During an investor briefing Wednesday night Nintendo president Satoru Iwata laid out the company's plans for 2014, which he hopes will turn things around for the company. Iwata laid out plans for the Wii U in 2014 including new marketing initiatives, new game releases and technology, and a focus on making sure that consumers understand that the Wii U's Gamepad is not just an add-on to the original Wii.
As it released financial results for the nine-month period ending Dec. 31, and sales figures for the Wii U and 3DS (and associated software), Nintendo also announced that its key executives would take pay cuts from February to June of this year. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced that he will take a 50 percent pay cut in response to the company's continued financial problems, while Shigeru Miyamoto and Genyo Takeda will both take a 30 percent cut in pay. Seven other members of the company's board will also take a 20 percent pay cut.
After announcing that the company had lowered its fiscal year forecast dramatically, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata apologized to investors for the expected third consecutive annual loss, but said he would not resign or initiate any kind of "immediate management restructuring."
According to Reuters, Iwata told reporters that "There will be no major management shake-up in the short term."
Nintendo has revised its forecasts for the fiscal year to a net loss of $240 million (25 billion yen) due to weak sales of the Wii U during the holiday shopping season, according to a syndicated Bloomberg report. The company described its year-end sales of Wii U consoles and software as "far below expectations."
Last week we asked our readers, "Will Nintendo try to quash the work-around for the 3DS region lock?" The voting was almost evenly split between two trains of thought: that Nintendo would patch out its region lock in a firmware update or that Nintendo would find some way to kill the work-around devised by the 3DS community because it doesn't like to make money.
Nintendo of America announced that its hand-held systems including the 3DS, 2DS, and 3DS XL have sold more than 11.5 million units in the United States since launch. That figure is way up from the 10.5 million units the company said it has sold to-date less than a month ago. Nintendo also said that over the last 12 months over 16 million 3DS games had been sold through a combination of retail sales and digital sales through the eShop. That's a 45 percent increase in software sales year-over-year.
Nintendo has acquired the patents of IA Labs following a legal victory in court over the company related to patents - but the company secured them outside a courtroom, sort of. Nintendo announced that it secured the patents officially on January 7, during a sheriff's sale in Montgomery County, Maryland. The company sued Nintendo in 2010, claiming that it violated several of its patents in Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus. Nintendo successfully defended against the lawsuit and obtained judgment in its favor in February 2012.
Back in my day, Nintendo handheld gaming consoles were region free. That's right. If a quirky little game that wasn't being localized for North America caught my eye, I could feel free to give Nintendo money in exchange for the ability to play it to my heart's content. Ah, those were the days!
But they didn't last. No sir, they did not.
It started with the DSi, a revision to Nintendo's previous handheld. It introduced region locking for titles that used DSi-specific features like the camera.
According to a report on Law 360 Nintendo must pay a percentage of its 3DS sales to Tomita Technologies. The company was ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff to pay 1.82 percent of the sale cost of every Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL to Tomita Technologies International Ltd., which holds a patent for a glasses-less 3D display. The Judge ruled in December that Nintendo had in fact infringed on the company's patents.
Nintendo has apologized for outages over the Christmas holiday period on its eShop. The company said that these outages were mostly due to high volumes of traffic. As a result of these problems Nintendo also said that it was forced to delay the Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter apps, which were originally due to go live on December 27.
Earlier this week we reported on a Virginia man who bought a 3DS from his local Walmart for his eight-year-old son. To his surprise, when his son and other children decided to look at some fresh photos they'd just snapped with the 3DS' camera on Christmas day, they discovered some rather naughty adult images.
Speaking at the Game Monetization USA Summit in San Francisco this week, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter said that Nintendo president Satoru Iwata should be fired for his handling of the Wii U and the company in general.
"I don't know why Iwata is still employed," Pachter said during his presentation, according to a GamesIndustry International report, adding that the Wii U’s commercial performance has been "underwhelming” and that he believed it was “possible but unlikely” that new titles could help the system to recover.
On this week's episode of the Super Podcast Action Committee, hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the latest GamePolitics poll, the PlayStation 4 launch, SimCity, and Nintendo's decision to shut down SwapNote. Download Episode 77 now: SuperPAC Episode 77 (1 hour, 6 minutes) 75.8 MB.
Sit down and buckle in, friends, as I deliver the Understatement of the Week. Are you ready? Okay, here goes...
The Wii U ain't doin' so hot.
Nintendo's newest video game console launched just under a year ago, selling through its entire allotment in its first week on the shelf. By the end of the year, it had sold just over three million units. Not record breaking, not a sell-out like the Wii before it but respectable nonetheless.
Nintendo has announced that the 3DS's Swapnote feature has been shutdown and will no longer be available to users. Nintendo didn't shut the service down because it didn't work or because it wasn't popular: it shut it down in the name of protecting children. The service which allows users to exchange notes, simple drawings, and photos (using either Spotpass or Streetpass) was shut down because some users have apparently used it to share "offensive" material with others.
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata admitted in a briefing for investors and analysts this week that the Wii U has - so far - failed as a worthy successor to the Wii. The Wii is currently outselling the Wii U, which has only managed to sell 3.9 million units to-date worldwide. Speaking during a briefing about its second quarter financial results, Iwata noted that the Wii U has only done one thing right - backwards compatibility with the Wii.
Nintendo says that it sold 460,000 Wii U units worldwide in the six month period that ended on September 30. The figure was revealed as part of the company's financial results for the last three months. In this quarter the company only sold 300,000, despite knocking $50 off the price tag of the system a few months ago. The company also had a number of high profile releases to go alongside that price cut including Pikmin 3 and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD.
Though Nintendo recently said that the Wii production halt was only aimed at Japan, it turns out that the original Wii will no longer be produced for European markets either. Instead Nintendo UK says that consumers who don't own a Wii and want one can still buy the Wii Mini - a SKU offering a lower price-point at the cost of a number of missing features (only disc-based Wii games can be played and backwards compatibility and downloadable titles are not supported).
Earlier this week it came to light that the latest Pokémon games contained a rare save bug at a certain location in the game that locked the game down. Today Nintendo released a title update for Pokémon X and Y that fixes the bug and makes the game safe to play again. The software update is now available to download from the 3DS eShop. All you have to do is boot up the game, go to the game updates menu and download the update you see listed.
In an interview with 4Gamer (and translated by Siliconera), Pokémon series art director Ken Sugimori said that the reason that downloadable content such as new Pokémon characters will likely not be part of current and future Pokémon games is because it would ruin the worldview of the Pokémon universe. Sugimori basically says that Pokémon should be earned and not bought:
Nintendo of Japan has confirmed via its official web site - as translated by Kotaku - that it has halted production of its last-generation Wii console for Japan. The company said earlier in the month that it would halt production of the console for the region "soon," and the latest update to the site confirms that that time is now.
Nintendo of Japan said today that it is aware of a rare, save-corrupting bug that is affecting some players of its latest 3DS Pokémon titles, Pokémon X and Y. The company says that it is working diligently to create a fix that players will be able to download "soon."
In a recent conversation with Benzinga IHS senior games analyst Christine Arrington said that Nintendo's Wii U console continues to suffer from a general messaging problem about its brand and continues to confuse consumers. Arrington says that the system still suffers from the same messaging problem it did when it launched nearly a year ago.
Nintendo announced today that its latest Pokémon games, Pokémon X&Y, sold through four million copies in its first two days of release. The two different variants on the same game collectively are off to a rousing start. The games were released in North America, Japan and many parts of Europe this past Saturday. Nintendo said that by late Sunday, the games became the fastest selling ever on 3DS (with the sales of both games combined, obviously).
PETA is using the excitement of the recent release of Pokémon X & Y for the 3DS to promote a vegan lifestyle with a new Flash-based game that prominently features a bastardization of Pikachu and Ronald McDonald called Pokémon: Red, White, and Blue (An Unofficial Parody).
The game has Pikachu attempting to uncover conspiracies about the fast food industry in the United States including how food for various chain restaurants in produced.
Nintendo revealed that it is finally winding down production of its popular Wii console in Japan. Last year the company said that it had stopped making games for the platform. Speaking to Eurogamer, a Nintendo of Europe representative noted that the company's Japanese parent company will stop making new Wii systems in the near future.