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Nintendo to Announce Second Straight Annual Loss as Delays Plague Wii U

The famed Mario creator is on the cusp of reporting another major loss.

According to Bloomberg, Nintendo (OTC: NTDOY) will report a loss of 18.7 billion yen in the 12 months ended March 31.

This is the second consecutive loss that the company has endured.

Bloomberg quoted a number of Japanese analysts who complained about Nintendo's recent performance. They argued that the company's president, Satoru Iwata, will fail in his mission to produce a 100 billion-yen ($1 billion) operating profit during the current fiscal year, which ends in March 2014.

Their criticism is not unfounded. While Nintendo set a new sales standard with the original Wii, the company has struggled to turn its successor -- Wii U -- into the next big game console.

The odds are currently against Nintendo. Between the 2013 launch of Sony's (NYSE: SNE) PlayStation 4, the presumed arrival of Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) Xbox 720, and the lack of interest in Wii U, Nintendo is not in a great position.

To counter the company's downfall, Iwata has repeatedly insisted that new software will arrive on Wii U and turn the tide in Nintendo's favor.

Not Enough Shaders blogger Emily Rogers begs to differ. She has chronicled some of Iwata's most notable statements, including an apology for not releasing enough games during the winter.

"I apologize to those supporting Wii U about the lack of titles in January and February," said Iwata, as quoted by GamesIndustry.biz.

Iwata made that statement in January. Since that time, the company has delayed Pikmin 3 -- which was originally scheduled to be released within the Wii U's launch window -- several times. The game has most recently been delayed from June to August.

This puts Nintendo in a rather difficult position. The company does not historically release more than one major game per console per month. Thus, it could mean that The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker remake -- which is currently slated for release in the third quarter -- will not arrive on time.

While a September release could happen (and would technically fall within the third quarter period), Nintendo is notorious for frequent and last-minute delays.

That said, Nintendo is not a company that should be underestimated. While the Pikmin 3 delays are not a good sign, the Japanese gaming giant excited consumers earlier this year when it announced a plethora of new games. None of them received any release dates, but Nintendo said that it would show off new chapters in both the Mario and Mario Kart series, and promised that the former would be released in 2013.

With so much potential left in Wii U, it could be really easy to buy into that hype.

Unfortunately, investors know all too well that Nintendo is not good at keeping promises. Now that delays -- not game releases -- are leading the charge for Wii U, it is becoming more and more difficult to get excited about the console's future.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: Bloomberg Mario Mario Kart Nintendo Satoru Iwata ZeldaEarnings News Tech Best of Benzinga

 

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