The publisher targets a profit for next fiscal year as it rethinks the strategy for the struggling Wii U.
Nintendo has announced an annual net loss of 23.2 billion yen ($229 million, or £134 million) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014, citing the lower-than-expected worldwide sales of both Wii U and 3DS, in addition to the retail markdown on Wii U in various territories, as the main factors.
The Wii U shifted just 2.72 million units over the last year, still missing the reduced forecasts Nintendo made in January, which means that lifetime-to-date sales since the system's launch in November 2012 sit at 6.1 million. This was compounded further by disappointing yearly software sales of 18.86 million units, in spite of titles like Super Mario 3D World, New Super Luigi U and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD all selling over a million copies.
The Nintendo 3DS fared much better despite also falling short of the company's targets, moving 12.24 million units in the last 12 months, taking the lifetime total up to 43.3 million. Bright spots on the 3DS software sales front include Pokémon X and Y, which sold 12.26 million copies, and Animal Crossing: New Leaf, which pushed 7.66 million copies, while Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds and Mario and Luigi: Dream Team all crossed 2 million in sales.
In response to these figures - the second net loss in the last three years for the publisher - Nintendo is forecasting a profit for the coming fiscal year, predicting 12 million sales for 3DS and 3.6 million sales for Wii U. Referring to the latter system, the company said it would make efforts to "enrich the value of the Wii U GamePad" by releasing more software that took advantage of the controller, such as games using NFC technology and Nintendo DS releases on Virtual Console. However, the 3DS platform was identified as the primary area where Nintendo would "strive to generate robust profits" as it looks to build upon the established install base with further software sales.