Nintendo profits to fall for first time in 6 years

All good things must come to an end, and for Nintendo, there were 6 years of good things. For the first time since the launch of the Wii, Nintendo projects its last-quarter income will drop from last year.

According to an Associated Press report, the video game maker is expecting to post a year-over-year decline for the first quarter of 2010. That’s sobering news for Nintendo, which has been posting increased revenue since the launch of the Wii in 2006, and even for 2 years before that.

Of course, part of it is the reality that there is only so high you can go. But beyond that, Nintendo has been slipping of late. Although Wii continues to outsell its competing consoles, it is no longer throwing the Xbox 360 and PS3 under the bus. On top of that, Nintendo is also posting a lower revenue than last year because of the 2009 price cut on the Wii, from $250 to $200.

Its DS sales have also been slipping, and the release of the DSi XL did nothing to rejuvenate Nintendo’s hardware market.

Again, despite these slips, Nintendo still easily takes the top spot in US monthly sales, and it continues to push out major releases like Mario and Pokemon. So don’t shed any tears for them just yet.

However, this could be a sign of things to come. Microsoft’s Natal platform and Sony’s Playstation Move will both take away from the Wii’s novelty, and the competing consoles are now at more mass-friendly prices than last year.

According to the AP, Nintendo’s forecast for its Q1 earnings is 230 billion yen (around $2.44 billion), a 17.6% decrease from 2009’s record 279.1 billion yen ($2.96 billion).