Nintendo Claim GC in 2nd Place

Nintendo Claim GC in 2nd Place

Nintendo have learned a lot in the past few years about next generation console marketing and they are putting their new-found knowledge to good use. Continuing their onslaught of promotions, triumphant announcements and holiday build-up giveaways the company issued an enthusiastic press release which claims that following their GameCube price reduction the console is firmly in 2nd place in the console race.

According to Nintendo then, in just 35 days of availability at a new manufacturer's suggested retail price of USD 99.99, Nintendo GameCube has more than quadrupled its sales rate and grabbed 18 points of market share from its two competitors.

Sales figures gathered from the nation's largest retailers show that Nintendo GameCube effectively doubled its market share to 37 per cent from 19 per cent. The system now runs a strong second in the U.S. market as it challenges for leadership during the important holiday sales season.

In a tough economy, we've found the sweet spot on pricing, and players are grabbing Nintendo GameCube systems off the shelves at the fastest rate since the console's debut, says George Harrison, senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications, Nintendo of America. With an USD 80 price advantage over other systems and the impending launch of the mega-hit Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, this offer is just too good to resist.

Harrison announced the dramatic sales figures today during Harris Nesbitt Gerard's Playtime 2003 Investor Conference in New York.

When combined with the Game Boy Advance SP, Nintendo is responsible for half of all system sales to date in 2003. In addition, Nintendo game systems are the only ones to show a year-to-date increase in sales compared with 2002. Game Boy Advance sales are up 25 per cent from 2002, while Nintendo GameCube sales are 2 per cent above last year. In contrast, sales for Microsoft's Xbox dropped 3 per cent and Sony's PlayStation 2 dropped 17.5 per cent.

All those figures may seem impressive but there are a few things you have to keep in mind. Quadrupling sales of the GC, although a great step in the right direction, is not enough since sales before the price cut were dismal. Also Sony's drop in sales since last year is a good sign for its competitors but PS2 is still selling a lot mote units than either of its rivals, this means that the rate in which PS2 is running away from the competition has decreased but it is still running away. Another fact is that whenever you see Nintendo combining figures for GC and GBA you know that the GC figures on their own would not stand to scrutiny.

Far from trying to appear dismal about GC's future we are just trying to make reading the figures easier for most of you, in fact these numbers do indicate that Nintendo is on the right track with their console and that the XBox - Nintendo battle is far from over. With both companies claiming and reclaiming 2nd place the stage is set for a dramatic showdown with Sony on the next version of their consoles.

Nintendo, in order to keep the momentum going, are introducing their ace which is their strong holiday lineup, including, Mario Kart : Double Dash!!, which lets players choose their karts and two characters - one to drive, one to toss weapons or swipe them from other players. The pair can even switch places during the race to maximize strategy. The game will be available Nov. 17 at an MSRP of USD 49.99.
Also included in the holiday lineup is 1080 : Avalanche, a realistic depiction of wild weather conditions during snowboarding races, while Mario Party 5 builds on a successful franchise to bring family fun to an electronic version of classic board games. Both games will be available at an MSRP of USD 49.99, with Mario Party 5 launching Nov. 11, while 1080: Avalanche on Dec. 1.

Nintendo promises that more than 320 games for the GameCube and 550 games for the Game Boy Advance will be available by the end of the year.