8 Facts About the Nintendo GameCube


The Nintendo GameCube was Nintendo’s entry into the six generation of gaming consoles, entering into the competition with the Sony PlayStation 2 and Microsoft Xbox. With an introductory price of just $199, it was released in late 2001 in both North America and Japan, followed by a European release in mid 2002. While the console sold more than 21 million units worldwide, it’s considered to be one of Nintendo’s biggest failures on the market.

Here are eight fun Nintendo GameCube facts:

    1. The Nintendo GameCube is Nintendo’s 10th best-selling system in their history. (source) Released in North America on November 18, 2021, the Nintendo GameCube would go on to sell 21.74 million units worldwide, which didn’t register as one of the company’s more successful efforts. As of late 2021, Nintendo’s best-selling products all-time have been the Nintendo DS family of consoles (154.02 million sales worldwide), the Game Boy & Game Boy Color (118.69 million sales combined) and the Nintendo Switch (92.87 million sales worldwide). For Nintendo, the only home console that the GameCube outsold was the Wii U, which only sold 13.56 million units.
    1. The Nintendo GameCube is the only Nintendo console to have Luigi star in one of the launch titles, not Mario. (source) When the Nintendo GameCube launched in North America, it did so with 12 launch titles. However, this was the first time that a Nintendo home console didn’t launch with a title starring their main protagonist Mario, but instead had a game starring his brother Luigi. Luigi’s Mansion was one of the GameCube’s premier launch titles, the game ended up being the 5th best-selling game over the consoles lifespan, with 3.33 million copies sold. The only titles to outsell Luigi’s Mansion were Super Smash Bros. Melee (7.41 million), Mario Kart: Double Dash (6.96 million), Super Mario Sunshine (6.28 million) and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (4.43 million).
    1. For a short period of time, there was a DVD-supporting variant of the Nintendo GameCube. (source) At the time of its release, the Nintendo GameCube’s main competition were the Sony PlayStation 2 and the Microsoft Xbox. Both had the capabilities to play DVD discs, but the GameCube didn’t, which sent criticism Nintendo’s way from consumers. However, the “Panasonic Q” launched exclusively in Japan in 2001, but saw weak sales and was discontinued just two years later.
    1. The Nintendo GameCube actually includes a hidden NES Emulator. (source) Nintendo allowing emulation on one of their consoles?! It’s true, however it was technically done through the GameCube version of Animal Crossing, one of the console’s best-selling titles. In the game, players could actually purchase a classic Nintendo Entertainment System to play some old games. However, players learned that if an NES ROM was added to the GameCube’s memory card, it could be played with the NES console found within Animal Crossing.
    1. The best-selling game on the Nintendo GameCube was Super Smash Bros. Melee. (source) Super Smash Bros. Melee sold 7.41 million copies on the Nintendo GameCube, making it the console’s best-selling game all-time. It was a sequel to the highly successful Super Smash Bros., which was released for the Nintendo 64 in 1999. Even today, Super Smash Bros. Melee maintains a competitive scene in gaming.
    1. The GameCube’s codename was “Dolphin”, and it’s the first Nintendo console to not use cartridges. (source) When Nintendo announced the project in May of 1999 with the codename “Dolphin,” it left many gamers confused. The Nintendo Dolphin, which would eventually become the GameCube, was Nintendo’s first console to use optical discs instead of ROM cartridges.
    1. The last title released for the Nintendo GameCube was Madden NFL 08. (source) On August 14, 2007, six months after first-party development had come to a stop, as Nintendo was now fully focused on the Nintendo Wii, Madden NFL 08 was released for the Nintendo GameCube, making it the final title to be published for the console.
    1. Nintendo fell very short of their sales goals with the GameCube. (source) When the Nintendo GameCube was released, Nintendo had originally targeted a goal of 50 million sales by 2005, as a way of competing with both Microsoft and Sony. However, Nintendo fell well short of this goal, as only an estimated 21.74 million GameCube consoles were actually sold.

The Nintendo GameCube is just one of many home consoles dating back to the mid 1980s for Nintendo! What are your favorite memories of the GameCube?


No attribution required for featured image.

This page has been updated to include more facts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *