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Nintendo GameCube

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Nintendo GameCube
Nintendo GameCube console.png
Manufacturer Nintendo
Type Video game console
Generation Sixth generation
Release date Japan September 14, 2001
USA November 18, 2001
Europe May 3, 2002
Australia May 17, 2002
ROC November 21, 2002[1]
Discontinued Japan October 28, 2007
USA June 15, 2009
Europe May 17, 2008
CPU PowerPC Gekko, 485 MHz
Media GCN Game disc
System storage Nintendo GameCube Memory Card
Online service Broadband Adapter or Modem Adapter
Units sold Worldwide: 21.75 million
Japan: 4.04 million
Americas: 12.94 million
Other: 4.77 million[2]
Best-selling game Super Smash Bros. Melee, 7.09 million[3]
Predecessor Nintendo 64
Successor Wii

The Nintendo GameCube (ニンテンドーゲームキューブ Nintendō Gēmukyūbu?) is a sixth generation home console manufactured and released by Nintendo. It was originally released in 2001 in Japan and North America and in 2002 in Europe and Australia, and is the successor of the Nintendo 64. The Nintendo GameCube has two Memory Card slots, four controller ports (allowing for up to four players), and a disc tray to insert a Nintendo GameCube disc. Also attachable is the Game Boy Player, an accessory that attaches beneath the GameCube, allowing it to play Game Boy Advance games, and features the same backward compatibility with both Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles.

Following the absence of any Metroid titles for the Nintendo 64, Samus made her comeback on the Nintendo GameCube in Metroid Prime, and its sequel, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, was released for the same system.

The Nintendo GameCube was succeeded by the Wii in late 2006. However, the Wii is backward-compatible with Nintendo GameCube software, and it has four Nintendo GameCube control ports and two Memory Card slots beneath a flap. Because of its shape, the Game Boy Player is one of the few Nintendo GameCube accessories to be incompatible for the Wii. Two later Wii models, the Wii Family Edition and Wii mini, drop compatibility for Nintendo GameCube software.


Like the Nintendo 64, the Nintendo GameCube was available in a variety of colors. The two most common colors, made available during the system's launch, were "Indigo" (the "default" color) and "Jet Black". Later, Nintendo released GameCubes with a "Platinum" color scheme, marketed as limited edition. "Orange Spice" GameCubes were also manufactured, but were primarily available only in Japan.

The GameCube's model numbers, DOL-001 and 101, are a reference to its Dolphin codename. The official accessories and peripherals have model numbers beginning with DOL as well. Also, other types of Nintendo hardware before and after the GameCube has its developer's codename as a model number. Another Dolphin reference, "Flipper" is the name of the GPU for the GameCube. Panasonic made a licensed version of the GameCube with DVD playback, called the Panasonic Q.

Benchmarks provided by third-party testing facilities indicate that Nintendo's official specifications, especially those relating to performance, may be conservative. One of Nintendo's primary objectives in designing the GameCube hardware was to overcome the perceived limitations and difficulties of programming for the Nintendo 64 architecture; thus creating an affordable, well-balanced, developer-friendly console that still performs competitively against its rivals. The development hardware kit was called the GameCube NR Reader. Model numbers for these units begin with DOT. These units allow developers to debug beta versions of games and hardware. These units were sold to developers by Nintendo at a premium price and many developers modified regular Nintendo GameCube units for game beta testing because of this. The NR reader will not play regular GameCube games but only special NR discs burned by a Nintendo NR writer.

The standard GameCube controller has a wing grip design, and is designed to fit well in the player's hands. It includes a total of eight buttons, two analog sticks, and a +Control Pad. The main Control Stick is on the left, with the +Control Pad below it. On the right are four buttons; a large green A Button in the center, a smaller red B Button to the left, an X Button to the right and a Y Button to the top. Below those, there is a yellow Camera stick, which often serves different functions, from controlling the camera, to one similar to that of the right analog stick on a PlayStation 2 controller. The Start/Pause button is in the middle of the controller.

On the top of the controller there are two analog shoulder buttons marked L Button and R Button, as well as one digital one marked Z Button. The L Button and R Button shoulder buttons have both digital and analog capabilities. In analog mode, the shoulder buttons have an additional "click" when fully depressed. In digital mode, it will register it as digital only when fully depressed. This difference, in effect, serves as two additional buttons on the controller without the need to actually add physical buttons. This works by means of a dual-sensor system inside the controller, a slider piece, which is moved by pressing down on the shoulder button and a separate button press pad at the base.

The GameCube controller comes in four major colors: "Jet Black", "Indigo", "Platinum" (silver), and "Orange Spice", each matching the color of the Nintendo GameCube consoles. They were later sold in "Red", "Hot Pink", and all of the colors above but with a clear bottom. A wireless variant titled the WaveBird was later released; it works on radio frequency and as such is battery powered. In April 2008, Nintendo released a white controller exclusively in Japan. The Nintendo GameCube controller, as well as the WaveBird, are compatible with the Wii, which is backward-compatible with

The GameCube controller in both its original wired version and the wireless WaveBird version is compatible with the Wii. Virtual Console games and certain Wii titles like Super Smash Bros. Brawl can be played using a GameCube controller.

Anascape Ltd, a Texas-based firm, filed a lawsuit against Nintendo for patent infringements regarding Nintendo's controllers. A July 2008 verdict found that a ban would be issued preventing Nintendo from selling the regular GameCube and WaveBird controllers in the United States. Nintendo is free to continue selling the controllers pending an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

List of games

Metroid franchise

1 - Unlocked in Metroid Prime by linking Metroid Fusion to the game via the Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Advance Cable

Guest appearances and cameos



  • The Geron Air System of Metroid Fusion seems to possess an object appearing to be a Nintendo GameCube in the top left corner of its sprites.
  • A GameCube also appears hidden in the machinery of the European Metroid Prime 2: Echoes website.
  • The publicized screenshot for Samus's encounter with the Parasite Queen on the Frigate Orpheon in Metroid Prime references the GameCube's development codename Dolphin in the file name.