The English translation of Nintendo’s Q&A session at last week’s investor meeting was released today. We already covered the NX news, but another nugget of information that I found interesting is that the 3DS won’t soon be forgotten. Take a look at the question that was asked:
In the next fiscal year, I understand that some up-front costs will be incurred, particularly in the first half of the fiscal year, as you will invest in new businesses before their actual execution. Could we estimate that the new businesses will contribute to the overall profits for the full fiscal year? If that is the case, should we expect that new businesses will drive results in the next fiscal year? On the other hand, I believe that you will have results from the holiday season and you are able to see the pipeline for the next fiscal year. Do you expect that the existing Nintendo 3DS and Wii U businesses will continue to contribute to profits, for example through sales of current titles? Please share whatever you can about where you expect to see profits over the next fiscal year.
First, I’ll address Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. As I described in the presentation today, Nintendo 3DS has sold over 20 million hardware units in Japan and over 54 million units globally. This presents an excellent chance to increase revenue through software sales in the Nintendo 3DS business. We presented a number of titles today that show what kind of software can drive our business. We have not yet announced all of the Nintendo 3DS software for the next fiscal year, but we are proceeding with development, including major titles. The Nintendo 3DS will continue to be a major pillar of our business in the coming fiscal year.
As for the Wii U, we have just passed 10 million units worldwide, so it is not quite on the level of the Nintendo 3DS. However, we have received a great response for titles such as Splatoon and Super Mario Maker, and we would like to continue to release titles we expect to be received positively in the next fiscal year.
As for new businesses, we will present further information when we go into details about our forecasts for the next fiscal year. We do not plan to speak about NX today. We continue development and planning efforts for NX in preparation for launch, so it will require additional investment.
Our expansion into smart device applications will depend on what kind of response we get from consumers.
We will also be licensing our IP to partners for other business opportunities. We believe these endeavors are important to spreading awareness of our IP among consumers, but we do not expect that they will drive a major share of our business immediately.
That’s all I can share about the next fiscal year at this time.
Given that the 3DS has over 54 million systems sold, it seems like a smart move to not give up on it this year, as there are plenty of gamers out there willing to buy software for it. Notice he says that they haven’t yet announced all of the 3DS software for the next fiscal year (this April through March of 2017). He also mentions there are “major titles” in development and that 3DS will continue “to be a major pillar of our business in the coming fiscal year”. It’s hard to determine if major titles are big franchise-driven games or if perhaps he’s just saying they are retail releases and not a bunch of $15 digital games. Still, as a happy owner of a 3DS and an RPG fan, 2016 was already shaping up to be a pretty amazing year for releases. It sounds like a few more intriguing surprises will materialize over the next year as well.