News editorials



Buyer Guides


Expo Coverage



Release Dates



Fun Downloads

Game Music

Desktop Decors


Nintendo’s distinguished 8-bit NES sold over 60 million units and is recognized as the company’s most successful home game console, having once dominated nearly 90% of its market. Though it’s highly improbable that Nintendo could ever again control such a standing in the market, the GameCube is well positioned to find an impressive market share in the next generation console war. In an attempt to break down this projection, the following is an outline of the five primary areas in which GameCube excels. Together, these successes could thrust GameCube to a very impressive market share.


Key to the immense success of Nintendo’s NES game console was the tremendous third party system support and excellent first party offerings. GameCube is supported by virtually every major third party and thus from a software perspective bears little disadvantage to competing systems. Recognized for its ease of development, the system should attract impressive long-term support from the development community.

With the ability to drive system sales and put competitors at a severe disadvantage, Nintendo’s first and second party resources serve as GameCube’s ace in the hole. In house development teams and second parties including EAD, NST, ND Cube, HAL Laboratories, Left Field Studios, Silicon Knights, Rareware, and Retro Studios, represent the finest development houses anywhere. Not a single title produced by these firms will ever be found on a competing console. Franchises like 1080, Banjo, DK, Eternal Darkness, KGJ Baseball, Mario, Metroid, NBA Courtside, Perfect Dark, Pikmin, Pokemon, Rogue Squadron, Star Fox, Wave Race, Zelda... all GameCube exclusive.

Respected gaming journalist Steven Kent clarified the software situation in a recent article stating, “Nintendo has a key advantage: The majority of games on PlayStation 2 could easily migrate to GameCube, while the majority of GameCube titles are made by Nintendo and will never appear on PlayStation 2.” Kent continued to explain the troubling software situation for GameCube’s greatest competitor, “Despite reassuring remarks made at last week’s E3, many game designers still complain about the difficulty of making games for PlayStation 2.”

Retail Price:

At launch in November the GameCube arrived on store shelves with a sticker price of $199.95 – the lowest price at which Nintendo has ever launched a game console (inflation adjusted). From a retail perspective, Nintendo should dominate in sales to wallet-conscious buyers. Though an assortment of aged inexpensive games may attract some, the PlayStation 2 sticker among other faults will trouble many. Amplifying Nintendo’s price advantage, GameCube retails for a full $100 under the XBOX and PS2 console prices of $299.


Nintendo created the GameCube as a game machine. Every aspect of system hardware was designed for optimal gaming performance. The 1.5GB mini-DVD software medium allows for expanded game size with minimal load times. Extensive R&D expertise and Miyamoto’s eye for functionality created possibly the best-designed game controller ever. Efficient data transfer and carefully balanced processing power enable an inexpensive yet technologically competitive next generation console. Held next to the competition, each of Nintendo’s hardware advantages is illuminated when considering such pivotal measurements as internal processing power, game load times, controller design, memory availability, ease of development, or cost of manufacture.

The GameCube’s greatest hardware advantages may not be seen in system spec figures. Nintendo’s decision not to include DVD playback serves two important purposes: decreased system cost and assurance to publishers that system owners will be buying games not DVDs. GameCube’s broadband and 56k modem options should not only attract many without DSL or cable modem service but will allow GameCube to build a massive online user base in a predominantly 56k environment. Even Nintendo’s selection of Matsushita’s SD Memory Cards over an internal or external hard drive promises expanded functionality and appears more intelligent every day RAM prices fall. Though history has proven hardware to be far from supreme in determining the success of game consoles, GameCube appears to have the upper hand by far when held to its main competitor.

Handheld Advantage:

Nintendo’s least considered advantage is its ability to leverage its dominance in the handheld market to increase GameCube sales. Essentially, gamers can plug their Game Boy Advance directly into a GameCube system through a controller port. Nintendo has and will utilize this connection to the best of its ability in an effort to cross-market both systems.

Anyone who’s seen the back of a Game Boy Advance box will know Nintendo is already making the gaming community aware of the handheld’s cross-functionality with the GameCube. Beyond advertising the connection, Nintendo will create in software and demonstrate in the minds of consumers the benefits of such a link.

Game Boy Advance users tired of the unit’s dim screen may buy a GameCube instead of a competing console because it enables GBA play on a television. Further, the connection may unlock secret characters or allow for the download of mini-games streamed from GameCube titles. The technological possibilities from the connection are endless and serve to further set the GameCube apart from the competition. The Game Boy Advance screen may be used as a reference map, compass, hint provider, or other. The system itself may be used as a controller for titles with only basic digital control requirements.

Gamer Interest:

Frequently ignored when considering the next generation console war from a marketing perspective is Nintendo’s unmatched ability to generate gamer interest. Since the days of NES, Nintendo has continually delivered in the area of killer app system selling games. Nintendo’s reserved release of the system to a test audience at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo produced a fantastic reaction.

The moment doors were opened to exhibits at E3 2001, a flood of gamers rushed to the Nintendo booth. Through the remainder of the show, Nintendo's extravagant booth remained thoroughly occupied with very satisfied gamers (18+ it should be noted). After the event, many news publications credited Nintendo with taking the show – later verified when GameCube was awarded Best of Show at E3 2001. Merrill Lynch even raised their recommendation on Nintendo to a “Buy” and revised system sales expectations ten fold. The reaction generated by GameCube’s unveiling at the show demonstrates the great interest from the gaming community and industry insiders that is sure to bloom as the system launch nears.

In a further attempt to generate public interest, Nintendo is segmenting its GameCube offerings to attract gamers across all gamer demographics. Younger gamers are a lock for Nintendo with such franchises as Yoshi and Pokémon attracting children and Nintendo’s name attracting parents. Unlike its previous console, Nintendo is making sure the GameCube meets the demands of older gamers. Miyamoto stated he would “like to see [Mario’s] design grow up and see him be a character that appeals to a very wide range of ages.” Second party developers Nintendo has invested in produce noticeably mature offerings. Not even to mention the great third party games such as Resident Evil that will detract from once exclusive competing system offerings.


If you’re not yet convinced, take the words of these industry experts:
  • Nintendo knows what it's getting into this time around and has come prepared. It has the hardware, the software, and in my opinion, it has the right business model to make both a success.
    – Matt Casamassina
  • Nintendo is still playing a guarded game, but if Star Wars Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron 2 is any indication, Nintendo may have an unbeatable hand.
    – Steven Kent
  • If it becomes too popular, we just cannot produce enough consoles. [laughs]
    - Shigeru Miyamoto (asked what was his greatest system concern)
  • They can easily sell a lot more… but it's probably production capacity that led to that forecast.
    - Lisa Spicer, Gaming Analyst (referring to Nintendo console sales projections)

June 12, 2001

Rick - Editor in Chief, GameCubicle is an independent site and is in no way associated with Nintendo Co. Ltd. or NOA
Nintendo's official GameCube site can be found at

© 2000-2001 - All Rights Reserved.