As expected, Nintendo has officially announced (via The Verge) a major annual operating loss of 37.3 billion yen ($459.54 million) from 2011 to 2012 – the first annual loss in the company’s history. The loss is mainly due to poor sales performance of the Nintendo 3DS, and their aging Wii console.
Of course, much of this can be directly attributed to the iPhone and iPad. Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has acknowledged on multiple occasions that smartphones and tablets are taking up more of consumers’ leisure time, posing an increasing challenge to Nintendo.
Indeed, the iPhone and iPad (and even many Android devices) and are now extremely capable gaming devices – at least as powerful as most game consoles. Games on mobile devices are also much cheaper than studio-produced console games. Despite all of this, however, Iwata is adamant that Nintendo will not begin producing apps for the App Store or Android Market as long as he’s at the head of the company, revealing “over my dead body” stubornness against the idea.
We’ve discussed how the iPhone and iPad are threatening console gaming on multiple occasions for these reasons and more on multiple occasions. Still, it’s sad to see a gaming titan like Nintendo suffer from what amounts to corporate stubbornness.
Even if Nintendo began by releasing their older games (such as Super Mario World) on the App Store for $15-20 each, customers would freak out and flock to the App Store to get them on their iOS and Android devices.
This is Nintendo’s first loss in 30 years. And unless Nintendo sells more of their upcoming Wii U than you can shake a stick at, you can bet it won’t be their last. Sad.