Thank you for attending our Financial Results Briefing despite your busy schedules. I am Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo.
First of all, as Mr. Tatsumi Kimishima has just explained, our operating income moved back into the black for the first time in four fiscal years.
I would now like to tell you about the sales transitions of Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.
Let me begin with Nintendo 3DS.
The New Nintendo 3DS models, which we initially released in Japan and Australia during the last year-end sales season, were launched in the United States and Europe on February 13 this year.
The titles simultaneously released with New Nintendo 3DS in the U.S. and Europe were "The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D" and "Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate," both of which were highly acclaimed by consumers.
We had a good launch with New Nintendo 3DS also in the U.S. and Europe.
This is the graph displayed in the last Financial Results Briefing, which shows the percentage of change found in the sell-through data of Nintendo 3DS hardware and software in each market for the third quarter of this fiscal year compared to the corresponding term of the previous year.
As you can see, except for Japan, where New Nintendo 3DS contributed to the full quarter, the hardware sales fell far short of the previous year in the U.S. and Europe where the new models were not available during the third quarter and in Australia, where they were launched in late November.
In the fourth quarter, you can see the launch of New Nintendo 3DS in the overseas markets boosted the sales of both hardware and software from one year prior and brought momentum to the platform once again.
On the other hand, the Japanese market was in between big titles and this resulted in a different outcome after having enjoyed five double-million sellers in the latter six months of the year 2014.
In the Japanese market, the cumulative sales of Nintendo 3DS hardware since its launch are about to reach 19 million units. Regarding the Nintendo 3DS software market, the situation remains promising not only because there have been numerous major-hit titles released since the latter half of last year, but also because we have high hopes for the many titles that are planned to be released this year by both Nintendo and other game software developers. On the other hand, regarding the Nintendo 3DS hardware, four years since its release, we are seeing a certain level of positive results by the release of New Nintendo 3DS, but we still have not been able to break free from the period beyond the popularization of the Nintendo 3DS in which the performance leveled off. I believe that the key to revitalizing the Nintendo 3DS business in Japan is by intensifying its appeal to even more generations of female consumers.
This year, we are planning to release titles that offer high potential to appeal to female consumers, and we would like to further strengthen our approach to reach a female audience covering wider generations.
Meanwhile, in the overseas markets, the Nintendo 3DS hardware has not spread to a level where it has reached its market potential. In other words, there is plenty of room for growth.
Since the release of New Nintendo 3DS in February this year, especially for the large-screened New Nintendo 3DS XL, stock in stores has continued to run low in the U.S. and Europe, which of course is a sign that the game platform has momentum.