Both the Xbox and GameCube European price reductions have proved popular with the retail sector, although Nintendo apparently didn't tell anybody about its plans until this morning. As it happens, many of the retailers and industry alumni gracious enough to accept our calls at the crack of dawn this morning were completely oblivious. "It's a wise move by Nintendo," Paul Kenwright of leading independent Virtual Games told us this afternoon. "They've learnt a lot from the demise of N64, and the situation with the three big guns is going to get interesting, especially after the Xbox price reduction." Many people believe GameCube will be the first under-the-TV console from Nintendo to boast really strong third party support since the Super Nintendo, although some are less expectant. "They just wont provide dev stuff to UK developers who want it," one game developer, who wished to remain anonymous, told us today. Retailers are excited at the prospect of the price reductions invigorating sales of the Xbox and GameCube. "The focus must now turn to Sony," though, Paul explained, "to see what they're going to do with their hardware." Speculation is already rife this Monday that Sony plans to react to the price drop in kind. As we reported this morning, Ed Gilmour of Play Distribution feels the same way. "I suspect you could even see a Sony price point of £99.99," he told us. "They might do 149 or 179. They might wait until the last minute - Sony is a very crafty company." Although few retailers have adjusted their pricing, protective of their margins which were thrown into doubt last time, overall people are excited. In the last few minutes, we've been able to confirm that £129 in a press release really does equate to £129 at retail. This time around. "The £129.99 price announced is the final retail price," one retailer told us. "We're informing our customers right now that they will be charged at this lower price." "The price drop wasn't really needed to sell more 'Cubes but its gives us gamers £40 to spend on another game so its ace," he added. Update - unfortunately, nothing is every quite what it seems... Related Feature - GameCube €199 / £129
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