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NEW YORK ( -- Nintendo of America, Redmond, Wash., kicks off a major sampling program for its new GameCube video-game console Oct. 3 in Los Angeles.

The event marks the debut of the Nintendo Cube Club -- a 12-city tour designed to lure a diverse group of gaming enthusiasts and tastemakers to hang out and play games on the GameCube.

Nintendo hopes the Cube Clubs will stoke demand for the $199 game console in the seven-week run up to its Nov. 18 retail launch. It also hopes to the Cube Club venues -- cool spaces equipped with more than 30 demo stations for gaming and DJs -- will attract young adults to its brand.

Nintendo's been a favorite among children under 17, particularly with its popular franchise games "Mario" and "Pokemon."

Nintendo will spend $75 million this quarter marketing the GameCube and its software.

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