The Anatomy of Nintendo's GameCube
The Xbox, PlayStation 2 ... and now GameCube. Nintendo has always been fun because no matter what you can always bet on them doing their own thing. When everybody else was going CD, Nintendo stuck it out with carts. When everybody said the GameBoy is 9 years old, don't milk it anymore ... Nintendo went for ten years. And when the doctors said people could be harmed by the Virtual Boy ... well, you get the point. The Nintendo 64 may not have been the huge hit Nintendo was hoping for ... but at the same time it was a NINTENDO system. The system control, box, and even games were unique. And that's what we love about Big N. But with the GameCube launch this last week, you might notice a lack of originality. Don't believe me? Read on ...
GameCube Screen and the PlayStation One Screen: For the gamer on the go (or in a motel without a television) you can pick up the GameCube screen. Okay, okay, it's not exactly the most popular product for the system (though, it's better than a Power Pad update), this screen does have some advantages. But doesn't it seem strange that Nintendo chooses a feature like this when Sony also has one? It even looks almost exactly the same. It's a wonderful idea (and a lot of money, I might add), but where's the originality? Where's the projector? I mean, it IS the GameCUBE after all. Let's see what that box can do. Anyway . GameCube screen, meet the PlayStation One Screen. Can everybody just get along?
Controls: GameCube and the PlayStation Dual Shock: Nintendo has always set the standard when it comes to controls. Even the lousy Nintendo 64 control offered us a revolutionary analog control used in everything under the sun now. But you see, the GameCube control is neither revolutionary, nor interesting. Anybody that has played a PlayStation 2 will instantly recognize the control of Nintendo's newest control. And the rumbling feels almost exactly like Sony's system. The analog control layout is similar, and button lay out, though strange and woeful, feels exactly like the PlayStation 2 when playing games like Tony Hawk 3. The odd thing is how similar this is to Sony's control, almost to the same size (though there is a missing foot in length of chord). For a company that has built it's career on shaping the way we think about controls, Nintendo has let us down in this generation of gaming.
Connections - Everybody's Broadband: Oh sure, it's not just Sony or Microsoft, but Sega who started the whole "console" online market. And even now with Phantasy Star Online Ver. 2 and Bomberman Online, Sega is still pumping out good reasons to dial up. Well, with the GameCube, Xbox, and PlayStation 2 people will be playing broadband (with the option of dial up on two of the three systems). Nintendo may have finally learned that the world likes to play together, on line . but don't get too excited just yet. The company line is currently "when the market is ready" ... and you know what that means. Get ready for
a long wait on the Nintendo Network plans. Sigh. Well, anyway . the picture works, right?
Pocket Collection: Connection the Game Boy Advance, ala the Neo Geo Pocket Color and the Dreamcast: When it comes to handhelds, you either own a Game Boy or you don't own anything. Oh sure, a few WonderSwans found there way over to our shores . and some people still play their Lynx and Game Gears . but the Game Boy has such a strangle hold on the U.S. it's not even worth pointing out. SO I WON'T. But I will mention that the Dreamcast and Neo Geo Pocket Color hooked up to each other quite well . and the Game Boy Advance and GameCube are not the first systems to learn that trick. Hmm . something else Nintendo took. Will this article never end?
Memory Cards that looks oddly alike: Hey, it might be half the size, but doesn't this little card look like the PlayStation memory card. Scratch that . it looks like the Neo Geo memory card (used in the arcade, even). Regardless, the memory card (in the front of the system) is an excellent idea taken from a number of systems. I remember when the PlayStation first did this . everybody was outraged,
all hung up on how Sony was too cheap to include a hard drive. Well, let me digress. Don't you notice that these are similar looking? Let's move on.
A similar front side, though different height: And when it comes to fonts both have a might nice one. But outside of a little height difference I can't really see much difference between the Dreamcast and GameCube fronts. Take a look . even the round control ports look the same on both systems. Weird, eh? The GameCube has a few other noteable physical similarities . not to mention game connections. Both systems (the Dreamcast and GameCube) were considered the underdog, and both systems launched for $199. And with Sega on their side, the GameCube is sure to put up quite a fight. But really . LOOK AT THOSE TWO . it's the same system, remolded.