Nintendo Second-Quarter Earnings Push Past Expectations

Nintendo, which has seen several quarters of disappointing results, managed to pull out a quarterly operating profit of 215 million yen ($2 million) in its second quarter, compared to an 18 billion yen operating loss in the same quarter a year ago. According to Thomson Reuters Starmine, analysts had expected a 3.7 billion yen loss for the quarter.

Nintendo’s performance since 2007 has been hurt partly because of increasing competition from other console makers, like Microsoft and Sony, as well as its refusal to put its games on other platforms like smartphones and tablets.

The company attributed its performance in large part to “extremely strong initial sales” of “Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS,” which was released in September. The game sold 3.22 million units globally. Another strong performer was “Tomodachi Life,” which was released in June in overseas markets, and has sold 1.27 million units this fiscal year. Sales of both games helped push global sales of Nintendo 3DS hardware to 2.09 million and software to 23.3 million units.

Nintendo also said in its earnings report that the Wii U has been “experiencing improved sales momentum,” since the May release of “Mario Kart 8,” and that it will release of “Super Smash Bros. for Wii U” next month in the U.S. and in December in Japan and Europe. The company plans to launch character figures called “amiibo,” which it is categorizing as a new product genre. “amiibo” are small collectible character figures that players can tap on their Wii U GamePad controllers to interact with games.

On the other hand, the Nintendo 3DS has suffered from slowing sales momentum, due “to a lack of strong titles especially in Japan,” but the company says that it expects to expand sales in the year-end sales season with titles like “Pokémon Omega Ruby” and “Pokémon Alpha Sapphire,” as well as games from third-party publishers.