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Nintendo's Fiscal 2008 Statements Show Big Profits and Big Sales

by Carmine Red - April 24, 2008, 9:12 pm PDT
Discuss in talkback! Source: Nintendo

The question is no longer whether or not Nintendo outsold everybody else, but rather by how much. Find out here.

During the fiscal year ending March 31, 2008, Nintendo had net sales of 1.672 trillion yen, with a net income of 257 billion yen. That's net sales of $16.6 billion US, and a net income of $2.5 billion US. In the previous fiscal year, Nintendo only earned $1.47 billion. By the time the next fiscal year is over, they hope to have increased the figure to $3.25 billion US.

But where does all that money come from? Nintendo started by selling a lot of hardware. They sold another 30 million DS systems between April 1, 2007 and March 31, 2008. That puts Nintendo's dual-screened handheld at 70 million units sold worldwide. To compare, Nintendo counts the GameBoy Advance at 80 million worldwide. The DS will pass its predecessor sometime in the next twelve months, since Nintendo expects to sell another 28 million units in the next fiscal year.

The Wii is sitting extremely pretty at 24.45 million worldwide, which is already enough to put Nintendo's next-gen console in a several million unit lead over the Xbox 360 in worldwide sales. Interestingly enough, though the Wii has outsold the GameCube in worldwide sales, it will only overtake the GameCube in the American market this year (the GameCube sits at an American install base of 12.94 million). Nintendo aims to have sold just under 50 million Wiis worldwide by March 31, 2009. This would mean that the Wii would have outsold the Nintendo 64 as well, and be well on its way to becoming the best-selling Nintendo console ever.

Also, in order to sell another 25 million Wiis, Nintendo will have to raise its production capacity beyond the 1.8 million a month at which it currently stands. According to a Reuters report, Nintendo could be aiming at increasing production to 2.4 million Wiis monthly sometime in the summer. With the impending Wii launch in Korea and a launch in China scheduled sometime in 2008, this increased capacity could go hand-in-hand with the Wii entering new markets.

In addition to hardware, Nintendo also sold an inordinate amount of software. There were 185.6 million units of DS software shipped in the last fiscal year, and 119.6 million units of Wii software. Combined that's more than 300 million units of software in a single year. Next year Nintendo actually aims to sell 364 million pieces of software combined: 177 million for the Wii, and 187 million for the DS. Since the Wii has shipped more than 148 million pieces of software so far, Nintendo claims a 6.07 tie ratio. None of these numbers or estimates included Virtual Console or WiiWare titles.

Nintendo is also rapidly racking up new million selling-games. Last year the DS had 30 games that sold more than a million copies worldwide, including games from third-party publishers. This year, the DS can count 57 games that have hit that mark. The Wii shows almost as impressive growth. At the end of March 2007, the Wii had been on the market for less than five months but had already garnered five million-selling titles. This year, the Wii added 21 more titles to the list for a lifetime total of 26 million-sellers.

Although Nintendo didn't explicitly list the games that had achieved million-selling status, they did provide total sales numbers for a select few. Pokemon: Diamond & Pearl sold 14.77 million units between the two versions lifetime-to-date, and Nintendo's two Brain Age games have reached a cumulative total of 23.81 million units worldwide. Nintendo reported that Wii Fit has sold 1.85 million units in Japan so far, and that Super Smash Bros. Brawl had sold 4.85 million units total worldwide by the end of the fiscal year, with 3.24 million copies in America.

Finally, much has been made of Nintendo's "war chest," a reservoir of cash that they hold in reserve and rarely spend. Last year, Nintendo recorded $5.8 billion US under the term "cash and cash deposits." This year, that number has jumped to the equivalent of a whopping $11 billion US.

As good as Nintendo's prospects look, it's worth noting that Nintendo usually provides forecasts that stay on the safe side. Looking at their 2007 Fiscal Year report, Nintendo had expected to sell only 14 million Wiis, 22 million DS systems, and earn only $1.4 billion US. Today's news shows that they've exceeded their predictions.

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