Iwata Says 3DS Will Be Profitable in April

Iwata Says 3DS Will Be Profitable in April

Looks like somebody’s hardware is done printing money.

Nintendo’s investors’ briefing wasn’t all fun, games and reveals. The House of Mario disclosed earlier that it’s sitting on a projected loss of about $837 million for the fiscal year, which ends March 31. Why, by the end of the 2011 calendar year, The Big N had already accumulated a $623 million loss. While its latest handheld sold more than 4 million units in Japan alone last year, a 30 percent price cut made it unprofitable for much of its initial run.

But that might change soon, according to Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata.

“In the first half of the next fiscal term, we are now anticipating to get out of the situation that we sell the hardware below cost,” he said, mentioning that the system will become profitable by around mid-April.

Of course, as with most hardware releases, the real money comes in the form of the software released for it. 3DS news last year for the most part pointed to a lackluster launch library as a reason for its initial floundering and early price cut. High-profile titles like Super Mario 3D Land and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D in the latter half of the year helped boost sales to the figures we saw leading up to and including the holiday rush.

Nintendo also saw favorable results with the 3Ds once its eShop went live, proving that a lack of direction in the digital realm is just what the company needed to get back on its feet.

“The internet-connection ratio of the Nintendo 3DS is approximately 60 percent both in Japan and the U.S., which is the highest among our handheld video game systems,” Iwata said. “The rate of the consumers who repeatedly access the Nintendo eShop is also, by far, the highest among them.”

Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network played a big part in Microsoft’s and Sony’s success this generation and Nintendo also seems to understand the value of the digital realm. The company usually prices its consoles so as to not take a loss at launch, which the 3DS did originally, so who knows what price point we can expect when the Wii U drops later this year.

Alexa Ray rounded up most of the other news from Iwata’s briefing, all of which you can read down here: