updated 7/28/2004 8:03:23 PM ET 2004-07-29T00:03:23

Profits at Japanese video-game maker Nintendo Co. nearly doubled for the latest quarter compared to the same period a year ago as sales continued to be solid in its Game Boy Advance handhelds.

The Kyoto-based company reported Wednesday it earned $204 million for the April-June period, up from $103 billion the same period a year ago.

Sales edged down 2 percent to $741 million from $750 billion a year ago.

Nintendo sold 2.3 million Game Boy Advance machines in the latest quarter, 520,000 of them in North America and 370,000 in Japan, for cumulative sales of nearly 54 million worldwide. It sold 650,000 Game Cube consoles, for global sales now totaling 15 million.

Software revenue rose to $378 million, up more than 10 percent from $340 billion a year ago.

Nintendo maintained its forecast for the fiscal year for a profit of $631 million on sales of $4.8 billion.

Handheld success
The company is counting on a new machine that is going on sale later this year that has two color screens. Nintendo announced Wednesday that the handheld machine will be called "Nintendo DS," for "dual screens."

Software companies are developing more than 120 Nintendo DS games, with 20 of them coming from Nintendo, it said.

"We've figured out the magic of what makes portable game play so attractive to consumers," said Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of sales and marketing.

Nintendo said the launch date and price will be announced later. But the company has said Nintendo DS will go on sale in Japan and the United States before the end of the year.

One screen can be used as a touch-panel to turn or move figures in games or relay scribbled messages to another player through a wireless connection.

"The Nintendo DS will change the future of hand-held gaming," said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata.

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