Cube almost sold out in the USA, says Nintendo

Massive boost in demand for console threatens to deplete stocks.

Stocks of the GameCube console are almost depleted in the United States following strong demand through the Christmas period and the start of the New Year, according to Nintendo, which says it is working to bring in supplies from elsewhere.

Around 50 per cent of retail stores in the USA have run out of stock of the console entirely, according to Nintendo spokesperson Perrin Kaplan, who told news agency Reuters that the company was now working to bring stock in from other territories and ensure that production in Japan was ramped up as high as possible.

The stock problem comes after a few very strong months of sales for the GameCube, which began a spectacular sales recovery in the USA following a price cut to $99 last September. The console outsold its nearest rival, Microsoft's Xbox, for the majority of the fourth quarter of 2003, and has continued to sell strongly into 2004.

According to Kaplan, sales of the GameCube hardware in January were up by 60 per cent year-on-year, while sales of software were up by 101 per cent. The situation contrasts sharply with events early last year, when Nintendo was forced to halt production of the GameCube temporarily in order to clear out mounting warehouse inventory of the console.

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