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Nintendo financial results recap

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Nintendo financial results recap

Post by Gameguy1996 on Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:28 am

Nintendo to talk use of Nintendo IP, QOL and smart devices at next financial briefing.

Iwata wrote:First of all, allow me to use this occasion to apologize that, although this Financial Results Briefing was originally scheduled for January 29, we had to contact you on that very morning to postpone it until today because I suffered from a sudden and very high fever from the early morning of that day. I am very sorry for the inconvenience that I caused all of you.

Today, since this is not a Corporate Management Policy Briefing but a Financial Results Briefing after the year-end sales season, which is the biggest sales season of the year, please allow me to focus on the results of the sales season and update you on our most recent business status. While we will further our endeavors to increase our Nintendo 3DS and Wii U businesses in the next fiscal year, we intend to simultaneously challenge ourselves with new endeavors which include our plan to take advantage of smart devices, more aggressive use of Nintendo’s character IP and our new QOL improvement platform business. I am limited in what I can discuss about these efforts now, and I do not think I can successfully convey a big and comprehensive picture of our projects just by sharing with you some fragmented information on these multiple challenges. At the time when we hold the next Financial Results Briefing to discuss the annual results of the current fiscal year, I am hopeful that I will be able to share with you any relevant information, as well as about our financial forecasts, in as much detail as I can. Accordingly, please note that this information is not included in my presentation today. - Satoru Iwata

Nintendo talks 3DS sales, million sellers, Pokemon/Smash and failing to meet expectations.

Iwata wrote:This shows the percentage of change found in the sell-through data of Nintendo 3DS hardware and software in each market for the first half of the term compared to the corresponding first half of the previous year.

During this period, there were intervals between the releases of key titles since the release of "Pokémon X" and "Pokémon Y" in October 2013. This slowed down the pace of the global Nintendo 3DS hardware sales. It was most clear in Japan where the device had been sold at a record-breaking rapid pace since its launch and the number of sales had already surpassed that of Game Boy Advance. The sales in the Japanese market were slower moving in comparison to the previous year than any other market.

In contrast, as you can see, we kept our software business for Nintendo 3DS at a certain size compared to our hardware business, thanks to the releases of "YOKAI WATCH2 GANSO" and "YOKAI WATCH2 HONKE" (Japanese titles) in July and "Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS" in September in Japan and the steady sales of "Pokémon X" and "Pokémon Y" in overseas markets.

This is the sell-through data in each market for the third quarter of this fiscal year compared to that of a year ago. We launched New Nintendo 3DS on October 11 in Japan, which boosted the hardware sales again. The new device was also made available on November 21 in Australia, but there seems to be no rise in the sales in this graph. This is because, while the launch of "Pokémon X" and "Pokémon Y" and Nintendo 2DS in early October gave momentum to the hardware sales for the full quarter in 2013, the release of New Nintendo 3DS was in late November and therefore did not contribute to the full quarter of last year. Focusing on the single month of December, however, the year-on-year sales were 94 percent of sales one year ago, which was the same level as the Japanese market. In the U.S. and Europe, on the other hand, we were unable to take full advantage of the year-end sales season in selling Nintendo 3DS hardware, despite some hit titles, as some consumers decided to wait for the New Nintendo 3DS, whose launch date was set on February 13, 2015. It is said that the basic principle in the video game industry is good game titles boost hardware sales. In this case, however, New Nintendo 3DS, which has been highly acclaimed by consumers in the markets where it is available, worked to shift consumer demand for the year-end sales season to the next year or to steer it toward other products.

Software sales cannot reach their full potential if a significant amount of the hardware is not newly purchased. As a result, although we released several smash hit titles, the total software sales fell short of the previous year in the U.S. and European markets.

The U.S. data shown here does not include the digital sales, but when we consider only first-party titles for the 2014 calendar year, the combined packaged and digital sales remained almost the same as the previous year, with a 2-percent decline. Since the sales of Nintendo titles for Wii U grew dramatically, which I will tell you about later in this presentation, the sales of first-party titles for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U showed a year-on-year increase of 15 percent.

As explained, Nintendo 3DS did not clear all the hurdles with hardware sales, but when it comes to software sales, first of all, in the Japanese market, Nintendo 3DS software achieved a solid sales result as there were five double-million sellers for Nintendo 3DS in the six months from July to December. At our Corporate Management Policy Briefing last October, we stated that we expected four double-million sellers, and we actually achieved a better result. As I have mentioned before, this is the first time for software for dedicated video game platforms to achieve this record since 2000, when we started to receive precise video game sell-through data in the Japanese market from independent research companies. Considering the size of the video game market before that, we can even say that this is the first time in the history of the Japanese video game market. We did not have so many double-million sellers in such a short period even in the heyday of Nintendo DS, the most pervasive video game system in Japan.

Here are the double-million sellers. Three of the five titles are third-party software. Some think that the popularity of smartphones will shrink the business of software for dedicated video game platforms. On the other hand, the market potential of Nintendo 3DS seems to interest developers who are working on games for smartphones, and there have recently been some hit titles for Nintendo 3DS which were originally designed for smartphones, including "Puzzle & Dragons Z" released at the end of 2013. We continue to receive inquiries from various developers.

"Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS" was released last September in Japan and last October overseas. We announced at the last Briefing that the number of sales was 3.22 million units by the end of last September and it reached 6.19 million units by the end of the last year.
Before the release, some were skeptical of the sales potential of "Super Smash Bros." for handheld devices because the series had been popular for home consoles, but the steady sales of the title even today have proven it untrue. The quality of the title has also been highly praised.

The "Super Smash Bros." series is not as popular or well-known in Europe as in Japan and the U.S. This is why the initial sales of "Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS" were not strong in Europe. As the time goes by after the release, however, the sales have picked up thanks to word-of-mouth.

We have sold 9.35 million units of "Pokémon Omega Ruby" and "Pokémon Alpha Sapphire," which were released worldwide last November. The sales total is smaller than that of "Pokémon X" and "Pokémon Y," released in the previous year, as the release date was more than one month later in the year. We are confident that we have a chance to continuously sell "Pokémon Omega Ruby" and "Pokémon Alpha Sapphire" even this year. We will try to have as many people as possible choose them as a standard title. Before the release, some said that these titles were nothing but remakes and that their sales potential was smaller than completely new titles. We hope to produce results that surpass such expectations.

Nintendo on New 3DS XL vs regular 3DS sales.

Iwata wrote:As you can see here, we also launched special-edition hardware on that day.
I have received reports that pre-orders for this limited-edition hardware went so well that many retailers closed them before the launch date and the hardware almost sold out on the launch date.

Here are our preliminary sales figures for New Nintendo 3DS launched last Friday in each region, and we are comparing the sales for the first two days to those of Nintendo 3DS XL. At the end of last year, some video game enthusiasts, who actively gather information on video games, held off on buying Nintendo 3DS hardware in anticipation of the New Nintendo 3DS launch. Thanks to these consumers and some highly anticipated titles being released simultaneously, we had a good launch despite it not being the usual sales season. Our next challenge is to keep this sales momentum.

Iwata says more unannounced third party 3DS games coming.

Iwata wrote:In addition, in the domestic market, third-party software developers continue to be highly motivated to create software for Nintendo 3DS. As I said just a moment ago, some hit software titles from third parties have become double-million sellers, and there has been a constant stream of small-to-medium hit third-party software.

As you can see, many titles that have already been announced are set for release and I have heard about the development plans for many more titles that have not been announced and hence are not shown here. I also think that assisting Japanese software publishers that have had success in the domestic market to promote their games overseas will create new possibilities.

Iwata shares plans to expand local multiplayer use overseas.

Iwata wrote:We are also planning to further promote multiplayer Local Play in order to further accelerate the expansion of Nintendo 3DS in overseas markets.

During the popularization process of handheld gaming systems in Japan, multiplayer Local Play has contributed greatly to the "Pokémon," "Monster Hunter" and "YOKAI WATCH" franchises.
We believe that multiplayer Local Play has played such a significant role in the expansion of handheld gaming systems for a variety of reasons: it creates a fun environment where users teach one another, games that are actually really fun to play tend to spread by word-of-mouth and for the experience of the super-stable 3D feature of New Nintendo 3DS, seeing is truly believing.

Iwata on Wii U hardware sales/software sales, increases over last fiscal year, worldwide purchase habits.

Iwata wrote:We showed a graph at the Corporate Management Policy Briefing to indicate the growth of the Wii U hardware and software sales in the first half of this fiscal year over the corresponding six months a year ago in Japan, the U.S. and in Europe, and this is the same graph but with the data from Australia.

The sales figures of both hardware and software improved due to various reasons, such as the release of "Mario Kart 8" in May and the re-evaluation of the Wii U platform after E3 in June. The strong growth in Australia can be mainly be attributed to "Mario Kart 8" released in May just before Australia’s unique June-July winter sales season, known as the Toy Catalogue Season.

We shipped 4.77 million units of "Mario Kart 8" worldwide as of the end of the last calendar year. I can say it marked a very high attach rate if we consider the current installed base of Wii U hardware.

Following the Nintendo 3DS version, we released "Super Smash Bros. for Wii U," which had shipped 3.39 million units by the end of last year. As these two classic multiplayer franchises for Nintendo consoles were brought out together.

Iwata wrote:As you can see, the year-on-year comparisons of software sell-through sales in the October-December period show increases in all regions. They especially improved in the U.S. market. We can see larger improvements if we make comparisons among Nintendo titles, especially in the overseas markets.

This is not directly related to this graph, but if we look at the sales figures of only Nintendo titles just in the U.S. for the full calendar year of 2014, the total figure of retail and digital sales represents 175 percent of those for the previous year.

On the other hand, hardware sales increased smoothly in overseas markets but decreased in the domestic market. Our analysis of this situation is that in addition to our offers not attracting consumers in the same way as the Premium Family Set bundles did in Japan in 2013, New Nintendo 3DS gained more attention than Wii U, many of the big titles were released for Nintendo 3DS to encourage younger consumers to choose multiple Nintendo 3DS titles, and the priority of purchasing the Wii U console decreased.

Iwata on Nintendo game presence, public opinion and Metacritic averages.

Iwata wrote:On the positive side, we feel strongly that Nintendo games maintained a significant presence in the year-end sales season.

One notable thing is that big titles released during and after autumn both for Nintendo 3DS and for Wii U maintained healthy sales and produced significant results in the year-end. Another thing is that we have received high evaluations of the quality of these titles.

Foreign website is well known for its Metascore system that shows the average score out of 100 from various game media and websites. In other words, the Metascore is an index that shows how professional reviewers evaluated these games. also takes reviews from users and discloses the average figure as the User Score.
We must understand that even among game players, majority of consumers that visit are considered avid game fans. However, if a game receives both a high Metascore and a high User Score, many consumers use this as a guide to judge the quality of the game.

Nintendo of America posted this picture on its official Facebook page at the end of last year.
It shows a list of packaged game titles that received a Metascore of 85 or more and a User Score of 8.5+ or more on, which we can admit received high scores both from the professional reviewers and consumers.

For Nintendo’s current platforms, Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, 19 titles met these criteria. In contrast, the current platforms of other companies, PS4,Xbox One and PS Vita, totaled eight titles.

When a brand-new title is released, there are often misconceptions at the outset, so I would not take the Metascores and User Scores as the absolute tell-all index, but I do want us to do our best to release such highly evaluated titles in succession.

In fact, software available on our platforms continues to be reviewed highly even after the turn of the year. The two software titles which were released simultaneously with the New Nintendo 3DS hardware in the U.S. and Europe, "The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D" and "Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate," received the very high Metascores of 90 and 86 and User Scores of 9.5 and 8.9, respectively. Compared to the Metascore of 79, which the prequel in the "Monster Hunter" series, "Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate," received, we can understand that this most recent iteration is very highly reviewed. As for "The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D," I am feeling extraordinary enthusiasm from consumers partially because there are a number of fans for this game’s prequel among the same generation of people I referred to in my presentation for the October 30, 2014 Corporate Management Policy Briefing, when I shared with you my "Same-Generation Hypothesis between the users of Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire."

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, Majora's Mask 3D outpacing previous installments on 3DS.

Iwata wrote:This graph compares our preliminary sales data for "The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D" and "Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate" for the release week (three days for the U.S. and two days for Europe) to the counterparts of their previous works: "The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds" and "Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate." The sales of the "Monster Hunter" series in the U.S. are not available in the graph because we have not finished compiling the exact data on the titles, which are published by Capcom, and it was a holiday there yesterday. We have heard from Capcom, however, that the initial sales pace of "Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate," including the special-edition hardware with the title pre-installed, is more than three times as fast as "Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate" in quick estimation. They both had promising starts thanks to strong pre-orders and their highly-acclaimed gameplay.


Iwata discusses rising digital sales for Nintendo.

Iwata wrote:These graphs show the download sales transitions in the recent three financial years.
Our download sales as of the end of the second quarter of this fiscal year were a bit lower than those in the previous fiscal year. Yet, the most recent nine-month download sales showed a year-on-year increase of 17 percent to reach 21.1 billion yen.

These are the regional download sales breakdowns for the nine months of this fiscal year and the previous one. You can see the decrease of the ratio of the Japanese market, where there were some hit titles including "StreetPass Mii Plaza" and "Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball" in the last fiscal year. In contrast, the Americas dramatically increased its proportion, followed by Europe.

In the U.S., purchases of digital products in general have been widely accepted by consumers. As a result, the ratio of people who purchase and download digital game software is high. As you can see, when we focus on the Americas and create a chart of the download sales percentage of the total software sales, the ratio of the download sales has been increasing largely in the most recent three fiscal years.

Of course, there are some gift-giving opportunities such as holidays and birthdays when packaged software is preferred over the digital version. Yet, as we have been continuing our various efforts in this field, I hope you can see that Nintendo’s digital business is making steady progress. Specifically, not to mention the increased purchasing at Nintendo eShop on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, our efforts to increase digital purchasing opportunities, such as via online e-commerce sites that we mentioned during the previous Corporate Management Policy Briefing, have been showing results.

Full report here


I cant wait to hear about QOL and use of the Nintendo IP. I also find it crazy how Majora's Mask 3D is doing better then a Link Between Worlds.


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Re: Nintendo financial results recap

Post by Winters Thief Zero on Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:28 am

Well it all sounds good, 3DS sales are increasing again, and Wii U sales keep going up every year. I kind of hate how Majora's Mask 3D is selling better than A Link Between Worlds, because it's a remake, and could give Nintendo the idea of releasing more remakes instead of new titles, at least in the Zelda series.


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