slow growth".

The company will try to combat the Wii U's "challenging sales situation" with ways to "stimulate the platform" - for example, software that takes advantage of the console's NFC reader (more Pokémon toys, perhaps?) plus the announcement that DS titles will come to the Wii U Virtual Console.

There's also the launches of Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. to look forward to.

Beyond that, Nintendo briefly mentioned its longer-term "Quality of Life" project which will create "a new platform business in enjoyable ways in a new field that is different from that of dedicated video game systems." Something to do with health is expected to be revealed next year.

The 3DS, meanwhile, sold slightly less than expected this year but continued to perform. The handheld has now shifted 43.3m units across its various versions and is forecast to shift another 12m units in the next year.

Pokémon X and Y sold a whopping 12.26m copies, while Luigi's Mansion 2, Mario & Luigi Dream Team and Zelda: A Link Between Worlds all sold 2m copies each.

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