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Monday, 22 April, 2002, 09:16 GMT 10:16 UK
GameCube price dropped
GameCube launched in US and Japan last year
Nintendo has announced a price cut for its GameCube games console in Europe almost two weeks before it is even launched.

The machine was originally expected to sell for about 150 when released to shops on 3 May but the company has set a new price of 199 euros (129).

Console wars
UK price: 199
4.5m sold worldwide
UK price: 129
4m sold worldwide
PlayStation 2
UK price: 199
28m sold worldwide
This new price comes less than a week after Microsoft announced a 100 price cut for its Xbox console, to 199, just weeks after the machine launched in Europe.

The price cut takes effect from 26 April and game players who paid 299 will be offered a "thank you" package worth about 110.

Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony, with its PlayStation 2 console, are locked in a fierce battle to gain dominance in a market worth more than 10bn worldwide.


Sony is the market leader with sales of about 28 million for its machine, which was launched in 2000.

Nintendo has already shipped about four million GameCubes to retailers in Japan and North America with Microsoft expecting to sell between 4.5 and six million Xboxes worldwide by the end of 2002.

Sony are the market leader
The GameCube price cut raises expectations that Sony will also cut the price of its machine, with a possible announcement at the giant E3 games show in Los Angeles next month.

David Gosen, managing director of Nintendo Europe, told BBC News Online that a price cut always formed part of the company's plans.

"Because we have shipped more than four million GameCubes worldwide we have been able to bring down the cost of production and have a price cut before launch [in Europe]."

He said consumers could be confident when buying the GameCube on launch day that there would not be a further reduction in price within weeks of it going on sale.

He added: "Europe is a very important market for Nintendo and we are committed to making it a success.

"This is a very strong offer for consumers and one that we believe will ensure Nintendo's success across Europe."

'Last barrier'

Richard Teversham, head of marketing for Xbox UK, said the Nintendo price cut, allied to the recent cut in price for Xbox, was "good news for consumers".

He said: "Gaming is going to continue to expand with people buying ever more consoles.

"We've removed the last barrier to Xbox by dropping the price but no matter what the price of the consoles the key thing is the games."

Mr Teversham said he was confident that the games available for Xbox would ensure success for the games console.

Pre-orders for the GameCube in the UK alone stand at more than 30,000 people and the number of pre-orders is expected to reach more than 50,000 by launch.

Nintendo has committed about 500,000 units ready to be shipped to Europe for launch day with a total of one million units for the launch period.

Video games
Console wars, broadband and interactivity
See also:

14 Nov 01 | New Media
Console wars hot up
28 Jan 02 | New Media
GameCube for Europe in May
18 Apr 02 | New Media
Microsoft drops Xbox price
16 Apr 02 | New Media
GameBoy Advance hits UK million mark
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