August 4, 2023
Mario and Luigi’s cinematic star turn and the new video game “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” boosted Nintendo’s quarterly earnings with a 52 percent profit surge. “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” from Universal Pictures has collected more than $1 billion at the global box office since its April release, while the latest “Zelda” game installment became the fastest-seller in the series’ history when it debuted in May. As a result, Nintendo’s April through June fiscal quarter produced revenue of $3.2 billion, a 50 percent increase year-over-year.
“Tears of the Kingdom” sold more than 18.5 million units and is credited by Nintendo with reviving sales of the Switch console, which debuted in 2017 and moved 3.91 million units in the June quarter, a 13.9 percent improvement over the same quarter in 2022, the Japan-based company reported in its earnings release.
Nintendo had forecast selling 15 million Switch units in its current fiscal year, which ends March 2024 — a 16.5 percent decline from the 18 million units sold the previous year.
“The Switch is now a more than six-year old console, with investors fearing buyers’ interest may have peaked — but the rise in sales may help to allay some of those concerns,” CNBC writes, noting the platform has about 116 million users playing annually. Nintendo has already refreshed the popular device with a handheld offering and an improved screen.
The Verge reports that Nintendo is “eyeing a 2024 release for its next-gen console,” which “could feature a cheaper LCD screen instead of a higher-end display like the OLED Switch and continue to include a cartridge slot for loading games.” VGC News says key partners already have development kits for such a product preparatory to launch.
Game industry consultancy Kantan Games CEO Serkan Toto tells Reuters “they’re going to ride out this fiscal year and squeeze the last bit of juice out of this system and then establish excitement for the new hardware sometime next year.”
Nintendo profit for the recent quarter surged to $1.27 billion, far exceeding analyst expectations. “Sales in its business related to mobile and intellectual property tripled to $221.46 million,” due largely to the “Mario” movie, which Nintendo says “also helped drive sales of games featuring the mustachioed plumber.”