Nintendo to stick with hardware platform strategy: Iwata

nintendo wii-635Nintendo Co Ltd President Satoru Iwata said on Thursday the company was sticking to its strategy centred on a combined hardware and software platform, which has come under criticism after the flagship Wii U console posted poor sales.

Iwata said he remained committed to video game consoles, a day after the Japanese company posted dull quarterly earnings and announced a share buyback to soothe market worries about its strategic direction.

“Lots of people have said we should go onto smartphones over the last few years, telling us our business would increase,” Iwata told a briefing for analysts and reporters. “But our approach is not to put our games on smartphones.”

Nintendo shares fell after Iwata’s remarks, adding to the heavy pressure the stock has come under since the company announced earlier this month that it would post its third annual operating loss in a row.

The stock was down 3.2 percent at 12,470 yen after rallying as much as 7.5 percent to 13,850 yen earlier in the session, when investors welcomed the company’s plan to buy back up to 125 billion yen worth of its shares.

Kyoto-based Nintendo posted lacklustre results for its traditionally strongest third quarter on Wednesday after disappointing sales for its flagship Wii U console forced it to slash its annual forecasts earlier this month.

The maker of hit games like Super Mario and the Legend of Zelda said its operating profit fell 6.9 percent in the October-December quarter to 21.7 billion yen. It expects a 35 billion yen loss for the full year to end-March.

Domestic sales of hardware and software were strong although overseas sales sagged in the holiday season. Revenue fell 11.5 percent on the year to 302.6 billion yen in the October to December quarter.

Nintendo cut its full-year sales forecast for the Wii U gaming console to 2.8 million from 9 million on January 17.


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