Proving that it does pay to play games, Nintendo today announced [PDF link] that it predicts higher-than-expected earnings of ¥966 billion (£4.1 billion) for the financial year just closed.

The firm, whose headquarters are in Kyoto, cited the runaway success of its DS/DS Lite handheld games machine for the second revision to the forecast ahead of the full results on 26 April. The initial prediction, in October last year, was a full £1 billion lower at ¥740 billion.

The 16-month old DS was joined in November last year by the Wii console, which is guaranteed to continue Nintendo's fiscal hot streak into this year as well. The company predicts the runaway leader in the home-console market will sell around 2 million units worldwide this financial year, a similar number to expected DS sales.