Nintendo financials: 3DS sales offer silver lining as Wii U continues to struggle

Nintendo's financials for the nine months ending December 31, 2016, show a huge increase in profits despite tumbling sales. 

Nintendo's financials for the nine months ending December 31, 2016, show a huge increase in profits despite tumbling sales. 

Net sales fell by 26.9 percent year-over-year to 311 billion yen ($2.76 billion), while profits increased by 153.9 percent to 102.9 billion yen ($915.6 million) due to the company's sale of its controlling stake in the Seattle Mariners baseball team. 

Nintendo netted $661 million from that deal, which was finalized and closed in August 2016 following MLB approval.

Taking a look at those flagging sales numbers, Nintendo reports that sales of its Wii U console fell by 75 percent year-over-year, with the company shifting just 0.76 million units. Wii U software sales didn't fare much better, falling by 45 percent to 12.48 million units.

Thankfully, there's plenty of good news on the handheld front, with sales of Pokemon Sun and Moon clocking in at 14.69 million units. Super Mario Maker for the 3DS also surpassed the 1 million sales mark.

Looking at the bigger picture, then, overall 3DS software sales totaled 46.78 million units, a 20 percent increase year-over-year. 3DS hardware sales also rose by 10 percent year-over-year, with Nintendo shifting 6.45 million consoles. 

Those numbers mean that, ahead of the Switch launch on March 3, lifetime Wii U and 3DS hardware sales currently stand at 13.56 million units and 65.30 million units respectively. 

Nintendo didn't offer any new information relating to its mobile line-up, and simply reiterated its plans to launch smartphone titles based on the Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing franchises. 

Looking ahead, the Japanese giant has upwardly revised its forecast and now expects to see sales of 470 billion yen ($4.18 billion) and profits of 90 billion yen ($801 million) by the end of this fiscal year on March 31.

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