Douglas Ehrman • 16 Comments
Douglas Ehrman • 16 Comments
Wed, Apr. 27, 3:42 PM
- Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY) is down 4.2% today after news that it will release its next bit of hardware next March -- meaning it will miss out on the traditionally lucrative holiday gaming purchase season.
- The system, code-named NX, doesn't have many details, including whether it's handheld or a traditional TV-bound console. But it's a big catalyst that will wait until next spring.
- The company is putting out smartphone games this fall, including entries in Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing. But there's no news on whether those will be free or paid.
- The NX will also debut with a new entry in the Legend of Zelda franchise, which will also be released for Wii U.
- Revenues dropped 8% and net profits fell 61%, to ¥16.5B, though the company guided to higher profits for the full year amid flat revenues. It also expects lower sales of the 3DS and Wii U hardware as consumers await the NX's release.
- Now read Nintendo Mobile: Miitomo, A Sign Of Things To Come? »
Tue, Mar. 22, 7:20 PM
- Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY +5.8%) shares hit their highest close in a month amid news that its belated entry into smartphones started off with a bang.
- Miitomo, its social messaging app/service, picked up a million users in just three days to become the No. 1 free download in Japan's app stores. It's expected to be released in other countries before the end of the month.
- After widespread speculation and a longtime reluctance to get into mobile gaming, Nintendo partnered with publisher DeNA to begin building five mobile games by spring 2017. Miitomo, based on the "Mii" avatars that populated its Wii console, is the first of those -- though more social networking app than game.
- DeNA shares closed up 6.5% in Tokyo.
- Meanwhile, Nikkei reports that Nintendo will stop production on its Wii U console this year, creating a more forced transition to its "Nintendo NX" generation of hardware.
- The Wii U has consistently trailed same-generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft month after month. A parts supplier says some components of the console have already been discontinued.
- Previously: Nintendo delaying its first smartphone game launch to March (Oct. 28 2015)
- Previously: Rumor of Nintendo going Android-based: Not the worst idea? (Jun. 01 2015)
- Previously: Nintendo's mobile plan: Five games by March 2017 (May. 08 2015)
Fri, Mar. 11, 11:56 AM
- New games weren't in short supply, but a drag from hardware sent videogame sales down 12% Y/Y in February.
- U.S. new physical gaming product sales at retail were $842.5M, NPD Group reports, down from a year-ago $960.3M -- though last year included Nintendo's (OTCPK:NTDOY +1.3%) launch of the 3DS XL.
- Hardware sales fell 23% to $292.2M, paced by a 58% drop-off in portable hardware (again, against a tough comp with last year's Nintendo portable). Older-gen consoles (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii) continued to fall off, slipping 77%. Software sales declined 10% to $303.9M.
- In U.S. new physical software, new release Far Cry: Primal from Ubisoft (OTCPK:UBSFY +0.1%) topped the charts while holiday release Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (ATVI +2.3%) held strong at No. 2 just ahead of Grand Theft Auto V (TTWO +1.5%). And speaking of high-profile holiday releases, Star Wars: Battlefront (EA +1.3%) fell out of the top 10.
- Games for PlayStation 4 (SNE +3%) are still dominating software sales overall. And Sony says the PS4 was again the top-selling console in February.
Thu, Jan. 14, 7:54 PM
- December marked a strong month for new videogames, though the sum was down slightly Y/Y likely due to drag from older-generation consoles.
- New games at retail sold at the pace of $3.22B, NPD Group reports, down from 2014's $3.26B. Hardware and software were down, though accessory sales rose 10%.
- A 4% increase in spending on newest-generation PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Wii U was offset by a 71% drop in PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii hardware. Overall, hardware sales fell 6% Y/Y. Unsurprisingly, December was the best month on record for software for the newest consoles.
- In U.S. new physical software: December is usually Call of Duty month and this one was no exception, as Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (ATVI +1.6%) won the period, followed by Star Wars: Battlefront (EA +1.7%) and Fallout 4 (Bethesda Softworks). With holiday gifting, the rest of the chart was full of familiar names: Take-Two's (TTWO +0.6%) Grand Theft Auto V, sports games from EA and Take-Two, and Minecraft (MSFT +2.9%).
- As usual, Sony's (SNE -0.8%) PS4 was the top-selling console. It beat the Xbox One and Wii U (OTCPK:NTDOY -0.7%) in sales in every month except April and October, and it claimed the crown in the two best-selling months of the year (November and December). Sony says it's nearing 36M PS4s sold overall, after 6.4M-plus from this holiday season.
Jun. 3, 2015, 3:50 PM
- Activision Blizzard (ATVI +1.6%) is extending its popular $3B Skylanders game/toy franchise -- with 20 vehicles.
- Skylanders Superchargers adds land, sky and sea vehicles to let players race through various terrain and environments along with 20 new characters. The game is out Sept. 20.
- Activision's getting increasing competition in this toys-to-life genre it pioneered, not only with Disney's Infinity (NYSE:DIS) and Nintendo's Amiibo (OTCPK:NTDOY), but also Lego, planning a game where players' real-life brick creations can be played inside the videogame.
- While Disney and Nintendo have a stable of characters to draw on, Activision may need new "hooks" (like vehicles) with each release since its characters are original creations.
- Activision reported that (including toys) Skylanders was the No. 1 console franchise and title globally in Q1 and outsold the No. 1 action figure line globally.
- Toys-to-life needs something new, though; trailing-12-months sales in the category grew just 2% in Q1 vs. 45% a year earlier.
Jun. 1, 2015, 9:08 PM
- It's a thin rumor, fed by the secrecy around Nintendo's (OTCPK:NTDOY +1.9%) upcoming "NX" console/platform, but a column in Nikkei Shimbun suggests the company could base the system on Google's Android OS.
- That would be a stark change for a company with tight control over software and OS development, but it's building up some media support today: Users are familiar with a slow Wii U interface that could benefit from a speed injection, and there's a case to be made for stronger third-party development support.
- Nintendo would likely pursue an Android fork where it wouldn't have to share a cut of game sales with Google (which would surely be a dealbreaker), and -- again due to its tight grip -- would be able to strictly manage a consistent look and feel.
- As for whether ceding OS development is too much of a culture shock for the company, it did break another barrier this spring by paving the way for its games to go mobile (and thus to other hardware).
- Previously: Nintendo's mobile plan: Five games by March 2017 (May. 08 2015)
May 7, 2015, 11:59 AM
- Universal Parks & Resorts (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is partnering with Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY +4.6%) to bring the latter's Mario and other popular (and numerous) video game characters to themed attractions.
- Potential Nintendo rides got a good public test at the 2014 SXSW Festival, where Pennzoil and Nintendo created a live version of Mario Kart 8.
- For Nintendo, it's another partnership after some reluctance to team up with others. The company got together with online gaming company DeNA to jump into smartphone gaming this spring.
- "For Nintendo IP, a more active approach will be taken in areas outside the video game business, including visual content production and character merchandising," Nintendo says in a statement.
- Details of the deal weren't available, but Universal has theme parks in Orlando, Fla.; Hollywood; Singapore; and Japan.
Mar. 13, 2015, 5:15 PM
- NPD estimates U.S. physical retail game sales rose 7% Y/Y in February to $338.9M, up from January's 5% growth and better than expected. Hardware sales rose 10% to $378.2M, as next-gen console demand remains healthy. Superdata Research estimates digital game revenue rose just 2% to $995M, thanks to weak mobile and social game sales.
- Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY) had a good month: The recently-refreshed 3DS XL handheld was February's top-selling console - Ninetendo says 394K 3DS units were sold - and The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D (launched on Feb. 13) topped NPD's game rankings.
- Take-Two (NASDAQ:TTWO) also did well: Evolve (launched on Feb. 10) was #2 on NPD's list, GTA V came in at #5 (down from January's #3) ahead of its March 24 PC launch, and NBA 2K15 was at #6 (down from #5). Take-Two recently said it was "very pleased" with Evolve's launch.
- Activision's (NASDAQ:ATVI) Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare fell two spots to #4, while Destiny (#9 last month) fell out of the top-10. Electronic Arts' (NASDAQ:EA) Madden NFL 15 and FIFA 15 also dropped out.
- Piper observes Take-Two and Activision's NPD sales were respectively up 72% and 16% Y/Y in February, and that EA's were down 32% over the first two months of 2015. It maintains Overweight ratings on all 3 firms.
- Take-Two rose 3.9% in regular trading thanks to the numbers. GameStop (NYSE:GME) also got a lift, rising 3.5%. Activision rose 0.9% and EA rose 0.4%.
Jul. 18, 2014, 2:07 PM
- After rising 57% Y/Y in May due to new game launches, U.S. retail physical game sales fell 3% in June to $286.8M, per NPD. But with June 2013 having a stronger launch title lineup, that figure was better than expected. Sales were also still up over 4% from a May level of $274M.
- Ubisoft's (OTCPK:UBSFY) Watch Dogs was the top-selling title for the second month in a row. Electronic Arts' (EA +3.1%) UFC (launched on June 3) was #4, and FIFA 14 (receiving a World Cup boost) was #5. Titanfall (#8 in May) fell out of the top-10.
- Activision's (ATVI +1.2%) Call of Duty: Ghosts rose 2 spots to #8. But The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (#6 in May) dropped out of the top-10.
- Take-Two's (TTWO +4.1%) NBA 2K14 (boosted by playoff interest) rose a spot to #6, and GTA V came in at #10. Nintendo's (OTCPK:NTDOY) Mario Kart 8 and Tomodachi Life were respectively #2 and #9.
- With the help of Microsoft's cheaper Xbox One package, hardware sales rose 106% Y/Y to $292.7M. Together with the software numbers, that's providing a lift to GameStop (GME +4.4%).
- EA reports on July 22, while Activision and Take-Two both report on August 5.
Jan. 27, 2014, 9:45 AM
- Cisco (CSCO -0.9%) has been cut to Underweight by JPMorgan ahead of its Feb. 12 FQ2 report.
- MercadoLibre (MELI -1.7%) has been cut to Underperform by BofA/Merrill. Shares tumbled last week, partly on account of Venezuelan/Argentine forex swings.
- Xerox (XRX -1.5%) has been cut to Market Perform by BMO after missing Q4 revenue estimates on Friday.
- Cavium (CAVM +1.6%) has been upgraded to Outperform by Wedbush ahead of Wednesday's Q4 report.
- Xoom (XOOM +8%) has been upgraded all the way to Strong Buy from Market Perform by Raymond James. Q4 results are due on Feb. 4.
- RetailMeNot (SALE +3.2%) has been upgraded to Buy by Goldman. Q4 results arrive on Feb. 6.
- SMI (SMI +9.4%) has received a two-notch upgrade to Buy by UBS.
- IDT (IDTI -4.1%) has been cut to Underweight by Barclays.
- Nintendo (NTDOY) has been cut to Sell by Goldman. Shares fell 2.2% in Tokyo.
Jan. 17, 2014, 11:23 AM
- Nintendo (NTDOY -14.9%) shares plunge after the company reversed itself on projections, issuing guidance for a ¥35B loss in the FY ending March.
- Jefferies, however, raised its PT to ¥29K (shares currently trade at ~¥14.6K) and reiterated a Buy rating, noting that "Our Buy thesis on Nintendo has been predicated on the company missing the President's 'commitment' of ¥100b OP and being forced to change."
- Jefferies predicates its contrarian view on the notion that Nintendo's failure will force it to move into mobile: "We believe Mario on mobile is coming."
Sep. 13, 2013, 12:25 PM
- NPD estimates U.S. physical retail video game sales rose 21% Y/Y, reversing July's 19% decline as new titles stoked demand ahead of this fall's console refreshes. Games launched in August accounted for over half of all sales, and their high price tags resulted in ASPs rising 25%.
- GameStop (GME +5%) investors are pleased with the numbers. So are Electronic Arts (EA +2.7%), and Take-Two (TTWO +3%) investors; while still important, NPD's figures matter a little less than they used to for game developers, thanks to a shift towards digital revenue streams.
- Not surprisingly, hardware sales fell 40% Y/Y (worse than July's 34% drop), as gamers wait for the chance to buy a PS4 or Xbox One. Sales of accessories, including Skylanders (ATVI +0.6%) toys, rose 7% after falling 3% in July. Nintendo's (NTDOY.PK) 3DS was the best-selling console; 6.47M units of the handheld console have been sold in the U.S. in 2013.
- Though its first-week sales disappointed, EA's Madden NFL 25 was the month's best-selling title. Take-Two's anticipated Grand Theft Auto V launches on Tuesday.
- Analysts expect GTA V to pull in $1B+ in sales in Take-Two's FY14 (ends March '14). Pac Crest downgraded Take-Two earlier this week, arguing (among other things) the company has an "empty pipeline" and that there's "potential for changes" in Take-Two's relationship with GTA franchise developer Rockstar Games.
Jul. 8, 2013, 9:33 AMA roundup of tech analyst ratings changes: 1) Evercore has downgraded Intel (INTC -1.5%) to Underweight. Also, Citi has cut its estimates for Intel. 2) Citi has removed Qualcomm (QCOM -0.5%) from its Top Picks Live list. 3) Needham has downgraded contract manufacturers Flextronics (FLEX -0.9%), Plexus (PLXS -1%), and Benchmark Electronics (BHE -1%) to Hold. 4) HSBC has upgraded China Unicom (CHU +0.7%) to Neutral. 5) Jefferies has started Nintendo (NTDOY.PK) at Buy. 6) Evercore has downgraded ON Semi (ONNN -2.7%) to Equal Weight. 7) Barclays has downgraded VeriFone (PAY -1.2%) to Equal Weight. | Jul. 8, 2013, 9:33 AM
Feb. 20, 2013, 7:49 PMSony Corp. (SNE) bucks a weak local tape to trade up 0.7% in the Japanese market after unveiling the PlayStation 4 at a New York event. The company also said earlier that it will book a $1.2B one-time gain from the sale of an online medical-service stake. Rival Nintendo (NTDOY.PK +1.4%) also rallies on the news. | Feb. 20, 2013, 7:49 PM
Jan. 7, 2013, 1:58 PM
The Street isn't a fan of Nvidia's (NVDA -2.5%) entry into the handheld console market: shares are ticking lower as concerns about the costs of supporting Project Shield outweigh any enthusiasm about its latest baseband and app processors. CNNMoney's Adrian Covert notes Nvidia (unlike Nintendo and Sony) is trying to carve a niche by courting hardcore gamers with its console. Nvidia also launched its cloud-based Grid Gaming System (previous) yesterday. Supported by several cloud gaming providers, Grid features 20 servers and 240 Nvidia GPUs per rack.| Jan. 7, 2013, 1:58 PM
Nov. 16, 2012, 12:12 PMActivision (ATVI +4.8%) registers a big gain after announcing it sold over $500M worth of copies of Call of Duty: Black Ops II in its first 24 hours of availability. GameStop (GME +2.9%), which reported strong initial sales for the game earlier this week, is also rallying. The solid early reception for Black Ops II and Microsoft's Halo 4 are fueling hopes the console game industry will cap what has been an ugly year with a decent holiday season. | Nov. 16, 2012, 12:12 PM