Nintendo sells fewer 3DS units than expected, though its still some 10x the number of Vitas sold

Nintendo hasn’t sold quite as many 3DS units as it expected over the past financial year, contributing to a cut in forecast profits being announced to investors. Losses are still being made (after last year’s first ever recorded loss for the company (opens in new tab)), but at least the losses are declining.

For the six months ending on September 30, 2012, Nintendo recorded global sales of 201 billion yen (£1.58bn/$2.52bn), down 6.8 per cent on the same period for the year previous. But the loss of 28 billion yen (£220m/$350.7m) was down from the 70 billion yen ($877m/£551m) lost during the same period the year before, so at least progress is being made.

Nintendo said that overseas sales of the 3DS (that just means ‘outside of Japan’) were lower than expected and the yen itself was blamed for a lot of the loss, which was enough for Nintendo to cut its profits forecast for 2012 from 20 billion yen ($250m/£157m) to six billion yen ($75m/£47m).

But even when things are clearly far from perfect, there’s still an undeniable figure, right there in black-and-white, that Nintendo 3DS has sold 22.19 million units as of September 30 this year. That’s about where the original DS was at this point in its lifecycle, so they’re following the same sales arc so far.

By comparison, the latest figure we have for Sony’s PlayStation Vita (which launched in February) was this report (opens in new tab) in June, touting 2.2 million worldwide sales. Forgiving the few months of missing data (Sony’s gone quiet on Vita sales since then), that’s somewhere around 10 3DS units for every PS Vita.

Nintendo’s got a pretty secure hold on the handheld console market, especially considering worldwide DS sales currently stand at 152 million. But with all the healthy sales not translating into company-wide profit, a lot is riding on Wii U. Nintendo is aiming to sell 5.5 million of those by April. Is that going to happen? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Sources: Nintendo (opens in new tab), Eurogamer (opens in new tab), CVG (opens in new tab)

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