One factor may have been that there were no new blockbuster games for the Wii in the second half of last year, which would have helped to boost sales.
Nintendo, which has led the video-game console market with its hot-selling Wii, shocked industry watchers Thursday by reporting that profits for 2008 would be 33% less than expected.
The Japanese company, which trades on the Tokyo stock exchange, gave no clear reason for the warning, other than saying in a company statement that there was a "softness in the Japanese consumer market."
Analysts told The Times of Britain that the forecast was "baffling and potentially very worrying" in that it could be a bad omen for worldwide sales of the Wii in the current economic recession.
Hiroshi Kamide, a KBC Financial Products analyst, told the newspaper that given how much Nintendo talks to retailers globally, the warning could imply that "they know something big has gone wrong, and that people are not buying the machines."
Nintendo reported that net profits for the fiscal year ending March 31 would be 230 billion yen, or $2.6 billion. The company in October had forecast profits of 345 billion yen, or $3.85 billion.
Despite the downgrade, Nintendo said it expected net sales and operating profit for the year to increase 8.8% and 8.7%, respectively.
Nintendo revenue and profits have been hurt by the strength of the yen, which rose 24% against the U.S. dollar and 30% against the euro last year. In addition, there were no new blockbuster games for the Wii in the second half of last year, which would have helped to boost sales.
Nintendo has led the video-game console market in terms of unit sales. In November, which marks the start of the all-important holiday shopping season, the Wii outsold Microsoft's Xbox 360 by a margin of almost 3-to-1, or 2.04 million units versus 836,000, according to the NPD Group. Sony's PlayStation 3 ranked a distant third, with shipments of just 378,000 units.
Google in the Enterprise SurveyThere's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.