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Nintendo even more of a bargin now

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  • James B Beavan III
    I picked my Platinum edition up last night from Circuit City, only $105 with tax for this powerful little box of gaming fun. Japanese video game company
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 26, 2003
      I picked my Platinum edition up last night from Circuit City, only
      $105 with tax for this powerful little box of gaming fun.

      Japanese video game company Nintendo (news - web sites) Co. Ltd.
      (7974.OS) on Wednesday cut the U.S. price of its flagging GameCube
      game console by a third as it looks to build momentum for the crucial
      holiday season.

      Nintendo said the price cut to $99 from $149, which had been widely
      expected by game publishers and financial analysts, would take effect
      on Thursday.

      The move makes the GameCube $80 cheaper than its two competitors,
      Sony Corp (news - web sites).'s (6758.T) market-leading PlayStation 2
      (news - web sites) and Microsoft Corp.'s (Nasdaq:MSFT - news) second-
      place Xbox (news - web sites), both of which start at $179.

      "Under $100 is the magic price point for consoles, we believe, and we
      didn't think there was any value in going to an interim step" like
      $129, George Harrison, Nintendo of America senior vice president of
      marketing, told Reuters.

      The cut to $99 also makes the GameCube the same price as the
      company's Game Boy Advance SP handheld device, which dominates the
      portable gaming market.

      A number of game publishers have curtailed or ended production of
      GameCube games, citing the platform's disappointing sales. Analysts
      were quick to caution that Nintendo was likely to benefit most from
      the news.

      "Although this is a positive announcement with respect to Nintendo,
      we do not expect this price drop to have a dramatic effect on our
      expectations for the third-party publishers in our universe," Harris
      Nesbitt Gerard analyst Edward Williams said in a note.

      Of the 10 best-selling games for the GameCube in August, according to
      research service NPDFunworld, six were published by Nintendo -- a far
      higher proportion of first-party games than on any other console.


      While the console has been stronger in Japan and Europe, in the
      United States it has settled into a firm third place, with an
      installed base about 29 percent smaller than that of the Xbox.

      The last major game console to retail for $99 in the United States
      was Sega Corp.'s (7964.T) Dreamcast (news - web sites) -- though that
      price was an inventory-clearing move after Sega discontinued the
      console and decided to become exclusively a game publisher.

      Nintendo earlier this year said it had stopped production of the
      GameCube because of an inventory backlog, but Harrison said
      production would start up again later this fall. He declined to say,
      though, if Wednesday's price move foreshadowed the coming of a
      successor to the GameCube.

      "What we've said about the next console is the work is under way and
      we would be launching at the same time as our competitors," Harrison
      said. Harrison also said the fact that gamers could buy a GameCube
      and three games for the same price as a PS2 with no games made it a
      more compelling value for the holidays.

      Both Sony and Microsoft have announced special bundle packages for
      the holiday season that involve free games, offers that ran counter
      to widespread industry hopes that the hardware makers would cut their
      prices instead.

      "We do not expect Sony or Microsoft to follow suit with hardware
      price cuts but instead remain committed to the hardware/software
      bundle programs each has already announced," Williams said.
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