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Nintendo GameCube

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Nintendo GameCube
GameCube-Console-Set.png
Born to Play.
Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: JP: September 14, 2001
NA: November 18, 2001
EU: May 3, 2002
AU: May 17, 2002
ROC: November 21, 2002
KO: December 14, 2002
Predecessor: Nintendo 64
Successor: Wii
Competitors: PlayStation 2
Xbox
Generation: Sixth generation
Discontinued: WW: February 22, 2007


The Nintendo GameCube (codenamed Dolphin) is a home gaming console developed by Nintendo. It is the successor to the Nintendo 64 and competed with against the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. It was succeeded by the Wii in 2006 and was discontinued in 2007.

The GameCube was the second strongest console of its generation, behind the Xbox, but ahead of the PlayStation 2.

Hardware specifications

  • CPU: 32-bit IBM PowerPC 750CXe Gekko @ 485 MHz
  • Memory: 24 MB of 1T-SRAM @ 324MHz as system RAM, 3 MB of embedded 1T-SRAM as video RAM, 16 MB of DRAM as I/O buffer RAM
  • Storage:
    • Memory cards: 512 KB, 2 MB, 8 MB
  • Display: 480i (RCA), 576i (PAL), 240p, 480i, 480p, 576i (PAL), 576p (modding, component)
  • Graphics: ATI Flipper GPU @ 162 MHz with 3MB embedded 1T-SRAM
  • Media: GameCube disc

Why It's Born To Play

  1. It is the very first Nintendo console to use discs. This allowed quicker loading times and much larger games to be developed and released on it than the N64.
  2. All GameCube controllers are forwards compatible with most Wii games. An example of this is Mario Kart Wii.
  3. The console supports online gaming for a small number of titles via the broadband or modem adapter.
  4. The Nintendo GameCube introduced the concept of miniDVDs as a primary storage medium instead of regular-sized DVD discs. The miniDVDs were implemented to avoid heavy piracy, which Sony's PlayStation line suffered from. Though this format did somewhat cause the same third-party problem with the N64 where some games were too big to release on the system.
  5. A special Game Boy Advance cable can be used to link GameCube and Game Boy Advance to unlock secrets and bonuses on many games for both consoles.
  6. The back of the console has a handle for easy transportation.
  7. The Game Boy Player add-on allows you to play Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games. Game Boy Advance Video cartridges are blocked from being compatible with the Game Boy Player which is a shame because the GameCube cannot play CDs or DVDs. According to Nintendo, this was to prevent illegal copying of the video, though it didn't matter given the bad quality of the cartridges. The Game Boy Player also has additional features, the most puzzling one is the timer, it's literally just a normal timer that doesn't affect the games at all. Sadly, Super Game Boy enhancements are not supported on the Game Boy Player.
  8. It uses a 59-block memory card, and memory cards in other sizes were also available.
  9. It had a reasonably cheap launch price, costing $199 compared to the PS2 and Xbox's $299 launch prices.
  10. Many amazing Nintendo titles were made for the console, such as:
  11. Many Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast games were directly ported to the GameCube.
  12. An original and uncommon design (a cube shape, hence the name).
  13. The controller was designed to improve the Nintendo 64's qualities and correct the problems it had. It has a very unique button layout which makes it very comfortable and easy to get used to. The analog stick has been replaced to avoid friction and discomfort that was present on the Nintendo 64's controller.
  14. The main menu music is relaxing thanks to its slow pace and pleasant synth notes.
  15. Over its lifespan, which came to a close in 2007, more than 600 games were released for the GameCube.
  16. It is the first Nintendo console to have Sega and their Sonic games. This is notable due to Sega and Nintendo being fierce rivals in the 1990s.
    • It is also the first Nintendo console to have Crash Bandicoot and Spyro games.
  17. Despite the low sales and with the release of its successor, the Wii, the GameCube was still in production, games for the system were still being made, and the original Wii models were fully backwards compatible and the GameCube controller could even be used with some Wii games such as Sonic Colors. Although later revisions removed support as a cost-cutting measure. Later, a GameCube controller adapter for the Wii U was later released that would allow compatibility with GameCube controllers for Super Smash Bros for Wii U. The adapter has also been made compatible with most Nintendo Switch games.
  18. It was so durable, that when it was featured on the X-Play segment "Webb of Destruction", it passed every single test!
  19. Many games from the system aged really well and still look great to this day.
  20. Many great third-party titles, such as:
  21. This was the first console to have digital AV output which allows for more clean HDMI converters than the other 6th gen consoles.
  22. It has great startups, and we mean "startups", not only because of the animation and music, but there are also different variations to these startups, which are: kids laughing and kabuki.
  23. This console essentially set Nintendo's modern standards.

Bad Qualities

  1. The GameCube's discs, due to them being based on miniDVDs, don't hold as much storage as the DVDs used in the PS2 and Xbox, so some games such as Resident Evil had to be split across 2 discs, and others had to have compressed visuals and audio or features cut to fit on them.
  2. The controller also doesn't have as many buttons as the PS2 or Xbox controllers, and thus some actions in certain games require two buttons to be pressed or are even missing.
    • The GameCube versions of Tony Hawk and SSX are missing tricks from the other versions, as an example.
  3. Despite the effort to reduce piracy with the miniDVDs, the broadband adapter allowed people an easy way to pirate GameCube games. After the release of Phantasy Star Online Episode I and II, it was discovered that a PC could be made to simulate the conditions of the server the game was connected to, which was used as a method of tunneling the online service. During the simulation, unsigned code would be streamed back to the GameCube, allowing homebrew, and in turn, allowing users to play copied games and allow online gameplay in games that didn't support it.
  4. Due to the miniDVD format the GameCube utilized, regular sized DVDs could not be played on it, unlike the Xbox and PS2. Nintendo and Panasonic worked together to make the Panasonic Q which was mainly a DVD player with GameCube functionality built in, but it was only released in Japan. Although it could be imported to be region free, there's another problem: it is highly expensive, nowadays costing at minimum several times the combined price of a plain GameCube and plain DVD player.
  5. The DOL-101 model released in 2004 removed the component video output due to poor sales of the component cables.
  6. Poor sales of the component cable also made the cable very rare. Most people on the internet sell them for hundreds of dollars.
  7. The GameCube's top buttons are known to get stuck with age due to dirt getting in which is a serious problem since the console will not play games with the eject button pushed down. The process to clean them is also annoying since the GameCube case has to be taken off with a custom screwdriver that can only be found online as it uses proprietary screws.
  8. It is nearly impossible for the average gamer to play GameCube games legally as there have been no Virtual Console versions on any Nintendo console, meaning you have to own either a GameCube or backwards compatible Wii, the memory card which comes separate, and you have to own physical copies of games. It is very hard to find all of the best games even in second-hand stores, and used games are severely overpriced online.
  9. Some games can take up way too many blocks on your memory card. While games like Animal Crossing is understandable, some games like Disney Sports Football take up a lot of blocks.
  10. The "GAMEBOY PLAYER IS NOT CONNECTED" error has a very creepy and loud piano chime that can scare people.
  11. The discs are hard to get out in the NA boxes due to the bad design of the teeth which can risk breaking the disc and even leaving marks on fingers.
  12. The sound that accompanies the logo's transition to the menu creeped out some players.

Reception

The GameCube's reception following its launch was generally positive. PC Magazine praised the console's design and quality of its games. CNET however, gave a mixed review criticizing its lack of a few features offered by its competition, while being inexpensive, having a great controller design and a decent line-up of games. Nintendo sold 21.74 million GameCube units worldwide before it was discontinued in 2007, making it Nintendo's worst-selling home console until the Wii U surpassed it in 2017.

Trivia

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