Nintendo has slashed #100 off the price of its N64 machine in its fierce console battle with Sony.
The Japanese giant cut the price of the N64 from #250 to #150 on 1 May, just nine weeks after its UK launch on 1 March. Nintendo?s sole UK distributor, THE Games, is planning to spend #1.5 million in one week on a national TV, radio and press campaign to promote the reduced price point.
Alex Fitzgibbons, marketing manager at THE Games, said: ?We want to remain competitive and we expect sales to skyrocket.?
Sony cut the price of its Playstation console, introduced in September 1995, to #130 to coincide with the N64?s UK debut. But Sony said last week that it would not respond to Nintendo?s latest move with further cuts.
Gerry Berkley, computer games manager at HMV, said: ?People have suspected this would happen and they probably haven?t bought over the past few weeks. We?re expecting a surge in sales.?
?There were fewer early adopters than expected, so demand tailed off after the launch,? said Joe McNicholas, senior product manager for multimedia at Virgin Our Price. ?This puts Nintendo back in the running, but it still has a long way to go to catch Sony.?
Nintendo is offering price protection to all retailers with existing N64 stocks, extending price protection to independents for the first time in its history, according to Fitzgibbons.
Senior retail buyers said for Nintendo to make headway against Sony?s runaway success, it would have to address the number of software titles available and the price. Although games for the 64bit Nintendo machine are seen as technically better than those for the 32bit Playstation, only six titles are available, priced from #54 to #70, whereas there are more than 150 Playstation titles, some for as little as #19.99.
Sega, whose 32bit Saturn console sells for #170 including two titles, will not react to Nintendo?s price cut, according to the company.
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