Following the awkward failure of the weak, anachronistic Nintendo 64
, Nintendo launched its hyper-powered, sleek-looking GameCube in 2001 to do battle with Sony. New-school gamers unfairly shunned the system, but loyalists experienced its riches. The GameCube, which is nearly as powerful as the Xbox
, features the fastest load times of any system in its generation and skunks the PS2
in almost every conceivable category, is the gaming world's best kept secret, and a cheap port of entry to the lapsed gamer looking to get back into the mix. GameCube games will play on Nintendo's next system, the Wii
, which will be released in late 2006.
What to Cheer
* You can get it for less than $100.
* It's the only system of its generation that lets you hang with your old pal, Mario.
* The controller, which is lightweight, well-calibrated and good-looking, is one of the strongest out there.
* Four controller jacks means there are never any third wheels who just have to sit there and watch.
What to Jeer
* There is scant third-party support, meaning few game publishers other than Nintendo make games for the system. The 'Cube misses out on some important franchises, such as Halo
and Grand Theft Auto
* The controller is cool and all, but the cord is way too short. Upgrade to the wireless Wavebird
or rot your eyes out.
* Won't play DVDs or CDs.
What to Fear
* Bizarre minidisc format makes your GameCube library stand out weirdly when stacked among DVDs.
* Lack of hipness factor. No one ever brags that they own a GameCube.
* Formidable graphics engine, sweet sound and good looks despite no S-video cable support
* Simple to hook up, making it an excellent system for youngsters.
* Features connectability to handheld GameBoy Advance
Pimp Out Your Cube With This Stuff
* Memory card
* Cheat disc
* Game enabler
* Carrying case
* Broadband connector