Nintendo GameCube

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This article is about the game console. For the Battle mode stage in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, see Nintendo GameCube (battle course). For the treasure based on the system from Wario World, see List of treasures in Wario World § Pecan Sands.


Nintendo GameCube
Generation Sixth
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
Predecessor Nintendo 64
Successor Wii

The Nintendo GameCube is a sixth generation home console manufactured and released by Nintendo. It was originally released in late 2001 in Japan and North America and in May 2002 in Europe and Australia. The console's code name during preproduction was "Project Dolphin, which is alluded to in several earlier Nintendo GameCube releases, such as Wave Race: Blue Storm and Super Mario Sunshine. The Nintendo GameCube has six ports on its front: four controller ports (like the Nintendo 64) and two Memory Card ports. It has three buttons on top: Open, Reset, and Power. On the bottom are two serial ports and one hi-speed port for add-on expansions. The system uses proprietary 8 cm Game Discs based on the MiniDVD format that are able to hold up to 1.35 GB (1,459,978,240 bytes), making it the first Nintendo console to use optical discs as the primary storage medium. The use of a proprietary format rather than the industry standard 12 cm DVD format is commonly believed to be both an attempt to curtail piracy and a way to avoid paying a royalty fee to the DVD Forum, of whom Nintendo's competitor Sony is a member. The Nintendo GameCube was the first Nintendo home console to have a startup screen in all international releases, and it is also the first console since the Family Computer not to have a Super Mario series title as a launch title, as Super Mario Sunshine would only release several months after the Nintendo GameCube's launch.

The Nintendo GameCube was released in four colors: Indigo, Black, Orange, and Silver. Indigo is the original color seen in advertisements, the trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee, and other places. Silver was released after the first three colors. Orange was not available in North America, but controllers matching its color were.

The GameCube is often abbreviated as GCN, which is technically inaccurate as it is short for "GameCube Nintendo". A correct abbreviation would be NGC, which is also the Japanese version of the abbreviation. However, NGC is trademarked by the National Geographic Channel in the United States. It is also close to NGPC, which stands for Neo Geo Pocket Color. Another possible reason Nintendo changed the abbreviation for the US market was that NGC was the name of a phone company located in Japan.[2]

In late 2006, the Wii was released as the successor to the Nintendo GameCube. Original Wii units are compatible with most Nintendo GameCube hardware and software. Like the Nintendo GameCube, the Wii has 4 controller ports and two Memory Card slots which support all controllers, like the dance mat and microphone, though it does not support add-ons that attach to the console. Later revisions of the Wii, such as the Wii Family Edition and Wii mini, would remove Nintendo GameCube support. The Wii U and Nintendo Switch are also not compatible with any Nintendo GameCube games, but Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and most Nintendo Switch games are compatible with the controllers through a special adapter. The GameCube controller is compatible with more consoles than any other Nintendo controller, with a total of four: GameCube, Wii, Wii U, and Nintendo Switch (as of its 4.0.0 update).


If the player holds A Button while the GameCube logo is displayed on-screen, it will rotate and its sides will turn into tiles, giving the player immediate access to the main menu, even if there is a disc in the console. The music played on the GameCube menu is a slowed-down version of the Family Computer Disk System's startup tone.[3]

By holding down certain buttons on the GameCube controller after the console is powered on, different sound effects will play when the GameCube logo is displayed during the console's startup animation. Holding down Z Button on one controller causes a xylophone to play, followed by a "boing" noise, then a child's laughter. Holding down Z Button on all four controllers causes a kabuki shout to play, followed by woodblocks, then a whoop, and finally a "ding" from a triangle.

Accessories and peripherals[edit]

Nintendo GameCube Controller[edit]

Main article: Nintendo GameCube Controller
An indigo Nintendo GameCube Controller

The Nintendo GameCube Controller is the system's standard controller. In addition to standard A Button and B Button buttons and a Control Stick control stick, the Nintendo GameCube is the first Nintendo system to include a second analog stick known as the Camera stick C-Stick, located on the bottom right side of the controller. This analog stick replaces the C-buttons found on a Nintendo 64 controller. The controller features analog triggers L Button R Button on the left and right sides of its back, and a single small shoulder button Z Button on the right. The controller features a built-in rumble motor, carried over from the Nintendo 64's Rumble Pak add-on. Unlike the Nintendo 64 controller, the GameCube Controller features X Button and Y Button buttons, as well as only two grips instead of three. The +Control Pad directional pad on the Nintendo GameCube Controller has the same size and shape as the directional pad on the original Game Boy Advance.

If the player holds A Button during the startup of the console, the cube itself and the tiles will rotate, and the player gains rapid access to the main menu even if there is a disc in the console. Holding down Z Button on one controller causes a xylophone to play, followed by a "BOING" and the laughter of a child. Holding down Z Button on all four controllers causes a kabuki shout to play, followed by woodblocks, and then a whoop, followed by a triangle's "ding".

A WaveBird Wireless Controller

A wireless variant of the Nintendo GameCube controller known as the WaveBird Wireless Controller is also available. It connects to the system via a radio sensor that plugs into one of the system's controller ports. However, the WaveBird does not support the rumble feature that the standard controllers have.

A LodgeNet GameCube Controller

Another variant, as part of the LodgeNet service, was exclusive to hotels.

The Nintendo GameCube Controller can also be used to play several Wii titles, including Mario Kart Wii and Super Smash Bros. Brawl as well as most Virtual Console titles. In addition, through use of the GameCube Controller Adapter for Wii U, the controller can be used to play Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. The accessory was released alongside an official Super Smash Bros.-themed GameCube controller. As of update 4.0.0, the GameCube Controller Adapter for Wii U and the controller itself can be used on the Nintendo Switch, the latter of which is treated as a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller; unlike on the Wii U, however, the controller can be used in all Switch games. As such, the Nintendo GameCube Controller is compatible with four Nintendo consoles, more than any other Nintendo controller.

Memory Card[edit]

Main article: Memory Card
A 1019-block memory card

The Nintendo GameCube used proprietary Memory Card to save data for games (making the GameCube the first Nintendo console that required memory cards to save game data). Nintendo released three color variants, each of which contain varying block capacities: gray, black, and white, which could each hold 59, 251, and 1019 blocks of game data, respectively. The boxes for GameCube games have memory card holders which can be used to store a Memory Card in the box along with the Game Disc.

Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Advance Cable[edit]

Main article: Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Advance Cable
The cable

The Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Advance Cable allows for a Game Boy Advance to be connected to the Nintendo GameCube, similar to the Transfer Pak released for the Nintendo 64. The cable can be used in numerous GameCube games to unlock special content, such as Wario World, which utilizes the cable for sending microgames from WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! to the Game Boy Advance. The cable is also compatible with the Game Boy Player, with which the Game Boy Advance can be used as a controller for Game Boy Advance games being played on the GameCube.

GameCube game Game Boy Advance game Features
Game Boy Player N/A The GBA can be used as the controller instead of the GameCube controller.
Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour Mario Golf: Advance Tour Unlocks new content and transfers game progress.
Mario Kart Double Dash!! Bonus Disc Fire Emblem Unlocks exclusive items that can be obtained only from the bonus disc. Also unlocks the soundtracks 99 & 100.
The GBA link option is absent in the European version of Fire Emblem, since the Bonus Disc was not released in Europe.
Nintendo GameCube Preview Disc N/A Used to play downloadable games WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! and Dr. Mario.
Nintendo Puzzle Collection N/A Used as a controller. Can also be used to download the NES version of Dr. Mario and Yoshi along with a GBA port of Panel de Pon.
Wario World N/A Sends a demo version of WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! to the GBA.
WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Game$! N/A The GBA can be used as the controller instead of the GameCube controller.

Nintendo GameCube Action Pad[edit]

Main article: Nintendo GameCube Action Pad
The second version of the Nintendo GameCube Action Pad

The Nintendo GameCube Action Pad is a dance pad controller released by Konami and packaged with Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix, the only game it is compatible with on the system. The pad only features eight buttons: the directional inputs, the A Button and B Button buttons next to the up button, and the Z Button and START/PAUSE Button buttons on the top corners of the pad. Two versions of the pad were released.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Chinese (traditional) 跳舞墊[4]
Tiàowǔ Diàn
Dancing Mat

Nintendo GameCube Microphone[edit]

Main article: Nintendo GameCube Microphone
The microphone plugged into a Nintendo GameCube

The Nintendo GameCube Microphone is a special accessory used for select Nintendo GameCube games. It is unusual in that it is plugged into a Memory Card slot rather than a controller slot. The Nintendo GameCube Microphone is compatible with Mario Party 6 and Mario Party 7, in which it is an accessory that enables Mic Spaces and for the player to play Mic minigames.

DK Bongos[edit]

Main article: DK Bongos
A pair of DK Bongos

The DK Bongos are bongo-shaped GameCube controllers primarily intended for use with the Donkey Konga series and Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. The controller is symmetrical, and each side is shaped like Barrel with a rubber drum skin fastened on top. It has a Start/Pause button in the center, along with the "DK" logo. DK Bongos even have a built-in microphone to detect clapping (although hitting the sides of it also functions). Each Barrel represents left or right on the GameCube's directional stick, based on how Donkey Kong moves left and right in Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. The DK Bongos are backward-compatible from the GameCube controller ports of the Wii. They are also usable from the GameCube Controller Adapter for the Wii U and Nintendo Switch.

Before Donkey Kong Barrel Blast's release on the Wii, it was originally developed for the GameCube with the title DK Bongo Blast. It would have been the fifth title to use the DK Bongos (fourth if excluding the Japan-exclusive Donkey Konga 3). The DK Bongos are also incompatible with New Play Control! Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, a port of Jungle Beat on the Wii.

The DK Bongos are the main feature of Konga Beat, which is Donkey Kong's Final Smash in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.

Nintendo GameCube Broadband Adapter[edit]

The Nintendo GameCube Broadband Adapter
Main article: Nintendo GameCube Broadband Adapter

The Nintendo GameCube Broadband Adapter is an add-on that allows players to connect their consoles via a local area network for system-to-system multiplayer. The device connects to the Nintendo GameCube by plugging into the bottom of the system. Only a few games were compatible with the adapter, including Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.

Game Boy Player[edit]

The Game Boy Player
Main article: Game Boy Player

The Game Boy Player is an add-on peripheral released in 2003 and allowing players to play Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance titles on their television screen through their Nintendo GameCube. The peripheral attaches to the bottom of the system, and requires a special disc in order to play any handheld titles. It is also capable of linking up to Game Boy systems and accessories, including the e-Reader and Game Boy Camera, and players can connect their Game Boy Advance systems to the Nintendo GameCube by use of the Nintendo GameCube - Game Boy Advance Cable to use their systems as a controller, though some games support the rumble feature included with the standard controller. During gameplay, players can bring up a menu with the Z Button button that allows them to scroll through various options, including setting the screen size, changing the border surrounding the game, changing the button mapping for a Nintendo GameCube controller, changing the screen filter, and setting a timer. Players can also select to change the cartridge from this menu without turning off the system.

Appearances in video games[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Melee

The Nintendo GameCube is a trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee. It also appears as the only platform for Luigi's Target Test, and can be seen in the background of the trophy room along with numerous other Nintendo consoles.

Mario franchise[edit]

The console in the Orb Hut from Mario Party 6

Hardware specifications[edit]

  • MPU ("Microprocessor Unit")*: Custom IBM Power PC "Gekko"
  • Manufacturing process: 0.18 micron IBM copper wire technology
  • Clock frequency: 485 MHz
  • CPU capacity: 1125 Dmips (Dhrystone 2.1)
  • Internal data precision : 32-bit Integer & 64-bit floating-point
  • External bus: 1.3GB/second peak bandwidth (32-bit address space, 64-bit data bus 162 MHz clock)
  • Internal cache L1: instruction 32KB, data 32KB (8 way) L2: 256KB (2 way)
  • System LSI: Custom ATI/Nintendo "Flipper"
  • Embedded frame buffer: Approx. 2MB sustainable latency : 6.2ns (1T-SRAM)
  • Embedded texture cache: Approx. 1MB sustainable latency : 6.2ns (1T-SRAM)
  • Texture read bandwidth: 10.4GB/second (Peak)
  • Main memory bandwidth: 2.6GB/second (Peak)
  • Pixel depth: 24-bit color, 24-bit Z buffer
  • Image processing functions: Fog, subpixel anti-aliasing, 8 hardware lights, alpha blending, virtual texture design, multi-texturing, bump mapping, environment mapping, MIP mapping, bilinear filtering, trilinear filtering, anisotropic filtering, real-time hardware texture decompression (S3TC), real-time decompression of display list, HW 3-line deflickering filter.


In October 1997, Ed McCracken, the CEO of Silicon Graphics, Inc., resigned from his position, causing Nintendo to reconsider their partnership with the company.[5]

In 1997, the company ArtX was founded by twenty graphics hardware engineers who had previously worked at Silicon Graphics, Inc., designing the graphics hardware of the Nintendo 64. In early 1998, ArtX approached Nintendo to become their new graphics provider. From 1998 to 2000, ArtX developed the graphics hardware and system logic for Nintendo's next home console.[6] At E3 1999, Nintendo of America Chairman Howard Lincoln announced their next-generation console that would follow the Nintendo 64, along with the console's code name, "Project Dolphin". In addition to ArtX, Nintendo also partnered with IBM, who created Dolphin's CPU processor, codenamed "Gekko".[5] In April 2000, ArtX was acquired by ATI Technologies, as the company desired to enter the home console market. By this time, the graphics processor for the GameCube, codenamed "Flipper", had already been mostly completed by ArtX, and was ready for production.[6]

On August 25, 2000, at a press conference in Japan, Nintendo revealed the official name of the console as the Nintendo GameCube.[7] The GameCube was released on September 14, 2001 in Japan, and on November 18, 2001 in North America.


The Nintendo GameCube was unsuccessful compared to its two main competitors, Sony's PlayStation 2 and newcomer Microsoft's Xbox; the Nintendo GameCube sold only 21.75 million units in its lifetime, which the Wii outsold within 16 months. For a while, the Nintendo GameCube held the title of being Nintendo's least successful home console, up until the Wii U surpassed it in 2017 with its lifetime sales of 13.56 million units. Commonly cited reasons for the GameCube's lower sales include lack of third-party titles, lack of online, loss of Rare Ltd. (due to Microsoft buying them out after the release of Star Fox Adventures), using limited-capability proprietary discs instead of the industry-standard DVD format, missing genres within its library that rose to popularity during the 2000s, and a lack of DVD-Video playback (the latter of which was a major selling point for the PlayStation 2).[8] The GameCube's release was accompanied by that of the Japan-exclusive Panasonic Q model, which can play both Nintendo GameCube games and DVD movies. It ended up being a commercial failure due to having a noticeably higher price than that of a standard GameCube and separate DVD player combined.


Super Smash Bros. Melee trophy[edit]

Name Image Game Description
Nintendo GameCube Nintendo GameCube
Nintendo's latest bundle of joy arrived in North America on November 18, 2001, and video-game fans rejoiced. This little beauty is sleek, compact and full of cutting-edge technology. Incorporating optical media for the first time, the Nintendo GameCube was truly born to play. Rumor has it that Super Smash Bros. Melee is a software title for this wondrous device.
Nintendo's latest bundle of joy arrived in Europe in May 2002, and video-game fans rejoiced. This little beauty is sleek, compact and full of cutting-edge technology. Incorporating optical media for the first time, the Nintendo GameCube was truly born to play. Rumor has it that Super Smash Bros. Melee is a software title for this wondrous device.





Default Boot Tune
File infoMedia:GCN Default Boot.oga
Holding Z Button on P1 during boot
File infoMedia:GCN 1Z Boot.oga
Holding Z Button on all four controllers during boot
File infoMedia:GCN 4Z Boot.oga
Main Menu
File infoMedia:GCN Main Menu.oga
Help:MediaHaving trouble playing?


Template:Miraheze wikis

  1. ^
  2. ^ Orland, Thomas, and Steinberg. 2007. The Videogame Style Guide and Reference Manual, pg 70.
  3. ^
  4. ^ 社長提問 Wii 企劃 - Vol.2 Wii 遙控器篇 Nintendo HK. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "A Dolphin's Tale: The Story of GameCube". Dromble Media. January 7, 2014. (Archived July 5, 2014 via Wayback Machine.) Retrieved July 15, 2022.
  6. ^ a b "ATI Discusses GameCube Graphics". IGN. October 30, 2001. (Archived June 19, 2022 via Wayback Machine.) Retrieved July 15, 2022.
  7. ^ Satterfield, Shane. "Nintendo's GameCube Unveiled". GameSpot. August 25, 2000. (Archived September 5, 2015 via Wayback Machine.) Retrieved July 15, 2022.
  8. ^ Anderson, C. Here’s Why The Nintendo GameCube Failed. Goliath. Retrieved June 2, 2020.