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Pokemon and Super Mario help Nintendo back into profit

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Pokemon and Super Mario help Nintendo back into profit
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Nintendo has reported its first quarterly profit in a year thanks to its growing mobile games division, particularly Pokemon Go, but it was forced to reduce its annual earnings forecast by a third.

The Japanese company has been struggling with weak sales of its console games and the consoles themselves.

Investors have been hoping its mobile profit would grow quick enough to offset falling earnings in Nintendo’s mainstay console business.

In October-December, profit reached 32.3 billion yen (265 million euros), down 3.7 percent from the year-earlier period.

Running but not paying

Its smartphone game Super Mario Run, released on December 15, helped third-quarter revenue from mobile gaming and related merchandise reach around 7 billion yen. To date, its downloads have hit about 78 million, but fewer than 10 percent of users have paid to unlock all of its features.

Unlike Super Mario Run, which was its first own-brand smartphone title, Pokemon Go was created with developers Pokemon Co and Niantic Inc who take much of the profit.

Nintendo is due to launch a new device – the Switch – in March, which can be used for home based and mobile gaming.

The console – Nintendo’s first in about four years – is critical to its profits. The company sees mobile primarily as a means of drawing players to its consoles.

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