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The Prices Are Set -- Let the Game Wars Begin

22 May, 2001 By: Hive News

With Nintendo's announcement Monday that it will launch its GameCube for $199.95 -- about $100 less than game console machines from major competitors -- the final pieces in the pricing puzzle fell into place for the heavily anticipated fourth-quarter videogame console wars.

Nintendo's announcement comes less than a week after Microsoft said it would launch its Xbox on Nov. 8 for $299.

Sony's PlayStation 2, which has sold 3 million units inNorth America since its October debut, also sells for $299.

"We're thrilled that we are able to bring it in at this price," Perrin Kaplan, vp of corporate affairs for Nintendo of America Inc., told the Associated Press. "These systems are pretty much computers, and there is nothing simple about getting the price down for a computer."

This year's battle royale for console supremacy will be a turning point, with the competition lined up to wage the fiercest console war in videogame history.

Heightening expectations, the new generation of machines come loaded with high-speed Internet access, MP3 capability, DVD movie playback, richer graphics, more memory and faster gameplay. Microsoft's Xbox will be the only console with a built-in hard drive and high-speed Internet connection.

Microsoft is believed to have spent $500 million to market the Xbox -- more than the software giant spent to promote Windows 95.

Sony's early entry into the market and its built-in DVD player have given the Japanese company a big edge. The Xbox also can play DVDs, but owners have to pay extra for a controller.

Nintendo is countering with its $199.95 price tag, since its system has neither DVD playback nor hard drive. Butthe GameCube can be used with Nintendo's upcoming next-generation Game BoyAdvance handheld game device, which will be hugely popular.

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