Shut down: Nintendo console sales slump as pandemic boom cools

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by Nintendo pandemic boom may be coming to an end.

The Japanese company said on Thursday that sales fell nearly 10% in the quarter ended in June, a sign that fewer people stayed at home to play video games like some countries around the world. started to reopen.

Operating profit fell more than 17% to 119,752 billion yen (about $ 1 billion) from the same period a year ago, as sales of its Switch consoles plummeted.

During the quarter, 4.45 million units of Switch hardware were sold, about 22% below the 5.68 million the year before.

While the company’s flagship device, the Nintendo Switch, still saw an increase of around 8%, sales of its cheaper cousin, the Switch Lite, were cut by more than half.

The Kyoto-based company accused “factors such as logistical delays caused by Covid-19 and the impact of the semiconductor shortage on production” of hampering its business. He noted that last spring it “had relatively abundant stocks for Europe and North America”, despite also meeting some manufacturing problems at the time.

Software sales were also hit hard in the last quarter. “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” – the Switch title it was a feeling of escape pandemic – was no longer the star, with just 1.3 million copies sold, up from 10 million in the same period the previous year.

The game, which takes place on an idyllic island and allows users to fish, catch bugs and play with friends on the beach, has been a bestseller for many months, accounting for up to 40% of total Nintendo own-brand software sales last year.

Now the story is very different. Excluding the impact of ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’,’ software sales have consistently ‘exceeded the same quarter last year,’ the company said in a statement. declaration Thusday.

Until recently, Nintendo was a huge winner of the economy hit by the pandemic as people turned to its games and devices to help them be entertained at home.

The company had steadily posted one blowout quarter after another, with profits rising 400% on time.

But he had also been dogged by concerns about how long he could maintain his hot streak, especially as the world began to look beyond the pandemic.

Last month, the firm announced that it to unveil a new console this fall. The Nintendo Switch OLED model, which offers users an updated display of its flagship device, will be released in October.

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