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Nintendo posts $456 million annual operating loss

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Nintendo posted a 46.4 billion yen operating loss ($456 million) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, the company announced today in its fiscal earnings, marking the third consecutive annual operating loss for the company.

Nintendo's net loss was 23.2 billion yen ($228 million), down from last year's net income of 7 billion yen ($71 million).  Net sales for the year were 571.7 billion yen ($5.63 billion), a 10 percent decrease from the year before, with 394.7 billion yen ($3.89 billion) of that figure from overseas sales.

In January, Nintendo revealed that it expected an operating loss of 35 billion yen ($335 million) for the fiscal year, lower than the originally projected operating income of 100 billion yen ($958 million). Posting its second consecutive annual operating loss last year, Nintendo had initially projected net sales of 920 billion yen and profit forecast of 55 billion yen ($526 million) for the financial year. The software and hardware manufacturer adjusted its forecasts earlier this year to 590 billion yen ($5.65 billion) in sales and a net loss of 25 billion yen ($239 million).

Wii U sales continue to have a "negative impact on Nintendo's profits," attributed to its markdown overseas and insufficient growth of software unit sales. The company has sold 6.17 million Wii U consoles since the system's launch in November 2012 and 2.72 million for the year, slightly down from its projection of 2.8 million, and 310,000 for the quarter.

Wii U titles Super Mario 3D WorldNew Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Luigi U all sold more than a million units. The "Wii U business as a whole showed slow growth" and software reached only 18.86 million units, not far from the projected 19 million units.

Global sales of Nintendo 3DS hardware and software reached 12.24 million and 67.89 million units, respectively. Projected hardware and software sales were 13.5 million and 66 million. During the fiscal year, Pokémon X and Y moved 12.26 million units, Animal Crossing: New Leaf shipped 3.80 million units (7.66 million units in its lifetime). Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds and Mario & Luigi: Dream Team each sold more than two million units.

Nintendo 2DS sales reached 2.2 million worldwide during the company's fiscal year. The original Wii shipped 1.22 million units and 26.16 million units of software. Nintendo DS hardware and software sales were $130,000 million and 10.29 million units, respectively.

For the company's current fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2015, Nintendo projects net sales of 590.0 billion yen, an operating income of 40.0 billion yen, an ordinary income of 35.0 billion yen and a net income of 20.0 billion yen. The company forecasts that Wii U hardware and software will ship 3.6 million and 20 million units, respectively. Nintendo's 3DS hardware and software sale projections are 12 million and 67 million units.

Nintendo will focus on stimulating the Wii U by further demonstrating the GamePad's value and providing software that takes advantage of the GamePad and its NFC reader/writer functionality. The company will also position Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. as two main drivers this year, and add DS Virtual Console titles to the Wii U lineup.

For 3DS, Nintendo will use consolidated global hardware sales of 43 million units to expand software sales, such as Mario Golf: World Tour, Tomodachi Life, Super Smash Bros. and future titles, and "will strive to generate robust profits." Nintendo also aims to boost its digital distribution business through the Nintendo eShop.