Nintendo raised its annual forecasts on Tuesday, confident in its sales of video games, particularly the Mario franchise, to support those of its aging Switch console, while the Japanese group maintains the mystery over its next machine.
Building on the box office performance of the film “Super Mario Bros”, released in the spring and becoming the 16th most lucrative feature film in history, the group underlined in a press release the positive impact of this hit at the cinema on its game sales. “Nintendo is releasing numerous remakes within this franchise to take advantage and extend the synergistic benefits of the film,” commented analyst Takeshi Koyama in a recent Mizuho Securities note. The Kyoto (western Japan) firm, in fact, unveiled in September a series of titles with releases planned in the coming months, including many updated versions of old games in the world of Mario, such as “ Mario vs Donkey Kong”, “Luigi’s Mansion 2D” or “Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door”. The group is also focusing on original titles in this same universe, with the release at the end of October of the platform game “Super Mario Bros. Wonder”, and another centered on Princess Peach planned for next March. The objective is “to continually release new titles in order (...) to boost console sales,” explained the company, which marginally increased its annual game sales target on Tuesday to 185 million units. The positive effects of the fall in the yen should also boost its sales outside Japan.
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For its entire 2023/24 financial year, which will end at the end of next March, Nintendo is now counting on a net profit down 3% year-on-year, to 420 billion yen (2.6 billion euros) compared to a previous forecast of 340 billion yen. The company expects an operating profit almost unchanged over one year, at 500 billion yen (3.1 billion euros), instead of 450 billion yen forecast until then. It also anticipates sales down slightly by 1.4%, to 1,580 billion yen (9.8 billion euros), instead of a drop of 9.5% estimated previously. But a big question mark persists over its future console, the only one capable of preventing the group's results from collapsing beyond the next few months. For several years, numerous rumors have been circulating about the one that will succeed the Switch, released in 2017 and sold more than 132 million copies (at the end of September), making it the third best-selling console of all time, behind Sony's PlayStation 2 and Nintendo's DS. According to the specialist media Eurogamer, Nintendo has already presented its future console to developers on the sidelines of the German Gamescom trade show in August.
And some sites believe that the next console will be hybrid like the Switch, that is to say usable both as a portable console or connected to a television, and that it could be released in the second half of 2024. But Nintendo does not never confirmed these rumors. The group was content on Tuesday to maintain its annual Switch sales target at 15 million units, or three million copies less compared to its 2022/23 financial year. In its first half (April-September), the group recorded a net profit of 271.3 billion yen (17.7% over one year). Its operating profit jumped 27% over the same period, to 279.9 billion yen, and its sales climbed 21.2%, to 796.2 billion yen.