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Old 22 May 2001, 18:19   #33

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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Paris / France
Age: 38
Posts: 2,821
Nintendo announces details regarding GameCube's hardware and software pricing.

Today Nintendo announced pricing information for GameCube's hardware and software. The company will sell GameCube for $199.95 in the U.S. This doesn't come as a surprise at all, as Nintendo has been touting its focus on a mass-market price, using this philosophy as a reason for not including DVD movie playback in the console. The price is a sharp contrast to Sony's PlayStation 2 and Microsoft's Xbox launch prices, which were announced to retail at the $300 mark. Nikkei English News reports GameCube will sell for 25,000 yen in Japan (about $204).

To compliment this mass-market hardware price, Nintendo will sell GameCube software for around $49.95 in the U.S. Again, this is an effort to maintain a mass-market price on software, where production costs are drastically rising. All three next-generation systems -- PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube -- will retail software at this price. Again, Nikkei English News cites an anonymous source reporting that GameCube software will sell for 6800 yen (about $55) in Japan

"The response to Nintendo GameCube at E3 was phenomenal," says Peter Main, executive vice president, sales and marketing, Nintendo of America Inc. "Game developers expressed over and over that our games are of unmatched quality, especially Luigi's Mansion, Super Smash Bros. Melee and Star Wars Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron II. Pikmin also spiked interest for its incredibly unique game content and approach. This is all very exciting."

Nintendo plans on launching the system with six exclusive games of its own on top of third-party endeavors. One problem the PlayStation 2 faced, and the Xbox could possibly face is a shortage of consoles at launch. In the case of the PlayStation 2, Sony failed to deliver almost half of its promised quantity. Currently Microsoft is facing hardware design issues that could jeopardize the availability of the Xbox console at launch. In Nintendo's case, though, final hardware development kits are in the hands of many developers and production facilities are gearing up for manufacturing. According to Nikkei English News the Big N plans on selling 2.5 million units to the U.S. and Japanese market combined by the end of the year. It can meet these high production volumes via its ability to produce 600,000 GameCube systems each month.

Nintendo is planning on issuing an official press release on the matter at noon today. Even more information will be detailed in Nintendo's financials report, which is scheduled to take place in Japan on May 24th.

More as it breaks.
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