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As Apple Soars, Nintendo Expects First Annual Loss

The importance of 3DS and this year's Wii U launch becomes bigger than ever.

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Nintendo argues Apple hasn’t had a big impact on its business, but it’s hard to ignore Apple having the second biggest quarterly earnings of any US company ever this week, and Nintendo (via Reuters) signaling a larger-than-anticipated annual loss for 2011.

According to the report, Nintendo now expects an annual operating loss of 45 billion yen ($575 million), a number far higher than averaged analyst expectations of 4.2 billion yen ($54 million).

That’s a loss nearly ten times previous calculations, underscoring the importance of 3DS experiencing continued success (it had a very strong holiday, thanks to some equally strong software) and a solid Wii U launch (a question mark) this year.

Alongside the expected loss, Nintendo cut its sales forecast for Wii from 12 million to 10 million and 3DS from 16 million to 14 million.

Nintendo has been quiet about Wii U since it saw a mixed reaction at E3 last year, and the company has promised more details on what to expect from the tablet-inspired machine at E3 this year.

Patrick Klepek on Google+