Nintendo disappoints without mobile Mario game and no new console

posted on April 29, 2016

Nintendo Co. is easing into its newfound role as a mobile game publisher, but not fast enough for investors expecting a Mario-scale hit.

The video-gaming company revealed plans to introduce two new smartphone titles in the coming year, even as it forecast net income and revenue short of analysts' estimates on plunging sales of the Wii U console and 3DS handhelds. Shares fell as much as 9 percent in Tokyo trading.

Nintendo, known for popularizing consoles more than three decades ago, is starting to embrace the age of mobile gaming. So far, the signs are encouraging: Miitomo, a new free-to-play messaging app, has attracted more than 10 million users since its debut last month.

Still, the company has not committed the most popular characters from its Mario or Zelda franchises to the smartphone effort, and its new NX gaming device will not debut until 2017. This means that there will not be a new product for this year's holiday shopping season, and that has people worried.

"Investors are not going to like that," said Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Research Institute in Tokyo. "With the titles coming later in the year, earnings for the first half don't look so good. And people who expected NX to launch this year will also be disappointed."

Separately, Nintendo said it is planning to sell its majority stake in the Seattle Mariners baseball team and a regional sports network to the team's other owners, including mobile-phone mogul John Stanton. The deal may value the entire business at $1.4 billion. Nintendo said it plans to keep 10 percent and declined to give the value of its stake.

source by japantimes
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