Nintendo's Gamecube console has launched in the UK and across Europe, with special midnight launch events held at three HMV stores.


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HMV stores in London, Birmingham and Glasgow opened their doors for the special launch celebration, which saw the first 100 lucky punters walk away with a free copy of Luigi's Mansion.

The launch comes after weeks of build up, which has included giant perspex cubes being placed outside HMV stores, television advertising, CubeClub events held across the UK, and general launch hype which has made people sit up and take notice of Nintendo's dinky new console.

Over 50,000 Gamecube consoles had been pre-ordered in the run up to the launch, which saw online retailer amazon.co.uk totally selling out of their initial batch. Other retailers have also confirmed that they had reached their limit on pre-orders, which were boosted by the 40 price cut to 129, less than two weeks before launch.

Nintendo's Gamecube joins the "console war" with Microsoft's recently launched Xbox, which launched on March 14th at 299, and was reduced to 199 last friday in an attempt to make the console a more viable choice for gamers after complaints about the high price. Sony's PlayStation 2 is the other console in the three way battle, which despite being released in the UK over a year ago, is still selling remarkably well and is seen by many up until now as the popular choice.

We'll have further coverage of the Gamecube launch later today, and the first sales figures as soon as we hear from either Nintendo or retailers.

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