Was today a bad day for Nintendo, or a terrible day?

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Poor Nintendo aren’t having a good day. Read on to find out why.

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Problem 1: Massive Losses

Nintendo posted their financial results this morning – and things were even worse than predicted. You may remember that a few months ago they downgraded their turnover forecasts from $9bn to $5.79… as it turns out, they only turned over $5.6bn. That’s a $455m loss rather than the original $981m profit they were hoping for. Ouch.

Problem 2: WiiU Sales

The reason for the losses is the continuing WiiU disaster – in which sales have stalled even further. Having shipped just over 6 million WiiU units so far in the console’s lifetime, they now reckon they’ll sell another 3.6 million in the current fiscal year… which puts the total just over 9 million. As Pocket-Lint point out, the last ‘failed’ Nintendo console, the Gamecube sold 20 million units – the WiiU looks set to do worse than that.

The original Wii, by contrast, sold 101 million units over it’s lifetime.

Problem 3: Losing Interest?

Game sales are down too – probably due to no one owning the right consoles. Pikmin and Wii Fit U have both failed to hit a million sales, and even Pokemon – Nintendo’s cash-cow (cash-Miltank?) has had poor sales compared to earlier incarnations.

Problem 4: Gay Marriage Shitstorm

So that above all came out of their financial results, but impressively they managed to make things worse by, umm, coming out against gay marriage… in a video-game.

In the forthcoming Tomodachi Life for 3DS, players use their Miis to simulate life on an island – and amongst other things, if they choose to players can get married. Unfortunately, players can only marry opposite-gendered people, which isn’t really how things are done these days.

To make matters worse, responding to a petition calling for #MiiEquality, Nintendo apparently said they “never intended to make any form of social commentary” and that “the relationship options in the game represent a playful alternate world”.

Who knew that “playful alternate worlds” would be so regressive? Interestingly equal marriage still hasn’t happened in Japan, with polls still broadly against – so perhaps the most charitable explanation is that the inevitable cultural shift hasn’t happened yet. Unfortunately though the game is getting an international release, so it still isn’t good enough.

So can things get worse for them? Maybe it’s time to bust out that Ocarina and hope to hell the Song of Time can take them back a few days so they can try again.

James O’Malley