Nintendo cuts forecasts for sales of Wii U

NINTENDO surprised the video gaming world yesterday by cutting sales forecasts for its Wii U and 3DS consoles.

The Japanese giant said it expects Wii U shipments to have hit 4m from its November launch to the end of March, down from the 5.5m originally anticipated. Nintendo also trimmed annual forecasts for the handheld 3DS device from 17.5m to 15m.

The news will raise fears that the Wii U will struggle to match the success of its predecessor, the Wii, which has hit sales of 100m since its launch in 2006.

However, the firm upgraded its profit forecasts on the back of a weaker yen improving revenues. Nintendo now expects to swing to a ¥14bn (£97m) profit for the year to the end of March, up from the ¥6bn it forecast in October.

This compares to the ¥37.3bn loss it made in the last financial year, which was the first in Nintendo’s 124-year history.

The firm, which began in 1889 as a playing card manufacturer, has struggled to woo key casual gamers, who are now playing on Facebook and smartphones.