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Nintendo Becomes Japan's 2nd Most Valuable Company

Nintendo roared past Canon to become Japan's second most valuable company behind Toyota Motor, driven by its hot-selling Wii game console and DS handheld player.

Nintendo's Wii has so far outsold Sony's PlayStation 3 by a large margin since their launches late last year as Nintendo's strategy to expand the gaming population by offering easy-to-play but innovative games has proved a big success. Shares in Nintendo were up 2.6% at 58,900 yen in afternoon trade on Tuesday, bringing its market value to 8.34 trillion yen (US$72.6 billion), surpassing Canon's market capitalisation of 8.20 trillion yen.

It, however, is still just one-third of Toyota's 24 trillion yen. Toyota is the world's most profitable and valuable automaker.

Nintendo shares have more than quadrupled over the past two years, initially boosted by strong demand for the DS, then by brisk sales of the Wii.