Page last updated at 10:54 GMT, Thursday, 24 April 2008 11:54 UK

Wii raises earnings at Nintendo

A model demonstrates Nintendo's new game Wii Fit in Tokyo
Nintendo's Wii is popular because of its innovative motion-sensitive controller

Video games giant Nintendo has reported record profits and sales for the year to March 2008, lifted by surging demand for its Wii and DS consoles.

It sold 18.6 million Wii machines over the year, lifting net income to 257.3bn yen ($2.48bn; 1.25bn), up 47.7%.

Nintendo has struggled to keep up with demand for the Wii, popular with all ages unlike its rivals.

Nintendo predicted earnings will rise again next year to 325bn yen, slightly below analysts' forecasts.

Nintendo said it has sold a total of 24.45 million Wii machines since its debut in November 2006.

It predicts this figure will rise by 25 million by the end of March 2009.

Meanwhile, demand for the firm's hand-held Nintendo DS remained strong, with customers snapping up 30.31 million units over its last fiscal year.

The firm hopes to boost growth by developing entertainment that is accessible for the whole family, like the Wii Fit, which launches in the UK and across Europe on Friday.

Its makers say it merges the concept of gaming and keeping fit, offering workouts, such as yoga.

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