Il Nintendo GameCube it is today considered a cult platform with numerous admirers all over the world, who have been enchanted by its design and the gigantic portfolio of titles with a rather high average quality. Yet the cubic console is often referred to as underrated hardware that deserved better luck.
Was the GameCube a success or a gigantic failure? Was its value really underestimated by critics and the public or did it obtain the right acclaim? Let’s start from the objective data relating to the impact that the console had on the market: worldwide the GameCube sold a total of 21.74 million unitsa number that is not particularly explosive on paper but becomes even more weighty when compared with the results of the competition.
While it is true that the PlayStation 2 home Sony he was practically playing in a league of his own thanks to his incredible skills 157 million consoles placed on the market (data which still makes it the best-selling console in history), Nintendo’s cube was surpassed (albeit slightly) even by the original Xbox, which totaled over 24 million platforms sold. At the time the system Microsoft it was an absolute novelty in the video game industry and, consequently, without any consolidated history behind it, the exact opposite of Nintendo which has been churning out consoles and video games since the first half of the 80s. The comparison with its direct predecessor, the Nintendo 64: the 64-bit system of the Big N placed 32.93 million units on the market, a greater number than that achieved years later by the Cube, yet even in that case it was considered unsatisfactory as it was very far from the successes of NES (61.91 million units) and of Super Nintendo (49.10 million).
If not a failure in the strict sense, the GameCube was certainly not a success capable of satisfying the needs of Nintendo, which already came from an N64 that had been crushed on a commercial level by the incredible success of the original PlayStation. It is also starting from these subdued results that the Kyoto house tried to revolutionize the very concept of video games with Nintendo Wii, giving life to a new way of playing and expanding with great conviction towards an increasingly larger audience made up not only of enthusiasts, but also of families and casual players with projects designed ad-hoc to make the new platform attractive to the mass public . Wii will sell the beauty of 101.63 million unitsthus restoring Nintendo to a leading role within the video game industry.
But cold numbers aside, it would be unfair not to recognize the great general quality of the GameCube portfolio of titles: the flagship Nintendo productions (and not only) that appeared on the cube revealed themselves to us to be of the highest caliber and thus capable of leaving a mark in the gaming world. It is on this system that classics appreciated all over the globe such as Super Mario Sunshine, The Legend of Zelda The Wind Waker, Metroid Prime, Super Smash Bros. Melee, F-Zero GX e Pikmin, just to mention some of the most illustrious names. Furthermore, unlike the N64, the GameCube had more consistent support from third parties and, above all, it tried to expand to a more mature audience in a more decisive way than its predecessors: in addition to a cult survival horror like Eternal Darnkessthe entire main series of Resident Evil and it was the console designated for the debut of the immense Resident Evil 4but also Metroid Prime itself had everything necessary to attract the attention of adult players in terms of themes and atmospheres.
It cannot therefore be said that Nintendo did not give its all in an attempt to make the console attractive for every age group, but unfortunately in a market dominated by PS2 and with the big news represented by Xbox, the cubic platform struggled to establish itself reaping much less than what it sowed, and this despite the many great games offered by the GameCube over time. At the time it may have proved to be a commercial failure, but as the years passed it would be rediscovered by an increasingly larger segment of the public until it became a cult phenomenon, especially on a collector’s level given the usually high valuations of its most popular titles. symbolic.
And what memories do you have of the GameCube? Do you think he deserved more acclaim in his time or did he never fully win you over? Tell us about your experience!