The Nintendo GameCube [' geɪm ' kju ː b] (English for game cube) (Japaneseニンテンドー ゲーム キューブ, Nintendo Gēmukyūbu, short NGC, GCN, GC or only GameCube ) is a video game console from Nintendo and successor to the Nintendo 64 It belongs to the sixth console generation, competing with the Sega Dreamcast, Sony PlayStation 2 and the Microsoft Xbox. Successor to the GameCube, the Wii.

  • 3.1 Alternative Controller
  • 3.2 Online Games
  • 3.3 Other Accessories
  • 3.4 homebrew and backups
  • 5.1 CPU
  • 5.2 Video
  • 5.3 Audio
  • 5.4 Additional
  • 5.5 component signal


Nintendo released the GameCube ( DOL-001/DOL-101 ) on 3 May 2002 in Germany. In the U.S., the console was available since November 18, 2001, in Australia since 17 May 2002. Working title was initially Dolphin, which is why the serial numbers with " DOL " begin. Short-time working title was then StarCube.

Originally developed by Nintendo, with the aim to lead the company back to the top of the console manufacturers, Nintendo had been the release of the GameCube bitter setbacks Insert: The sales figures were significantly lower than those of the PlayStation 2, with Microsoft (Xbox ), Nintendo had also a strong new competitors, especially in the U.S., Nintendo's traditionally strongest market. Another problem was after learning of the sales figures, the poor support from other manufacturers. This led to further decline in sales - until the third year were GameCube and Xbox about the same; from 2004 buckled sales of Nintendo's console within a few months.

Independent developers already gave the console no more and Nintendo itself was busy exclusives, games for the new handheld console to develop the Nintendo DS, which was introduced in late 2004. The result was a persistent software lull from mid-2004 until the release of the successor console Wii: New Games only released yet sparse.

To date, Nintendo sold around 21.5 million GameCube - far less than the competing device from Sony and also slightly less than that of Microsoft. In order for the console is considered a flop.

On the GameCube offshoot of many popular game franchises such as Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario have appeared. In addition, entirely new game ideas emerged such as Pikmin; next animated Nintendo's Metroid series with Metroid Prime 1 and 2 again.

The production of the console was discontinued in 2007.

More information

The GameCube is approximately shaped like a cube and put the first game console from Nintendo on an optical disk after the previous console Nintendo 64 was massively criticized for save games on a plug-in module, which had little memory, causing high costs.

As the storage medium for the games, a DVD (equivalent to the MiniDVD ) and a capacity of 1.46 GB used with a diameter of 8 cm. The incompatibility with normal DVD drives caused by deviating from the DVD standard error detection codes; this is to make it difficult to make copies with standard DVD burners on MiniDVDs.

To save the game at a special memory card (memory card) is used, which is inserted at the front in the device. Initially had the original memory card from Nintendo too little memory to store the state of some games such as The Sims, but Nintendo offered later on a card with more memory.

There are the following official memory cards:

  • Memory Card 59 (4 MB / DOL -008 )
  • Memory Card 251 (16 MB / DOL -014 )
  • Memory Card 1019 (64 MB / DOL -020 )

Each memory block has a size of 64 kb.

In addition to a digital control pad, the controller (DOL -003) with two analog sticks, four action buttons and a start button, the player operated with the thumb has. At the front of the controller has two analog L and R buttons, but also each have a digital pressure point, which is operated at full-press of the buttons and a digital Z- button, which is triggered with the right index finger. Up to four input devices can be connected to a console. The controller also has a rumble feature.

The console and input devices are in Europe and the U.S. in the colors Purple ( often referred to as Indigo ), black and silver available, as well, since the appearance of the game Mario Smash Football, also in white. The purple GameCube represents as it were the brand- defining base constitute an offer ( See, for instance, the publication of the first GBA, which were also purple ), followed by the black version, which was available as an alternative design from the beginning.

In Japan, in addition the colors red, Starlight Gold, Symphonic Green and Spicy Orange are available. The silver GameCube was available as a Zelda, Mario Kart, and Resident Evil 4 package in PAL regions in limited edition.

In November 2006, released in Japan as a successor to the GameCube, the Nintendo Wii, which is available in Europe since 8 December 2006. The device is compatible with games and controllers for the GameCube. However, it is not possible to control it with the Wii Remote or save the game data to the internal flash memory. Therefore, a GameCube controller and a memory card are required in any case. This requires the Wii behind a panel connectors for four controllers and two slots for memory cards available on the side of the GameCube. In the two hardware revisions of Wii ( RVL -101 and Wii mini) but these have been removed.

Panasonic Q

Panasonic Q ( SL- GC10 ) was an official version of the Nintendo GameCube, and was manufactured by Panasonic. The difference from the standard GameCube was that he could also play DVDs, audio CDs and MP3 CDs in addition to normal GC games. This console was sold exclusively in Japan. In December 2001 came to U.S. $ 439 on the market, he could initially only read Japanese DVDs. A short time later, a second version was released for $ 499, with which you could watch DVDs from any country.

Nintendo had finished with Panasonic a contract for the delivery of laser units for the GameCube. This contract was also determined that Panasonic Nintendo gets permission to manufacture DVD players that can read GameCube games.

Another feature of the Panasonic Q was his backlit liquid crystal display and the usual DVD- players drawer. In addition, the Q had an optical 5.1 Dolby Digital and a separate subwoofer output. The housing is made of metal. Enhancements that were made ​​for the normal GameCube, also worked with the Q. The only exception was the Gameboy player that due to the feet at the Q could not be used. However there was a specially made "Panasonic Q Game Boy Player " (SH- GB10 ).

Because of the high price and sluggish sales, the production was discontinued in December 2003, two years later.

The Panasonic variant has three RCA outputs for composite video and stereo sound and the known from the normal GameCube " Digital Out" port. The latter also provides a RGB signal, which can be use by means of a special digital cable by Nintendo. This is needed when you want to play without 60 Hz PAL games in color, otherwise they will be displayed only in black and white.


Alternative controller

Nintendo offered the separately sold Wave Bird controller (DOL -004), thus establishing the wireless controller, the more convenient wireless and in contrast to the previously known infrared technology because even through solid walls allows functional game controller. The Wave Bird controller requires two AA batteries ( which hold by the manufacturer up to 100 hours ). The radio receiver unit (DOL -005) is attached to a controller port on the console. At Pad and receiver unit, up to 16 different frequencies can be set to ensure that it is potentially possible - useful for example in fully occupied LAN games - up to 16 all nearby to use independent Wave Birds. This controller features in contrast to the wired controller does not have force feedback. So far, the Wave Bird is almost exclusively in a light gray color with white keys, which would be gray with the standard controller (such as the D-pad ), available. Less frequently seen even in the NTSC space a " Platinum Edition" ' (silver) of the device.

With the game Donkey Konga bongo controller (DOL -021 ) was presented. The Bongo controller is connected as any other controller and has in addition to the two drum faces a start button and a microphone for the performance of gossip noise. The control options are tailored to the game Donkey Konga. You can control the game with a normal controller however. The gossip sensor can also be tricked by simply whistling. For other uses, see the bongos in the game Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat and Donkey Konga 2

At the games, Mario Party 6, Mario Party 7 and Odama a microphone ( DOL -022 ) is included. Thus, parts of these games can be controlled by voice. Odama additionally containing a support ( DOL 025) which makes it possible to attach the microphone to the controller. The microphone is connected to the B port of the memory card.

Especially for the horror game Resident Evil 4, a controller was developed by Capcom, whose appearance is modeled on a chainsaw.

Since the Mario version of Dancing Stage official dance mat is supported ( DOL -024 ).

Online Games

Even the GameCube supported, as the competition equipment, online games. Nintendo began with the sale of corresponding hardware in the spring of 2003. To connect to the Internet, must be used on the underside of the console a separately purchased modem ( " DOL -012 ") or a broadband adapter (BBA / " DOL - 015" ). It appeared only three games that took advantage of the online capabilities of the GameCube Phantasy Star Online I & II, Phantasy Star Online III CARD as well as the published exclusively in Japan Homeland. The servers for both Phantasy Star Online games have been shut down on 31 March 2007, just a month later, on 30 April 2007, also learned Homeland the same fate. However, it is possible to play the Phantasy Star Online have private servers on parts online.

The online function of the GameCube but was widely interpreted as a failure. This was mainly due to the lack of dissemination of online accessory that was difficult from the outset by the lack of supply of suitable software. To start the online accessory only one match was available, Phantasy Star Online Episode 1 & 2, which was already two years earlier appeared on the Dreamcast.

The broadband adapter also supports network games, such a LAN mode in Mario Kart: Double Dash, Kirby Air Ride and 1080 ° Avalanche available!. For these games in the LAN, but can not be played over the Internet though, the tunneling program Warp Pipe became independent from Nintendo of fans developed that can make LAN games with moderate loss of quality and Internet- capable. The XLink software allows GameCube LAN games to play on the internet.

Other Accessories

In contrast to the NTSC GameCube, which is only S-Video, PAL GameCube offers an RGB signal for a clearer, sharper image display. For this purpose, an RGB cable is necessary. The official RGB cable ( " DOL -013 " ) does not permit separate processing of the audio information - so the sound may not be output from a plant. This is different with accessories from other manufacturers.

The PAL GameCube supported by software no progressive scan, but there are a few component cable and a particular RGB cable that use it the necessary digital AV out port. In addition, the B button must be kept pressed when starting the GameCube. The digital output was no longer integrated in later production lines worldwide. A game that supports progressive scan in the NTSC version, in the PAL version but not, for example, F-Zero GX.

Using a special connection cable ( " DOL -011 " ), a Game Boy Advance / Game Boy Advance SP ( GBA) are connected to the GameCube and used in certain games as a controller. On the GBA screen will then display additional information depending on the game, sometimes entirely new game features and game modes. The Nintendo in Germany as " NINTENDO GAMECUBE Game Boy Advance Cable" designated connection cable no longer works due to the changed design of the Game Boy Micro with it.

The Game Boy Player ( " DOL - 017" ) is an expansion peripheral for the GameCube and allows you to play all Game Boy games on the GameCube on the TV. For this, the Game Boy Player be tucked under the console and load the Game Boy game in the Game Boy Player. To control all available GamePads including the Game Boy Advance consoles can be used, using the connection cable.

Homebrew and backups

With the appearance of online title Phantasy Star Online, it was now possible for individuals to run unlicensed software on the GameCube. The game could recharge in online mode from the central game server program parts. A software for the PC could now simulate this game server, and send a separate program for GameCube, which was then executed. A cryptographic signature was not used there, only one encryption, which could be circumvented, later followed this path was inevitably used to play " backups " by streaming and patching of the data over the network adapter.

A first " modchip ", which allowed this right, there was the GameCube until the end of 2004. Finally, the execution of homebrew via a device called SD Media Launcher ( Datel Electronics) on the GameCube was possible. The software is thereby loaded by a boot CD from an SD memory card that is located in an adapter in the slot for the GameCube memory cards.


For the GameCube more than 350 games are available, the most famous include the following:



  • Name: Gekko
  • Art: 32-bit RISC processor
  • Power: 485 MHz CPU: 1.9 gigaflops / 925 MIPS / 1125 DMPIS
  • Total System: 13 Giga -flops (peak ) (MPU, Geometry Engine, HW Lighting Total)
  • 32- bits integer
  • 64- bit floating -point
  • 2 × 32- bit floating -point SIMD ( single paired )
  • At the peak 1.3 GB / s bandwidth
  • 64-bit data bus; 162 MHz clock
  • L1: 32 KB instruction, 32 KB data (8 -way )
  • L2: 256 KB ( 2 -way )


  • Name: Pinball
  • Manufacturer: ArtX / Nintendo ( ArtX is since 2000 part of ATI and now makes it one of AMD)
  • Manufacturing process: 0.18 micron
  • Clock Frequency: 162 MHz
  • Output: 9.4 Gflops
  • Textures per rendering pass: 8
  • Highest possible resolution: 1920 × 1080 pixels
  • Polygon Performance: 40 ( Peak) million polygons / second with all effects
  • Integrated, frame buffer and Z-buffer: Approximately 2 MB capacity ( 1MB for the buffer)
  • Acceptable Latency: 5 nanoseconds
  • RAM: 1T- SRAM
  • About 1 MB capacity
  • Acceptable Latency: 5 nanoseconds
  • RAM: 1T- SRAM
  • 24-Bit-RGB/RGBA
  • 24 -bit Z-buffer
  • Fog
  • Subpixel antialiasing
  • 8 Hardware Lights
  • Alpha Blending
  • Virtual textures design
  • Multi- texturing, bump mapping
  • Environment Mapping
  • Mip mapping
  • Bilinear filtering
  • Trilinear filtering
  • Anisotropic filtering
  • Real time Hardwaretexturdekompression ( S3TC )
  • Real-time Display List decompression
  • Three-line hardware Antiflackerfilter
  • PAL output: Composite (CVBS) - RGB signals on proprietary multi- AV port
  • NTSC output: Composite (CVBS) -, S-Video (YC ) signals on proprietary multi- AV port (RGB comes with a special NTSC RGB cable )
  • Component signal ( YPbPr) on proprietary digital AV port (If at all GameCube that were produced after May 2004 removed.)


  • Manufacturer: Macronix
  • Proprietary 16- bit DSP
  • Clock Frequency: 81 MHz
  • Instruction memory: 8 KB ROM
  • 8 KB RAM
  • 8 KB RAM
  • 4 KB ROM
  • System RAM: 24 MB capacity
  • 10 nanosecond access time
  • 324 MHz, 64 -bit bus
  • 2.6 GB / s bandwidth
  • 1T- SRAM ( combines the advantages of SRAM with significantly reduced resource requirements )
  • Type: Constant Angular Velocity ( CAV)
  • Access time: 126 milliseconds
  • Data transfer: max 2,4 MB / s
  • Manufacturer: Panasonic
  • Based on DVD, but proprietary format
  • Diameter: 8 cm
  • 1.46 GB capacity

Component signal

Nintendo published in May 2004, a hardware revision of Gamecubes (DOL -101). Here, the digital AV out port was removed completely around the world, however, the analog AV-out remained. In North America and Japan, Nintendo released a component cable, which enabled a resolution of 480p and used the digital AV -out port. The original cable from Nintendo had no audio output, this was continued by the analog AV -out port. In Europe, this cable never appeared, however.