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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 September, 2004, 16:45 GMT 17:45 UK
Nintendo cuts price of GameBoy SP
Nintendo's GameBoy Advance SP
The GameBoy Advance SP will cost $79.99 in the US
Nintendo is dropping the price of its popular GameBoy Advance SP in the US in an attempt to reinforce its position as the dominant portable gaming device.

From September, it will cost 20% less in the US and Japan, with similar cuts expected in Europe before Christmas.

Portable gaming is a big market for the main console makers, but others are set to challenge that dominance.

Nokia has launched its N-Gage devices but others, like Gizmondo and Tapwave Zodiac, are set to challenge too.

A Nintendo spokesperson told BBC News Online pricing plans for the GameBoy Advance SP had not yet been confirmed for the UK and Europe.

But, she added, there were various "marketing initiatives" in the pipeline.

Sony's PSP and the Nintendo's latest model, the Nintendo DS, are expected to be released in Japan at the end of the year.

Nintendo has a 95% market share of the portable gaming market, however.

Massive leisure

But it said it expected to sell 14 million GameBoy Advance SPs as well as 70 million games by the year ending March 2005.

Sony's PSP device
Sony launches its handheld at the end of the year
GameBoy Advance SP is a major boost for the games company, which has lost out to Sony and Microsoft in the video console market.

Since 1989, about 172 million GameBoys have sold worldwide.

However, it admitted that sales fell from between April and June 2004, compared to the same period in 2003.

Gaming has become a massive part of leisure and entertainment business over several years.

In 2003, global 10.1bn ($18.2bn) was spent on gaming, according to a report by analysts Screen Digest. It has predicted this is set to increase to 11.7bn ($21.1bn) by 2007.

Currently, London is playing host to thousands of games developers and analysts who have converged for two major trade shows and conferences for the industry.

The public are also being given a taste of the games coming up, at the GameStars Live show.


SEE ALSO:
US gamers dump TVs for consoles
27 Aug 04  |  Technology
GameBoy mini-games take top prize
14 Aug 04  |  Technology
Nintendo plans two-screen gaming
21 Jan 04  |  Technology
'Gaming is not just for grandchildren'
28 Dec 03  |  Technology
Sony to launch portable console
14 May 03  |  Technology


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