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Nintendo's GameCube

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xx:xxx//2K - the gamecube at spaceworld


At Nintendo's SpaceWorld show in Japan last week, the games company showed its new console, the GameCube, to the public. This is Nintendo's successor to the Nintendo 64, and which they hope will beat off Sony's PS2 to become the videogame King.

The company has been known to keep a card up their sleeve, and fortunately the new console is shaping up well, though some places such as case design need to be worked on.

The design of the GameCube is unusual, having a cube-style shape which suprised many, appearing to be smaller than the DreamCast and PS2, and the controller has a curious setup of having one button at the centre. Cartridges have disappeared, with Nintendo choosing to use small DVD discs at a size of 1.5 gigabytes, which is seen by many as a wise step, and have included a large memory card slot similar to the failed 64DD device.

The demos on display did not show any game footage, which Nintendo says is because Sony would steal ideas from them, which is in part backed up by the dual analogue stick PlayStation pad. What was on display, though, impressed most by the real-time footage of characters, though a few FMV movies were on display.

Also at the show was the Game Boy Advance, the follow-up to the popular Game Boy, with a good amount of demos on display, along with spport for the Game Boy Color and Nintendo 64. The new console and handheld are set to be released in 2001, though it appears Europeans will have to wait at least a year before seeing them.

Overall I think there is good potential for Nintendo to come back into the game, though facing Sony, Sega and Microsoft will not be easy. I hope that the company haven't left it too late by giving the PS2 and X-Box a head start, but I have more confidence about the GameCube now, and think it will be here for a while to come.

//edward webb. [edwardwebb@wormsmart.net-games.com]