Competition forces Nintendo to slash prices

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TOKYO -- Nintendo Co. says it will cut the price of some of its video game hardware in order to increase its share in the highly competitive video game market.

The game maker will cut the price of its Nintendo 64 from $119 to $99 and its color Gameboy, due to launch in September, will hit the market at the lower than expected price of $63.

"We have a strong line of new software coming out this year, including `Pocket Monster Stadium.' The lower hardware prices and the new software titles should help boost our profits," says a Nintendo spokesman.

Nintendo has faced stiff competition in Japan from Sony's PlayStation, the market leader in the country. And last month, Sega Enterprises Ltd. said it would unveil a new 128-bit video game console called Dreamcast. It will hit Japanese stores on November 20, then go overseas next year.

Nintendo is expected to introduce a new version of its 64-bit game player later this year. The new game console will have a disc drive and allow users to interface with their Gameboys in order to play the same game on the home and portable consoles.

Copyright June 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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