By Sophie Knight and Reiji Murai TOKYO (Reuters) - Nintendo Co Ltd dug in its heels on a game console strategy that has dragged it into operating losses for three years in a row, ignoring calls to go mobile and promising instead to wow customers with health-related innovations. Investors were unimpressed, wiping $1.2 billion from the value of Nintendo's Tokyo-traded shares in little more than 30 minutes on Thursday, as CEO Satoru Iwata made his pitch for a "non-wearable" project in 2015 to help users stay healthy. The maker of hits like Super Mario and the Legend of Zelda has been under pressure to branch out from its underperforming consoles and capitalize on the spread of smartphones and tablets by releasing games that can be played on any mobile device. But Iwata was resolute that Nintendo would not take Mario mobile, just a day after Chinese computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd declared its mobile ambitions with a deal to buy Google Inc's Motorola handset division for $2.9 billion.
Shares in Nintendo Co Ltd climbed more than 7 percent to a one-week high of 13,850 yen in early trade on Thursday after the video games maker said it would buy back 125 billion yen ($1.22 billion)of its outstanding shares. "While the market may react positively, we are more cautious," Goldman Sachs said in a note. "The buyback will boost net profits per share by 8.2 percent, but reduce cash and marketable securities per share by 5.8 percent." Goldman Sachs maintained its 'sell' rating on Nintendo. On Wednesday, Nintendo posted lackluster results for its traditionally strongest third quarter after disappointing sales for its flagship Wii U console forced it to slash its annual forecast earlier this month.
The current console war will be a long and bloody one. Sony has taken a clear early lead, having sold 4.2 million PlayStation 4 consoles in 2013 compared to 3 million Xbox One units sold, and some believe that the PS4′s beastly specs will keep it in the lead for the during of this console generation. For gamers looking for raw power, it appears as though the PS4 indeed delivers — and now new comments from another satisfied game developer provide more evidence that Sony’s new console is indeed a powerhouse. Video game blog GamingBolt recently touched base with Philippe Morin, co-founder of game developer Red Barrels, to discuss the group’s efforts to port its 2013 PC hit “Outlast” to the
Sony has quietly started to send out private beta invites via email for its PlayStation Now game streaming service that was announced a few weeks ago at CES 2014, a Neogaf forum poster revealed. “With this invitation, you will receive exclusive access to test PlayStation’s game streaming service before its full launch and the opportunity to provide regular feedback to the PlayStation Now team,” Sony wrote in the invitation email. With PlayStation Now, Sony wants to offer customers a gaming experience across a variety of devices by eliminating the need of downloading or purchasing games. Instead, the PlayStation 3 titles are hosted in the cloud and played on supported devices. Initially, the service will work on PlayStation models, but Sony
What oh what is Nintendo to do with the Wii U? The storied video game company on Wednesday reported earnings for its third fiscal quarter. While sales of its 3DS portable console line continued to hum along at 7.76 million units, the company only managed to sell 1.95 million Wii U consoles despite several anticipated game launches during the holiday quarter, including Super Mario 3D World. Nintendo’s net income plummeted by nearly one-third to Y10.1 billion, or about $98 million, in the December quarter. The company’s operating income came in at Y21.7 billion, or $211 million, and sales in the quarter totaled just over Y499 billion, or $4.8 billion. Nintendo has now sold a cumulative total of just over 5.8 million Wii U
"There are no plans to offer mini-games on smartphone devices," clarifies the Japanese console giant, but doesn't rule out demos or video apps. Japanese newspaper Nikkei had reported on January 28 that Nintendo was looking to put demos and mini-games on smartphones as a way of whetting players' appetites for fuller gaming experiences on consoles. That snippet sneaked out ahead of the company's quarterly earnings release on the 29th, and Nintendo took the opportunity to release a statement denying Nikkei's news. "Nikkei's article contains information previously stated by Mr. Iwata during past press conferences, including statements which relate to Nintendo's willingness to make use of smart devices to promote our products," read the update.
The head of Nintendo said Wednesday he would slash his salary in half after announcing a 30 percent dive in nine-month profit on weak demand for its new Wii U console as gamers are enticed by cheap, downloadable games for mobiles. President Satoru Iwata told reporters he would draw a reduced salary for five months to atone for the downturn, while other members of the board will take a pay cut of between 20 and 30 percent. Nintendo is due to hold an analyst conference Thursday to outline plans for a new business strategy. "Nintendo's worse-than-expected performance is mainly due to a slump in the Wii U," said Hideki Yasuda, a games analyst at Ace Securities in Tokyo.
By Sophie Knight and Reiji Murai TOKYO (Reuters) - Nintendo Co Ltd, facing a third year of losses, is getting lots of unsolicited advice on how to squeeze more out of its Mario franchise and revive its fortunes after admitting that its Wii U game console has been a flop. One thing, however, is certain - it will have to burn through a lot of its cash pile in the years it takes to try again with the Wii U's successor. The Nintendo that emerges could well be a more efficient company - better at marketing its beloved characters, but still wedded to its basic strategy of making hardware as the vehicle for software developed in-house. The Kyoto-based company has been slow to move online, falling behind Microsoft Corp and Sony Corp, which will launch a cloud-based streaming service this summer enabling users to play the same game across numerous platforms.
Although we’ve come to expect the National Security Agency to spy on Internet users by hacking into Microsoft, Google and Facebook’s data centers, even the most cynical among us didn’t imagine that the NSA had similarly latched its tentacles onto Angry Birds. And yet that’s just what we learned on Monday when a Pro Publica investigation found that spy agencies are able to determine an Angry Birds player’s “location, age, sex and other personal information” using data culled from advertising firms such as Millennial Media. Now, however, Rovio has come out with an adamant denial that it had any role in handing its gamers’ personal information to the NSA or any other spy agency. “The alleged surveillance may be conducted through
One of the biggest disappointments in this new console generation is the unfortunate lack of backwards compatibility. Although PlayStation Now will be an acceptable middle ground for many gamers, it’s always a bit of a heartbreak to leave a hard-earned collection of games behind, which is why a recent report from Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry might be the most exciting gaming news of 2014 so far. According to unnamed sources, Sony is looking to bring full-scale emulation of PS1 and PS2 games to the PlayStation 4, while upscaling the graphics in the process. PlayStation Now would be dedicated to PS3 games alone rather than the whole library of PlayStation content. “Sony’s use of emulation as opposed to PlayStation Now streaming is
Now that the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have taken the world by storm, Nintendo has a lot of catching up to do. Of course, Nintendo already had plenty of catching up to do when it failed to promote its console or even explain to potentially willing consumers exactly what the Wii U was going to be, but now that the market is being dominated by faster, sleeker hardware, Nintendo needs to prove to gamers that it has something to offer than Sony and Microsoft don’t. If history is any indication, Nintendo is going to have to strike back with games. The Wii U is never going to be as powerful or as capable of a media device as its