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Nintendo gives GameCube a markdown

Still have doubts that a game machine price war is under way? Nintendo makes the battle crystal clear by undercutting rivals Sony and Microsoft.

Nintendo on Monday raised the stakes in the fierce game machine price war by cutting the cost of its GameCube console by nearly $50.

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Effective Tuesday, the machine will sell for $149.95.

Nintendo's move comes after price cuts were made last week by rivals Microsoft and Sony. Their machines, Xbox and PlayStation 2, respectively, were cut to $199. Nintendo said at the time that it had no plans to cut prices.

The price cuts by the three also come against the backdrop of this week's Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.

"It's simple, really: Nintendo is committed to offering our players the best games and the best price," Peter MacDougall, a Nintendo of America marketing executive, said in a statement. "We were the first manufacturer to reach the $199 price level, and now we're leading the industry to $149."

Nintendo, which launched GameCube last November, has shipped more than 4.5 million systems worldwide.

The company has also been working on plans to take its gaming device online. This fall, it will sell a network adapter for broadband Internet connections and a modem for dial-up connections for GameCube, allowing game players to compete over the Internet.

Sony and Microsoft have also announced plans for online options.