Two decades ago on September 14, 2001, the Nintendo GameCube officially launched in Japan. Nintendo fans in the US would have to wait until November 18 to get their hands on the console, while European markets officially received units of the successor to the N64 in May of 2002. Nintendo’s latest gaming device was the first home console from the company to use optical discs, as even in the era of the PlayStation and the Sega Saturn, the company had stuck to cartridges for the N64.
In typical Nintendo style, the GameCube made an effort to stand out from the pack with several interesting design choices. Games shipped on mini-discs that could hold 1.46 GB of data and were designed to prevent piracy, while the format also conveniently allowed Nintendo to avoid having to pay licensing fees to the DVD Forum, a consortium responsible for developing DVD technologies.
That decision did result in the GameCube having no DVD playback features, a selling point that Sony used to shift record numbers of PlayStation 2 consoles in the market as consumers bought into the idea of an all-in-one home entertainment unit. The Panasonic Q version of the GameCube did eventually turn the console into a home DVD player, but that stainless steel version was a Japan-exclusive.
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Source: Game Spot Mashup