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Nintendo is planning to release an upgraded version of its Switch game console in early 2021

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Nintendo has had a rough few years.

Following disastrous sales of its Wii U console, investors clamoured for the Kyoto-based firm to close down its home console division and focus on smartphone games.

Super Mario Run, the first time one of Nintendo’s iconic video game characters appeared on a device that wasn’t built by the company itself, set download records across the globe when it launched in December 2016.

Super Mario Run topped 40 million downloads just four days – becoming the fastest game to reach the milestone in App Store history, Nintendo revealed at the time.

However, Nintendo shares tumbled after it was revealed only a tiny percentage of players were willing to pay the £9.99 charge to unlock all of the content in the game.

‘Mario is arguably the most popular gaming franchise in the world, yet we see only about 8 percent of those who try the game actually purchasing it,’ Sensor Tower analyst Spencer Gabriel said.

However, Nintendo does not appear to be deterred, with a slate of new mobile games scheduled to launch between now and March 2019.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Nintendo is quietly working on a Legend Of Zelda adventure for smartphones and tablets to launch in late 2018, and Nintendo recently confirmed its best-selling racing game – Mario Kart — would be headed to iOS and Android smartphones before early 2019.

Elsewhere, the Kyoto gaming company has seen enormous success with the successor to the Wii U, Nintendo Switch.

The home console, which can be on a television or on-to-go thanks to its in-built six-inch touchscreen and detachable Joy Con controllers, has seen enormous demand.

At its most recent earnings call, Nintendo almost doubled its full-year operating profit forecast.

Sales of the all-new console, which includes its own version of Mario Kart and Legend Of Zelda, have exceeded the company’s estimates and outstripped those of its predecessor, the Wii U.

Nintendo also raised its year-end Switch sales forecast to 14 million consoles from 10 million.

This new annual target would alone exceed lifetime sales of 13.56 million consoles for the Wii U, which was on the market for about five years. 

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