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Nintendo in Loss, Despite Pokemon Go Phenomenon

TOKYO – Despite the global phenomenon of the “Pokemon Go” augmented reality game, Japanese games maker Nintendo recorded a JPY5.1 billion ($48.7 million) operating loss for the first quarter of fiscal 2016.

The company said it was hit by adverse currency shifts and weak sales in some categories.

Sales of Nintendo 3DS hardware totaled 0.94 million for a 7% decrease year-on-year, while 8.47 million units of Nintendo 3DS software were shifted, for a unit gain of 7%.

The company plans to release new games titles “Pokemon Sun” and “Pokemon Moon” in November and the “Mario Party Star Rush” game this fall.

“We will re-energize our Nintendo 3DS business and aim to expand our reach globally to a broad audience, including female and younger consumer demographics,” the company said in a statement.

Other new products in the pipeline include the NX gaming platform, which is set for worldwide release in March next year, Pokemon Go Plus, a peripheral for Niantic’s white-hot “Pokemon Go,” and a replica of its iconic Nintendo Entertainment System, which will be on sale this November with 30 classic games installed.

Boosted by the new releases, Nintendo forecasts operating income to rise 37% year-on-year to JPY45 billion ($427 million) and profit attributable to the parent to double to JPY35 billion ($332 million) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017. Sales are expected to be little changed at JPY 500 billion ($4.7 billion).

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