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The History Of the Gamecube

Details of the project code-named Dolphin were first released at E3 in 1999. The most noticeable changes from the N64 were the 128-bit custom processor and the optical disk game media. It seemed like Nintendo were finally abandoning the more expensive and developer-unfriendly cartridge for an optical disk alternative. The chip manufacturer was announced to be IBM and not NEC, who had developed the MPU for the N64.



The GameCube was demoed at Space World 2000 and its final specifications were released. Its name had changed from Dolphin to StarCube and then to GameCube. It would use an impressive S3 6-to-1 texture compression, which would allow textures to be compressed to 1/6 of their original size without any loss of quality. The GC would also allow the Game Boy Advance to be connected via an interface cable and act as both a controller and an external device for transferring data, characters and mini-games to.



The GC was released in Japan on September 14, 2001 and sold 300,000 units. It was released in the US in November and by that time had a few name game titles, including the beautiful Resident Evil 0 by Capcom. The European release came early the following year. A range of accessories were later released such as the wireless WaveBird controller and an attachable monitor.



To compete with the PS2 and XBOX's DVD playback features, Nintendo got together with Panasonic to release the Panasonic-Q, which incorporates a Game Cube and a Panasonic DVD player into a single unit. The Panasonic-Q currently only retails in Japan, It has a multi-region DVD player and weighs more than the GC. On December 17, 2003 the Panasonic-Q was discontinued mainly because of poor sales and retail overstock.

Small, cute and desirable - that's Nintendo GameCube. Available in purple and black, Nintendo GameCube's unique design and compact shape (11.4cm x 15cm x 16cm) is symbolic of Nintendo's commitment to keeping originality and innovation alive in videogames.



Looks can be deceiving. The Nintendo GameCube Game Disc might be only three inches wide - but there's a whopping 1.5 Gigabytes of information packed onto that diminutive disc. And because Nintendo's technical wizards have given thier first non-cartridge console the ability to suck data off the disc at lightning-fast speeds, games load onto your screen quicker than you can say, "Mama mia!"



With a main processor co-developed by IBM and a graphics chip designed in conjunction with ATI, Nintendo GameCube is stuffed to the gills with games-playing punch - giving Nintendo GameCube titles dazzling visuals to light up your whole living room. Throw in CD-quality music and sounds, and Nintendo GameCube has the audio-visual power to send chills down your spine.



Another revolutionary controller from Nintendo gives you super-precise control over every game. An intuitive button layout - including a satisfyingly chunky main button - makes finding your way around the Nintendo GameCube Controller a cinch. Two analogue Control Sticks, twin analogue shoulder buttons and a built-in rumble feature complete the flawlessly ergonomic package.



Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance aren't just world-beating systems in their own right - by hooking them together with the GameCube Game Boy Advance Link Cable, you'll open the door to a breathtaking world of new videogame experiences. Depending on the game, you'll be able to swap data, unlock new game levels, or use the Game Boy Advance as an input device. Incredible.







Nintendo GameCube is the only next-generation console that's been designed purely to play games. Game series like Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong and Metroid are made only by Nintendo, for Nintendo systems. And with a huge complement of third-party developers contributing to an ever-lengthening list of tip-top titles, Nintendo GameCube is the system of choice for gamers.



Technical specs:



MPU("Microprocessor Unit")

Custom IBM Power PC "Gekko"

Manufacturing Process: 0.18 micron IBM Copper Wire Technology.

Clock Frequency: 485 MHz

CPU Capacity: 1125 Dmips (Dhrystone 2.1)

Internal Data Precision: 32-bit Integer & 64-bit Floating-point.

External Bus: 1.3GB/second peak bandwidth (32-bit address space, 64-bit data bus 162 MHz clock).

Internal Cache: L1: Instruction 32KB, Data 32KB (8 way}, L2: 256KB (2 way).

System LSI: Custom ATI/Nintendo "Flipper"

Manufacturing Process: 0.18 micron NEC Embedded DRAM Process.

Clock Frequency: 162 MHz

Embedded Frame Buffer: Approx. 2MB, Sustainable Latency : 6.2ns (1T-SRAM).

Embedded Texture Cache: Approx. 1MB, Sustainable Latency : 6.2ns (1T-SRAM).

Texture Read Bandwidth: 10.4GB/second (Peak).

Main Memory Bandwidth: 2.6GB/second (Peak).

Pixel Depth: 24-bit Colour, 24-bit Z Buffer.

Image Processing Functions: Fog, Subpixel Anti-aliasing, 8 Hardware Lights, Alpha Blending, Virtual Texture Design, Multi-texturing, Bump Mapping, Environment Mapping, MIP Mapping, Bilinear Filtering, Trilinear Filtering, Anisotropic Filtering, Real-time Hardware Texture Decompression (S3TC), Real-time Decompression of Display List, HW 3-line Deflickering filter.



The following sound related functions are all incorporated into the System LSI:



Sound Processor: Custom Macronix 16-bit DSP

Instruction Memory: 8KB RAM + 8KB ROM.

Data Memory: 8KB RAM + 4KB ROM.

Clock Frequency: 81 MHz.

Performance: 64 simultaneous channels, ADPCM encoding.Sampling Frequency: 48KHz.

System Floating-point Arithmetic Capability: 10.5 GFLOPS (Peak)(MPU, Geometry Engine, HW Lighting Total).

Real-world polygon: 6 million to 12 million polygons/second (Peak) (Assuming actual game conditions with complex models, fully textured, fully lit, etc.).

System Memory: 40MB.

Main Memory: 24 MB MoSys 1T-SRAM, Approx 10ns Sustainable Latency.

A-Memory: 16MB (81MHz DRAM).

Disc Drive: CAV (Constant Angular Velocity) System.

Average Access Time: 128ms.

Data Transfer Speed: 16Mbps to 25Mbps.

Media: 3 inch NINTENDO GAMECUBE Disc based on Matsushita's Optical Disc Technology, approx 1.5GB Capacity.

Input/Output: Controller Port x4, Memory Card Slot x2, Analogue AV Output x1, Digital AV Output x1, High-Speed Serial Port x2, High-speed Parallel Port x1.

Power Supply: AC Adapter DC12V x 3.25A.

Main Unit Dimensions: 11.4cm (H) x 15cm (W) x 16cm (D).