Effective today, American punters can go out and buy a GameCube for a mere $99 - $80 less than either PS2 or Xbox - as part of Nintendo's big pre-Christmas promotional push - perhaps lending some credence to the 99 price point rumour flying around earlier this week. With the US price drop now in place, seasonal big-hitters like Mario Kart: Double Dash (due out in the US on November 17th) should help the Cube limp back into contention, and perhaps even force Nintendo to fire up those foundries again and start moulding more of its purple joyboxes. The platform holder originally ceased production of the console because there was a mounting surplus in retail channels - which would have at least encouraged the new price point.
But despite luring Toys 'R' Us and various other spokespeople out of their murky lairs to comment on the cut ("For $99, you can now buy video game technology that you couldn't have purchased for $99,000 just a few years ago."), another story doing the rounds yesterday was less encouraging for the Big N - Atari has pulled the plug on GameCube versions of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and, perhaps more upsettingly, Reflections' promising-looking Driver 3.
However the publisher has not abandoned the Cube completely, as publishers are apparently loath to do, given both Eidos and Acclaim's recent squirming. No, apparently T3 was canned because "there simply wasn't enough time to develop the game on all three platforms" before the DVD release, and in Driver 3's case, because "we've decided to focus the efforts of our development team on maximizing the game's potential on our lead SKUs, Xbox and PS2." Atari also rubbished reports that Mission: Impossible - Operation Surma has been canned, although we do wonder if anyone cares either way.