Nintendo's fiscal year may have begun with a 60 percent profit decline, but the company's got no less than three aces up its sleeve, says president Satoru Iwata, who predicts Wii Sports Resort, New Super Mario Bros. and Wii Fit Plus could each sell 10 million units worldwide this year.
Speaking as part of a question-and-answer session with analysts released as a follow-up to its first-quarter results, Iwata shared early feedback on the trio of games that he considers promising.
"These three titles have already been available for hands-on demonstrations at E3 this year," he told analysts. "They were highly evaluated by most of those who actually tried them. Distributors also gave feedback like 'The key player of this holiday season will be Nintendo as expected.'"
The sustained launch of these titles should allow Nintendo to perform much more favorably in the latter half of this year than it did during that period in 2008, Iwata explained.
"Wii Music and Animal Crossing: City Folk did not fulfill our expectations and only sold through end 2.65 and 3.38 million copies respectively," he said. "Should those two titles have become long-term selling software, we would not have faced a shortage of software titles in the former half of this year."
He also attributed the recent drop-off in Wii sales to the fact that Wii Music and Animal Crossing: City Folk lacked the same longevity as Mario Kart Wii and Wii Fit, unable to pick up the slack when the two better-sellers finally began to plateau.
"No software title can maintain its momentum after a year or more from its launch," said Iwata. "So we find that the reason of downturn in Wii sales can be attributed to two main factors -– we could not launch Wii Sports Resort earlier and could not make the software launched in the last holiday season have longer tails," he said.
"No one can tell which software titles during the planning phase will be able to deliver fun and surprise in the future. We often run into certain realization after the actual development process begins, which may delay the completion of the product. This time I think we have made such mistakes."