Nintendo Profits Plummet 52%; Game Maker Rips Wii

Dennis Faas's picture

For the first time since its release three years ago, the Nintendo Wii appears to be slipping up. Nintendo, which has for the past three holiday seasons stolen the spotlight from competitors Microsoft and Sony, recently cut its forecast for the tiny white and previously uber-popular console.

52 Percent Decline In Q4

In a statement released late last week, Nintendo admitted an astounding 52 percent decline in profit for the last quarter. As a result, the company decided it must cut its operating profit forecast for the year to March 2010 by a quarter, to 370 billion yen, or $4.7 billion USD. That ends an impressive three straight years where it accumulated record profits.

So, what was the reason Nintendo was forced to cut its profit forecast?

According to reports, the company's operating profit from July to September fell to just 64 billion yen, or about $700 million. Over the same period last year the company raked in 133 billion yen ($1.46 billion USD), meaning profits have been halved. (Source:

Reasons Behind the Decline

Both Microsoft and Sony have drastically slashed the prices of their consoles, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Both are now available for prices not far above the Wii, and both Microsoft and Sony offer several features not available on Nintendo's console, including high-def gaming, expansive online communities, and in Sony's case, Blu-ray playback. The Wii isn't even capable of DVD playback.

Now, the pain keeps coming for Nintendo, after popular game maker Infinity Ward, the company responsible for the extremely popular Call of Duty franchise (including the highly anticipated Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2), recently blasted the Wii for being unable to offer the "cinematic experience" required for its games.

Wii Can't Deliver "Experience"

"If we felt like we could deliver the cinematic experience we were going for on other platforms, then we would gladly move to that platform," said Robert Bowling, of Infinity Ward. "Right now, we don't think the Wii can deliver the exact experience that we're doing. We like to be very equal across all platforms, and if it's not equal then we won't do it." (Source:

In other words, the Wii just can't handle the graphics and gameplay options that make games like Call of Duty, a first person shooter, truly successful.

Not long after Bowling made his comment, figures revealed that sales of the Wii in Japan have plummeted below 50,000 units per week. That has led Nintendo president Satoru Iwata to admit that the console's condition "cannot be defined as healthy."

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