Nintendo chief: Seeking growth sources as Switch sales slow

Japanese video game maker Nintendo Co. President Shuntaro Furukawa speaks during a news conference in Tokyo Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. Furukawa says the Kyoto-based video game maker behind the Super Mario and Pokemon franchises is counting on business outside the game sector for future growth as sales for its Switch console machines fall short of forecasts. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
This June 19, 2018, photo, visitors walk around a figure of Super Mario of Nintendo at Panasonic center in Tokyo. Nintendo, the Japanese video game maker behind the Super Mario and Pokemon franchises, is reporting a 25 percent jump in fiscal third-quarter profit, boosted by the popularity of games for its Switch console. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
Japanese video game maker Nintendo Co. President Shuntaro Furukawa prepares to attend a news conference in Tokyo Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. Furukawa says the Kyoto-based video game maker behind the Super Mario and Pokemon franchises is counting on business outside the game sector for future growth as sales for its Switch console machines fall short of forecasts. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Japanese video game maker Nintendo Co. President Shuntaro Furukawa, center standing, is introduced to the guests and media during a news conference in Tokyo Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. Furukawa says the Kyoto-based video game maker behind the Super Mario and Pokemon franchises is counting on business outside the game sector for future growth as sales for its Switch console machines fall short of forecasts. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
In this June 19, 2018, photo, a logo of Nintendo hangs at Panasonic center in Tokyo. Nintendo, the Japanese video game maker behind the Super Mario and Pokemon franchises, is reporting a 25 percent jump in fiscal third-quarter profit, boosted by the popularity of games for its Switch console. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
Japanese video game maker Nintendo Co. President Shuntaro Furukawa speaks during a news conference in Tokyo Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. Furukawa says the Kyoto-based video game maker behind the Super Mario and Pokemon franchises is counting on business outside the game sector for future growth as sales for its Switch console machines fall short of forecasts. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Japanese video game maker Nintendo Co. President Shuntaro Furukawa speaks during a news conference in Tokyo Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. Furukawa says the Kyoto-based video game maker behind the Super Mario and Pokemon franchises is counting on business outside the game sector for future growth as sales for its Switch console machines fall short of forecasts. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO — Nintendo's president says the Kyoto-based video game maker behind the Super Mario and Pokemon franchises is counting on business outside the game sector for future growth as sales for its Switch console machines fall short of forecasts.

Shuntaro Furukawa told reporters Friday that sales in the current quarter are still going strong though they will likely be 3 million machines less than earlier estimated, at 17 million units.

"It was not the pace we had aimed for, but sales are going at a good pace," Furukawa said of Switch sales over the last several months.

Nintendo Co. has been diversifying its business. It plans to have its own theme park facility at Universal Studios in Osaka, Japan, finished in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It plans a similar facility for the U.S.

Nintendo also expects to open an event space in Tokyo's Shibuya this year.

Products like Pikachu dolls and other merchandise featuring Nintendo characters, such as a Monopoly board game starring Super Mario, are some examples of how the company hopes to cash in on its rich content.

Also Friday, Nintendo announced a partnership with Japan-based Line Corp., an online service company, to develop a game for smart devices, set for release later this year.

Nintendo officials acknowledged challenges of getting more people to play games. "Pokemon Go," played on cellphones, has proved a giant hit around the world. They said Nintendo hasn't fully taken advantage of that to get people to buy the Switch, a hybrid game machine that works both as a console and a tablet that went on sale two years ago.

Cumulative global sales of the Switch total 30 million.

Among hit software for Switch is "Super Mario Bros. Ultimate," whose sales have totaled 12 million units since it went on sale in December.

___

Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

On Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/yurikageyama/?hl=en

People also read these

Hong Kong actor Eric Tsang denies sexual...

Jan 17, 2018

Well-known Hong Kong actor Eric Tsang has vehemently denied rumors of sexual misconduct by him

EU, Sweden call for China to release detained...

Jan 24, 2018

The European Union has joined Sweden in calling for China's immediate release of a Swedish book...

AP PHOTOS: People in Asia and beyond welcome...

Feb 16, 2018

AP PHOTOS: People in Asia and around the world have been celebrating the Lunar New Year Friday

Film with Fan Bingbing, Bruce Willis canceled...

Oct 18, 2018

Film release for "Air Strike," featuring Fan Bingbing and Bruce Willis, has been canceled after the...

In Cantonese opera, Trump finds his twin brother...

Apr 14, 2019

President Donald Trump is the inspiration for "Trump on Show," a four-day Cantonese opera that...

About Us

Frontal Report is an emerging leader in all forms of media. We aim to be the leading news brand for readers around the world.

Contact us: sales[at]frontalreport.com

Subscribe Now!