The low price point of the GameCube console and the launch of a number of key software titles have helped to drive Nintendo's Q1 profits to twice their 2003 level as the firm gears up for the launch of the Nintendo DS.
The Kyoto-based company reported net income of 22.6 billion Yen for the three month period ended June 30th, almost twice the 11.5 billion Yen figure which was reported in the same quarter last year.
Shipments of the GameCube during the quarter stood at 650,000 units, compared with 80,000 units a year previously, while 2.3 million units of Game Boy Advance hardware were shipped in the quarter. Despite this, revenues from hardware sales dropped by 13 per cent year on year to 39.5 billion Yen due to lower price points.
However, this was more than compensated for by the company's software revenues. Sales of software across both platforms increased from 6.2 million to 7.4 million units worldwide, contributing an 11 per cent rise in software revenues to 42 billion Yen.
The company also benefited from decreasing production costs on its platforms, with this major area of expense falling some 21 per cent over last year, while the firm finally got a break from the financial markets as the weakening Yen increased the value of its European and US assets. Nintendo's cash and cash equivalent asset pile is now worth some 717 billion Yen, according to the company's figures.
For the full year, the company is bullish in its outlook, and expects the launch of the Nintendo DS handheld to contribute to an overall doubling of profits in the financial year. Nintendo itself is developing 20 titles for the new device, with a further 100 third party titles currently being worked on.