Japanese games giant Nintendo Co Ltd saw a strong first half boosted by increased sales of its N64 games machine and the Pocket Monsters game. Pre-tax profits jumped 63.5% to $384.2m on revenues that were up 56% to $1.6bn for the interim period from April to September 1997. Net profits were up 58% to $193.6m . Nintendo said its Pocket Monsters game for the Gameboy handheld games machine was behind much of the increase along with an allied rise in Gameboy sales. It has sold over 6.94 million units of Pocket Monsters since its launch last February. In addition, sales of its N64 games console reached 430,000 units in Japan and 4.95 million units elsewhere during the first half. Games sales for the 64-bit N64 also did well outside Japan, with sales reaching 12.44 million units, compared to 2.89 million units in Japan. Sales of N64 in Japan have been fairly slow due to a limited choice of games software and strong competition from Sony Corp’s PlayStation, which sold 8.6 million units to the end of September. But in the US, N64 has fared better, with 3.4 million units sold in 1996, compared to four million PlayStations. One reason is that Japan has a smaller number of software titles available.