Nintendo, Sony talk up rival Xbox

Nintendo and Sony Computer Entertainment have leapt to the defence of the Xbox, despite recent negative publicity surrounding the Japanese and European launches of Microsoft’s contender in the games console market.

Reports suggest it has not been the runaway hit that Microsoft was predicting. But Nintendo Europe head of sales and marketing David Gosen told Marketing Week: “We hoped they would be successful because, if so, the whole industry benefits. It’s important that the spotlight stays on this industry – worth $20bn (&£13.9bn) annually – and that the gloss doesn’t come off it.”

A source at Sony PlayStation says: “I think people are being a bit too quick to judge whether Xbox has been a success or not.”

Meanwhile, Nintendo says that orders in the UK for its upcoming GameCube have reached 25,000 after the first week. Gosen says: “Going on previous trends, that should translate into more than 50,000 orders when GameCube goes on sale on May 3.”

Controversially, however, UK games retailers will be pricing the GameCube at &£169 – some &£16 above the sterling equivalent of E250 (&£153), which is the pan-European price set by Nintendo. UK retailers had complained that Nintendo’s price would shave off almost all their profit margin.

Gosen maintains that the E250 figure is “not a recommended retail price – we don’t set an RRP. Retailers are free to choose”.

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