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Monday, 8 April, 2002, 17:03 GMT 18:03 UK
UK fans place GameCube orders
The GameCube is released in Europe on 3 May
The GameCube is released in Europe on 3 May
Some 25,000 people in the UK have placed orders for Nintendo's new computer game console, the GameCube, almost a month before it hits UK shelves.

Nintendo says it hopes that number will double by the time it is released at the start of May.

Nintendo also made the GameBoy
Nintendo also made the GameBoy
The GameCube is the latest new console to join a global battle for supremacy being fought with Microsoft's Xbox and Sony's PlayStation 2.

PlayStation 2 established itself with game fans after a 12-month head start in the shops, but the Xbox and GameCube are now trying to catch up and claim dominance of the lucrative market.

About 500,000 GameCubes were in Japanese stores when it launched there in September 2001, while 700,000 were shipped to United States shops in November 2001.

It is being launched across Europe on 3 May, and will be cheaper than its competitors.

In the UK, the console will cost 150, compared with about 200 for a PlayStation 2 and 300 for an Xbox.

Playstation 2
The Playstation 2 has been on sale for more than a year
"We are giving gamers a great offer and it is clear they are responding," according to Nintendo's European marketing director David Gosen.

The UK's pre-order levels had been matched across Europe, he said.

Some 20 software titles will go on sale alongside the console, with that number rising to almost 50 later in the year.

The GameCube is expected to attract a younger fan base than its rivals, and will have an emphasis on gameplay instead of the technical excellence or added extras like the facility to play CDs or DVDs.

The Xbox has the most powerful processor, but Microsoft has confirmed that it has not been selling as well as expected in Japan since being launched in February.

But more of its games are being sold than for the PlayStation, it said.

'Patience'

"Japan is going well on the software side and probably is a little behind where we want to be on the hardware side," Xbox director Robbie Bach said.

"But we always expected things would be tough. Microsoft has demonstrated patience and persistence there before and I think we will do very well."

Reports had suggested that 190,000 Xboxes had been sold in more than a month.

The PlayStation 2 sold almost one million units in its first three days.


In DepthIN DEPTH
Video games
Console wars, broadband and interactivity
See also:

28 Jan 02 | New Media
GameCube for Europe in May
21 Nov 01 | New Media
GameCube sales hit $100m
18 Nov 01 | New Media
GameCube launches in US
05 Oct 01 | Reviews
GameCube packs a punch
17 Sep 01 | Reviews
GameCube: Your views
13 Sep 01 | Reviews
GameCube: Press views
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