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Video Games

Nintendo makes surprise profit, pins holiday hopes on Smash Bros

The Japanese game-maker says that weaker local currency helped it post the unexpected profit, but hopes new games and products will make for a successful Christmas period.

Nintendo hopes "Smash Bros" and its accompanying Amiibo figurines will give it a boost this Christmas. Nintendo

Nintendo has posted a surprise profit, beating market expectations to rake in a net income of 14.3 billion Yen (roughly $132m, or £82m) for the six months leading up to September 2014.

The company says that the depreciation of the Yen helped it achieve the surprisingly good result. As the maker of Mario, Nintendo has grown over the last few decades to become perhaps the biggest name in videogames, but has struggled in recent years to compete with rival games consoles from the likes of Sony and Microsoft. Earlier this year the company posted a 9.9 billion Yen (roughly $91m or £57m) loss for the three months leading up to June.

Nintendo says that global sales of its 3DS handheld hit 2.09 million during the last six months, and will be looking to its revamped 3DS XL model to give numbers a shot in the arm. As for the Wii U, console sales were 1.12 million units, while software sales hit 9.4 million.

Nintendo's newest financials have been heavily boosted by favourable currency fluctuations, but it's hoping that the Christmas debut of highly-anticipated games will put it on more competitive footing with Sony and Microsoft, and "further stimulate" Wii U sales.

"Since the May release of "Mario Kart 8", the Wii U platform has been experiencing improved sales momentum," Nintendo said. "In addition, we will release "Super Smash Bros. for Wii U" in November in the United States, and in December in Japan and Europe. It is the first year-end sales season for Wii U in which two big Nintendo titles will be available."

Nintendo will also soon be launching Amiibo, a range of NFC-enabled figurines that interact with its games. The similar "Skylanders" franchise has earned publisher Activision over 2 billion dollars in revenue -- a massive success that Nintendo will be hoping to replicate.