Nintendo GameCube launch date slips

Put back two months

Bloomberg's Japanese division has filed a news report claiming that the Nintendo GameCube will miss its July release date in Japan. Although nobody here can decipher the original report, both Reuters and Bloomberg now carry confirmation from Nintendo itself and that the Japanese release date will be the 14 September. Other reports suggest the American release date will slip to mid-November.

According to Bloomberg, Nintendo made the decision to move the release date back after concerns arose that supply would not meet demand. Sony suffered from just such supply issues late last year when it launched its PlayStation 2 in America and Europe - a slowdown in production of the complicated graphics chip was deemed responsible for the stunted number of units at launch. Nintendo recently announced itself that the GameCube's European release date would slip to Spring 2002. It is now expected that a slew of announcements including price-changes will be made at E3 next month.

The release date had always been viewed as aggressive, and speculation about slippage has been rife since the original announcement. That said, with the launch of the GameBoy Advance in Europe/North America to look forward to in June, and the console already on store shelves in Japan, it's unlikely that this latest announcement will cause too many problems for the gaming giant.
Indeed, analysts at JP Morgan Securities Asia Ltd. were unconcerned, stating that "September and October are better" because they are closer to the festive period. ®

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