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Nintendo digital sales 'have trebled in two years'

Iwata says bolstering the download business is crucial

Nintendo came close to surpassing $250 million sales in downloadable games and content in the past twelve months.

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Nintendo president Satoru Iwata told investors that a possible fourth consecutive annual loss would be unacceptable

During the financial period between April 2013 and March 2014, the platform holder made about 24 billion Yen ($235 million) from digital content.

Chief executive Satoru Iwata said this was due to a high proportion of customers accessing internet services through their 3DS and Wii U systems.

In an investor meeting on Thursday, in which Iwata apologised for Nintendo's third consecutive net loss (this time to the tune of $229 million), the executive explained how the digital side of the business was punching above its weight.

The graph below was presented to investors, showing a significant uptake in digital sales cross the past three years.

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"This graph shows the transitions of download sales until the last fiscal year. As shown here, download sales had slowed down three-to-four years ago, but they have tripled in the last two years," Iwata explained.

He added that allowing people to download major packaged games was also a contributing factor to the upsurge in digital cash.

Iwata believes that the digital sales, considering Wii U is performing well below expectations, suggests future opportunities will be significant.

"When we consider that we have made this progress while Nintendo's overall business has not generally been expanding, I think further developing this business will be imperative for us to adapt to the changes in the business environment," he said.

Nintendo expects to sell less than 4 million Wii U consoles over the current financial year.

The Kyoto based corporation believes that 20 million Wii U games will be sold this year, a slight increase on the 19 million achieved in the prior financial term.

In terms of 3DS sales, Nintendo expects 12 million units to be sold worldwide this financial year. That would virtually match its 2013/14 financial year sales, in which the platform became a best-seller in numerous territories for an extended period, although it still failed to meet internal expectations.

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