There was no better time than today for Nintendo to officially confirm the Wii successor, given that the console giant was also forced to announce a 66 percent year-on-year decline in profit for the fiscal year ending March 2011.
Nintendo posted a net income of ¥77.62 billion ($946 million USD), a seven-year low for the company. This was from revenue of ¥1.01 trillion ($12.32 billion USD), itself a 29.3 percent decline from sales generated during the previous fiscal year.
You probably guessed the main reason: slowing Wii and DS hardware sales. To be sure, The platforms were selling, but not to the extent they once did in their gangbuster sales era. Wii sales amounted to 15 million units, down from the 20 million unit sales recorded during the prior fiscal year. Annual DS hardware sales faced an even greater decline, dropping from 27 million to 17 million units.
Nintendo's new forecast for Wii and DS hardware unit sales for the current fiscal year are 13 million and 11 million, respectively. Combined software sales across both platforms meanwhile are expected to dip 30 percent to 120 million units.
Meanwhile, Nintendo confirmed lifetime-to-date sales of 3.61 million units for the 3DS, which launched in North America and Europe late last month. Unfortunately, this fell just shy of Nintendo's original sales target of 4 million 3DS handhelds before the end of the fiscal year. Nintendo believes 3DS hardware sales will reach 16 million units in the new fiscal year. 3DS software sales thus far have reached 9.4 million units since the handheld's launch, and are expected to reach 62 million units by the end of the new fiscal year.