99 Euro GameCube next month?

Aggressive first move in the next console price war, or just wishful thinking?

A report this morning is quoting an unnamed source within Nintendo as saying that the company is planning to slash the price of the GameCube to under €100 on October 1st, marking the first shot in the Xmas price war.

French website Nintendo-Difference.com claims that its source - tongue apparently loosened by wine, in traditional French style - told it that the price cut will bring the console down to €99.99 in Europe, giving a UK price of around £69 according to current conversion rates.

This hugely aggressive move would be accompanied by the addition of two key titles - Super Mario Sunshine and Metroid Prime - to the GameCube Player's Choice budget range, while Pikmin, Luigi's Mansion and Starfox Adventures would drop to €19.99 (about £13.99) from their current budget price of €29.99.

A GameCube price cut is indeed widely anticipated in time for Christmas, but most expectations were for an official cut to £99 - which would probably be in line with the expected Xbox price cut.

If Nintendo-Difference.com's source is correct, we would expect Nintendo to offer the planned Mario Kart: Double Dash bundle for £99, or perhaps even less. It's hugely unlikely that Microsoft would match such an aggressive price-cut, giving Nintendo a clear lead in terms of pricing once again.

Interestingly, this cut would also make the GameCube less expensive than the Game Boy Advance SP - a situation which may be difficult to reconcile in the mind of many consumers.

In the absence of any official information or independent corroboration of this rumour, it remains exactly that - nothing more than a rumour. However, it's certainly interesting to speculate about what the effect on the console market this Christmas would be if it does turn out to be true.

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