Nintendo: GameCube's outselling rivals

Firing off a salvo in the video game wars, Nintendo says it sold more than half a million GameCubes in the console's first week on sale. It's a poke in the eye for Xbox and PlayStation 2.

Nintendo has announced that more than half-million GameCube consoles were sold through to consumers in its first week of availability.

The company claims those sales numbers make the GameCube the fastest-selling console in history--the PlayStation 2 sold its initial shipment of 500,000 units in less than a week, but Sony did not ship additional units for several weeks after launch.

In terms of software sales, Luigi's Mansion became the fastest selling launch game, even surpassing the stellar sales of Nintendo's own Super Mario 64, according to Nintendo.

"To have outpaced any other video game console launch ever would be notable in its own right," said Peter Main, executive vice president for sales and marketing at Nintendo of America. "But to accomplish this under the current economic conditions is truly remarkable. There is a seemingly endless appetite for high quality, stay-at-home entertainment at an affordable price--which is a perfect definition of Nintendo GameCube."

Of the initial North American shipments of 740,000 hardware units, approximately 100,000 systems went to Canada and Latin America and another 75,000 to U.S. rental and other distribution channels. Virtually all of the 565,000 units that were shipped to U.S. retailers are sold out and a new shipment of 125,000 units is now arriving at retailers.

By the end of the year, the GameCube will have 22 games in its library. Nintendo will ship two of its high-profile first party games--Super Smash Bros. Melee and Pikmin--to retailers next week.