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Nintendo can’t count on Pokémon Go to pull itself out of the red

Cute, and mildly terrifying.

Niantic Labs’ John Hanke will be delivering a fireside chat for AR/VR day (augmented reality/virtual reality) at GamesBeat 2016. Get a ticket here!

Nintendo reported net losses for the quarter ended June 30 and it forecast no change in its previous revenue projections, a clear sign as any that Pokémon Go isn’t a savior for its bottom line.

To be clear, Niantic Labs launched Pokémon Go on July 6, after the quarter ended. Any financial benefit will come in future quarters. But Nintendo itself already clearly stated that Pokémon Go’s success — which prompted a huge increase in its stock price — would yield very little financial benefit for the company. The stock promptly fell 16 percent, though not as far as it rose.

The question for investors is whether Nintendo has figured out the new digital platforms — such as smartphones — and if it is now in a position to turn itself around after the disastrous debut of the Nintendo Wii U game console.

Nintendo said that it will launch its NX game platform in March 2017, globally. And it will launch its Pokémon Go Plus device, a peripheral app for the mobile game. Nintendo did not provide a release date for the Pokémon Go Plus.

In the quarter ended June 30, Nintendo lost 24.5 billion yen, or $232.7 million, compared to a profit of $78 million a year ago. Revenues were 61.9 billion yen, or $663 million, down 31 percent from a year ago.

Nintendo said it sold 940,000 3DS hardware units in the quarter, down 7 percent from a year ago, and 8.47 million 3DS software units, up 7 percent. The Wii U sold 220,000 units in the quarter, down 53 percent from a year ago, and 4.68 million units in software, up 3 percent. Nintendo also sold 1.7 million figures for its Amiibo toy characters, and 1.3 million card characters. The yen also saw significant appreciation in the quarter.

Nintendo said it will release Pokémon Sun/Pokémon Moon globally in November. To date, such games have sold 200 million units over the past 20 years.

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