TOKYO/OSAKA (Reuters) – Nintendo Co Ltd’s (7974.T) second-quarter working profit greater than doubled, blowing previous analyst estimates, on sturdy demand for its Switch console.

FILE PHOTO: A show for the gaming firm Nintendo is proven in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 11, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Nintendo bought four.98 million items of its hybrid home-portable Switch machine within the six months to September and 1.95 million handheld-only Switch Lite items that went on sale in September.

It could be “premature” to lift Nintendo’s full-year gross sales forecast for Switch from 18 million items, CEO Shuntaro Furukawa instructed reporters in Osaka.

The Switch Lite launch is a part of the Kyoto-based agency’s drive to broaden the machine’s attraction past hardcore avid gamers, with the arrival of two Pokemon titles subsequent month anticipated to drive demand for the low-cost model of the machine.

Nintendo, which drew in thousands and thousands of informal gamers with the its Wii Fit sport and steadiness board gadget 12 years in the past, faces ever extra competitors from smartphone apps to video streaming.

This month, Nintendo launched Ring Fit Adventure, a title which, utilizing the Switch’s sensor-packed controllers and the bundled springy plastic Ring-Con, permits gamers to discover a fantasy world via actions like jogging and leaping.

Nintendo introduced certainly one of its marquee franchises, Mario Kart, to cellular in September, with the title downloaded over 120 million occasions in its first month, outstripping different cellular releases from the gaming firm over a comparable interval.

With income at $zero.26 per participant for the Mario Kart title, in response to knowledge from Sensor Tower, far behind Dragalia Lost’s $16.50 per participant, Nintendo is but to display the saturated cellular market can turn out to be a considerable income driver.

Furukawa declined to say when the sport’s multiplayer possibility, which is at present greyed-out in-game and has been a spotlight for participant complaints, could be activated.

Nintendo’s working profit for the July-September quarter was 66.eight billion yen ($615 million) versus 30.9 billion yen a 12 months earlier. That was effectively above a median forecast of 50 billion yen from 10 analyst estimates compiled by Refinitiv.

The firm’s shares closed up zero.three% on Thursday forward of earnings. The inventory has risen 32% this 12 months though that upwards trajectory has stalled in latest months.

Nintendo has struggled to duplicate the runaway success of cellular title Pokemon Go, developed by San Francisco-based Niantic, which has, three years after it launched, generated greater than $three billion in revenues, in response to Sensor Tower.

The commercialization of Pokemon, which spans video games, toys, and TV, contrasts with Nintendo’s typically conservative use of characters like Mario.

However, the gaming firm is taking inspiration from the string of Pokemon Center retail shops with the launch of a Nintendo-themed retailer in Tokyo’s Shibuya district subsequent month.

Reporting by Sam Nussey in Tokyo and Noriyuki Hirata in Osaka; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Jason Neely

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