In spite of newfound optimism that arose from the early retail success of titles like Mario Kart 8 and Tomodachi Life, Nintendo's first quarterly earnings report for its current fiscal year unfortunately confirm yet another round of both operating and net losses.
For the three month period ended June 30th, 2014, NIntendo's net sales dropped 8.4 percent year-over-year to 74.7 billion yen ($731.5 million USD). The console giant would post a net loss of 9.9 billion yen ($96.9 million USD), a terrible change of fortune from the 8.6 billion yen in net income it managed to report for the same period last fiscal year.
To be sure, Mario Kart 8 was no slouch with 2.82 million copies sold worldwide (physical and digital combined) just one month after launch, with 885,000 units attributed to the US alone on account of strong retail performance. It's as fine a showing as any Wii U title could ask for at this point, spurring Wii U hardware sales to a modest (but not spectacular) 510,000 units for the three-month reporting period ended June 30th.
A lack of other hit Wii U titles no doubt contributed to poor growth in the platform's hardware sales, which in turn would drag the company back down to quarterly loss. Yet Nintendo maintains that Mario Kart 8's success has set the stage for a new and improved Wii U software lineup this year. The company for the time being is sticking with its annual Wii U sales forecast of 3.6 million consoles, which means it's really expecting hardware sales to seriously ramp up come this holiday season.
The 3DS fared far better for Nintendo with 820,000 handhelds sold during the console giant's first quarter, but unlike the Wii U this actually represented a year-over-year decline from the 1.4 million 3DSes sold during the same timeframe last year.
Fortified with an upcoming lineup of titles which include Super Smash Bros. on both 3DS and Wii U, Hyrule Warriors, and Bayonetta 2, as well as a shot at the potentially lucrative toys-to-life market this holiday season with amiibo, Nintendo believes the pieces are still in place for it to bounce back to a net income of an estimated 20 billion yen ($194.5 million USD) for the current fiscal year ending March 31st, 2015.