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Nintendo said Thursday profits more than doubled in the six months to Sept. 30 on the roaring success of its hit Wii and Nintendo DS game consoles.

The Japanese manufacturer of Pokemon and Super Mario games said its group net profit surged to 132.42 billion yen ($1.16 billion) in its fiscal first half from 54.35 billion a year earlier

Group sales also more than doubled to 694.80 billion yen ($6.07 billion) from 298.82 billion yen, with 78% of sales booked overseas.

The strong results spurred Nintendo to raise its profit forecast for the year through March to 275 billion yen ($2.40 billion), up from the 245 billion yen it forecast in July. Sales are forecast to rise 10% to 1.55 trillion ($13.55 billion).

The earnings underline the Kyoto-based company's success in a three-way battle of video game consoles against Sony's PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360. Nintendo's U.S. arm is based in Redmond, Wash., as is Microsoft.

With its wandlike remote control for fishing, golfing, tennis and other video games, Nintendo's Wii console has won over fans from young children to elderly rehab patients. Nintendo has announced a further lineup of Wii accessories: a floor pad for exercise and dancing, a steering wheel for driving games and a gun-shaped "zapper" for shooting.

The company shipped about 3.9 million Wii units around the world in the last three months, according to numbers announced Thursday, bringing the total since its launch last year to 13.2 million units — 5.5 million in North America, 3.7 million in Japan and 4.0 million elsewhere. Nintendo said it expects to sell a total of 17.5 million Wiis during the fiscal year.

Nintendo's impressive comeback in recent years is also due to its lineup of low-cost, casual software — the sort of games anyone of any age can quickly learn to play.

Titles like Nintendogs, Brain Age and Nintendo Cooking have propelled sales of the portable DS, which stands for "dual screen," making it the most popular of the current generation of consoles.

Nintendo has already sold 53.6 million DS consoles, and sales are still strong. Unit sales in the last six months — 13.35 million units — rose 32% from the same period last year. The company said it expected to sell 28 million DS units in the year ending March.

Nintendo shares, one of the best performers among major Japanese listings, added 1.3% to 69,800 yen ($610.01) before earnings were announced.


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