The Nintendo GameCube is a home video game console released by Nintendo in Japan and North America in 2001 and Europe and Australia in 2002. The sixth-generation console is the successor to the Nintendo 64. It competed with Sony's PlayStation 2, Microsoft's Xbox, and Sega's Dreamcast.
The GameCube is the first Nintendo console to use optical discs as its primary storage medium. The discs are in the miniDVD format and the system was not designed to play full-sized DVDs or audio CDs, unlike its competitors, and focused on gaming instead. The console supports limited online gaming for a small number of games via a GameCube broadband or modem adapter and can connect to a Game Boy Advance with a link cable, which allows players to access exclusive in-game features using the handheld as a second screen and controller.
The GameCube uses composite video cables to display games on the television; however, there are differences in the two GameCube models. The models produced before May 2004 also have the ability to use digital component AV cables and progressive scan and a second serial port. The nameplate on the top of the console with the words "Nintendo GameCube" can be removed. This model is known as DOL-001. All those features were removed in GameCube consoles produced between 2004-2007; the later model was known as DOL-101. The newer model has firmware that disables Action Replay cheats and cheat codes and the disc-reading laser was improved in many ways, though it is not as durable. The newer model came with a 48-watt AC adapter to power the console, while the original is 46 watts.
Reception of the GameCube at the time was generally positive. The console was praised for its controller, extensive software library and high-quality games, but was criticized for its exterior design and lack of features. Nintendo sold 21.74 million GameCube units worldwide before the console was discontinued in 2007. Its successor, the seventh-generation Wii (some models of which have backward compatibility with most GameCube software), was released in November 2006.