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Nintendo braces for first corporate loss, Wii-U confirmed for this year

Nintendo’s financial year won’t end until the end of March, but the company is bracing investors for its first-ever financial loss – and it’s going to be a massive one. Luigimansion

By the time the year ends, the company expects to post an $837 million loss – a much worse number than the $258 million shortfall it had previously predicted.

Poor holidays bear part of the blame. The company announced dismal quarterly earnings today, noting that its nine-month loss (through Dec. 31) came in at $623 million – $1.3 billion worse than it performed a year ago.

A stronger than expected Yen also contributed to the numbers, and the effects of the 3DS price cut deeper into the company’s coffers.

The bright spot was a confirmation from the company that the Wii-U would ship to all major territories by the holiday shopping period. That was widely expected, but whispers about problems with the hardware had some investors and analysts on edge.

Nintendo sold just shy of 9 million Wiis worldwide between April and December versus 13.7 million units during that time in 2010. And Nintendo DS sales plunged as the 3DS took the spotlight, falling from 15 million in 2010 to 4.6 million last year.

And as consumers turn their focus to high definition consoles and smartphones, sales are likely to continue suffering. Nintendo lowered its forecast for 3DS, DS and Wii hardware sales – and expected 3DS software sales to come in lower than initially thought, as well.

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