Nintendo increased its yearly profit forecast, albeit the outlook fell short of expectations due to uncertainties around game spending and a volatile yen.
The Kyoto-based entertainment group anticipates operating profits to increase to $500 billion ($3.3 billion) from 450 billion previously. Its updated guidance was based on a weaker yen than earlier, but it fell short of average analyst expectations of 529 billion. The business also stated that it expects to sell 5 million more game copies, bringing its total prediction to 185 million.
In the September quarter, Nintendo reported an operating profit of 94.5 billion and revenue of 334.9 billion, both of which were above analyst estimates. The yen’s depreciation aided earnings, the majority of which originate from outside.
“The Switch is different from previous hardware,” Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa stated during a conference call following the earnings announcement. “It has the ability to give rise to different kinds of new demand.”
The company maintained its hallmark hardware outlook intact, at 15 million devices in the fiscal year through March, though Furukawa warned that goal would be difficult to meet. More than six years old, the Switch has maintained its popularity thanks to game-themed custom editions and a steady stream of in-house blockbuster titles that attract new users to the platform.
Furukawa declined to comment on any future Switch plans. The handheld-hybrid system will face fierce competition from next-generation machines from Microsoft and, in particular, Sony Group, whose PlayStation 5 was the best-selling console in the United States this year, according to Circana, previously NPD statistics. Nintendo’s stock is up 15% this year, but it lags behind its larger competitors, which have updated their products.
The successful release of The Super Mario Bros. Movie in April may provide a boost to Nintendo’s software library and hardware sales, as the company recently released a new Mario franchise game. When the crimson-red Super Mario special edition Switch system debuted in Japan in October, sales more than doubled. This month, Nintendo expanded its audience by holding video gaming events at senior homes in Japan.
“This must be any video game console’s best final year in the market ever, driven by the latest Pikmin and Zelda releases as well as the Mario movie,” Serkan Toto, a video game analyst, said. “Despite an upgrade in Nintendo’s forecast, they are still underestimating software in particular.” They still have more than enough blockbusters planned for the next months to keep the Switch’s fire burning.”
According to Morgan Stanley analysts led by Matthew Cost, the growth in artificial intelligence technology is likely to favor gaming platforms such as Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation, who will be “the most clear-cut beneficiaries” in the games business. They said that while Nintendo has less to gain from AI adoption, it also faces a low risk of disruption.