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The Nintendo GameCube (ニンテンドーゲームキューブ Nintendō Gēmukyūbu?) is a home-based video game console that looks like a cube. It has room for two memory cards, four controllers, and one game disk. Also attachable is the Game Boy Player, an additional console that attaches to the bottom of the GameCube and allows the console to play Game Boy Advance video games. A Wii can also play Gamecube games.

Samus made her huge comeback on the GameCube after a long hiatus with Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.


Like its predecessor, the Nintendo 64, the Nintendo GameCube was available in a variety of colors. The two most common colors, made available during the system's launch, were "Indigo" (the "default" color) and "Jet Black". Later, Nintendo released GameCubes with a "Platinum" color scheme, marketed as limited edition. "Orange Spice" GameCubes were also manufactured, but were primarily available only in Japan.

The GameCube's model numbers, DOL-001 and 101, are a reference to its Dolphin codename.[4] The official accessories and peripherals have model numbers beginning with DOL as well. Also, other types of Nintendo hardware before and after the GameCube has its developer's codename as a model number. Another Dolphin reference, "Flipper" is the name of the GPU for the GameCube. Panasonic made a licensed version of the GameCube with DVD playback, called the Panasonic Q.

Benchmarks provided by third-party testing facilities indicate that Nintendo's official specifications, especially those relating to performance, may be conservative. One of Nintendo's primary objectives in designing the GameCube hardware was to overcome the perceived limitations and difficulties of programming for the Nintendo 64 architecture; thus creating an affordable, well-balanced, developer-friendly console that still performs competitively against its rivals.[6]. The development hardware kit was called the GameCube NR Reader. Model numbers for these units begin with DOT. These units allow developers to debug beta versions of games and hardware. These units were sold to developers by Nintendo at a premium price and many developers modified regular GameCubes for game beta testing because of this. The NR reader will not play regular GameCube games but only special NR discs burned by a Nintendo NR writer.

The standard GameCube controller has a wing grip design, and is designed to fit well in the player's hands. It includes a total of eight buttons, two analog sticks, and a D-pad. The primary analog stick is on the left, with the D-pad below it. On the right are four buttons; a large green "A" button in the center, a smaller red "B" button to the left, an "X" button to the right and a "Y" button to the top. Below those, there is a yellow "C" stick, which often serves different functions, from controlling the camera, to one similar to that of the right analog stick on a PlayStation 2 DualShock 2 controller. The Start/Pause button is in the middle of the controller.

On the top of the controller there are two analog shoulder buttons marked "L" and "R", as well as one digital one marked "Z". The "L" and "R" shoulder buttons have both digital and analog capabilities. In analog mode, the shoulder buttons have an additional "click" when fully depressed. In digital mode, it will register it as digital only when fully depressed. This difference, in effect, serves as two additional buttons on the controller without the need to actually add physical buttons. This works by means of a dual-sensor system inside the controller, a slider piece, which is moved by pressing down on the shoulder button and a separate button press pad at the base.

The GameCube controller comes in four major colors: "Jet Black", "Indigo", "Platinum" (silver), and "Orange Spice", all of which matching available colours of GameCube consoles. They were later sold in "Red", "Hot Pink", and all of the colors above but with a clear bottom. In April 2008, Nintendo released a white controller exclusively in Japan, possibly as a result of owners of the Wii game Super Smash Bros. Brawl preferring the controller as the primary method of control. There was also a pink controller released for a short time. A wireless controller was later released. Called the WaveBird, it works on radio frequency and as such is battery powered.

The GameCube controller in both its original wired version and the wireless WaveBird version is compatible with the Wii. Virtual Console games and certain Wii and WiiWare games like Super Smash Bros. Brawl can be played with a GameCube controller.

Anascape Ltd, a Texas-based firm, filed a lawsuit against Nintendo for patent infringements regarding Nintendo's controllers. A July 2008 verdict found that a ban would be issued preventing Nintendo from selling the regular GameCube and WaveBird controllers in the United States. Nintendo is free to continue selling the controllers pending an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Europe bundle

Metroid games for the GameCube[]

Metroid games playable through Game Boy Player add-on.[]

US bundle.

Metroid cameos on Nintendo GameCube[]

Metroid cameos playable through Game Boy Player add-on.[]


  • The Geron Air System of Metroid Fusion seems to possess an object appearing to be a Nintendo GameCube in the top left corner of its sprites.
  • A GameCube also appears hidden in the machinery of the Europe Echoes website.
  • The publicized screencap for Samus's encounter with the Parasite Queen on the frigate Orpheon in Metroid Prime references the Gamecube's development codename Dolphin in the file name.



  1. ^ 05 Nintendo Annual Report - Nintendo Co., Ltd. pp. 9. Nintendo Co., Ltd. (2005-05-26). Retrieved on 2006-08-14.