Nintendo Co. Ltd., which at one point stopped production on its GameCube video game console due to slack demand, has now nearly sold out of the console in the United States and is seeking to bring supplies in from elsewhere, a spokeswoman said on Monday. "Store shelves are just running very dry," Nintendo spokeswoman Perrin Kaplan told Reuters. "I'd say about 50 percent of our stores are out." The GameCube, Nintendo's fourth entry into the console gaming market, was released in the United States in Nov. 2001 but struggled to gain market share in the face of heavy competition from market leader Sony Corp. and new entrant Microsoft Corp.
A number of publishers curtailed or stopped production on GameCube games and the Japanese company, faced with excess inventory and sales far below its expectations, temporarily halted production of the gaming machine. That marked a fall from grace for Nintendo, which at one point had a virtual lock on the U.S. console market, until Sony came along with the PlayStation in the mid-1990s and loosened the grasp of the company that introduced a generation of kids to characters like Mario the plumber and Donkey Kong.
News source: Reuters