Nintendo GameCube - European
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The GameCube was released in Europe in May 2002, a couple of months after Microsoft had entered the market with the Xbox. The GameCube is the first Nintendo console to use optical discs as its primary storage medium. The discs are in a miniDVD-based format, but the system was not designed to play full-sized DVDs or audio CDs unlike its competitors.
With diminishing returns from every console released since the NES, Nintendo aimed to try and get lost customers back with a simpler, but powerful machine. Early signs were good, and the console overtook the sales lead of the Xbox overnight. The launch games were considered very good, with Luigi’s Mansion, Star Wars Rogue Squadron 2 and Super Monkey Ball leading the way. But the puzzling decision to launch a new machine without its mascot, Mario, and with Microsoft and Sony responding with price cuts and exclusive deals for games such as the Grand Theft Auto series and Halo, the console would soon find itself in trouble.
Nintendo suffered another major blow when they lost Rare to Microsoft, so could not rely on the steady quality software that had done so much for the Nintendo 64. Third party support evaporated, with only a couple of the major companies releasing games on the system, it fell further behind its rivals.
The GameCube sold a third less than its predecessor, and was replaced by the Wii, which would finally revive Nintendo’s fortunes. The GameCube was discontinued by Nintendo in 2007, following the release of the Wii in 2006.
This exhibit has a reference ID of CH36820. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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