Nintendo launches trade-in scheme as latest weapon in war of consoles

Nintendo is to step up the video games war by launching a trade-in scheme for rival consoles.

The company is understood to be talking to games retailer Electronics Boutique about offering a trade-in against the Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation consoles.

The offer will consist of 25 cash back and up to two free games when an N64 machine is bought and a rival console handed in. The offer is expected to begin later this summer.

One senior source at a major software publishing house says: “The two companies are putting the final touches to this deal. From now until Christmas there will be a price war between Nintendo and the Sony PlayStation.”

Nintendo confirms it is in talks with Electronics Boutique about the offer and says other retailers may enter the deal.

The move follows the N64’s 100 price cut last week, which reduced the price to 149. THE Games, which distributes the console in the UK for Nintendo, claims the machine has sold 70,000 units since its March 1 launch.

The market leader is the Sony PlayStation, which has sold 1 million units since its launch in 1995.

Head of marketing for PlayStation Geoff Glendenning says: “Early research shows that people are beginning to bring back their N64s because they can’t get enough games. If Nintendo introduces this new strategy, I think it will backfire.”

News Analysis, page 23

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