Nintendo’s success with the Wii is unprecedented considering that they just came from releasing their worst-selling gaming home console in the Nintendo Gamecube. It was even outsold by the Xbox, which was made by newcomer Microsoft. Although it was a great system, the Gamecube never reached the level of greatness as other Nintendo’s gaming home consoles. Here are five reasons why the Nintendo Gamecube failed.
Lack of Online Support
Only a handful of Nintendo Gamecube games support online play. Although Nintendo released a broadband adapter for the system, they themselves failed to take online play seriously. In fact, Nintendo never released a single Gamecube title that supports online play. As a result, the Nintendo Gamecube failed to distinguished itself against the competition and, even today in the Nintendo Wii era, is struggling to play catch up in the online department.
Nintendo has always been known for making the best video games on the market. During the Nintendo Gamecube era, however, their quality became a little suspect. Super Mario Sunshine and Star Fox: Assault were not as critically acclaimed as previous titles in the series. In addition, new franchise like Pikmin and Metroid Prime did not light up sales charts in spite of their excellence.
The Nintendo Gamecube was also the first time a Nintendo gaming system is seen as kiddy. This is because many Nintendo fans have grown up from playing games from the 80s and 90s. Nintendo failed to accompany for these mature gamers and, as a result, that segment decided to look somewhere else to their fix of mature rated-game.
No other Nintendo Gamecube game articulated this sentiment more so than The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. A tech demo was shown before the Nintendo Gamecube launched, showing an epic battle rendered in CG-quality graphics. Hype instantly died down once The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker was revealed with cel-shaded visuals. A lot of gamers were disappointed.
Poor Third-Party Exclusive Support
Because of low sales, the Nintendo Gamecube rarely gets any new third-party exclusive titles. The few the system does have ended up having little impact on the grand scheme of things. Fact is, almost all of the best-selling Nintendo Gamecube games came from Nintendo. Third-party companies have very little reasons to bring their games to the Gamecube due to the low software sales on non-Nintendo games.
Playstation 2’s Shadow
The failure of the Nintendo Gamecube was perhaps inevitable. After all, it went up against what will eventually become the best-selling home gaming consoles of all time in the Playstation 2. When the Nintendo Gamecube was released, the Playstation 2 was already in full gear with a year head start. Even with Nintendo’s best effort, the Gamecube would have fall to the Playstation 2 eventually.