Nintendo turned its first annual profit in four years today. The Japanese gaming company posted a net profit of ¥41.8 billion (around £230m) off ¥549.8 billion (around £3.1bn) in revenue over the last financial year. This marks the first time Nintendo showed a profit since 2011.
While that sounds pretty impressive, the figure was below expected forecasts and the fact is, Nintendo's earning momentum may be pretty hard to sustain. The Wii U sales have reached 9.54 million units, but only 3.38 million were sold in the last financial year and Nintendo's current-gen console is still languishing in third place behind both the Xbox One and the PS4. The 3DS sold 8.73 million units, but that figure was below Nintendo's original forecast of 12 million at the start of the financial year.
Furthermore, there doesn't seem to be all that much new software for the consoles in their imminent futures: Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. undoubtedly helped sales, but The Legend Of Zelda U has been delayed and we don't see the likes of Splatoon being much of a system-seller for the Wii U. It's possible Nintendo may have something to announce at E3 next month, but right now the newsfeed ahead of its presence at the expo in Los Angeles is deader than a graveyard in a ghost town.
It may be that Nintendo is relying on sales of its new Amiibo collectible figurines to provide ballast in its earnings; they've reportedly shipped 5.7 million units thus far. The company has also announced that it plans to create Nintendo-themed park rides at Universal them parks, although how much of an earner that'll be remains to be seen.
Then there's the new partnership with mobile developer DeNa; while tapping into the smartphone market may prove lucrative, though Nintendo may have left it a little late and unless it ports major IPs to the mobile platform, it's uncertain how much of a draw the games will be. Still, a little diversification could go a long way...