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Nintendo returns to profit in 2014 for first time in three years

Nintendo has been on a downhill trend for quite a few years, not reporting a solid profit since 2011. It looks like it is starting to balance things out, after reporting its first yearly profit in three years earlier today.

In the earnings call, Nintendo said it made an operating profit of £136 million with £3.03 billion in revenue. Even with the slight increase in operating profit, revenue has dipped with sales down 3.8 per cent this year.

It is to be expected, with the continued failure of the Wii U worldwide. The 3DS has managed to keep the company afloat when it comes to hardware, and first party titles like Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros have reinvigorated the market for Nintendo games.

The worry is with two blockbuster games already in the market, Nintendo needs to work quickly on new games for 2015. The Legend of Zelda has already been pushed back until 2016 and there is no news on any new games set in the Mario universe, apart from Mario Maker, which seems to be more of a toolkit than game.

Nintendo is banking on the success of its first mobile title in partnership with DeNA, the Japanese free-to-play developer. This could result in Super Smash Bros, Mario or any other Nintendo first-party title coming to mobile for the first time.

Like most Japanese video game and technology companies, Nintendo seems to be in a rut where it cannot find new ground and has to use old assets to keep fans interested. This will work for a time, but unless the new console is innovative enough to bring millions, it might be time to think about selling off the hardware business (or focus only on 3DS sales) and work on video games for all consoles.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.