December 28th, 2007, 01:39 Posted By: wraggster
Continuing our network wide feature for just about every console thats emulated and that we own, in time it can be used as a reference point for people to look at what games are the very best on each system
Firstly heres a look at each system and a description to remind you of the history of the console.
At Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in 1999, Nintendo announced the initial specifications for its next-generation console, code-named Dolphin. The first thing that Nintendo made clear was that the new system would not use a cartridge medium. The Nintendo 64 had done ok with the format, but the games were expensive, and the format alienated some 3rd Party developers.
More specifics were released about the new console as months past. Nintendo would have several companies involved in the project. IBM designed and manufactured the console processor called the ?Gekko?. The graphics processor called ?Flipper? was designed by a small startup company called ArtX who was later bought out by ATI. The graphics chip was manufactured by NEC. Macronix and Factor 5 contributed the sound with MoSys providing the system memory. Lastly the console would use a proprietary 8cm optical disc game format capable of holding 1.5GB of data (twice the capacity of CD-ROMs). This disk was developed and manufactured by Matsushita (best known by its Panasonic brand name). It became clear that Nintendo was indeed developing something impressive.
Nintendo?s new console was revealed on August 24, 2000 at their Nintendo Spaceworld show. The console, which was being called Starcube, was officially named the Nintendo GameCube. A fitting name for one of the smallest console system in recent history. The GameCube?s power was demonstrated with a tech demo of a game simply called ?Mario 128?.
Displaying textures would be the GameCube's most potent asset. GameCube used 6-to-1 texture compression, which will let texture data be shrunk to one-sixth its original size, with no appreciable hit on the hardware. This was clearly apparent as onlookers watched 128 rendered Mario character models running around the screen at once.
Many questioned why Nintendo would not utilize the immense DVD storage format and movie playback that rival consoles were using. Nintendo would state that they had created a next-generation, powerful, easy to understand, and easy to develop gaming system, and that would be their only focus. Roughly translated "We don't care about movie playback, and will not pay the fee associated with using the DVD standard. The Gamecube is a game console...nuff said."
Nintendo launched the GameCube in Japan on September 14 2001. Although Nintendo would market the console in other colors, only the Indigo (purple) version was initially available. Nintendo was ble to market the GameCube for around $100 less then the Playstation 2 and Xbox (Japan retailed at 25,000 yen).
A lack of initial game titles, plus a subdued publicity campaign, may have hindered the Japanese GameCube launch. Nintendo released only three games (Luigi's Mansion, Super Monkey Ball, and Wave Race: Blue Storm) and managed to sell 300,000 of 450,000 shipped units. Clearly not the usual publicized launch that usually occurs abroad, but another contributing factor may have been the world?s focus on the September 11th Terrorist Attack on the US.
The GameCube launch in the US was originally scheduled for November 5, 2001. Nintendo felt it wiser to delay the release in order to make more units and launch titles available. The GameCube was officially launched on November 18th, only a mere few days after the release of Microsoft?s Xbox. Over 700,000 units and 8 launch titles were available at launch. Even with two other next generation consoles on the market, the GameCube still managed to sell out it?s initial shipment. The success followed with the European launch in May of 2002.
As the other rival consoles went about unveiling their online gaming strategies, Nintendo merely announced the availability of a network adapter that could be used with Phantasy Star Online (oddly enough a game from former rival Sega who began console online gaming with Dreamcast). It appeared as if online gaming was not part on Nintendo?s overall strategy at that point. Nintendo's solution for multiplayer gaming was instead the concept of 'connectivity'.
Nintendo unveiled new forms of connectivity between Nintendo GameCube and their popular handheld portable Game Boy? Advance. By linking the two systems, the Game Boy Advance can be used as more than a controller. For instance, players can transfer a character trained on GameCube onto Game Boy Advance to continue game play while away from home. Or, transport characters or items via Game Boy Advance to trade with friends. Games such as Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, Pac Man VS, and Legend of Zelda: Four Swords would allow up to four gamers to play multiplayer games with the Game Boy? Advance being used for status or split screen action.
Their main focus was to release quality game titles which had slowed to a trickle since the console?s debut. Toward the end of 2002 however, the GameCube saw the release of many quality ?must have? exclusive games. Remakes and sequels to Nintendo?s popular franchise characters helped push software sales for the console well into 2005. It seems Nintendo had done well to continue their console legacy, but they still had not managed to reach the level of dominance they once held.
FACT: In Japan it appeared as if the Playstation 2 gained many hardware sales by being a low costing DVD player. Nintendo partner Matsushita saw an opportunity to also cash in. The result? The Panasonic Q. A machine that combines a Nintendo GameCube and Panasonic DVD player into one.. The Panasonic Q is currently only sold for retail in Japan, however it can be purchased through import retailers. To help garner the attention of import consumers, establishments such as Upstate Games have gone the extra mile to make it totally region friendly, enabling you to play all region DVDs in addition to Japanese and US GameCube software. However, importing this puppy would run you close to $474.99USD.
Thanks again to Dark Watcher for his info above.
Now heres our question to you - Whats the greatest Gamecube Game Ever ?
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