Nintendo announced today that the company has revised its annual profit forecast upward. The Mario factory now predicts its net profit for its entire business year, which ends on March 31, 2007, will be 100 billion yen (about $850 million), up from 83 billion yen (about $705 million). The 20.5 percent increase was credited to a weak yen and the much-anticipated launch of the Wii console, which goes on sale in November in the US and Japan.
However, as anyone who has been following Nintendo in the news knows, the main reason for the upward revision is gangbusters sales of the DS. Even with production running at more than 2.2 million units per month, shortages of the dual-screen handheld continue to be common in Japan.
For its full fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2007, Nintendo raised DS sales projections 18 percent, from 17 million units to 20 million units. During the same period, DS software sales are expected to top 82 million games, an increase of 9 percent from prior estimates.
Yuta Sakurai, a senior analyst at Nomura Securities, told the Reuters news service that "it was surprising to see how much [Nintendo] raised its full-year forecast, especially the sales outlook. ... Nintendo had expected DS sales to slow once its Wii and Sony's PlayStation 3 consoles hit the market, but we see no sign of that...and it looks like the company shifted its view and now expects DS sales to remain strong through the year-end."
Sakurai also chimed in on the looming Wii launch, which he thinks will be a runaway success. "There will be so many people who want the console that it will be almost impossible to actually get them at the beginning," he said.