Japan's exports are on Mario-like surge. Photo: Flickr
Japan's exports are on Mario-like surge. Photo: Flickr

Japan’s Nintendo on Wednesday said it plans to release two or three smartphone games every year in the hope of stabilizing earnings still highly dependent on its volatile games console business.

“We believe we can build a stable profit structure by aggressively leveraging our intellectual properties,” such as the Super Mario Bros characters, Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima said at an annual business strategy briefing.

The remarks came a day after the games maker disappointed investors with a one-third cut to its full-year operating profit outlook, blaming fewer-than-expected downloads of console games and slower sales of “amiibo” character goods.

Its shares fell the next morning by as much as 4.8%.

Nintendo made a full-fledged entry into mobile gaming last month with its first own-brand title, Super Mario Run. Even so, it is still counting on its first console in four years, the Switch, to revive earnings which rely heavily on console sales.

Kimishima said at the briefing that over 70 game makers are developing 100 or more titles for the Switch, which launches on March 3. He did not provide any release dates for those games or offer any comparison with the number of games under development when Nintendo launched its current console, the Wii U.

Yet the number represents a jump from the 80 titles from 50 makers that Nintendo outlined just three weeks ago. That increase may appease analysts who have said that game availability appears limited.

The Switch software lineup has been closely watched as analysts said the low number of software titles for the Wii U was among the major reasons for that console’s failure.