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Tuesday, 22 May, 2001, 13:17 GMT 14:17 UK
Nintendo GameCube to undercut rivals
Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto (right) with the GameCube
The GameCube goes on sale in September in Japan; Americans must wait until November
Nintendo, the Japanese video game maker, has said that its new GameCube console will go on sale in the US in November priced at $199.95 (140).

The pricing was seen as an aggressive move against rivals in a competitive market.

Microsoft's XBox, due to be launched in the US in the same week as the GameCube, is to be priced at $299 - the same price as a Sony Playstation 2.

"Our goal is to be affordable for every household. This is considered a mass market price," said Nintendo America spokeswoman Perrin Kaplan.

Sony discounts?

Nintendo said six of its video games would be available for the GameCube at launch, priced at $49.95 each.

Japanese consumers will have a headstart on their American counterparts, being able to buy the GameCube from mid-September.

Nintendo did not say how much the console would cost in Japan but Japanese newspapers said it would be 25,000 yen ($203), or about 10,000 yen cheaper than the Sony rival.

Sony has said it will not lower prices but many analysts are predicting $50 discounts once the Microsoft and Nintendo consoles reach shop shelves.

Targeted at younger audience

Analysts said Nintendo's cheaper price made sense.

"Their unit is targeted at the younger audience, eight-to-14-year-olds, who don't have a large disposable income," said Schelley Olhava, analyst at research firm International Data.

The GameCube is also unable to play CDs or DVDs, unlike the Playstation 2 and XBox.

Japanese newspapers said Nintendo would be able to ship a maximum of 2.5 million GameCubes this year.

Nintendo, which recently launched a new version of its Game Boy handheld games player, is expected on Thursday to report a fall in operating profit for its business year just ended.

Analysts are expecting the two new products to help the company turn around its performance in its current business year.

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See also:

18 May 01 | New Media
Nintendo steals march on X-Box
16 May 01 | New Media
Console wars at E3 show
21 Mar 01 | Business
Nintendo launches new GameBoy
27 Dec 00 | Business
Nintendo denies Sega bid
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X-Box for Christmas
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