Nintendo's Revival Drives Its Market Value Above Sony's

Mario_Nintendo_NX_Announcement - H 2016

The new Switch console and 'Pokemon Go' have pushed the video game maker's stock to multiyear highs, overtaking Sony, which itself hit a post-financial crisis high last week.

Nintendo's stock closed up 2.2 percent Monday, hitting another multiyear high and pushing the video game giant's market capitalization up to $49.8 billion (5.56 trillion yen) in Tokyo. That compared to a valuation of $48.6 billion (5.43 trillion yen) for the entire entertainment and electronics operations of Sony Corp.

The success of its new Switch console, combined with the relaunch of the Pokemon Go app, has propelled Nintendo stock up 160 percent since Pokemon Go hit smartphones last summer. It closed at 39,280 yen ($352) Monday, its highest level since the global financial crisis in 2008. The stock hit a peak of 70,500 yen in November 2007, when the mania for its Wii console was at its height. The Wii went on to sell more than 100 million units.

Sony shares closed up 0.5 percent at 4,298 yen ($38.50) Monday, and last week hit their own post-financial crisis high of 4,344 yen, on the back of a forecast for the company's highest profit in two decades in the current fiscal year. Sony stock is up more than 42 percent over the last year as CEO Kaz Hirai's turnaround plans have begun to yield results, despite the ongoing struggles of its movie division.

Sony and Nintendo are rivals in the video game business, and both of their current consoles are comfortably outperforming Microsoft's Xbox One. The PlayStation 4 has sold more than 60 million units since its release at the end of 2013, while Nintendo's Switch has sold around 3.7 million since it was launched in March this year. Nintendo has been unable to keep up with demand, and the console has been in short supply around the globe.

Some analysts are predicting further increases in both Nintendo's and Sony's stock price. Nintendo is expected to leverage its rich IP portfolio of characters and franchises for more successful games for smartphones and the Switch, while Sony's virtual reality offerings for the PlayStation 4, along with its television program production business, are tipped to drive profits at the conglomerate.