IR Information

Financial Results Briefing
for Fiscal Year Ended March 2010
May 7, 2010 Presentation by Satoru Iwata, President
BACK | 1 2 3 4 5 6 | NEXT

This graph shows sales of the handheld systems in the same time periods in Japan.
Since the end of 2009, the entire Nintendo DS market has been lacking energy and sales have been below the 2009 level.

Next is the U.S. market.

This chart shows weekly sales of home console hardware in the U.S. in 2009 and 2010, based on the data published by NPD on a monthly basis. As I have mentioned in the past, the monthly data from the independent NPD Group fluctuates from a four-week month to a five-week month, so in this graph, we are showing the weekly averages.
In January and February 2009, Wii hardware sales were really good. As for this year, due to the record-breaking sales of Wii hardware in December last year, Wii hardware as well as the Wii Fit Plus with Wii Balance Board were out of stock at the retailers for a prolonged time period in January and February 2010, which resulted in lower sales at the beginning of 2010 than of 2009. However, starting from March, the momentum is back with the improved inventory condition.
Last year, we did not have a very strong title for Wii until the launch of Wii Sports Resort in July. As for 2010, we have Super Mario Galaxy 2 in May and, as I will explain to you later, the sales have kept at a strong pace for the group of software that we launched in the latter half of 2009. Accordingly, the possibility of Wii business losing momentum after spring like last year is low.

We have been investigating the inventories of Wii console and Wii Fit Plus at 5 major U.S. retailers. What you are seeing is the average level of inventories at these retailers. For example, if this number is 40%, it means that three out of five retailers are out of stock. When all the retailers have their inventories, it makes 100%. Nintendo hardware and popular items must be kept at 100% level.
In January this year, I explained to you that the sales of Wii hardware in December 2009 renewed the monthly historical sales record by a large margin, according to NPD. As a result, however, Wii console and Wii Fit Plus with Wii Balance Board, whose transportations from the manufacturing facilities to the retailers take longer, have suffered from serious inventory shortages. Very serious inventory shortages were typically observed from late January to February. Especially serious was Wii Fit Plus with Wii Balance Board as there were virtually no inventories found at retail outlets for approximately three weeks.

Starting from April, Wii console inventory situation has gradually been improving. As for Wii Balance Board, we are expecting successive improvements this May. In the United States, since it takes a long time for us to deliver our products to the retailers, when an inventory shortage takes place, it significantly impacts the business momentum. This is one of the areas we need to make improvements.

Based on the same NPD Group data, we are comparing the weekly sales figures of handheld hardware in the U.S. The sales of Nintendo DS in 2010 are not bad at all as Nintendo DS renewed the record monthly portable game hardware sales for February and again, for March, according to NPD.
On the other hand, because the company launched the new Nintendo DSi in April last year, which created strong momentum then, we are expecting April 2010 sales to be less than that of a year ago.

This is NPD’s top 30 software sales chart in the U.S. during January to March 2009.
There were 14 titles for Nintendo platforms, namely 9 for Wii and 5 for Nintendo DS.  Among these 14 titles, only one title was launched in 2009, 7 titles were launched in 2008 and 6 titles were launched in 2007 or before. Especially notable is Mario Kart DS, which was ranked at No. 13, and New Super Mario Bros. at No. 14, as they were launched as early as in 2005 and 2006, respectively. On the other hand, there were a total of 16 titles for other companies’ platforms, 9 of which were launched in 2009, 6 were launched in 2008 and only one title was launched before 2008. Ever since the gaming population expansion made certain progress, there have been a number of software with long tails for Nintendo platforms, and last year was no exception.
Around this time, Wii console business was said to be good. On the contrary, the anticipated titles for Wii that we had launched at the end of 2008, such as Animal Crossing: City Folk and Wii Music, already fell from the chart, and Wii Fit and Mario Kart Wii that had launched in the spring of 2008, as well as Wii Play which has been a popular, long-tail title since the launch of Wii console, were supporting the Wii market, which was not a very healthy situation. The first strong title in 2009 had to wait until the launch of Wii Sports Resort in July 2009. We consider that this is the background for Wii to lose momentum in and after spring of 2009.

Like the first 3 months of 2009, there were 14 titles for Nintendo platforms, which included 8 Wii titles and 6 Nintendo DS titles. Among these 14 titles, there were only 2 titles that were launched in 2010: Pokémon HeartGold Version and Pokémon SoulSliver Version. Eight titles were launched in 2009, and 4 titles were launched in 2008 or before.  Mario Kart DS and New Super Mario Bros. that I was referring to are still within this chart. In comparison, among the 16 titles for other companies’ platforms, 13 titles were launched in 2010, and there were only 3 titles that were launched in 2009. More so than in 2009, the newly launched titles were playing central roles in the software sales for the other companies’ platforms.
Like in 2009, Nintendo did not launch many strong first-party titles in January to March this year, expect for the Pokémon titles. Also, this first quarter 2010 saw the unusually rich availabilities of big titles for veteran gamers because a number of third party publishers appeared to have delayed the launches of their big titles for other companies’ platforms to early 2010 by anticipating that the demands for any software in late last year would be centered around “Call of Duty; Modern Warfare 2” from Activision, which was launched in November 2009 and renewed the launch period sales record of any software.
Nevertheless, the fact that all the three most anticipated titles from Nintendo launched in latter half of 2009 were still at the top of the chart, in spite of so many other new title launches at the start of this year, must show the significant difference in the market situation from a year ago. In case of the other companies’ platforms, except for Call of Duty, there was just one title in the chart which was launched in 2009. In other words, the other companies’ platforms hardly have software with a long life and the great majority of them show a tendency to move sales only in the launch period.

Finally, I'd like to discuss Europe next.

Based upon the independent research companies’ data in each country in Europe, Nintendo has compiled this chart to compare the pan-European weekly sales of the home console hardware between 2010 and 2009. In Spain, the Three Kings sales season takes place in the first week of the year, which is the biggest gift giving sales season of the year. Because the Three Kings’ sales accounts vary significantly in the 1st week sales of the entire European market, the pan-European sales transitions are rather hard to be objectively observed when we include the Spanish sales. Accordingly, we are intentionally setting the 200,000 unit mark as the upper limit for the chart you are looking at.
Also in Europe, Black Wii hardware experienced an inventory shortage in January and February, except in the UK. Although we had some Black Wii inventories for the UK market, due to the different power plug configurations, we were not able to flexibly reallocate the supply. This is another area in which we must make an improvement. Also like in the U.S., Wii Fit Plus with Wii Balance Board has been experiencing a product shortage until quite recently and has since been showing gradual improvements starting from April.
Also similar to the U.S., 2010 has not seen a strong software lineup thus far for the Wii platform, while big titles were launched for other companies’ platforms one after another.
In the U.S., Xbox360 has been keeping the lead over PS3 this year. In Europe, on the other hand, while Xbox360 was showing the decline, PS3 has shown increase since the fall of 2009. It appears that the benefit of third party publishers’ big multiplatform titles has been mainly contributing to PS3.

On the other hand, the sales of Nintendo DS hardware in Europe are showing a year-on-year decrease, unlike the United States market.
In Europe, Nintendo launched Nintendo DSi XL with the bigger screens in March this year, that had already launched in Japan as Nintendo DSi LL here, but the sales leap was comparatively smaller than that in April 2009, when we launched Nintendo DSi in Europe.
While Wii has been embracing big hit titles since the latter half of 2009, not many strong titles to significantly drive hardware sales have been launched for Nintendo DS for a while. So, we recognize that we are coming to the stage where we need to offer a hit title that can gain social phenomena and catch our customers’ attentions.

BACK | 1 2 3 4 5 6 | NEXT

Page Top