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Cube misses targets

Gamers "don't want to sit in front of the TV to play games for hours"

Nintendo admitted it would miss its GameCube shipment target by over 10 per cent this financial year, and blamed a change in consumer trends for the shortfall - but said it would not be retreating from the console market.

Hardware unit forecasts had already been downgraded from 12 to 10 million back in October, so the latest shortfall underlines the firm's GameCube problems. To add to the gloom at the company, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata admitted that software shipments were likely to fall below the forecasted 55 million units.

"Behind the soft sales is a change in consumer trends," Iwata-san argued. "Consumers today, apparently, don't want to sit in front of the television to play games for hours and hours." Really? That's not what Sony said last week when it announced PS2 shipments had topped the 50 million mark.

However, Iwata-san quickly killed off speculation that Nintendo would retreat from the console market, by revealing that development of its next machine was underway and was looking at the possibility of launching it in 2005 or 2006.

Meanwhile, the Nintendo boss reminded everyone that GBA console sales had been strong, thanks largely to the recently released Pokemon titles.

Nintendo's shares responded by closing 4.63 percent higher at 10,850 yen yesterday, but earlier in the week had hit a four year low, at 10,090.

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Kristan Reed


Kristan is a former editor of Eurogamer, dad, Stone Roses bore and Norwich City supporter who sometimes mutters optimistically about Team Silent getting back together.

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