Nintendo sales drop 40% amid lack of hit software titles

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Month after month the video game industry and Nintendo in particular have appeared to defy all logic, racking up strong sales despite a general slowing in consumer spending. The trend has finally caught up with them, though, and now for the first time in recent history Nintendo has seen heavy revenue and profit declines.

In an earnings report filed today for the three-month period ending June 30, the company posted a 66% drop in operating profit to 40.4 billion yen (about $425 million), compared to over 100 billion yen the same quarter a year ago, and a 40% revenue decline to 253.4 billion yen. Wii hardware sales totaled 2.23 million units during the quarter, down from 5.17 million last year, while DS sales hit 5.97 million compared to 6.94 million in 2008.

Interestingly, Nintendo didnít take the convenient road of just blaming the global economic downturn for its performance. Although it was indeed affected by a stronger yen, the company also cited a shortage of blockbuster software titles.

Last year, new game titles like Mario Kart Wii and Wii Fit helped drive sales of the console worldwide, and for the latter part of 2009 they hope Wii Sports Resort, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and Wii Fit Plus can do the same. Overall drop in sales or not, Nintendo shared some impressive lifetime sales numbers which put the Wii console at 52.62 million and the DS handheld at 107.75 million.

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