Nintendo Gamecube Launches in Europe
3rd May 2002
Nintendo's fourth console touches down in Europe.
The Gamecube had been a modest success in the US and had done only slightly better in Japan. Nintendo was now up against the marketing might of not just Sony, but now Microsoft.
The console had been made very easy to programme compared to the Nintendo 64, and developers had been very impressed with the ease which titles could be produced. This led to 20 games being available from launch from all the major software companies, including their old rivals Sega, who produced Super Monkey and Sonic Adventure 2 for the machine.
Nintendo themselves surprisingly had no Mario title ready at launch, instead it was left to Luigi to fly the flag, in the interesting, but slightly repetetive Luigi's Mansion.
The Microsoft Xbox had released in March 2002, and had done reasonably well, thanks to it's console online service Xbox Live, and in no small part to Halo Combat Evolved, but Nintendo undercut the new challenger by a full £170, launching the Gamecube for just £129.99, the cheapest console by some margin ever released. The Microsoft lead was wiped out in the first weekend.
Sadly for Nintendo though, they could not compete with the marketing spend of Sony and Microsoft, and their exclusive deals with publishers, add to this aggressive price cuts of hardware, and Nintendo by the end of 2002 had fallen behind, and were already thinking of new ways to play games...