Mario's Party-in-a-box

Nintendo bundles together a GameCube, Mario Party 7, two controllers for $99; pack and game hit shelves November 7.

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Aside from frozen taquitos and bad wine, few parties come in a box. Nintendo is trying to change that with a new bundle set for release next month. Included in the deal is a Nintendo GameCube, Mario Party 7, and two controllers, for the celebratory price of $99.99.

The latest in the Mario Party series features 80 new minigames and comes with the GameCube Mic, a peripheral that accepts voice commands. If the party gets a little crowded, Mario Party 7 also has a board-game-style game that supports eight players.

Currently, $100 will get gamers only a GameCube and a controller. The reasons for the price break? Nintendo recently reported a dip in first-half earnings, with the main culprit being the decrease in interest in the GameCube.

Also, the next wave of next-generation systems is just over a month off, and Nintendo's own contribution to the new era is possibly more than a year away. With new GameCube owners, Nintendo could ease the difficult off-season with software sales.

Mario Party 7 is rated E for Everyone. Both the bundle ($99.99) and the game ($49.99 if purchased separately) will be released on November 7.

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