Nintendo halves UK, European GameCube prices

Getting desperate?

Nintendo today said it will cut the price of the GameCube console in Europe, slashing the cost of the console by up to 50 per cent to £80 ($132) in the UK and €99 ($115) on the Continent.

It also cut the console's price in Japan, by 29 per cent to ¥13,999 ($126).

The Japanese and European price shifts follow a similar move last week to drop the US price to $99.

The move is undoubtedly intended to help shift Nintendo's inventory of unsold consoles as it prepares to begin manufacturing the machine again. In August, the company said it was suspending GameCube production until the Autumn in a bid to reduce its stockpile of unsold consoles.

The company yesterday said it had sold four times its previous weekly sales average after it announced the US price reduction on 24 September. After the cut, it sold 61,000 units in the US, it claimed.

The reduction also comes in response to the £20 Sony this week knocked of the price of the PlayStation 2. The PS2 now costs £139 in the UK.

Of course, there's almost no way Nintendo can catch up with Sony - Microsoft is a better target. But according to figures from market watcher ScreenDigest, cited by Reuters, Nintendo's 1.6 million-strong EMEA customer base is up against Xbox's 2.3 million. Sony has shipped 15.6 million PS2s, by contrast.

Nintendo also said it would spend €15 million promoting the GameCube to Europeans this Christmas. ®