Nintendo GameCube

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This article is about the video game system. For information about the Battle mode stage in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! of the same name, see Nintendo GameCube (battle course). For the treasure based off the system from Wario World, see here.
Nintendo GameCube
Released Japan September 14, 2001
USA November 18, 2001
Europe May 3, 2002
Australia May 17, 2002
Discontinued Japan October 28, 2007
USA June 15, 2009
Europe May 17, 2008
Predecessor Nintendo 64
Successor Wii

“Who are you?”
The GameCube slogan

The Nintendo GameCube is a home console system developed by Nintendo, and released late in the year of 2001 as the successor of the Nintendo 64. The console's preproduction codename name was "Project Dolphin" and was originally a console that used cartridges, as noted references appear in games such as Super Mario Sunshine. The Nintendo GameCube has six ports on its front: four controller ports just 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 game discs based on a MiniDVD that are the size of an MP3 disc, 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. Unlike its competitors, the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox, the GameCube does not play DVD movies. However, the Gamecube's release was accompanied by that of the Panasonic Q; the result of a collaborative project between Nintendo and former rival Panasonic, the Q was capable of playing both GameCube games and DVD movies. It ended up failing due to the price of a Q being noticeably higher than that of a standard GameCube and separate DVD player, and as a result, was never released outside of Japan. The Nintendo GameCube was officially discontinued in 2009 due to the leaving of Hiroshi Yamauchi. It sold about 22 million units during its lifetime.

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 the United States, but controllers matching its color were.

The original version of the Wii, the successor of the Nintendo GameCube, is mostly compatible with Nintendo GameCube hardware and software. Like the Nintendo GameCube the Wii has 4 controller ports and 2 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 is also not compatible with any Nintendo GameCube games, but Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is compatible with the controllers through a special adapter.

Accessories and peripherals[edit]

Nintendo GameCube Controller[edit]

The Nintendo GameCube Controller. The color shown here is indigo.

The Nintendo GameCube Controller is the system's standard controller. In addition to the standard buttons seen on the SNES and the control stick, introduced with the Nintendo 64, the Nintendo GameCube is the first Nintendo system to include a second analog stick (Camera stick, on the bottom right side of the controller). The controller features an analog trigger L ButtonR Button on each side 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. With the replacement of the N64's C-buttons with a C-stick, the controller also regains the X Button and Y Button buttons that the Nintendo 64 controller didn't have. Unlike the Nintendo 64 controller, the Nintendo GameCube controller also has two grips instead of three, which makes it more comfortable for players to use.

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.

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.

Memory Card[edit]

Main article: Memory Card
A 1019-block memory card.

This is an essential accessory to have because it is required to save progress in games because all games are disc-based and read-only. Nintendo released three versions containing various block capacities: 59 (grey), 251 (black), and 1019 (white). They each came with a label that the user can stick onto them, if they desired. Bigger capacities were ideal for general storage of save games while smaller capacities allowed for tailoring for each game's storage needs. Each game case has a spot where the user can store their memory card along with the game disc.

Nintendo GameCube–Game Boy Advance Link Cable[edit]

The cable.

This cable connects a Game Boy Advance to the Nintendo GameCube. The kind of set up is the successor to the Transfer Pak of the Nintendo 64. The Game Boy Player is compatible with it, making the attached Game Boy Advance serve as a controller for the GameCube running in Game Boy Advance mode. Some games utilize data transfer between a GameCube and Game Boy Advance games.

Nintendo GameCube Action Pad[edit]

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.

Nintendo GameCube Microphone[edit]

The microphone plugged into a Nintendo GameCube.

The Nintendo GameCube Microphone is a special accessory used for Nintendo GameCube games on the GameCube or a backwards-compatible Wii. It is unusual in that it is plugged into a Memory Card slot rather than a controller slot. It has been used in Mario Party 6 and Mario Party 7 as a tool for playing mic minigames and making Mic Spaces functional. As the mic was intended to be used specifically with the GameCube, it is not compatible with any Wii games.

DK Bongos[edit]

A pair of DK Bongos.

The DK Bongos are bongo-like controllers for the Nintendo GameCube, primarily for use with the Donkey Konga series. Each side of the controller is shaped like a classic Donkey Kong barrel with a rubber drum skin fastened on top. It also has a built-in microphone to detect clapping (although hitting the sides of it also functions well). The DK Bongos detect left and right hits, and clapping. While created for the Konga series, they are also the recommended controller for Donkey Kong Jungle Beat and had Donkey Kong Barrel Blast been released for the Nintendo GameCube, it would have also used the DK Bongos.

In Japan, the controller is called the 「タルコンガ」TaruKonga (or "TaruConga") controller. The name is a multilayered pun, combining taru (the Japanese word for "barrel"), kon, or "con" (a suffix used by Namco when naming their original peripherals, such as the "GunCon", or the "TaTaCon"), and "Konga" (or "Conga").

The DK Bongos are also compatible with the Wii.[1]

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 Mario 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.

Mario Party series[edit]

The console in the Orb Hut from Mario Party 6.

Though a Nintendo GameCube doesn't actually appear in Mario Party 4, the Party Cube is a reference to the GameCube, and the rumble machine in the options screen is clearly based on the system. Additionally, a Nintendo GameCube can be seen inside the shops of Mario Party 6 and Mario Party 7.

Wario World[edit]


One of Wario's Treasures in Wario World is a Nintendo GameCube, found in a pink chest in Pecan Sands.

Mario Kart: Double Dash!![edit]

The console as a battle arena in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.

The Nintendo GameCube battle course in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! is just a GameCube. This Nintendo GameCube logo can also appear at the bottom of the word "Mario Kart" on the five pointed star in Mario Circuit and Sherbet Land. The logo can also be seen on the billboards at Mushroom City.

Paper Mario series[edit]

Super Paper Mario

In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Lucky, the brown Bulky Bob-omb that runs the lottery in the west side of Rogueport, will mention the system's internal clock if the player attempts to cheat the lottery by changing the time.

In Super Paper Mario, Francis owns a GameCube which he keeps in his room with several other game systems.

Super Mario 64 DS[edit]

In Super Mario 64 DS, the similar shape to Nintendo GameCube logo appears in the bottom screen minimap of the castle courtyard (the back area with the Boos, not the front garden).

WarioWare: Touched![edit]

In WarioWare: Touched!, one of the falling objects during the credit reel is a Nintendo GameCube logo. In the microgame Game On, a Nintendo GameCube, its controller cable and a game disc can be seen.

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.

Trophy information from Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit]

Type Image Game NTSC Description PAL Description
Nintendo GameCube Trophy290.PNG 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.


Game gallery[edit]


  • The GameCube menu music is actually a slowed-down version of the Family Computer Disk System startup tone.[2]
  • The DK Bongos are featured in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U as Donkey Kong's Final Smash, Konga Beat.
  • The directional pad on the Nintendo GameCube Controller had the same size and shape as the original Game Boy Advance.
  • The GameCube is often abbreviated as GCN, although in reality this would be an incorrect abbreviation as it would stand 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. These are two possible reasons Nintendo changed the abbreviation for the US market.
  • The GameCube is currently the latest home console to receive an entry of the Mario Golf series. It was the latest console to receive a game in the series, up until the 2014 release of Mario Golf: World Tour for the Nintendo 3DS.
  • The GameCube was the first Nintendo console to not have a Super Mario game as a launch title (excluding the Japanese launch of the Family Computer), as Super Mario Sunshine wasn't released until a year later.
  • The GameCube's code name "Dolphin" is referenced in many GameCube games, such as Wave Race: Blue Storm and Super Mario Sunshine.
  • In Yoshi's Woolly World, there is a Yoshi design called GameCube Yoshi.


  1. ^ Wikipedia (Accessed on 5-16-08)
  2. ^