Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima has revealed that the company does not plan to sell their upcoming console, code-named the NX, at a loss. The company will work to price the console so as to profit or break even — a strategy that is proving increasingly rare with console launches, many manufacturers choosing nowadays to recoup losses on hardware via software sales.
The launch of the Wii U, due mostly to the expense required to manufacture the console’s tablet controller and the state of the Japanese economy in 2012, represents the first time Nintendo ever released a console at a loss. “When Wii U was launched, the yen was very strong,” Kimishima commented, “I am assuming that situation will not repeat itself. Selling at a loss at launch would not support the business, so we are keeping that mind in developing NX.”
The NX was officially announced last week during an earnings call for the fiscal year.
Kimishima also touched on the Wii U’s lackluster sales and the company’s leveled expectations in regards to the console. He is hopeful that the NX will compensate for the Wii U’s sluggish performance. Nintendo predicts they will move another 800,000 Wii U’s by March of next year, down from 2.4 million in the previous fiscal year.
“NX and smart device business will be essential to cover this gap, but we also expect download content business to play a role,” Kimishima said regarding the substantial sales decline, “However, we are planning with the expectation that NX sales will compensate for much of the impact on sales from reduced Wii U hardware sales.”
What these projections mean as far as the platform’s design remain to be seen, but this promise of breaking even either means Nintendo’s upcoming console will be relatively underpowered, expensive, or — hopefully — efficiently engineered.