Just over a year ago Japanese video game pioneer Nintendo face doubt but with the launch of its Switch console in the tech company is seeing a turnaround.
The parent company of Mario, Zelda and Pokemon has sold over the period from April to December a little more than 12 million of this semi-portable, semi-fixed machine, and now aims for an annual target of 15 million, instead of 14 million expected at the end of October.
Since its beginnings in March 2017, it has attracted a total of 14.8 million users (at the end of December).
After the disappointing sales of its previous console, the Wii U, and the difficulties encountered in the face of competition of games on smartphone, the Kyoto firm finds there a new breath.
“In our first year, we have had some success with video game enthusiasts,” said CEO Tatsumi Kimishima at a news conference, according to reports by Bloomberg. “Starting in the second year, we need to significantly expand our hold and conquer a less enlightened audience,” he warned.
The group hopes to market more than 20 million switches during the 2018/19 financial year alone.
If Nintendo is to transform the test, it can for the moment be proud of results more than honorable.
In the first nine months of 2017/18, net income increased 31 percent to 135.2 billion yen (approximately $ 1.5 billion), while operating income increased six-fold to 156.5 billion yen.
At the same time, the turnover has almost tripled to 857 billion yen, driven by sales of Switch and associated games: 47.10 million securities for the Switch found takers, for a goal of 53 million by March 2018.
The adventures of the mustachioed plumber still seduce, with Super Mario Odyssey and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in the spotlight. The game Splatoon 2 also sold well.
Meanwhile, Nintendo saw a 9% decline in sales of its 3DS handhelds, to 5.86 million units between April and December, but he welcomes a sharp increase in online games downloads for its various consoles , and the success of applications developed for smartphones (Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes or Animal Crossing).
Long reluctant to take the plunge, the group finally decided in 2016 to make a strategic shift towards mobile phones.
Sign of his optimism found, he now hopes to achieve a net profit of 120 billion yen throughout the year (+ 17% over one year), compared to a previous forecast of 85 billion.
Turnover is expected to amount to 1020 billion yen (+ 108.5%), instead of 960 billion yen, and operating profit to 160 billion (+ 445%), instead of 120 billion.
Nintendo, whose roots go back to 1889, comes out of long years of crisis that have seen its revenues divided by four since its best years in 2008/2009, while his big rival Sony was a hit with his console PlayStation 4.
The firm, traditionally targeting a more family-oriented audience, continues to stand out with the Switch that does not compete on technical performance, but on versatility and freedom of play, at home connected to TV, or anywhere in the world. taking with you the small removable screen and the two joysticks.
In the same state of mind, Nintendo will launch in April self-assembling cardboard accessories, Nintendo Labo, an innovation that surprised and delighted investors on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, where the stock jumped 16% since the beginning of the year.