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Nintendo posts strong profits driven by new console

Gamers next to Nintendo Switch sign Image copyright Getty Images

Japanese gaming giant Nintendo said it returned to profit in the first quarter due to strong demand for its Switch console.

The company hoped the Switch would be a viable competitor against Sony's PS4 and Microsoft's Xbox One.

Nintendo posted an operating profit of 16.21bn yen ($144.95 million; £111.39 million) for the first quarter.

That's up by about a third over the previous quarter and reverses losses from the same quarter last year.

Nintendo released a hybrid console called the Switch in March, hoping it would find more success than its predecessor the Wii U, which was widely considered a flop.

It's primarily a home console, but with a tablet-like device that can be removed and played as a standalone portable unit.

The company aimed to sell 10 million units within a year, which would make it Nintendo's biggest hit since the Wii launched in November 2006.

The Switch sold 2.74 million in its launch month.

Super Mario

The company also made its first foray into mobile gaming late last year, releasing Super Mario Run.

Although the game was a huge hit with more than 150 million downloads, it didn't generate as much revenue as the company hoped.

The move to digital came after the huge success of Pokémon Go, which was jointly developed by Nintendo, Niantic and the Pokémon Company.

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