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Nintendo posts first quarter loss despite Wii U sales rise

While 3DS sales decline in the three months ended June 2014

Nintendo has reported a loss for its first financial quarter despite an increase in Wii U sales during the three months ended June 2014.

The company posted a first quarter loss of 9.9 billion yen (£57.2m), compared to a profit of 8.6 billion yen during the same period last year.

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Net sales totalled 74.7 billion yen (£431.6m), down from 81.5 billion yen a year ago.

Nintendo sold 510,000 Wii U consoles and 4.39 million Wii U games during the first quarter. In comparison, it sold a mere 160,000 units during the first financial quarter of the previous fiscal year. The latest sales figure was also up on the quarter ended March 2014, when Wii U sales came in at 310,000 units.

It shows that, despite wider money issues, Wii U sales appear to be gaining momentum. The system launched in November 2012 and lifetime sales now stand at 6,680,000 million units, less than PS4 has sold since Sony's console launched in November 2013, though believed to be slightly ahead of Xbox One, which also released at the end of last year.

Mario Kart 8 was the company's top-selling Wii U game during the first quarter, shifting 2.82 million copies in just one month of availability following its May 30 release. Lifetime Wii U software sales now stand at 36.67 million units.

Nintendo sold 820,000 3DS units and 8.57 million games for the handheld during the first quarter. The figure compares negatively to the 1.4 million hardware units sold in the first quarter of the previous financial year, but represents an increase on the 590,000 units sold during the fourth quarter ended March 2014. Lifetime 3DS hardware sales total 44.14 million units, while software sales stand at 171.49 million.

Wii and DS lifetime hardware sales total 101.15 million units and 153.99 million units respectively.

For the current business year ending March 2015, Nintendo still expects to make a net profit of 20 billion yen (£116m). Key upcoming software releases during the reporting period include Hyrule Warriors, Bayonetta 2 and Captain Toad Treasure Tracker for Wii U, Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire for 3DS, and Super Smash Bros for Wii U & 3DS.

Nintendo also hopes that Amiibo, its upcoming range of NFC-enabled figurines, will have a significant impact on Wii U hardware sales when it launches in time for Christmas.

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