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GameCube claims second place in Europe, but UK sales fall

Nintendo has this morning claimed that the GameCube has increased its market share across Europe five-fold in the past three weeks, and now holds 25 per cent of the market - putting it ahead of Microsoft's Xbox.

Nintendo has this morning claimed that the GameCube has increased its market share across Europe five-fold in the past three weeks, and now holds 25 per cent of the market - putting it ahead of Microsoft's Xbox.

This figure puts the console into a strong position ahead of the launch of Mario Kart: Double Dash this Friday, which arrives alongside a bundle deal featuring a console, a copy of the game and a limited edition Zelda collector's disc, priced at £99.

However, the latest figures from Chart-Track show that while the Cube may be doing well in Europe as a whole, its performance in the UK leaves much to be desired - with the console being outsold by the PS2 by a factor of 7.5 to one, and lagging the Xbox by a factor of almost 2.5 to one.

These figures show a 15 per cent week on week drop in sales of the Cube, while the Xbox increased its sales slightly, with a three per cent rise in the weekly figures - although it's still behind the PS2 by a factor of three to one.

The launch of Mario Kart this week will be the real tester for Nintendo; it's one of the most important franchises on the console, and as such should perform very well, but it launches alongside heavy hitters such as EA's latest Lord of the Rings title, Return of the King. There's also a question mark over how many consoles the game will see; some commentators have opined that Mario Kart is a franchise which appeals mostly to the Nintendo "faithful", who are the people most likely to already own a GameCube. Only next week's sales figures will tell the full story.

Although Nintendo has made plenty of noise about its sales triumphs this month, with the company claiming second place both in Europe and the USA, rival Microsoft has been uncharacteristically silent regarding its own achievements. This is unlikely to be a tacit admission that Nintendo is actually winning the seasonal sales battle so far this year; we can only assume that the inevitable Microsoft PR onslaught is just running a little later than usual.

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Rob Fahey avatar

Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.

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