The Frozen GameCube
Review by: Hairball (hairball@sm128c.com)

Editorial Posted: March 24, 2001

The release of the Nintendo GameCube is slowly approaching. Scheduled to be released in Japan in July 2001, and in North America in October 2001, very little on the GameCube has been shown to us eager fans. Apart from the revealing of the GCN (official abbreviation of the Nintendo GameCube) and several demo games at Space World 2000, there has been practically nothing else.

While we may expect some sort of Mario game to launch with the system, what might it be? How will the game turn out? What other games will there be? These are just some of the questions that may come up when you think about the GCN, and what may happen during the release.

Also in a time of economic struggle, this may be one of the worst times to bring out a brand new video game system. Nintendo may be setting themselves up for trouble with the current Game Boy Color and Nintendo 64 still selling well, at least over in North America. In contrast, the overpriced PlayStation 2 is not, and the Sega Dreamcast nearly dead, Nintendo is already in domination of the video game market, in many ways.

These are just some of the reasons that the GCN release may end up being delayed, due to possible incomplete software, and bad economic times. But even with these situations, Nintendo may still end up releasing the system on time, since the N64 doesn't have much life left in it, and there are few quality GBC games coming out these days. It may be the only thing that brings them back up to the top, once again.

At this time, so close to the release of the system, it's hard to believe Nintendo is keeping their mouths shut so well. Remember back in 1996? We started seeing the N64 games back in December 1995, and the N64 and its launch title, Super Mario 64, ended up to be released in June 1996, in Japan. While 6 months until the release we saw something decent, there was a lot of hype generated at that time. But, right now, there are only 3-4 months until the system is released over in the Land of the Rising Sun, and we've seen nothing but a few demos that show off the power of the GameCube.

I still remember when Nintendo said that the best medium for a video game system is the cartridge, and they stuck to that idea, with the N64, at a time when the cost of producing CDs was going down like a rock falling from the sky. And you can see, that is the biggest thing that hurt the N64, as third-party developers did not want to pay the high price of using carts, so many of them went over to develop for the PlayStation.

If cartridges are so good, then why are they giving in to use DVDs? That is a hard question to answer, but perhaps they really need those 3rd party developers back, so they had to "give in" to their demands.

Going back to the GameCube release, when are going to see some real games from Nintendo? Hopefully they'll be shown to us soon, while we still have some interest. It's about time we see a Super Mario 128 or a real Zelda game, and hopefully even better, would be a Mario Kart game.

One more thing, what is with those ugly colours for the GameCube system. I mean, they should release something that everyone can live with, like black or silver. Pink and purple look just terrible for a console system. Though the final colours have not been announced, Nintendo better smarten up and figure out what colour we would want.

With all sorts of past release experiences, this GameCube launch hopefully won't be a flop, due to lack of supplies, and games for the system. Since the GCN is being released a few months after the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo can use the momentum from the high chance of success from the GBA to help boost their launch schemes. But, in today's world, anything could be possible.

-- Hairball (hairball@sm128c.com)