TOKYO — Nintendo Co. reported Monday that its profit for the first three fiscal quarters nearly doubled as people worldwide stayed home for the pandemic and turned to play games.
Kyoto-based Nintendo’s success has come on the back of the popularity of its Switch console, as well as game software like “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.” Other Switch software enjoying healthy demand included “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” and “Super Mario 3D All-Stars,” according to the company. The October-December quarter is always crucial for Nintendo because of year-end holiday shopping.
Nintendo sold 24 million Switch consoles during the three quarters through December. It had sold 12.5 million Switch devices during the first two quarters of the fiscal year, so sales nearly doubled in the latest quarter. The total numbers include the smaller Switch Lite console, as well as the regular Switch.
The latest numbers show Switch sales are still going strong, compared to the same period a year earlier, at 17.7 million units. After this fourth year of the holiday season, Nintendo said that Switch sales, cumulative sales total 74 million consoles.
Nintendo expects a 400 billion yen ($3.8 billion) profit for the fiscal year through March 2021, up from 258.6 billion yen the previous fiscal year. It had earlier forecast a gain of 300 billion yen ($2.9 billion).
Although the spread of COVID-19 infections has slammed many businesses, the game sector has, from the start, been a beneficiary, offering home entertainment and ways for people to connect remotely through online games.