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TOKYO: Japan's Nintendo Co Ltd sold 18.95 million Switch units in the nine months to the end of December, the company said on Thursday, taking total sales past 100 million units and exceeding lifetime sales of the Wii console.

Although the figure undershot the 24.1 million units sold in the corresponding period a year earlier, the milestone highlights the continuing demand for the ageing device in its fifth year on the market.

Nintendo cut its full-year Switch hardware sales forecast to 23 million units from 24 million previously. The move follows a forecast downgrade by peer Sony Group on Thursday as makers grapple with component shortages.

Nintendo's OLED model, which launched in November to extend the life of the system, sold 3.99 million units by December end.

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The Kyoto-based games maker sold 11.8 million units of the home-portable Switch and 3.2 million units of the handheld only Switch Lite in the first nine months of the financial year.

Money is flooding into the games industry as new entrants target gamers' wallets and incumbents add developer capability as online and cloud gaming expands.

Titles expected to drive sales include "Pokemon Legends: Arceus", which went on sale on Jan. 28 and has received praise as an innovative entry in the long running series.

A sequel to "Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild", which has sold more than 25 million units, is also slated for release this year.

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