Nintendo Expands Its Holiday Offers

Nintendo Expands Its Holiday Offers

Nintendo of America's aggressive holiday efforts for its Nintendo GameCube video game system began with a price decrease to USD 99.99 and a USD 100 million marketing campaign. Nintendo now continues with a consumer pre-sell offer and a nationwide mall tour featuring the company's trademark holiday title, Mario Kart : Double Dash!!, available Nov. 17.

The USD 10 million marketing campaign for Mario Kart: Double Dash!! is led by a limited pre-sell offer, giving consumers who reserve a copy of the game at select retailers a free bonus disc at the time of purchase. The extra disc is loaded with playable game samples and sneak-peek movies of upcoming software. Consumers also can test drive the game more than a month before its launch. The Nintendo Who Are You? Tour takes Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and a variety of games to 12 cities across the United States, starting on Oct. 31 in both San Francisco and Boston. Playable demos of Mario Kart: Double Dash!! also will be available at retailers nationwide starting in early November.

Mario Kart has been one of best-selling franchises in Nintendo's history, selling more than 20 million units worldwide during the last 11 years, says George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president for marketing and corporate communications. The latest version, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, arrives just in time for the holiday season and is anticipated to be one of the hottest titles of the year.

The bonus disc includes playable Nintendo GameCube previews of Mario Party 5, F-Zero GX, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Konami, Star Wars : Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike from LucasArts and Sonic Heroes by Sega. The disc also includes movies of 1080(degree): Avalanche, Kirby Air Ride, Pokemon Colosseum, Final Fantasy : Crystal Chronicles, SpongeBob SquarePants : The Search for Bikini Bottom from THQ, and Harry Potter : Quiddtich World Cup and NBA Live 2004 from Electronic Arts. In addition, exclusive content for the Game Boy Advance game Fire Emblem will be included.

Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, at an MSRP of USD 49.99, will allow players to choose two characters per kart and use their special abilities and a slew of items to their strategic advantage. The wide range of options allows players to decide if they prefer the size, robust kart and giant banana peels of Donkey Kong or the classic fireballs and steady handling of Mario. No matter the choice, the outcome is pure chaos as eight characters dole out damage in a mad dash to the finish line.