Nintendo's earnings nearly doubled in the first nine months of its fiscal year thanks to the success of the Wii:
Group net profit at Nintendo Co., which also makes Super Mario and Pokemon games, totaled 258.93 billion yen ($2.43 billion) for the nine months ended Dec. 31, up 96.3 percent from 131.92 billion yen for the same period in fiscal 2006. Nintendo didn't give a quarterly breakdown.
The Wii, with its wandlike remote-controller, is winning over novices — including the elderly and women — to video games.
The machines, which first went on sale in late 2006, have been snatched up as soon as they arrive at stores, outstripping the competing PlayStation 3 from Sony Corp. and Xbox 360 from Microsoft Corp.
Nintendo said it has now sold more than 20 million Wii machines worldwide, 14.29 million of them during the latest three quarters.
New Wii games, including "Wii Fit," "Super Mario Galaxy" and "Wii Sports," have been a success.
Sales during the nine months jumped rose 84.7 percent from a year ago to 1.316 trillion yen ($12.35 billion) from 712.59 billion.
The Kyoto-based company kept its profit forecast at 275 billion yen ($2.58 billion), for the full fiscal year through March 31, but raised its sales forecast to 1.63 trillion yen ($15.29 billion), up from an earlier estimate of 1.55 trillion yen.
Nintendo said its DS portable machine, which comes with a touch panel, has also been very popular, marking 24.5 million units in sales during the nine months through December 2007, adding to cumulative sales of 64.79 million.