|Nintendo GameCube Special Edition|
|Home Theater Accessories Game Systems|
|Written by Bryan Dailey|
|Sunday, 01 June 2003|
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Although the GameCube is the smallest of the current gaming consoles, it is tough to implement into many rack systems because of its top-loading flip-up top. It would be possible to install in a rack by rotating it so the flip top faces towards you rather than up, but this would then make changing controllers or adding additional memory cartridges to the system quite difficult. A slide-out rack shelf would probably be the best option if you choose to rack-mount your GameCube.
The lack of a DVD player on the GameCube is another downside that was a bigger drawback when it carried the same price tag as the PS2 and the Xbox. Now that the price has been lowered to a more realistic sum, it is a little tougher to knock the GameCube for its lack of a CD or DVD player, but it would be a cooler system if it were able to play these formats.
Like remote controls for receivers or TVs, game controllers often receive much criticism and the GameCube controllers are certainly not perfect. If you have large hands, you are going to find the GameCube’s controllers to be a touch on the small side. I’m coming to the GameCube with the Xbox being the system I played the most and to switch from the biggest controllers on the market to one of the smaller ones takes a bit of getting used to. If I had to choose the best controller between the three major systems available, the GameCube’s would fall in the middle, with the PS2’s brilliantly designed dual shock two being the best and the big clunky first-generation Xbox controller brings up the rear.
The last major downside of the GameCube is its lack of an internal hard drive. Each game’s plastic case comes with a slot to hold a corresponding memory card, but at $10 to $20 a pop for additional memory cards, it would get quite expensive to have to shell out extra money to have a card for each of your games. You can of course save more than one game on a card, but then you’ll have to remember which games go with which cards. By not having a hard drive, Nintendo was able to make the GameCube very small and light, but you’ll end up having a pile of memory cards. The one benefit of this is that you can take your cards to a friend’s house and, as long as you have the game and card with you, it is easy to pick up from where you left off. With the Xbox, there is a way to transfer the games over to portable cards, but it is a clunky process and requires an additional memory cartridge.
At its original price of $199, the GameCube was overpriced. Now that it’s in the more realistic price range of $150, with a wide selection of games, some priced as low as $10 to $15, the GameCube is a viable alternative to the Xbox or PS2. It’s certainly the best choice for family entertainment, as the Microsoft and Sony systems seem to be geared more towards the adult audience. There is no “Grand Theft Auto” for the GameCube. This is not to say there aren’t violent games for the GameCube, but if you have young children and want to be certain that you can get games that will be appropriate for their age, the GameCube is going to be a safer bet. The smaller controllers could also be better for young hands.
For the adult gamer with the dough, the GameCube offers games that simply aren’t made for the Xbox or PS2 and, with the lowered price of the system and small physical size, you can make an argument for having this system as well as the others. I have all three and find myself going to the GameCube as much now as any of the other systems. Nintendo has been a part of the lives of many a twentysomething and getting to play the modernized versions of Nintendo games I grew up on is a cool thing that can’t be done on the Xbox or PS2.