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GameCube launches (in US)

GC on shelves, Xbox cut open

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Nintendo's GameCube hit US retail shelves yesterday (officially, anyway), just three days after the debut of Microsoft's Xbox console.

Some gamers have been thumbing the controller to Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron 2 and Luigi's Mansion a little earlier though, as various stores leaked consoles before the due date.

The arrival makes the competition tougher for the three main players. GameCube (GC) is priced $100 cheaper than its two big rivals: Sony's PlayStation 2 and Microsoft's Xbox, putting pressure on them to drop prices (and sell at an even greater loss than they do already).

GC launches with just 12 titles in the bag (Xbox has 19), which pales in comparison to the PS2 with over 100 titles and many more when you add earlier PS1 games.

While the consoles provide an engine to run on, it's the content that matters (and attracts gamers' dollars). Sony's got a big lead, having come out first; Xbox is only just getting going; but Nintendo, although the starting list doesn't do it much credit, is renowned for its top titles in gaming circles on earlier console platforms (think: Pokemon, Mario Bros., etc.).

Game on.

Xbox guts

Meanwhile, back in Xbox land, Icrontic has followed TechTV's lead and has cut into the console's chest to reveal its guts. The site confirms that the device is definitely modifiable; it's just a matter of time before some boffin figures out how to jump over the various hardware hurdles erected by Microsoft. ®

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