Cube sales rise dramatically

Will Microsoft respond?

There was cause for cautious celebration at Nintendo of Europe this morning when it emerged that GameCube sales in the UK have dramatically overtaken the Xbox by a ratio of almost two to one - and almost ten times the level they were at before the recent £50 price cut.

Although Nintendo was quickly on the offensive last week, dishing out rather optimistic statements that it had quadrupled the sales of the console post-price cut, the fact remained that the machine was selling less than a thousand units a week for months, so it wasn't exactly difficult to improve on those abysmal figures.

But this week's freshly-released figures are an altogether more impressive story. Although we're unable to release specific figures, Nintendo doubled last week's sales, and in the process may yet force Microsoft's hand into a belated and begrudging Xbox price cut.

Given that we're not even into the lucrative Christmas season yet, and with the all-important trump card of Mario Kart: Double Dash!! yet to be played, Nintendo will be entering November and December full of renewed confidence that it can close the not-exactly-huge gap on Microsoft and once again reclaim the position of No.2 console.

Meanwhile, out-of-sight leader Sony put in another sterling performance, managing to out-sell the Cube by over four to one despite a small drop over last week's figures, and is all set to break the five million installed base milestone within the next couple of months. With a series of value bundles hitting the stores between now and Christmas, PS2 sales are expected to remain high for the rest of the year.

Finally, Nokia's N-Gage 'mobile gaming deck' followed its lacklustre first weekend with an even quieter first full week, managing to somehow sell even less through Chart-Track's panel of 6,000 gaming retailers, and continues to be outsold by the GBA by a margin of around 30 to one. Even with mobile phone specialist shops taken into account, evidence suggests the new device hasn't been "flying off the shelves" as some reports claimed rather hopefully last week.

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Kristan Reed

Kristan Reed

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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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