Nintendo reports big losses for fiscal 2011
Perhaps the biggest news of the day for Nintendo comes in the form of rather disheartening numbers. Despite impressive sales from the price-dropped 3DS, Nintendo reported this morning severe losses for the 2011 fiscal year, which concluded on March 31. Even with some forewarning, the report indicating a $461.2 million loss is alarming. Though Nintendo did its best to project substantial losses, the actual results show net sales ¥12.3 billion lower than forecasted.
Nintendo commented that, even with strong 3DS sales, software in the US and Europe were sluggish through the holidays. They went on to note that selling the 3DS below cost also impacted their overall numbers. This marks Nintendo’s first ever full annual loss.
Down, but not out, Nintendo hopes to make a comeback in 2012 with a strong software line-up (here’s looking at you, New Super Mario Bros. 2), selling above cost with the 3DS, and, naturally, the arrival of the Wii U.
Sakurai says Smash Bros. is about to change
At this stage in the game, when people think Nintendo, they may find themselves reflexively remembering the days of pounding their friends into submission through the various iterations of the heinously addictive Smash Bros. franchise. A series that has remained true to its core for over a decade, and found its way into many gamers’ hearts because of this, will be seeing a transformation on Nintendo’s newest babies, the 3DS and Wii U.
Man, myth, legend and Smash Bros. creator, Masahiro Sakurai, told IGN in a recent interview, “There is a certain dead end we come to if we just expand the volume of the game.” He went on to say, “I intend to change direction a little as we go … The key to that’s going to be its dual support for 3DS/Wii U.”
Though the next version of everyone’s favorite mascot–laden battle royale game is still beyond the horizon, as indicated by Sakurai’s statement that he’s “really just getting started,” the interview concluded with him referencing the dual support, remarking, “I’ll come up with something that uses that link as the game’s central axis, so I hope you’re looking forward to it.”
Dragon Quest X gets a release date (in Japan)
The famed Dragon Quest series returns this summer, as Square Enix announced that its ambitious MMO, aptly dubbed Dragon Quest X, will hit store shelves in Japan on August 2. A price point was given in conjunction to the release date, with the standard edition rolling in at is ¥6,980 ($86), which includes the game and 20 days of free play. It should be noted that the game will ship on a surprising two discs, though, details as to what will be on disc number two are still under wraps. An obligatory collector’s edition will also see the light of day, distinguishing itself by bundling together the game and a USB memory stick. If you’re looking to pick up that one, you can throw an extra ¥2,000 on top of the base retail copy.
Due to the nature of the beast when discussing MMOs, there will also be a monthly subscription fee required to play. Square priced these costs at ¥1,000 ($12.35) for 30 days and three character slots, 60 days for ¥1,950 ($24) and ¥2,900 ($36) for 90 long ones.
Additionally, it was announced that there will be designated free-to-play periods entitled “Kids Times”. These events will be aimed at younger gamers, however, an age requirement will apparently not be imposed.
Unfortunately, dates were not given to the US or European releases. Square Enix did, however, reiterate that a Wii U edition is also on the way, but was unwilling to cough up any additional details.