Wii U sales predictions slashed

Nintendo has cut its predictions for Wii U sales, with dwindling interest in the tablet-equipped console forcing a 27-percent cut in expectations, though hopes are still high for a profitable year. The Japanese firm now expects to shift four million Wii U units in the twelve months ending March 2013, being up to the 3.06m point by the end of December,  though net income for the nine months leading up to the end of December hit 14.5bn yen ($159m) versus a loss of over 48bn yen ($528m) in the same period a year ago.

There are still some surprises in store for the end of the year, however. Nintendo had been predicting net sales of 810bn yen for the full year ending March 31, 2013, with net income of 6bn yen ($66m). However, in an odd shift of fortunes, Nintendo now says it expects sales of just 670bn yen, a 17.3-percent reduction, despite also predicting more than double the net income.

In fact, Nintendo says it foresees 14bn yen ($154m) in net income by the end of the year, helped in no small part by the waverings of the currency exchange market. That's an impressive rise from the 43bn yen loss in the year-ended March 31 2012.

As for elsewhere in the company's range, Nintendo sold 12.7m Nintendo 3DS units and 3.5m Wii units, bringing the lifetime sales of each to 29.84m and 99.38m respectively. Nintendo DS sales halved versus the same period a year ago, to 2.5m units.

More in Nintendo's full report [pdf link] and updated forecasts [pdf link].