By Jeff Neuenschwander / October 29th, 2015
Nintendo is at the half-way point of its fiscal year, which means that it was about time to hold a financial briefing for the first half of the year — with the fiscal year ending in March 2016. And there were some interesting tidbits to the proceedings, including information on future plans and sales results from the first 6 months. Here are some of the highlights.
Nintendo in the Black
Nintendo as a whole has posted its first profit in the first half of a fiscal year in nearly five years. While it is a financially good thing, it’s unclear how good of a thing it is when looking at overall sales numbers.
Sales for 3DS consoles and software are anywhere from just above or falling far lower than last year’s numbers. Although in Japan’s defense, last year was a tough act to follow with the emergence of Yo-Kai Watch as a new powerhouse, the initial release of Monster Hunter 4, and the remakes of Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby. Plus, they had the New Nintendo 3DS and 3DS LL release before the holiday season rather than in March like Europe and the Americas.
Over on Wii U, while console sales have either matched or stayed just below last year’s numbers, software sales have taken off. The catalysts for this spike seems to stem from last year’s hits in Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. (particularly in the Western regions) as well as new hit games Splatoon and Super Mario Maker. Though they haven’t driven sales of consoles like they hoped in the West, Japan’s Wii U sales are bettering last year’s numbers.
Nintendo also announced digital sales numbers. Compared to previous years, the first half has seen almost double the number of sales at roughly ¥21 billion. This comes primarily from sales of DLC, particularly from Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS and Mario Kart 8. About half of the purchases of digital content comes from the Americas.
Finally, amiibo has hit a new high in sales figures, hitting 6.4 million units sold in one quarter. This brings the overall total of amiibo sold to 21.1 million. The percentage of sales is starting to spread out a bit as the Americas share dropped from 66% to 56% with each of the other regions picking up a few percentage points here and there. Top selling amiibo include Super Smash Bros series Mario, Link, Kirby, Green Yarn Yoshi, Pikachu, and the Animal Crossing cards.
Each console and the amiibo line were given a slide to show off games that release past this recent quarter, starting with releases in October. As I list these, remember that until they are super-duper-beyond-a-shadow-of-doubt-bonafide-absolutely confirmed as releasing in the West, please look at this as a list of games in Nintendo’s overall portfolio rather than any regional line-up. Also, this is just a feature list of games that will be releasing out of the entire line-up.
- The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes
- Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash
- Yo-Kai Watch
- Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon
- Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
- Monster Hunter X
- Monster Strike
- Disney’s Magic Castle 2: My Happy Life
- Hyrule Warriors Legends
- Shin Megami Tensei IV Final
- Final Fantasy Explorers
- LEGO Marvel Avengers
- Mega Man Legacy Collection
- Mighty No. 9
- Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival
- Yo-Kai Watch Dance: Just Dance Special Version
- The SMT-FE Crossover temporarily known as Genei Ibun Roku #FE
- Star Fox Zero
- Art Academy: Home Edition
- Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash
- Taiko no Tatsujin: Atsumete Tomodachi Daisakusen!
- Dragon Quest X: All In One Package
- Guitar Hero Live
- Disney Infinity 3.0
- Just Dance 2016
- LEGO Dimensions
- LEGO Marvel Avengers
- Skylanders: Superchargers
- Mighty No. 9
In addition to the games, Nintendo showed off the upcoming Animal Crossing amiibo figures that will release next month. Also coming soon is the Mega Yarn Yoshi amiibo.
Two new services were revealed during the briefing as Nintendo prepares for both the next console (Project NX) and their first step into the mobile market.
The first is a new account system called Nintendo Account. This is a new account system that will go across the Wii U, 3DS, mobile devices, PCs, and future consoles. The account is set up for ease of creation and ease of use. One of the ways they will do this is to have the ability to log in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Nintendo Network IDs or even your email address and password.
The Nintendo Account will have benefits similar to the Wii U Deluxe Program and Club Nintendo. Gamers will not only get points for purchasing games but for playing them as well. These points can then be reimbursed for digital content (DLC, 3DS themes), original merchandise, or discount coupons. In addition, the account will allow for game save data in a cloud system that can be shared across the platforms. You’ll also be able to purchase a game digitally while on a smart device or PC and have it start downloading on your 3DS or Wii U.
The second is a membership service called My Nintendo. It was described as “a bridge between dedicated game systems and smart devices.” This service will provide benefits in real world facilities, including theme parks, movie theaters, and retail stores. Not much else was given for what else comes with My Nintendo.
The First Mobile App
To close out the briefing, Nintendo ended with a look at what will happen for their new mobile venture with DeNA. As was stated in an earlier briefing, Nintendo and DeNA will combine for 5 mobile exclusive titles by March 2017. These games will offer experiences using any of Nintendo’s IPs while taking advantage of smart device characteristics. None of that has changed.
What has changed is the start of this venture. The first release will be bumped back to March 2016 so that they can work out any bugs in the application.
As for what it will be, Nintendo revealed that the first of these apps will be called Miitomo. This will be the first to take advantage of the new My Nintendo service.
So what is Miitomo? It’s a casual app in which people can answer pre-determined questions asked of you. These questions can then be sent out and shared with your friends. It was described as a way to “find out unknown aspects about your friends or unexpected commonalities you share with your friend because Miitomo may pick up the topics that you usually do not discuss but would be willing to answer if asked.”
So, basically, it’s a way to help socially awkward people open up to others. Not what I was expecting, but good for them.
So what do you think about all of this? Let us know in the comments below.
3DS SalesAmiiboMiitomoMy NintendoNintendoNintendo AccountWii U salesYo-kai Watch