- Mar 10, 2001
Here is the report from Reuters :
By Ben Berkowitz
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The online arm of leading toy and video game retailer Toys R Us Inc. TOY.N said it sold out its first pre-order of the new Nintendo Co. Ltd. 7974.OS GameCube video game console in four minutes on Monday.
Toysrus.com, which is operated in conjunction with Amazon.com Inc. AMZN.O, began offering the consoles, bundled with games in a package, at 2 p.m. PDT, with each package costing $399. By 2:04 p.m., according to a spokesman for Toysrus.com, all of the packages had sold out.
It was the first major video game pre-sale since the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington and the first to test demand for Nintendo's new offering, which some have suggested could benefit from a delayed and possibly under-supplied launch of the competing Xbox by Microsoft Corp. MSFT.O The Toysrus spokesman declined to comment on how many GameCubes had been sold or how this pre-sale compared in size to the initial pre-sale for other new consoles.
The company offered four versions of the unit and the affiliated games. The four versions were essentially the same, with the only variables being the color of the console (black or indigo) and the choice of the third game in the pack (either "Madden NFL 2002" or "Wave Race: Blue Storm").
The GameCube itself will be priced at $199 when it goes on sale in the United States Nov. 18, but Toysrus.com is only offering the console in pre-sale with a package of games and a magazine subscription.
A similar pre-sale for Microsoft Corp.'s MSFT.O new XBox video game console sold out in 30 minutes on Sept. 4. That pre-sale was also a bundle offer, Toysrus.com's standard practice for new game systems.
Like the GameCube, the Xbox pre-sale was priced at $200 above the console's expected retail price at launch.
The GameCube launched on Sept. 14 in Japan without the fanfare that followed other new console releases, leading some analysts and industry observers to question the strength of its reception in the U.S. market.
Nintendo plans to ship 700,000 units for its launch. Microsoft had planned to ship between 600,000 and 800,000 units for its launch but said in September it could not be sure how many units it would have available when it made the decision to delay the release by a week from its initial target.
Industry analysts now expect Microsoft to ship 300,000 units on launch day, and Nintendo executives said that retailers were asking them to ship more GameCube units at launch to make up for Microsoft's possible shortfall, something the company said was not possible.
Analysts and retailers have said they expect both companies to sell every game unit they ship this holiday season, which is still expected to be a banner one for the game industry.
While economists have suggested that the economy is now in a recession and consumer confidence has been hurt by the Sept. 11 World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, video game sales have generally held up.