[ Writer ] = BAD
[ 07/29/01 ] = GameCube Hysteria

Nintendo is planning to launch the Gamecube soon, and unlike the parent-friendly PS2, this system must rely solely on videogame ability to sell with impressive numbers. Though Nintendo has announced they will have a limited edition of the GameCube with a DVD player included, the GameCube is actually a system for what we commonly refer to as video 'gaming'. No, you won't be able to get mom and dad into video games by having them first watch Forest Gump or any of their other favorite flicks on your new system (as many cases most likely with the PS2); with this system, parents and those succeptable to a mid-life crisis actually have to play games on it. Yep, so that means not nearly as many sales launch day of the GameCube? Quite possibly so. Sit down, take a deep breath, and try to explain to me how many people you know with a PS2 that do not have the DVD 20 to 1 game ratio? No, really, how many of those with a PS2 actually bought any games before GT3 (and how many will buy another game until Metal Gear Solid 2 or GT4)? The sad fact is that now gaming is exactly what gaming isn't: watching movies, whether on one of Square's 'hits' or on a Sony system. What does this mean, anyway? It means that more systems in the future can possibly be unfortunately geared not toward gaming or the gamers that founded this scene, but more toward what Siskel and Ebert (used to) cherish.









Nintendo's system is actually impressive, with some good points; the system is powerful, but not so powerful that it's a monster. The system is also utilizing media that is very effective against the piracy that Sony and Microsoft might have to deal with for years to come (as long as they keep using the same media!). In effective piracy battling, Nintendo can earn more profit to keep making quality games and hardware. "Hey bro! That there small cds won't be enough to make long games that are dope shit that's cool dude!" Well, settle down for a second and look at the aspect that games aren't limited to just RPGs and Metal Gear Solids; not every game has to be 15 discs to be good, and the GameCube's custom DVD discs are actually effective in space as well as piracy. Sure, Sony and Microsoft get to use the larger, more common DVD disc media, but does that mean it will be more effective? The DreamCast and its GD-ROMS were able to power beautiful games, and I think Nintendo's GameCube and its 1.5 mini DVD discs will do the same. More space doesn't always mean better games. Also, no word yet on if dual layered or high-density discs will be present for GameCube developing, so we'll just have to wait and see before full judgement is made.

The GameCube, without even being turned on, shows just how much Nintendo cares about gaming - a total of four controller ports can be seen on the system's face. Yes, Nintendo is devoted to making video games, and that's what the four controller ports show. Nintendo has official wireless controllers to accompany this great occurance, which is a first, since wireless controllers made by system developers are rare. And now on to the controllers; the controller is actually one of the only things I am not really excited about; it's said to have a good d-pad, but what are the rest of the things on the controller? If you press that big yellow button, will you launch a warhead and cause certain World War (no more video games for us)? Well, no, but exactly what will that button actually be used for? Nintendo claims (as always) that they will revolutionize control with the strange buttons (I'm just wondering how many hands I have to have to use use it!). This is about the only thing that causes stir within me concerning the GC, but it's still not enough to send my feelings for this system in a different direction.


Nintendo also has online plans, with a rumored partnership with Sega to get it going, and broadband support. Can you smell it? Can you feel it? I can almost taste it; Nintendo online gaming with Capcom games! GameCube will also be able to connect to the GameBoy Advance, but what will this be like? Is this what will truly be the start of online portable gaming (Super Street Fighter II Turbo Revival online play makes me froth)? It's quite possible if the GBA runs through the GC for network access, making GBA an online portable with certain games compatible with this type of method. Is it possible? Your guess is as good as mine, since only the developers and their teams know for sure.

The great thing about the GC is that it's pure gaming. The bad thing about it is that the industry does not want gaming anymore; there's no demand for it because it's not what the mainstream (which is what gaming now is) demands. So, the GC will not be in demand say, as much as a machine that does the dishes, makes breakfast, pays bills.....and then plays video games. Sure, some say the Pokemon crowd that buys Nintendo systems are just as bad as the middle-aged newcomers that took up space buying a PS2 just to watch DVDs, but at least the Pokemon kids are playing games. Hopefully, for the sake of what is video gaming, the GameCube will sell well regardless of its ability to play Saving Private Ryan.