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GameCube great, Xbox greater

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Updated Console wars: Market research firm NPD Group reports that Microsoft's Xbox had the best-selling video game console launch on record after two weeks of sales.

That's not all, gamers are apparently snapping up an average of 2.4 games per box, the highest game attach rate ever recorded, beating Sony's PS2 1.9 average. According to the report, Microsoft's 'Halo' title leads the pack, outselling Nintendo's 'Luigi's Mansion' top-seller in the race so far.

Another site, Computer and Video Games, wheeled out numbers from Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) earlier, saying GameCube (GC) sold 469,000 consoles in the US in its first week, with a total of 810,000 software units, leading to a game average of 1.7.

The site reckons GC is clubbing Xbox into submission - "GameCube outsells Xbox: believe!" - saying Xbox only moved 186,000 units in the same week as the GC launch.

A fuller look at the same CSFB report on ie Magazine shows that this partly true: it did outsell the Xbox in that week, but when you add on the three extra days of sales the Xbox had, it notched up an impressive 556,000 sales over the nine day period. (The site also reveals that the CSFB sales data is based off NPD's data anyway.)

Win XP may not have given the massive desktop PC boost it promised, but the Xbox certainly seems to be stirring up sales across the console industry.

The good news is that the entire gaming industry has picked up, with PS2 sales jumping 83 per cent from the week before, while Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance surged 331 per cent and 157 per cent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Tom's Hardware Guide (THG) has a history of the gaming console market, starting from 1972's Magnavox Odyssey (even before Atari's 2600, although not nearly as popular) and going right through to the recently-launched Xbox and GameCube. Find out about 'Tennis-for-two' being played on a five-inch oscilloscope, the real first-person shooter and other classic gaming memories. ®

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