300,000 GameCubes sold in first 3 days
By CNN's Kristie Lu Stout
TOKYO, Japan (CNN) -- Nintendo sold 300,000 GameCube consoles during its Japan launch weekend, in line with analysts' expectations.
"It's a slower start than what we initially expected, but I am not worried about their total performance," said UBS Warburg game analyst Takiko Mori.
After being hit with weak pre-sales forecasts, Nintendo said it is pleased with the GameCube's debut during what the company calls a traditionally slow sales season.
Selling in a slow season
"Three hundred thousand is incredible in this slow sales season already," Nintendo spokesperson Yasuhiro Minagawa told CNN.
"We had no promotions, no TV commercials, and yet we sold 300,000. That is a great number."
Nintendo posted weekend sales of 300,000 GameCube units, out of the 450,000 units already shipped to retailers.
The first shipment fell short of the 500,000 units the game maker initially expected due to production and transportation delays.
The remaining 50,000 units will be shipped in Japan before the end of September.
Minagawa said the month of September is generally regarded as a weak sales period for a sector that targets the student yen.
"After a long summer vacation time, our target market doesn't have the money and time to spend for video games. Traditionally, it's not a good sales time."
Limited software titles
Three GameCube software titles were released at the launch, including Sega's "Super Monkey Ball," as well as Nintendo's own "Luigi's Mansion" and "Wave Racer."
Around 360,000 to 400,000 game titles developed for the GameCube were sold over the weekend, the Nikkei reported.
UBS Warburg's Mori said the limited array of software titles narrowed its market appeal.
"Core gamers are buying it right now, people who want to get basically everything on the first day," said Mori.
"But there was not enough software to attract the main users, who are children."
Nintendo said it plans to release more kiddie-friendly titles for the GameCube including the eagerly-anticipated "Pikmin" and "Super Smash Brothers Melee," the sequel to the hit title that sold more than 5 million units worldwide.
The game company will unveil the game console to the U.S. market November 18.
However, due to last week's terrorist attacks that have shaken consumer sentiment, U.S. demand for game consoles could prove weaker than anticipated.
Nintendo nevertheless expects to ship 1.1 million GameCube units this year in the U.S., including 700,000 at launch.
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