Nintendo Sees Profit Doubling, Helped by Smartphone Game Entry

Nintendo Sees Profit Doubling, Helped by Smartphone Game Entry

In this June 11, 2013 file photo, Reggie Fils-Aime, President and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America, addresses the media at the Nintendo Wii U software showcase during the E3 game show in Los Angeles. After the launch of Sony's PlayStation 4, Microsoft's Xbox One and Nintendo’s Wii U consoles, a combination of both original creations and the latest installments in long-running series will be a major focus at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo held June 10-12, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, file)
In this June 11, 2013 file photo, Reggie Fils-Aime, President and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America, addresses the media at the Nintendo Wii U software showcase during the E3 game show in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, file)

 

(Reuters) – Japanese videogame maker Nintendo Co Ltd forecast its long-awaited entry into smartphone games would help it double annual operating profit in the year through March, offsetting weak sales growth in its traditional consoles.

Nintendo repeatedly resisted investor calls to shift focus to smartphone games to boost profitability, until it unveiled a gaming app partnership in March with DeNA Co Ltd. On Thursday, it said would also branch out to theme parks through a tie-up with Universal Parks & Resorts.

The newly venturesome approach comes as Nintendo’s Wii U console lags behind Sony Corp’s PlayStation and Microsoft Corp’s XBox, while the rise of smartphone games has also led to a decline in customers.

Though console sales are slowing, Nintendo forecast operating profit would roughly double to 50 billion yen ($419.71 million) in the year through next March, ahead of the 39 billion yen average forecast of 20 analysts to Thomson Reuters data.

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