Nintendo Sales, Profit Surge on Wii, DS

Nintendo reported strong growth in its sales and profit during the April to June quarter thanks to the popularity of its Wii console and DS handheld gaming device -- although sales of both devices dropped in Japan.

The company said net profit jumped 34 percent compared to the same period last year, to ¥107 billion (US$1 billion), as sales rose 24 percent to ¥423 billion.

Nintendo sold 5.2 million Wii consoles worldwide during the quarter, a jump of 50 percent on the same period a year earlier. In Japan, however, sales dropped by almost half. Sales of Wii software rose in all regions with volumes in the Americas more than doubling. Overall, 40.4 million Wii games were sold during the period.

Key titles during the quarter included "Mario Kart Wii," which sold 6.4 million copies, and "Wii Fit," which sold 3.4 million.

Sales of the Nintendo DS were down slightly from the same quarter last year due to a big drop in Japan, where sales collapsed from 2.1 million units to 580,000 units. Overall, 6.9 million of the handhelds were sold in the quarter, against 7 million in the same period last year.

Game sales advanced in all markets except Japan, where they fell by roughly half. Sales outside of Japan were helped by the release of "Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time" during the quarter. Overall, 36.6 million DS games were sold worldwide in the quarter.

Looking ahead, Nintendo left its full-year forecasts unchanged. It expects to realize a 26 percent year-on-year jump in net profit to ¥325 billion and an 8 percent increase in sales, to ¥1.8 trillion.

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