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Profits up at Nintendo as Switch makes 'promising' debut

Nintendo has released its financials for the full year ended March 31, 2017, giving us our first glimpse at official Switch sales figures. 

Nintendo has released its financials for the full year ended March 31, 2017, giving us our first glimpse at official Switch sales figures. 

The console maker saw year-over-year profits rise by 521.5 percent to 102.5 billion yen ($919.8 million), due in part to the sale of its controlling stake in the Seattle Mariners baseball team, while net sales fell by 3 percent to 489.1 billion yen ($4.38 billion) during the same period. 

Switch sales were stronger-than-expected. The console launched on March 3 and went on to sell 2.74 million units in its first month on shelves, the company said.

Nintendo's new hybrid console debuted alongside The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which has to-date sold 2.76 million copies on Switch and 1.08 million copies on the Wii U. 

Overall, the Japanese firm seems pleased with the way the Switch has been performing, and said the "immense popularity" of Breath of the Wild combined with the buzz generated by 1-2-Switch capped off a promising start for its new console. 

Looking at Nintendo's more veteran systems, 3DS hardware sales rose by 7 percent year-over-year to 7.27 million units. Software sales on the handheld also reached 55.08 million units during that time, an increase of 14 percent. 

Those favorable numbers can be attributed to the solid performances of titles like Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, which recorded sales of 15.44 million units, Super Mario Maker, which sold 2.34 million units, and Kirby: Planet Robobot, which shifted 1.36 million units. 

Turning our attention to the Wii U, software sales on the console hit 14.8 million units worldwide, down by 46 percent year-over-year, while hardware sales for the year numbered just 760 thousand units. Though it's worth nothing that Nintendo says those waning figures are "in alignment" with expectations.

Elsewhere, the company waxed lyrical about the "fantastic" consumer response to its smartphone offerings like Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes, and talked up the "immense popularity" of its NES Classic Edition mini console -- which has since been discontinued.

Looking ahead, Nintendo says the release of major first party Switch titles including Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, ARMS, and Splatoon 2 will boost sales and help drive adoption over the next 12 months. 

It will also continue to support the 3DS and build out its smartphone operations. If everything goes according to plan, the firm expects to pull in net sales of 750 billion yen ($6.72 billion) and profits of 45 billion yen ($403.8 million) by the end of the next fiscal year on March 31, 2018.

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