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HIVE EXCLUSIVE: Launch-Pad Frenzy Nears as Nintendo's GameCube on Nov. 5 and Microsoft's Xbox on Nov. 8 Prepare to Challenge Sony

3 Aug, 2001 By: John Gaudiosi

Nintendo has announced it will ship 1.1 million hardware units between the Nov. 5 launch of its next generation GameCube system, which will retail for $199, and year’s end.

Nintendo will ship 500,000 GameCube units for its Sept. 14 Japanese launch with an additional 900,000 units hitting retail shelves by theend of the year. Nintendo plans to ship 4 million GameCube units worldwide by March 2002.

Microsoft c.f.o. John Connors told analysts the company expects to ship 4.5 million to 6 million Xbox hardware units worldwide in the firsteight months. In the United States, Connors reiterated that Xbox will launch Nov. 8 for $299 with 600,000 to 800,000 units and ship between 1 million and 1.5 million hardware units by Christmas. Xbox will ship inJapan after it debuts in the United States, allowing the company to focus its attention on these shores and compete with Nintendo and Sony.

Connors explained that Microsoft’s entry into the console video game market will come at a price, as initial investments in marketing and losses on hardware will eventually pave the way to profitability.

“Both of these projection numbers are doable, assuming the companies don’t run into too many production problems that traditionally occur with the launch of a new gaming console,” says Anton Bruehl, president of the International Development Group, a video game consulting house. “I believe every hardware unit that Nintendo and Microsoft ship this year will be sold.”

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