Nintendo yearly profits up 8.5 percent

Sales slowing for Wii and DS

TOKYO--Nintendo displayed its recession-busting qualities, posting record full-year profits of 279.1 billion yen ($2.8 billion), up 8.5%, on Thursday. Despite slowing sales, Nintendo has avoided the tidal wave of red ink that has hit almost every Japanese electronics manufacturer.

Demand for its Wii and DS consoles helped it rack up record sales of 1,839 billion yen ($18.4 billion), though sales have slowed recently. Although the Wii became the fastest game console to sell 50 million units, it was outsold by the PlayStation 3 in Japan during March, and sales in the U.S. dropped 17% over the same period.

Sales of the DS are to post their first-ever drop this year although the overseas launch of the more expensive new DSi model is expected to contribute to the bottom line. The portable DS has already sold over 100 million units worldwide.

Nintendo forecasts profits to rise 7.5% this year to 300 billion yen ($3 billion), against an average prediction of 340 billion yen by analysts.

Services such as video-on-demand and other net-linked capabilities are central to Nintendo's strategy for the Wii. A partnership with Japanese ad giant Dentsu to provide online content was launched this month.