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GameCube-A dream realised or Nintendo's Dreamcast
Member Name: sirmitchalot
Date: 04/08/04, updated on 16/01/05 (653 review reads)
Advantages: Small, portable, 4 players, GBA connectivity, cheaper than the two other consoles
Disadvantages: No DVD player, bad online range, too many multi-console ports
This is my first review on this site, although I have featured this on another site and it did quite well. I'm not sure if it is alright to do that but I wish to share my opinion with a new range of people too.
Memory cards- 2 slots
Processor- IBM microprocessor
Type of console-fun/compact
Portable- yes- may require LCD screen and battery back
Online gaming- yes- 56k or Broadband modem required- selected games only
Special features- Connectivity with GBA console, 8cm discs, wireless controllers (Wavebirds), Gameboy Player.
I brought my Cube on in September last year.
The GameCube was released on the 3rd of March 2002. It was Nintendo’s attempt at a Next-Gen console, but from the start there were problems and let downs;
Unlike the PS2 and X-BOX, the GameCube does not have the ability to play DVD’s.
It would not be really possible to do so any way, as the GameCube plays discs of 8cm diameter. When Nintendo were asked why they did not include a DVD player, the said it was because most homes now own a DVD player or a DVD-ROM computer. The lack of a DVD player gave them the chance to focus more on the games side of things.
But couldn’t they have made some sort of accessory. Panasonic and Nintendo teamed up and created an altered GameCube, which did have DVD capability. The only problem is this piece of hardware is only available in the East.
The lack of a DVD player allowed the Cube to have a much lower price at the launch than the PS2 and the X-BOX. This caused them to slash pre-launch prices, and then so did the Cube. The lower price though should have worker to the Cube’s advantage, but instead made people ashamed to buy it, branded the ‘Poor Man’s PS2’.
Now most consoles these days are either black or grey. Both the PS2 and X-BOX are black
(accept for the special edition version which is see-through green). When the Cube was launched, it came in two colours black, and purple, and guess which one they chose to market-purple. that was yet another bad idea, as the purple was more childish and tacky I think. Many people were put of owning a Cube because the black was the coolest (at that time) but it was difficult to get one as most shops sold-out of stocked only purple.
More recently, they released the Cube in a different colour, platinum/silver. If they had launched the Cube with black and silver as the two main colours, more people may have bought them, and a lot of people wouldn’t have been stuck with purple. Perhaps it was just a way to get more money out of people by getting you to buy one coloured Cube, and then buy another one when a different colour comes out.
In Japan they have already got Cubes that are yellow, mint and even white/crystal.
The fact that it is indifferent colours should give it an advantage over other consoles.
Originally the Cube was meant to provide Internet access via either a Broadband or 56k modem. But this was plagued with problems. You had to wait ages to get hold of a modem, and fork out £40 for it, and the was only 1 game available- Phantasy Star Online Ep1&2. Nintendo also refuses to let people know which games are going to be online or not (rumour has it Mario Kart: Double Dash will be compatible). Online gaming with Nintendo has never seemed to be officially launched yet, but it was originally introduced before the X-BOX LIVE was.
Connecting has also been a problem for people, all sorts of incompatibility problems and connection errors, having not experienced it first hand I can’t really explain it.
The Cube’s online life hasn’t really got further than the Dreamcast’s, so that’s why I put the title Nintendo’s Dreamcast.
The Cube has a unique feature, in that
it plays 8cm discs. It is the first time Nintendo has used discs instead of cartidges (execpt for the ill fated DD on the N64).
This allowed the Cube to be smaller and so more portable. But in doing so, it means you can’t play audio CD’s or DVD’s. The fact the discs are smaller should also makes the boxes smaller, but they are still the same size as other console games. It also put the cheats out of business, as they could no longer make copies to sell.
There is also the problem of demo discs, in that you can not get any, in this country any way. It’s just that because of the size they are and the cost it would be to make them, they would market at about £10 each.
Now Nintendo aren’t the most in your face company you think of when it comes to advertising their products. Both Sony and Microsoft are household names, and most houses have a Sony or Microsoft product in them, so once a company has it’s foot in the door, it can usually find it’s way into your living room. Nintendo products (which there are fewer of) are not in as many homes, so they have the lack of the foot in the door in a lot of homes.
T.V adverts are also a problem. Since the launch of all three consoles, T.V adds have become few and far between, especially Cube adverts.
Teaming up is another problem. Nintendo lacks the alignment with third-party publishers/developers that can make or break a company. It even lost the friendship of Rare that it had for a long time, and created such memorable characters as Donkey Kong and Star Fox. Nintendo’s product quality alone is not enough to topple Sony and Microsoft with their big partnerships.
At it’s launch, the Cube lacked most of it’s big money titles. It took nearly a year for Metroid Prime, and Zelda came out on the Cube’s 1st birthday. The lack of Rare meant there would be no Donkey Kong, but there are still Star Fox games, one out
already. Mario was also left a little late, and it was not the game we had expected for the Cube, neither was Zelda. The release of Zelda and Metroid failed to pick up the slumping sales of the Cube.
People keep complaining that a lot of multi-format games that come to Cube are just simply ports, changed to suit the Gamecube system and often below standard. Often they will add more levels or a multiplayer, but sometimes it will just be a shoddy copy of the same game another console. What makes people mad is that even though some games are ports, you still have to wait ages for them to be out on the Cube, even when they have already been released in other formats.
Well this is one of my own bad points about it really.
There seems to be no light-gun games for the Cube. Actuallly, there doesn't seem to have been any light-gun Nintendo games since the Snes-Scope.
Both other consoles have light-guns (even though I don't really like the look of the X-BOX gun- it looks too childish).
The PS2 has some really realistic guns, which may give me a reason towards why Nintendo haven't looked into this, because they do not wish to promote gun violence with young children.
I still miss having one though, but it's not really worth buying a PS2 for that one reason.
Some shops have stopped selling Nintendo.Gamecube products, others have pushed them to the back of their stores. Some stores have even allied themselves with other consoles, which seems unfair.
Nintendo’s workhorse no longer seems to be it’s larger consoles, but it’s handhelds.
I suppose it is because there are no parallels to it’s handhelds, it is a one horse race.
But for it’s larger consoles, Nintendo has always been outdone, SNES lost to Mega Drive, N64 lost out to the PSX, and the Gamecube now has too, to 2 consoles.
The PSX and N64 saw the demise of the Dreamcast and Sega’s cons
ole days. The X-BOX and PS2 may do the same to Nintendo and the Cube.
I feel in some ways, Nintendo has let a lot of people down, including me. But I made my choice and I stand by it. I still feel the Cube is better than the PS2 as it’s faster, smaller, I don’t need a multitap and there are better multiplayer games, plus the fact I don’t have to pay £30 for a memory card. It may not be as powerful as the X-BOX, and it may not have the flashy graphics either, but I don’t have the room for it, or the money for games and accessories.
That’s another good thing about the Cube, with college coming I need as much money as I can get, and saving a few quid on games and accessories helps a lot.
Perhaps the best bit about the Cube was the connectivity between the GBA. It added fun to games it worked with, and it was something other consoles don’t have.
Controls were a problem for me, but I won’t waste time writing about that as I have a whole other op on that.
I also had a little fun with the fascias, something the other consoles don’t have. You can remove the little disk on top of the Cube that says Nintendo Gamecube, and put in different fascias that have different game pictures on. The problem is it is difficult to get hold of any :( and mine don’t even match, caus it’s purple :(
I also feel something else is missing, and that is light-guns. The GameCube has no light-gun games and I don't know why. If someone does know, could they please tell me.
Fighting games are difficult to play with the Cube's analogue control, that is also in one of my other op's.
There are already plans for a sequel, but whether or not it will solve the problems with there were with the current.
Summer has been a fairly slow period for decent games, but there are a lot of games coming in the Autumn, ready for the Christmas battle of The Big 3 (No not from World war 1),
but can the Cube really pull itself off the floor, maybe if it got it’s online problems sorted.
The big price drop to £79.99 has helped sales tremendously. The Cube is now about £10 cheaper than the GBA SP.
The Japanese factory ceased production in January, but has recently re-continued to keep up with the demand for more stock, even in shops that has previously discontinued selling the console. Nintendo now represents a third of the console market.
I guess there will be a lot of Cube's under people's trees this year.
This little ressurection may be short lived, as the N5 is set to be unveiled at next year's E3.
With the release of more LAN compatible games such as Mario Kart: Double Dash, you would think that online gaming thing was sorted out, but as yet, it's still in it's infanc. It was probably unpopular due to the fact until a couple of months ago, you couldn't find many other people with a Cube let alone all the bits and pieces need to work it.
The player's choice range is a range of games that were popular, and Nintendo have put them at a fixed price of £20. It's like Playstation's Platinium range. Games include Luigi's Mansion, Mario Sunshine, Medal of Honor Frontline and Metroid Prime.