The first year for Nintendo’s 3DS handheld was a troubled one to say the least. A fair few people were willing to denounce it as a failure shortly after its launch last March, with a £229.99 price tag and a rather weak line up of launch games. However, in August, Nintendo dramatically cut the price of the console by £100 and from the middle of the year, started realising a strong string of games including the remake of masterpiece The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the latest escapades of our favourite Italian plumber in Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7, the latest in the long line of Mario-themed racing.
Sales during the holiday period were very strong, especially as it managed to easily fight off the launch of Sony’s PlayStation Vita. However, unfortunately that didn’t mean that the company was saved.
Today, the Kyoto-based games company published their fiscal report for the financial year of March 2011-March 2012, which reports the company’s first annual loss – a loss of ¥43,2Billion (£329m/$533m). However, the Nintendo 3DS is not entirely to blame for this – reports also indicate that sales of the Nintendo Wii console have been slowing down. The rather difficult exchange rate involving the Yen has also been held to partial blame.
One interesting part of the report is tucked deep away inside a lengthy paragraph:
“For the “Nintendo 3DS”, its hardware has been sold below cost because of its significant price cut in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011. However, Nintendo expects to cease selling it below cost by the middle of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013″.
What does this mean? Well, I’m not a business expert – but could this mean that sometime before the end of next March, the Nintendo 3DS could return to its original pricetag? Or does it mean that the 3DS will become cheap enough to make and make a profit at the current price? We’ll have to wait and see.