This Day in History: Nintendo GameCube Game System Launches in US (November 18th, 2001)

By: Sean Sporman
By: Sean Sporman
It was Nintendo

The logo for the Nintendo GameCube video gaming system, which launched on November 18th, 2001.

It was Nintendo's fourth major home console, and was the first not to use cartridges. Competing with other systems like Sony's Playstation 2, this was the Nintendo GameCube.

After the success of the Nintendo 64, video game giant Nintendo began working on a new console originally codenamed Dolphin. This would become the Nintendo GameCube.

The GameCube would be the first Nintendo home console to use optical disks, although instead of DVDs, Nintendo used a proprietary format of miniature-sized disks. The GameCube was also small in size, and would eventually come in a variety of colors. It also featured a handle on the back.

The Nintendo GameCube would launch on November 18th, 2001 in the United States, after a September launch in Japan.

The console was very comparable in power to the competing Xbox from Microsoft, with a slight edge in graphical performance over the Sony Playstation 2.

Originally, the GameCube featured wired controllers, but in 2002, the WaveBird wireless controller would be released, the first developed from a major video game console maker.

Over 600 games would be released for the GameCube throughout its six-year lifetime. Some of the best-selling games included Super Smash Brothers Melee, a sequel to a popular fighting game featuring a variety of Nintendo characters. Others included Mario Kart: Double Dash, installments in the Mario Party franchise and Sonic the Hedgehog games from former competitor Sega.

The GameCube would be discontinued in 2007, after the launch of Nintendo's next console, the Wii. However, the Wii was designed and release with total compatibility with GameCube controllers and games at launch.

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