TOKYO (Reuters) - Shares in Nintendo Co jumped as much as 9.5 percent in early trade on Thursday, powered by ongoing hopes for its new Pokemon GO mobile game, which has become an instant hit after just over a week on the market in three countries.

The augmented reality game, where players walk around real-life neighborhoods to hunt down virtual cartoon characters on their smartphone screens, had more than 65 million users in the United States just seven days after launch.

Industry experts say the game, which has rocketed to the top of Apple and Android app stores in record time, could be the next big marketing tool for retailers.

(Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)