Wii success drives Nintendo profits

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The Independent Online

Nintendo has continued to dominate the next-generation video games console market as the stunning success of its DS and Wii products helped double profits in the first nine months of the year.

While some retailers in the UK struggled over the key Christmas period, high-street stores selling Nintendo's products struggled to keep up with demand. The DS, a handheld gaming device, was the best-selling piece of hardware of any kind in the UK during 2007, with 5 million units sold since its launch, while the Wii has proved to be the best-selling console in the UK after reaching 2 million sales – surpassing sales of Microsoft's Xbox 360 which was laun-ched a year earlier.

The stunning success of the Wii, which has sold 20 million units around the world, has provided an unexpected boost to the video games industry with gamers from outside the traditional market attracted to the family-oriented style of the Wii's motion-sensor game play.

The Wii has vastly outsold the Sony PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 and has revived Nintendo's fortunes. The company has overtaken Sony in terms of market capitalisation and is now Japan's second-largest company, behind Toyota.

In the UK, Nintendo has a near 80 per cent share of the handheld gaming device market, while in consoles, the company has a 45 per cent market share. The hardware success has had a knock-on effect on software sales with combined sales of its Dr Kawashima's Brain Training hitting 2.5 million units in the UK.