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Last Updated: Friday, 8 August, 2003, 10:03 GMT 11:03 UK
Nintendo stops GameCube production
Nintendo GameCube
GameCube sales have been weak
The Japanese company Nintendo has temporarily halted production of its GameCube consoles until the autumn.

The struggling games maker says it needs to clear its warehouses of unsold machines before it makes any more of them.

Nintendo's president, Satoru Iwata, has also said he wants to move away from increasingly sophisticated and time consuming games, which dominate the games industry at the moment.

The games market shrunk dramatically last year, Mr Iwata said, because players were getting frustrated with the ever more sophisticated games.

Some games can take months to finish and the result is players are buying fewer of them.

"This trend is clear to everyone, and the trend continues this year," Mr Iwata said.

So in a bid to recapture sales, Nintendo has said it will move back toproducts that anyone can play and enjoy.

Nintendo now hopes to drive sales this year with new games, including a version of the 1980s favourite Donkey Kong, and has promised a product for next spring "that will deliver fresh surprises" and be fun even for novices.

Tough market

But moving away from complicated games seems like a risky strategy to some.

"Despite the fact that people are perhaps getting a bit tired of [the complicated games], if Nintendo were to go down that route of more immediate, simpler, shorter games... it could alienate them further from the mass market," Joao Diniz Sanches, editor of the industry magazine Edge, told the BBC's World Business Report.

Nintendo faces tough competition from the leading games consoles on the market, Sony's Playstation 2 and Microsoft's Xbox.

The company concedes that it had made mistakes with the GameCube by not ensuring a consistent flow of attractive new games for the console.

Edge editor Joao Dinez Sanchez
People are getting a bit bored of complicated games

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