• Kyodo


Nintendo Co. is reporting a 2.7-fold year-on-year increase in consolidated sales in the six months through September on brisk demand for the Switch game console and related software titles.

The results for the first half of the 2017 business year show the Kyoto-based video game giant continuing a striking turnaround from financial woes stemming from the disappointing performance of the Switch’s predecessor, the Wii U, with recent successes in mobile gaming including “Pokemon Go,” based on an affiliate’s property.

The company posted sales of ¥374.04 billion, compared with ¥136.81 billion a year earlier. Net profit was up 34.5 percent to ¥51.50 billion and operating profit at ¥39.96 billion, reversing a ¥5.95 billion loss.

President Tatsumi Kimishima told a news conference Monday in Osaka that a string of strong titles kept demand for the Switch high, while production capacity has caught up to demand after some early supply issues.

“Our users wanted more than we were initially ready to give them,” he said.

The company said it shipped 4.89 million Switch consoles in the first half, meaning it sold 2.92 million units in the July-September quarter compared with 1.97 million units in April-June. It raised its full-year sales estimate to 14 million units from the previous forecast of 10 million.

The console, which has a display screen and detachable controllers and can act as both a home system and a handheld machine, has been popular since its March release with production struggling to meet demand in the United States, Europe and Japan, among other markets.

Software titles such as child-friendly shooting game “Splatoon 2” also contributed, as did the 5.3-fold jump in revenue from mobile gaming and the leasing of rights to intellectual properties such as Mario.

Full-year earnings projections were revised upward to reflect the solid sales and currency moves, with sales now estimated at ¥960 billion compared with the earlier ¥750 billion. Net profit was nearly doubled to ¥85 billion from ¥45 billion, and operating profit was raised to ¥120 billion from ¥65 billion.

Sales of “Super Mario Odyssey,” the latest installment in the globally popular series released last week, are expected to contribute during the holiday season.

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