Originally introduced in Japan on September 14, 2001, the Nintendo GameCube (also known as the GC, GCN, or NGC) is Nintendo’s fourth home system and sixth generation video game console. On March 3, 1999, a day after Sony announced the PlayStation 2, Nintendo first hinted at a successor to the Nintendo 64.
Howard Lincoln, Nintendo of America’s then-chairman, announced the console’s development on May 12, 1999. It wasn’t until E3 2000 that Nintendo revealed that they were working on a new version of the Nintendo 64 and the Game Boy Color. A day before Spaceworld 2000, on August 24, 2000, Nintendo finally debuted the GameCube, the final product of its Dolphin project.
The console was presented in purple, black, silver, gold, and magenta at Spaceworld 2000. Gold and magenta were replaced with orange in the final build, while purple, black, and silver remained.
The Gekko CPU, designed by IBM, powers the GameCube. The general-purpose PowerPC 750CXe used in the Gekko has been customised. Known as Flipper, the system’s 202.5 MHz GPU was developed by Art X before being acquired by ATi and manufactured by ATi.
For its storage media, Matsushita Panasonic designed 8 cm discs based on the DVD that can carry up to 1.5GB. The GameCube cannot play DVD movies since they are smaller than regular DVDs; instead, Panasonic produced and released the Panasonic Q, a hybrid DVD player console with GameCube hardware, through a partnership with Nintendo.
By incorporating features from a wide range of previous controllers, the GameCube’s controller is both familiar and innovative.
A, B, and Start buttons in Spaceworld 2000 are identical to the colours of the buttons on the Nintendo 64 controller (blue, green, and red), but in the final build they have been altered to green and red.
The console can determine how far the L and R shoulder buttons are pressed in, for example, when playing racing games. The GameCube has four controller ports, just like the Nintendo 64.
It is possible to use flash memory cards with the Digicard Adapter that can carry 64MB to 128MB of data, giving the GameCube the capabilities of the N64’s 64DD add-on. To play online, you could either use a 56K modem or a broadband adaptor, although neither was supplied with the system.
GameCube can communicate with the Game Boy Advance directly via the Game Boy Advance to Nintendo GameCube Link Cable, unlike the Nintendo 64 and Game Boy Color, which require an adapter. Even though first-party production had finished six months before Madden NFL 08’s August 14, 2007 release date for the GameCube, it was nonetheless the console’s last official release.
The GameCube was replaced by the Wii in November 2006. (with models released before November 2011 being fully compatible with GameCube games and controllers). To save money, later iterations deleted the support. The GameCube was decommissioned in early 2009, having sold 22 million units.
The year’s hardware and software sales came to a close. When the GameCube launched in Japan, it was one of the first two Nintendo systems to have its games assessed by the Computer Entertainment Rating Organization (CERO).
History and development
GameCube development began in tandem with Nintendo 64’s release. Nintendo has made it clear that as soon as a new system is released, work begins on its replacement. Nintendo referred to the GameCube as the “Nintendo Dolphin” before its release. Several video games were indeed launched before the console’s launch with references to its code name.
A Nintendo designer has revealed how easy it was for him to switch from working on games for the Nintendo 64 to GameCube compared to working on games for the SNES to Nintendo 64. According to him, the transition from the NES to the GameCube was more of an evolution than a revolution, similar to the switch from the NES to SNES.
The GameCube’s design has received a lot of criticism. During the Wii’s launch, Nintendo acknowledged that some critics thought the GameCube looked like a toy. Pundits were quick to point out how similar it appeared to a lunchbox because of the handle.
However, the controller was hailed for its comfort, and the Wavebird in particular was praised for its wireless capabilities. The L and R buttons of the controller now provide a digital and analogue mode, which is new to the system.
The GameCube’s menu is distinct from those of the Xbox and PlayStation 2. Slow and distinctive at first, the GameCube menu’s soundtrack is a slightly lower-pitched rendition of the BIOS from the Famicom Disk System.
When a specified number of controllers’ Z buttons are pressed, various Easter egg startup noises are played. Squeaks and a baby’s giggle can be heard if you hold the Z button on a controller while turning the device on. When the Z button is pressed on all four controllers, a battle cry is screamed out by a man in a Japanese oriental style.
There are five screens in the menu cube. First is the picture on the right, the second is where you start the game, the third is where you modify the position and sound of the screen, the fourth is where you may erase, copy, or move data on your memory cards, and the fifth informs you when it is today and tomorrow.
When the Nintendo Wii was released, with GameCube backward compatibility, this feature was eliminated. This has been modified because the Wii contains options for both the GameCube’s memory cards and the Wii’s.
Top Ten Best-Selling GameCube Games
- Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001) – 7.41 million
- Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (2003) – 6.88 million
- Super Mario Sunshine (2002) – 5.91 million
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (2002) – 4.43 million
- Luigi’s Mansion (2001) – 3.33 million
- Mario Party 4 (2002) – 2.29 million
- Metroid Prime (2002) – 1.87 million
- Star Fox Adventures (2002) – 1.69 million
- Mario Party 5 (2003) – 1.64 million
- Pikmin (2001) – 1.52 million
Rare had several projects in the works for the GameCube that never saw the light of day. However, the sale of the company by Microsoft meant that Rare could no longer develop games for the GameCube, hence these titles were cancelled.
‘ Donkey Kong Racing was the only well-known project for the GameCube that was completely cancelled owing to development concerns. Compared to Perfect Dark Zero and Kameo, Banjo-Three: Nuts & Bolts was reworked for Banjo-Kazooie.
Sales of the GameCube were dismal (Currently Being Redacted By Scott Wozniak). Even Miyamoto himself, after the GameCube’s introduction, conceded that the console hadn’t sold as well as Nintendo and he had hoped.
Only the Virtual Boy and the Wii U have sold worse for Nintendo in terms of unit sales than the DS. As a result of PlayStation and GameCube, Nintendo’s market share plummeted during the generation of Nintendo 64. With sales levels that exceeded the GameCube’s, Xbox outsold both PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3.
The Game Boy Advance and GameCube’s modest sales made Nintendo more money than its competitors throughout the GameCube generation, an interesting fact. In contrast to Nintendo, the competition’s game departments consistently lost money from the introduction of the system to its demise.
The GameCube was home to several titles that are still regarded as some of the best in the industry. Metroid Prime was Retro Studios’ first video game release. It was widely assumed that a Western developer, especially one that had just established itself, would be unable to recreate the magic of Super Metroid, widely considered one of the greatest games of all time.
Metroid Prime was critically acclaimed and went on to sell millions of units as a result of their hard work and perseverance. Wave Race: Blue Storm and 1080° Avalanche, both developed by Nintendo Software Technology in Washington, were also huge hits on the GameCube. Eternal Darkness Sanity’s Requiem is one of Nintendo’s only Mature-rated video games made by Canadian developer Silicon Knights.
Software produced by Japanese firms outperformed Western developers on the system. Super Smash Bros. Melee, the best-selling game on the Nintendo 64, is widely regarded as an improvement over the original Super Smash Bros.
A total of four Mario Party video games were released for GameCube at its peak, more than any other console. Pikmin and Pikmin 2 were major hits for Nintendo on the GameCube, where the franchise got its start.
Rare, the English developer behind Donkey Kong Country, Banjo-Kazooie, and GoldenEye 007 worked on the GameCube as the company’s final Nintendo console. Shares in Rare were sold for nearly $300 million after the poor response to Star Fox Adventures by Nintendo.
Even though one of Rare’s first titles for Microsoft was a remake of the M-rated Nintendo 64 game Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Microsoft has indicated that they purchased Rare to soften their image.
For the first time, the Mario spin-off game debuted on a Nintendo console.
When the Wiggles performed “Fly Through the Sky” on their Top of the Tots video, they used the console controllers.
First time since the Color-TV Game that a non-Mario game was the console’s most popular title.
Internet jokes about the GameCube have gone viral.