Following the news yesterday that Nintendo saw losses during the first half of the fiscal year, the company has now apologized for missing its financial forecast, blaming the earlier price cut of its 3DS console.
However, as part of a semi-annual financial results briefing, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata explained that the worldwide 3DS price cut was necessary to help boost sales of the console to a more acceptable pace.
At launch, the console did not meet Nintendo's sales expectations, leading the company to significantly cut the hardware's price in August, just months after release. The U.S. price tag dropped from $250 to $170 as a result.
Iwata noted that "strong momentum" is important for the handheld platform to thrive, and that the console was not seeing the necessary sales during the first half of the year, hence the price cut was needed.
"We could not make the continuing sales of the first-party software released last year as we had planned," he explained, "nor, in the course of preparation of the next platform, could we release new key titles for the existing platform in a timely fashion due to completion delays until the latter half of this year."
He continued, "The actual sales after the launch did not meet the expectations, and based on the judgment that we could not get it back to its originally-anticipated sales pace as a sound successor to the Nintendo DS unless we took action. We made an immediate decision and announced the price markdown around three months ago, at the same time of the announcement of financial results in late July."
The company also forecast
a 20 billion yen ($264 million) loss for the full fiscal year ending in March 2012, which would mark its first ever annual net loss since it started reporting its financials in 1981. It pointed to "current sales performance" and the holiday sales outlook as reasons for the full-year downgrade.
Nintendo revealed yesterday that the Nintendo 3DS handheld console has now hit 6.68 million units sold worldwide
, with the company stating that "hardware sales have been improving."