Nintendo stated that hardware and software sales in 2003 made significant leaps over 2002, claiming that the Nintendo GameCube's success bumped Microsoft's Xbox to the No. 3 position in the 2003 console wars.
2003 global holiday sales for the GameCube grew 70 percent over 2002 with Nintendo maintaining its global sales target of 6 million GameCube consoles for 2004.
In Nintendo estimates for 2003, GameCube U.S. hardware sales increased by more than 35 percent over 2002; Sony's PlayStation 2 dropped by about 25 percent and Xbox showed no relevant market growth. Citing December alone, Nintendo reported that GameCube hardware sales soared 69 percent over December 2002, compared to a drop of about 30 percent for PlayStation 2 while the Xbox stayed constant.
U.S. sales got a boost from a September 25 price drop, which lowered the GameCube price to an MSRP of $99.99. The GameCube now has nearly sold 6.8 million units in the U.S. since its 2001 launch.
The Game Boy Advance also saw double-digit increases in the United States, with nearly 2.5 million units sold in December, an 11 percent increase over December 2002. Nintendo sold more than 8.2 million Game Boy Advance systems in 2003, an increase of 18 percent over 2002 and the most sold in one calendar year in the 14-year history of the Game Boy. In 2003, the Game Boy Advance outsold PlayStation 2 by nearly 2 million units.
Nintendo also saw significant increases in software sales. The 2003 sales for GameCube software increased 63 percent over 2002, while Xbox software increased 54 percent and PlayStation 2 software increased 23 percent. Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
has become the fastest-selling Nintendo GameCube game in the United States, selling over 1 million units in seven weeks. Nintendo expects to continue riding the wave of success through 2004, with a steady flow of strong software titles, including Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles
in February and Pokemon Colosseum