Amidst much fanfare, Nintendo announced on Monday that their new GameCube console would launch in Europe on May 3rd at an expected price point of €249, or about £150 in old money. Unfortunately today it's becoming increasingly clear that punters on this side of the channel will be paying significantly more for their Cubes. The problem is that retailers are worried about their margins, particularly if the value of the euro fluctuates before the May 3rd launch. One anonymous "senior source" told trade magazine CTW this week that "we've got used to slim margins with Nintendo, but this is taking the piss". Last year most retailers were selling the GameBoy Advance at £10 above its suggested retail price of £80, or refusing to sell it at all unless you bought it as part of an expensive bundle including a lot of peripherals and software you didn't really want. But it looks like punters are in for an even bigger disappointment when it comes to the Cube. The price could be as high as £180 in places, a massive 20% more than our continental brethren are paying for exactly the same console. Leading the charge today was British e-commerce site Gameplay, which has now marked up its Cubes to £169.99, or £199.99 with any game. Lucky punters who had already pre-ordered it at £154.99 earlier in the week will have their orders honoured, but everyone else will end up paying another £15. "At gameplay we always put the clients experience first", head of e-commerce Mat Braddy told us this morning. "If the price had gone down we would have charged our clients pre-ordering less, however we wouldn't dream of asking for more unless the price had doubled or something horrific. The majority of Cube pre-orders have gone to our long term, commited clients so we are not upset about them receiving the Cube at this healthy discount." Of course, in reality "this healthy discount" is actually what the console should have cost in the first place, and not a discount at all. Nintendo always point out that ultimately "retailers set prices", and the €249 price point was only what they "expected" the console to retail at across Europe, but it's still disappointing to see British retailers cashing in on Euro confusion to try and charge us 10-20% more than the suggested list price. We fully expect most other UK-based retailers and e-tailers to hop on the bandwagon soon, with trade mag MCV suggesting that some could charge as much as £180 for the console. So if you do want a Cube, now is the time to get one. Amazon UK currently still have it listed at £149.99, while Jungle.com are charging £154.99 at present, while WH Smiths are wanting £159.99. Software First aren't saying how much they will be selling the Cube for yet, while Gamer UK don't even seem to know what date it's coming out on at this point. In related news, although the GameBoy Advance was supposed to drop to £60 today, actual prices range from the sublime (£62.99 at Gameplay) to the ridiculous ( £67.99 at Software First). So be sure to shop around! Related Feature - May 3rd, £150, GameCube
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