TOKYO — Japanese video-game maker Nintendo Co. has reversed into profit for the April-June quarter from losses the previous year, boosted by the popularity of its Switch hybrid game machine.
Kyoto-based Nintendo reported Wednesday a profit of 21.26 billion yen ($190 million) for the fiscal first quarter, improving from a 24.5 billion yen loss for the three months through June 30 last year.
Quarterly sales more than doubled to 154.1 billion yen ($1.4 billion) from 62 billion yen the previous year.
Nintendo, which makes Super Mario and Pokemon games, left unchanged its full year forecast through March 2018, for a 45 billion yen ($402 million) net profit on 750 billion yen ($6.7 billion) sales.
Nintendo sold 1.97 million Switch machines during the quarter, for cumulative sales of 4.7 million units since March. It left unchanged its estimate of selling 10 million Switch machines in the fiscal year through March 2018.
The Switch is a new kind of machine for Nintendo, which allows for playing both at home and on-the-go.
The challenge for Nintendo has been to keep the sales momentum going for new consoles, as they are snatched up in the initial years, but then interest tends to wane.
Nintendo said its Switch game software sales have been solid, with demand strong for “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, “ARMS” and “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.”
Its Splatoon 2 has just gone on sale and “Super Mario Odyssey” for the Switch will launch in October.
Nintendo, which also makes the 3DS portable console, has also scored success in offering games for smartphones and other devices that aren’t Nintendo machines — a move the company had resisted for years, but an area that appears to offer great growth potential.
The recent release on smart devices of “Super Mario Run” and “Fire Emblem Heroes” games has met with success, boosting quarterly income from content related to such devices by more than five-fold on-year to 9 billion yen ($80 million), according to Nintendo.
Interest in Nintendo games on smart devices soared with the wildly popular augmented reality game, “Pokemon Go.” A U.S. company called Niantic, in which Nintendo is an investor, developed that game, using Pokemon characters. “Pokemon Go” was downloaded more than 750 million times in its first year, according to Niantic.
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