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Celebrating 20 Years of the Nintendo GameCube

We take a look back at Nintendo’s iconic little cube

“Isometric 3D GameCube” by Tiago Ferreira on Dribbble.


By Karl Otty



Perhaps the boldest technical decision Nintendo made was to finally shift from a cartridge-based media format to an optical-disc media. But unlike its competitors (who were embracing the then-new DVD standard, which also enabled movie playback), Nintendo adopted a proprietary version of the MiniDVD, which they dubbed GameCube Game Disc. These discs held up to 1.4GB of data (compared to the 4.7GB — or 8.5GB for dual-layered — on standard DVDs). The large difference in capacity might have been expected to hamper GameCube games in terms of scope and features, but only 26 of the console’s 653-strong game library shipped on more than one disc. But GameCube discs didn’t make life easier for developers, especially when they were porting games that heavily utilised full-motion video (which was highly memory-hungry).

Source: Wallpapersafari.


Nintendo has always been bold when it comes to controller design. The close integration of hardware and software teams has always meant that game designers have direct influence over the industrial design of controllers (which makes sense, given they are the method through which players interact with the games). And while the GameCube controller may not be as unconventional as the Nintendo 64’s three-prong design, it remains a bold and unique design that is still favoured in specific gaming communities (particularly when it comes to Super Smash Bros. players). Of course, Nintendo completely re-wrote the rule book when they introduced the Wii Remote, but that was an entirely new control method. In some respects, though, it was a more dramatic extension/exploration of what Nintendo was trying to do with the GameCube controller.

Source: Evan Amos via Wikimedia Commons.


Let’s talk about that handle. It’s easy to poke fun at it (some might say it transforms the cube into something more closely resembling a purse), but I think there’s a quiet genius to the design. It’s just that it was never truly put to good use.


Introduction by James Burns

Super Monkey Ball. Source: Dolphin emulator.

Super Monkey Ball

By Karl Otty

Super Mario Sunshine. Source: Nintendo.

Super Mario Sunshine

By M. R. Clark

Sonic Heroes. Source: PC version.

Sonic Heroes

By Brandon Johnson

Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader. Source: Dolphin emulator.

Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader

By Ben Shelley

Resident Evil (Remake). Source: HD remastered version.

Resident Evil (Remake)

By Ben Shelley

  • If I go then the sparse bullets that I have used will be lost and the battle reset, with two fully healthy zombies waiting to munch my brains
  • If I stay then I risk needing to restart the game, having not saved.
Resident Evil 4. Source: King of Grabs.

Resident Evil 4

By Ben Shelley

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (Wii U version). Source: Nintendo Life.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

By Brandon R. Chinn

Luigi’s Mansion. Source:

Luigi’s Mansion

By James Burns

My GameCube sits prominently on top of one of my bookshelves. It was signed by Mario voice actor Charles Martinet when I interviewed him in Australia for the launch of Super Mario Sunshine. Source: James Burns.



Celebrating video games and their creators

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