Nintendo: GameCube Sales Surpass Xbox Twofold

Nintendo is claiming an initial victory in its U.S. launch war with Microsoft's Xbox, touting sales figures of over 500,000 units at a rate of nearly twice that of Xbox. GameCube's first game, Luigi's Mansion, has also been dubbed the most popular console launch game ever, selling more copies than Nintendo's previous king Super Mario 64. Early sales figures indicate GameCube is even selling 25 percent faster than Playstation 2 did after last year's launch.

Nintendo shipped 740,000 consoles to North America and the 565,000 that made it to U.S. retail outlets are now sold out the company says. Microsoft has not released specific sales figures for Xbox as of yet. Nintendo will be shipping 125,000 new units each week through the holidays, compared to Microsoft's 100,000.

Many analysts attribute GameCube's quick success to its $200 USD price tag, $100 cheaper than both Sony's Playstation 2 and Xbox. "Consumers can purchase Nintendo GameCube and two games for the same cost as rival, current generation game consoles alone. It's like getting two games for free," said Peter Main, Nintendo's vice president of sales. Because of weaker than expected sales in Japan, Nintendo may have had more hardware on hand for the U.S. launch as well.

But sales of the Xbox have also been spectacular according to Microsoft, smashing many retailers' single-day records. Redmond has prided itself on the powerful Xbox platform, working closely with hundreds of developers to ensure top-notch games, such as Halo and Dead or Alive 3. Microsoft expects to ship up to 1.5 million Xbox consoles by the end of the year.

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