The Luigi death stare seems to have brought Nintendo back to life.
Thanks to a big surge from Super Smash Bros. For 3DS and Mario Kart 8, which conversely spurred sales of the Wii U system, Nintendo made a profit this quarter—and the bump may put them on the path to their first annual profit in nearly four years.
According to the company's earnings release, Nintendo moved 3.2 million copies of Super Smash Bros. For 3DS by the end of September, and another title, Tomodachi Life, sold 1.2 million units. These titles had a hand in 2.1 million Nintendo 3DS units being sold worldwide from April to September. Additionally, Mario Kart 8 and Hyrule Warriors jolted Wii U sales to the tune of 1.12 million consoles during the same period. This is more than double the 460,000 they sold during the same period last year, and brings the Wii U's market share to more than 7 million units. Just within the United Kingdom, sales of the Wii U jumped 666 percent thanks to a Mario Kart 8 bundle. In all, the company posted a net income of 14.3 billion yen, or $132 million, for April to September. They did have some help from outside forces: the value of the yen has weakened, which boosted the value of their sales overseas. That gave their net income a bump by 2 billion yen for the six month period.
Nintendo seems more focused on keeping the ship on course and only providing their software with their hardware.
Nintendo's woes have been well-documented: there have been many analysts calling for the company to end their hardware division, which has been bleeding money and resources, and bring their games to iOS and Android devices. This would generate a ton of sales, but Nintendo seems more focused on keeping the ship on course and only providing their software with their hardware. As long as they have this card up their sleeves, their hardware still has a fighting chance as the recent jumps in sales indicate. The problem is if Nintendo can keep the goods coming at a solid pace. Sure there is an open world Zelda in the works, and hopefully a killer app in a new Star Fox, but those are coming in at a painstakingly slow speed.
With Super Smash Bros. For Wii U launching later this month heading into the holiday season, Nintendo should have no problem keeping things steady until the end of the calendar year, at the very least. (We think the Wii U would be a great buy for a number of reasons). And 2015 will be an entirely different beast.