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Nintendo slashes Wii U sales forecast and predicts loss

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Nintendo has revised its earnings forecast dramatically following continued dismal sales of the Wii U and its software.

Since April the Kyoto-based video games company has predicted an operating profit of ¥100 billion for the year. That figure appears to be way off the mark, judging by Nintendo’s recent announcement.

Nintendo is now predicting a crushing ¥35 billion (£205.4 million) loss, which would make it two years in a row for such a result. Last year, the company recorded a ¥36.41 billion loss.

It’s easy to see where the problem lies, with Wii U sales considering to underwhelm. Besides announcing its loss predictions, Nintendo also revealed that it expects to sell just 2.8 million Wii U consoles in the financial year. That’s down from a previous prediction of 9 million.

With less than half a million sales in the first half of the year, Nintendo would have been looking at a Christmas sales miracle to come anywhere near that 9 million figure - despite the fact that it slashed the price of the Wii U in the UK and US markets.

Still, the cold hard figures still make for painful reading for Nintendo fans.

Poor hardware sales have had a knock-on effect for software, which is where the real money is made in this business. "Software sales with a relatively high margin were significantly lower than our original forecasts mainly due to the fact that hardware sales did not reach their expected level," explains Nintendo’s statement.

Nintendo actually produced some excellent games towards the end of 2013, including The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD and Super Mario 3D World, which was heralded by critics as one of the finest in the series.

But without sufficient Wii U owners out there to capitalise on this strong software, Nintendo appears to have been cut adrift of the new console generation while the PS4 and Xbox One continue to make waves.

Next, read our pick of the best games of 2013.

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