Zelda to be Bundled Free With GC

Zelda to be Bundled Free With GC

It would seem that Nintendo can't get the GameCube formula quite right. The excitement which followed the Metroid Prime release, did help sales rise but quickly died out leaving the ailing console sitting pretty in third place.

Now, the new Zelda title, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, has offered great games sales, with Nintendo claiming 600,000 copies had been pre-sold before early March. It would seem however, that the new game has not helped hardware sales at all, a fact which could be interpreted as a lack of interest for Nintendo classic titles by users beyond the company's fan base. If that proves to be the case Nintendo could stand to lose a whole new generation of gamers since they are relying heavily on the gaming weight carried by their established game franchises.
In order to convince new gamers, or just the ones not familiar with Nintendo classics, the company has followed some agressive sales tactics. Before the Wind Waker launch, Nintendo offered a free disc carrying two classic Zelda games to people who pre-ordered the new title.

Even so, Nintendo had to become even more agressive in their efforts to resuscitate interest in their console. For a few months now the company have been offering a free game with their GC, at the standard now, USD 149.95 price. In some cases retailers have chosen to add another free title in order to further boost interest. According to Nintendo, as of May 4th the new Zelda title will replace Resident Evil Zero as the Nintendo subsidized free title in the bundle offer. The new bundle offer will include the new free Zelda game, possibly a second free title added by the retailer and a demo disc, with playable samples of upcoming games.

The company have announced that they shipped 5.6 million GameCubes worldwide in the fiscal year which ended March 31, a figure which is just over half of the 10 million unit goal, Nintendo had predicted. Such figures have led analysts to claim that Nintendo are, ...really taking their best card and playing it.

Nintendo also announced that they plan no price reduction unless their two rivals, Sony and Microsoft, also reduce their console prices. An announcement which accurately depicts the current status in the console wars, the first two will lead and Nintendo will trail.