The online arm of leading toy and video game retailer Toys R Us said it sold out its first pre-order of the new Nintendo GameCube video game console in four minutes on Monday.
Toysrus.com, which is operated in conjunction with Amazon.com, began offering the consoles, bundled with games in a package, at 2 pm PDT, with each package costing US$399. By 2.04 pm, 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 September 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.
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 US$199 when it goes on sale in the United States November 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's new Xbox video game console sold out in 30 minutes on September 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 US$200 above the console's expected retail price at launch.
News source: Reuters