Nintendo posts quarterly loss. Numbers show Mario Kart 8 is not the messiah of the Wii U


Nintendo reported weak financial numbers for the first quarter of 2014 in spite of an uptick in hardware sales due to the popularity of Mario Kart 8.

The company announced last month that more than two million copies of the game have already been sold. In its financial report, Nintendo said that it sold 2.82 million copies of Mario Kart 8 during the period. The game accounts for about 64 percent of Wii U software sold from April to June. While the numbers point to a turnaround, Nintendo's latest financial report shows that not even a popular game is enough to save the company from a weak quarter.

Nintendo posted [subscription required] an operating loss of 9.47 billion yen ($92.5 million) during the period. This represents a 52 percent drop from the same period a year earlier, when the company reported a quarterly loss of 4.9 billion yen. Nintendo's revenue also decreased by 8.4 percent at 74.7 billion yen ($730 million).

The company seems to be very calm about its sluggish performance, enough that its explanation of its decline read more like an entry from an economics textbook.

"The operating loss was 9.4 billion yen because total selling, general and administrative expenses including fixed expenses exceeded gross profit," Nintendo said.

During the April to June quarter, the company sold 510,000 Wii U units around the world. This represents a 61 percent jump from the 310,000 Wii U units that the company sold from January to March quarter. While the surge in Wii U hardware sales is significant, it's still minuscule compared to other competing game consoles.

In its latest annual report, Sony reported that it sold 18.7 million game consoles during the last financial year. The figure includes older systems like the PS3 and the PlayStation Vita. It's not clear how many units of the PlayStation 4 have been sold. However, recent estimates said that Sony was selling more than one million units a month at one point.

The PlayStation 4, which was released last November, has boosted Sony past Nintendo in terms of game console sales. The feat breaks a losing streak for Sony. Before the release of the PS4, it failed to beat Nintendo in game console sales over the past eight years.

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