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Nintendo sales surge on US price cut

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Nintendo today claimed a 37 per cent share of the US games console market, and it's all down to price cut it made just over a month ago.

Some 35 days after knocking the GameCube's retail price down to $100, Nintendo's share of the market has rise from 19 per cent to 37 per cent, propelling the Japanese company to number two in the market, according to retail-derived stats from NPD.

No prizes for guessing the name of the Japanese company that's number one.

Of course, for all the mutual backslapping going on right now in Nintendo's US HQ, it's worth noting that the above increase represents year-to-September growth of just two per cent. So without the units sold on the back of the price cut, Nintendo would have seen a significant reduction in its market share over the period.

Totalling January to September sales and comparing the resulting figure with 2002's numbers, Xbox sales have fallen three per cent, while Playstation 2 sales are down 17.5 per cent, Nintendo said.

PS2's decline undoubtedly arises from the maturity of its sales. Sony has seen a similar slide in Japan and is expected to cut the console's price there to boost sales. Microsoft is expected to cut Japanese Xbox prices too.

In the UK, Nintendo's brief jump ahead of Microsoft ended late last month when Xbox sales once again overtook GameCube purchases, despite the same kind of price advantage that the Nintendo machine is experiencing in the US. The Xbox 'revival' took place after the launch of a new European software bundle, which points to one way Microsoft may fight back against Nintendo in the US. ®

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