Hitch cripples Nintendo 64 launch

Japanese video games giant Nintendo has run into crippling problems with its long-awaited Nintendo 64 (N64) console, with the result that it will now miss the crucial Christmas market for the second year running.

Nintendo says the advanced console will launch in Europe on March 1 next year. But it admits that only 100,000 units will be available across the whole continent.

A Nintendo spokesman says: “We would have liked to have been in time for Christmas but N64 is such a strong product that the March date will create a buzz of its own.”

The company says it has

had problems producing enough

consoles in its factory in Japan.

The N64 has been dogged by delay; there have been four previous expected launches since Christmas last year.

The failure to have any of the consoles out by Christmas will leave the market open to Sony’s Play-

Station and Sega’s Saturn 32-bit

consoles.

Ray Maguire, managing director of Sony Computer Entertainment, says: “It’s unfortunate Nintendo has slipped the launch of the N64 yet again and it brings into question the company’s focus on Europe.

“The effect of missing yet another Christmas will be dramatic. It

will enter the market highly disadvantaged.”

Industry analysts ChartTrack underline the importance of the Christmas market pointing out that December accounts for 25 per cent of all computer games sales.

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