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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 April 2007, 13:08 GMT 14:08 UK
Nintendo increases sales target
Mario, a Nintendo game character
Nintendo have expanded their range of characters and games
Japanese games firm Nintendo has raised its sales and profit forecasts thanks to the popularity of its DS and Wii games consoles.

It now expects sales of 966bn yen ($8.1bn; 4.1bn) in the year to March, up from a previous target of 900bn.

It did not give a figure for profits, but said that they were expected to beat its previous expectations.

Nintendo is one of the world's biggest video game firms, with characters including Mario and Donkey Kong.

Strong demand

Recently, the firm has broadened its appeal to groups not usually keen on games, such as women and the over 40s.

Underpinning Nintendo's earnings growth has been the continuing popularity of its DS console, which opens like a book and which can be controlled by using a stylus or buttons.

As well as more traditional platform and racing games, Nintendo has brought out software such as Brain Training, which has also proved popular.

The company has also seen strong demand for its new gaming console, the Wii.

For many analysts, the speed with which these have sold has been something of a surprise, especially given that it was up against market leader Sony and its Playstation models, and Microsoft's highly successful Xbox 360.

Nintendo is due to report its annual figures on 26 April.

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