Nintendo Game Cube

The Nintendo GameCube (NGC in Japan, GCN in North America) is a video game console produced by Nintendo and released on September 14, 2001 in Japan, November 14, 2001 in North America, May 3, 2002 in Europe, and May 17, 2002 in Australia.

It is the sixth generation game console produced by Nintendo that uses optical discs as the primary storage, and uses miniDVDs instead of full sized DVDs. The GameCube was the first Nintendo console to support online play outside of Japan using a modem adaptor, but only four games were available and online play ended in April 2007. The GameCube was discontinued in 2007 after its successor, the Wii, was released a year earlier. The GameCube sold 21.74 million units worldwide.

The GameCube was available in many colors, but the two most common were indigo and jet black. Japan offered spice which was an orange color on the standard model. Platinum, along with other limited edition colors were released in Japan only. The model numbers for the GameCube begin with DOL referencing the codename “Dolphin”, and GameCube accessories also had DOL in the model number as well.

A development hardware kit was made available for programmers to test and debug beta versions of games and hardware, called GameCube NR. This unit was sold to game developers and would not play regular GameCube games. It would only play discs burned from the Nintendo NR writer.

A total of 25 games containing large amounts of voice acting or pre-rendered video were released on two discs.

A multi-AV out port on the unit allowed for most cables to be used. The GameCube system supported stereoscopic 3D but was never enabled because 3D televisions were not common at the time.

The system used a 486 Mhz CPU and had 16 MB of memory with a memory card. The unit is compatible with GameCube controllers, WaveBird (wireless controller), Game Boy Advance, and numerous other devices. It had four controller ports and two memory card slots. It had two serial ports, port one was for a broadband or modem adapter, port two was unused. It had a high speed parallel port for connection to the Game Boy.

The standard controllers were wing shaped with a total of eight buttons, two analog sticks, a D-pad and an internal rumble motor. The four buttons on the right are a large green “A” in the center, to the left a smaller red “B”, on the right is an “X”, and the top button is a “Y”. Below these four buttons is a “C” stick for different functions like controlling the camera. A Start/Pause button is in the middle of the controller. On top of the controller is “L”, “R”, and “Z” buttons.

The original Wii, Nintendo’s next generation console is compatible with GameCube controllers, memory cards and games. However, the Wii Family Edition, Wii Mini, and the South Korean Wii are not. The Wii’s successor the Wii U is not compatible with the GameCube.

There were 649 games released for the GameCube. And as of June 30, 2011, 208.57 million GameCube games were sold.

Image Caption: Nintendo Game Cube with standard controller and inserted memory card. Credit: Evan-Amos/Wikipedia