Nintendo under pressure over consoles after poor sales

Shares tumble after disappointing sales of its Wii U console

A man looks at items and accessories for Nintendo Co’s Wii U game consoles, as its 3DS portable game console software are displayed at an electronics retail store in Tokyo. Photograph: Yuya Shino/Reuters

A man looks at items and accessories for Nintendo Co’s Wii U game consoles, as its 3DS portable game console software are displayed at an electronics retail store in Tokyo. Photograph: Yuya Shino/Reuters

 

Nintendo is under pressure to consider ending production of video-game machines after reporting disappointing sales of its Wii U console and forecasting a surprise loss, prompting its stock to tumble.

Nintendo fell 6.2 per cent to 13,745 yen, its biggest decline in Tokyo since September . The fall wiped about $1.2 billion in the company’s market value.

Nintendo projected an operating loss for the year ending in March and cut its forecast for the Wii U’s annual sales more than two-thirds. President Satoru Iwata should concede defeat with the Wii U, shut down production and open up Nintendo’s iconic software characters including Zelda and Super Mario to the smartphones, tablets and consoles that have made a shambles of his strategy, said Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.

Nintendo should exit hardware altogether, Mr Pachter said. Mr Iwata “has to take responsibility for the Wii U missing the mark,” Mr Pachter said. “He will be under pressure to make dramatic changes. If he can do so while remaining in charge, more power to him, but they need to make some changes.”

Mr Iwata (54) said he is considering changing the Kyoto-based company’s business model, and he is not going to step down. To date, he has refused to offer Nintendo franchises for competing console systems or mobile devices.