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Following less-than-stellar holiday sales for Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo of America announced they will soon offer consumers a free game with the purchase of a GameCube for $149. Beginning February 9th, select retailers will offer GameCube buyers the option of Mario Party 4, Metroid Prime, Resident Evil , or Star Fox Adventures as a free title with their console purchase. "For less than $150, players will find a world of quality only available with Nintendo" said George Harrison, senior vice president, marketing and corporate communications, Nintendo of America. 

The deal is designed to better position GameCube on a retail level against Sony's PlayStation 2 and Microsoft's Xbox. Despite significant rebate promotions for the console in December, GameCube sales during the month in North America were far below Nintendo's expectations at 619,000 units. This compared to 2,733,000 for PlayStation 2 and 1,033,000 for Xbox according to NPD.

The free game promotion effectively makes GameCube look like it could be bought for the equivalent of $99 without confronting the image pricing issues or actual costs of reducing the console's MSRP. Last October, Microsoft introduced the Limited Edition Xbox Bundle, which included Sega GT 2002 and Jet Set Radio Future for the console's standard MSRP of $199. The bundle proved tremendously effective, significantly boosting Xbox sales in North America and Europe.

Buy a GameCube, Get a Free Game and Bonus Disc: Receive a free game and bonus disc when you buy a GameCube for $149 (select from PlatinumJet Black, or Indigo). Just add a console and an eligible game to your cart. Use the claim code NGCBPRVDGAME at checkout.

Nintendo will heavily promote the deal through print, television, and point-of-purchase advertising. The promotion is scheduled to conclude in May, when console makers are expected to announce reductions in console prices. It is anticipated that Sony may reduce the MSRP of PlayStation 2 to between $150 and $170, forcing Nintendo to cut GameCube's sticker to between $100 and $120.

In light of the free game promotion, the Super Mario Sunshine Bundle Pak, which includes a copy of Super Mario Sunshine, a Nintendo GameCube, and a Memory Card 59, will likewise be reduced to $159 from its original MSRP of $189.

Meanwhile, European gamers will receive a bundle gift of their own from Nintendo. Beginning February 3rd, Europeans will be able to select from Disney's Magical Mirror, Doshin the Giant, Eternal Darkness, Luigi's Mansion, NBA Courtside 2002, Pikmin, or Wave Race: Blue Storm as a free game with the purchase of a Nintendo GameCube. The promotion will end much sooner than it will in North America for those under the rule of Nintendo of Europe. NOE intends to pull the promotion on March 20th.

January 29, 2003

Rick - Editor in Chief, GameCubicle is an independent site and is in no way associated with Nintendo Co. Ltd. or NOA
Nintendo's official GameCube site can be found at

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