While PlayStation II is getting as much attention for its use as a family multimedia center (and many Japanese consumers are buying it just to play DVDs), Nintendo is positioning GameCube as a simple product for game purists. Fans of the Nintendo platform and titles like Pokémon and Super Mario Bros. tend to be younger than PlayStation customers. Those differences could be lost on consumers if GameCube is released too quickly after PlayStation II's launch on Oct. 26.
[...]GameCube should stand up well to Microsoft's Xbox, the software company's first serious step into the console business. Microsoft is racing to write games for its machine, while the extra one or two quarters Nintendo now has will give GameCube at least five solid games when it launches. (With the GameCube, Nintendo is switching from cartridge games to discs.) Xbox is saturated in buzz, but it may win over fewer console gamers than PC gamers.