Nintendo returning to profits, but is still struggling to sell hardware

Nintendo had a profitable quarter, and is on track for a full-year profit -- but the company is still fighting to make up lost ground amidst weak sales of the Wii U and 3DS year-on-year.

Nintendo had a profitable quarter, and is on track for a full-year profit -- but the company is still fighting to make up lost ground.

The weakening of the Japanese yen against the dollar has helped the company in this regard, as its hardware sales are not favorable year-on-year so far. 

Profits for the nine month period ending December 31, 2014 rose to 59.5 billion yen, or around $506.5 million at today's exchange rates. That's an almost 484 percent increase over the same period of 2013, according to the company. 

The Wii U is still struggling to pick up despite the unquestionable software wins in the form of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Mario Kart 8, both of which have proved popular; the company sold a mere 1.91 million Wii U consoles globally in its fiscal third quarter, ended December 31, which covers the holiday period. It actually sold a smidgen more, 1.95 million, during the same period of 2013.

Meanwhile, as the Nintendo 3DS, first introduced in 2011, enters middle age, sales of the handheld are sliding -- despite the addition of the "New Nintendo 3DS" models, which launched in Japan in October. The company sold 4.99 million 3DS units across the globe during the quarter, but that's a big down-trend year-on-year: For the nine months ending in December, the company sold 7.08 million 3DSes; it had sold 11.65 million during the same period of 2013. 

The company didn't break out sales for its Amiibo figurines; the best data we have on that so far is that, in 2014, Nintendo sold "nearly twice" as many Amiibos in the U.S. as it sold copies of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U -- at 1.3 million copies of the game, that translates to around 2.5 million figurines.

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