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The GameCube in Nintendo History

The GameCube was one of Nintendo's more moderate selling game consoles. However, it had a number of innovations over its predecessor. It was the first to use a disc and removable memory cards in the company's history. One of its biggest innovations was the ability to link to the hand-held Game Boy Advance which unlocked additional features for both systems. It was also the first with the capability of connecting to the internet.

The original release date for the GameCube in Japan was September 14, 2001. Shortly after, it was released in North America and then the rest of the world. Even though the cost was low, around $200 in the US, it still undersold all of the other major gaming systems of its generation. However, it is one of the most loved systems by Nintendo fans and saw the creation of several of the top games of the era including:

  • Super Smash Bros. Melee
  • Mario Kart Double Dash
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
  • Luigi's Mansion
  • Metroid Prime
  • Pikmin

This was the first time Luigi the green-clad brother of Mario, was featured in his own game, and it saw the start of the now classic Pikmin series. In addition to these top games, over six hundred titles were eventually released for the GameCube.

Compared to the oddly shaped controller of the Nintendo 64, the GameCube controller was comfortable and easy to use. Instead of being three-handled, it was two-handled with a second joystick and a built rumble feature for gaming feedback. The first wireless controller in the history of the video game industry was also introduced for use with the GameCube.

Prior to the GameCube's release, Nintendo experimented with motion controllers but they were not completed in time for the release date which cost Nintendo a few of the games they had in development. Motion controllers wouldn't be released until the Wii finally came out in 2006. Another innovation, which ultimately failed, was the Panasonic Q which combined the GameCube with a DVD player allowing the system to be used without a television.

Despite underselling its competitors, the GameCube saw a high point in the popularity of Nintendo games and produced some of the best loved titles of Nintendo's history.

Console Gaming