Nintendo has reportedly sold 300,000 of the 450,000 Game Cube units it shipped to retail for the console's launch on Friday. The number represents a disappointing undersell, and defied estimates that the console would sell out on day one. Analysts are now scrambling to readjust their predictions. Some, like Credit Suisse First Boston's Jay Defibaugh, is "not too concerned about the lack of lines in Akihabara", and suspects perhaps that consumer confidence and consumer spending may be down in light of the recent terrorist action in the United States. Who isn't blaming that for something these days though, others argue, pointing out that Nintendo's lacklustre marketing campaign is probably to blame for the lack of sales, and that Nintendo will fail to leapfrog Sony's market performance, finding a more likely opponent in Microsoft. As one of the world's most prolific Nintendo fanboys, it pains me greatly to write this report. However, my pain has nothing to do with the unfortunate sales figures, but the fact that the very act of typing at my keyboard drags me away from the attentions of my own Game Cube, which arrived yesterday morning with Luigi's Mansion and Wave Race in tow. That's one knock-on effect; import prices will have to dip, because if the console is readily available, who's going to pay a premium? You can already buy Game Cubes for as little as £310 including Luigi's Mansion, Wave Race Blue Storm, controller, component cable, memory card and stepdown transformer, although shopping around outside of the UK is the best bet, because retailers closer to home are notoriously expensive in these matters. On a more serious note, it's disappointing to see the first major Japanese console release since last March fail to make an impact, Nintendo's first since June 1996. The company's advantages with Game Cube are well defined; lower price, better third party relations, more exclusives - but perhaps we're seeing the first signs of public reaction to Nintendo's Game Cube 'less is more' design philosophy. Announcements like Capcom's recent pledge to develop Resident Evil exclusively for the console can only improve Nintendo's outlook, so a lot of people are still reserving judgement. With the release of titles like Pikmin, Rogue Leader, Starfox Adventures and of course Resident Evil 0, I'm confident sales will pick up. Related Feature - Gore Cube
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