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After years of waiting, the day has finally come. It seems like yesterday that Nintendo first mentioned the name "Dolphin" during a press conference in 1999. "Let me raise the curtain just a little on Nintendo's next home video game system," NOA's former Chairman, Howard Lincoln stated. "One that we are targeting for worldwide launch at the end of year 2000. The code name for this product is 'Dolphin'." In the same speech, Lincoln revealed Nintendo's $1 billion partnership with IBM and many other participants in GameCube's development.

Of course Nintendo was late on its proposed 2000 launch but the announcement set in motion an unforgettable sequence of events. For the next few months, the collective imagination of Nintendo devotees everywhere would center on what may come and what could be.

The GameCube was first unveiled on August 24th of 2000, the day before Nintendo's Space World show in Japan. On this day Project Dolphin became "GAMECUBE" and the world got its first glimpse of the system, controller, peripherals, and actual game video - that evoked cheers from amazed onlookers. It would be months before gamers finally were given the opportunity to grasp the GameCube controller for themselves and become immersed in the great games that, until then, they could only imagine playing.

The location for Nintendo's true open-play unveiling of the GameCube was also the most anticipated video game trade event of all time, Electronics Entertainment Expo 2001. The moment doors were opened to exhibits, a flood of gamers rushed to Nintendo's floor. The extravagant booth remained thoroughly occupied with very satisfied gamers throughout the show. GameCube was later awarded Best of Show at E3 2001. Considered the turning point in the public's view of the 'purple cube', Nintendo's display at E3 generated enormous applause from the gaming industry. 

Off the heels of E3, GameCube's showing at Space World 2001 further impressed crowds with the unveiling of Mario Sunshine and Zelda. The lack of a true system-seller, few launch titles, and international tragedy resulted in a subdued Japanese launch for the GameCube. The console launched in Japan on September 14th to moderate crowds and somewhat disappointing sales. Nintendo reported that just 300,000 of the 450,000 units available at launch were sold during the first weekend. Many thought sales would pick up as many great titles were launched into the holidays.

And then the calendar read November 18th, 2001... "Work hard, but in the end it's in heavens hands."

Written By:

Rick - Editor in Chief, GameCubicle


GameCubicle.com 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 http://www.nintendo.com

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