June 14th, 2004, 18:24
The GameCube console has seen its market share of the European hardware market doubling to 32 per cent following the launch of Pokemon Colosseum on the platform - proof, claims Nintendo, that the Pokemon franchise is still alive and well.[br][br]Pokemon Colosseum, the first fully 3D home console adventure game to be launched in the franchise, has been the single largest Cube release of the year to date in Europe, and is sold both as a standalone game (with a free memory card) and as a bundle with the GameCube console and a number of accessories.[br][br]While sales of all of the consoles are influenced to some extent by the launch of key software titles, this is especially true for the GameCube - not least because with its 99 Euro price point, the console is a possible impulse purchase for consumers.[br][br]The 32 per cent figure quoted for market share in Europe belies the fact that the platform has seen its fortunes vary significantly across the major European territories; while it is in third place in the UK, where the Xbox has a major lead over it in installed base terms, it has beaten off competition from Microsoft's console in both France and Germany, while in Spain and Italy neither console has managed to make much headway against the PS2.[br][br]The Pokemon franchise has generated some 25 million unit sales of games in Europe to date, with last year's Pokemon Ruby and Pokemon Sapphire titles on the GBA selling 3.3 million units in the region. Two further GBA titles, Pokemon Fire Red and Pokemon Leaf Green, are due to launch in Europe in the coming months.