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Sizzling Switch sales boost Nintendo 9 month profit 31 pct

A Super Mario figure greets shoppers at an electronics store in Tokyo, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. Japanese video-game maker Nintendo says its net profit jumped 31 percent in April-December from a year earlier, helped by the popularity of its Switch hybrid game machine. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese video-game maker Nintendo’s net profit jumped 31 percent to 135.2 billion yen ($1.2 billion) in April-December, helped by the popularity of its Switch hybrid game machine, the company said Wednesday.

Kyoto-based Nintendo, which makes Super Mario and Pokemon games, said its sales in the first nine months of 2017 more than doubled from a year earlier to 857 billion yen ($7.9 billion).

Profit in October-December was 83.7 billion yen ($771 million), up 29 percent year-on-year, it said.

The company revised its full-year profit upward by 41 percent to 120 billion yen ($1.1 billion).

Nintendo, which also makes the 3DS portable console, has 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 is yielding strong results.

Its Super Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition, launched in September and October, proved to be a hit, the company said.

The Switch is a new kind of machine for Nintendo, which allows for playing both at home and on-the-go. The challenge for the company 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 strong demand for “Super Mario Odyssey,” ”Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” and “Splatoon 2.” A slew of new games are due to be launched in coming months, including “Dragon Quest Builders” and “Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.”

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