Steady stream of Wii sales raises Nintendo’s profits

30 Jul 2008

Profits for the gaming giant Nintendo shot up by 34pc year on year according to its latest financial results for the fiscal first quarter, aided in no small part by the surge in sales of the Wii games console.

Nintendo’s net income in the quarter ended 30 June was US$996m (¥107.3bn), which was up ¥7bn on last year’s results. Meanwhile, operating profit went up by 31.5pc from a year earlier, reaching ¥119.2bn.

These positive results are reflected in Wii console sales for the first quarter: 5.2 million were sold globally in this period compared to 1.7 million this time last year.

The Wii console remains a popular choice due to its emphasis on casual gaming and accessibility to the non-traditional gamer market, appealing to families, senior citizens and more women than ever before, especially with the release of the Wii Fitgame earlier this year.

The Wii Fitgame, which includes a balance board for working out on, sold 3.42 million copies, while the Mario Kart Wii game from the popular Mario Bros series shifted an impressive 6.42 million copies in the quarter.

While Nintendo’s handheld games console, the DS, is a big seller, sales have dropped slightly in the past year to just under seven million units this quarter. The company is aiming to boost sales by focusing on its gaming products as a purchase for the individual rather than the household or family unit.

These overall results show that in the battle of the consoles, it seems as though Nintendo’s Wii is fast gaining ground on Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360.

By Marie Boran

Pictured:Nintendo’s Wii Fit – a driving force in Wii sales