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Problems with the GameCube

Discussion in 'Nintendo Gamecube' started by Ezekiel86, Aug 6, 2006.

  1. Ezekiel86

    Ezekiel86 Chillin in the Mill

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    I've been thinking about this for some time; what could have been done to make the GameCube a better console? In Nintendo's interest to create a console designated purely for gaming, they succeeded, but in doing so they drove away a lot of casual gamers. The main problems I can see are:

    1. The console was not backwards-compatible. This is something that really irritates me about every nintendo home console- the fact it can only play games of its generation. I heard the 64 was supposed to play SNES games and I was quite cut when i found out otherwise... That was definitely a good point of the PS2, that you could play all your old fav PS1 games on it, and the Xbox360: all the Xbox games still work on it.

    2. A Lack of built-in networking hardware. Although not a major design flaw as some other aspects were, it still made some kinds of gaming awkward. For instance, the only way you could play a multi-console game would be to go out and buy a modem (and for me the only option is to order a modem from Nintendo Australia, and anyone I want to play with has to do the same- too much hassle). I don't know about other people but doesn't split-screen gaming just get plain irritating after a while, especially with 4 players? Additionally games with higher levels of detail had to use lower-resolution textures in these modes and even had to drop some things completely from some games in multiplayer mode. For instance, a multiplayer Resident Evil 4 would be impossible on one console- generating that level of detail for 2 screens would cause some serious drops in framerate for the console. Besides, how satisfying would it be hunting down Garradors, Novistadoors and plain ol' Ganados with a teammate? :)

    3. Absence of a DVD player. Its probably been covered before, but by not including a DVD player, Nintendo had effectively aleinated anyone considering buying the console as a cheaper solution to wanting a DVD player (lets not forget back in 2001/2002 DVD players weren't cheap). I am aware that including a DVD player would deviate from the idea of the console being "purely for gaming" but I dont believe it was a very intelligent move. Unlike Sony and Microsoft, without having a DVD player meant less justification for buying a console.

    4. Specially designed optical media. The DVD MiniDisc idea seemed cool at first, but I really don't see what they accomplished by choosing this format as a medium. I think I read somewhere that it was supposed to be a format very hard to duplicate as opposed to the PS2/Xbox standard DVD discs, which is sensible because that way the manufacturers won't be short changed by cheapskates. However, let's not forget that these discs would require specially made machinery to create them in the first place: they would then work out to be more expensive than normal DVDs since they cannot be mass produced with the rest of the DVD optical media.

    Getting back to the cheapskate point; some people probably found that an appealing aspect of the PS2/Xbox - the fact you dont really need to buy any games at all- just copy them, which may have made the console look more attractive since all they had to do is get it then copy off friends/video shops. Naturally not everybody did this, since it also required a MOD chip, and I know lots of people who still prefer to buy their games rather than copy them, still it would look nice to have that option open from a consumer perspective.

    Lastly, although the DVD MiniDiscs hold 1.5 Gigabytes it sadly just doesnt seem to be enough. The Xbox/PS2 discs could hold a grand total of 4.7 (single layer) or 8.9 (double-layer) Gigabytes. This would have pleased the developers of the time, since they could throw all the levels, pre-rendered movies and music on, not to mention those delicious little extras like "behind the scenes" or "making of" or "interview with the developers" videos without having to worry about storage restrictions. One upside of the GameCubes discs though is the very fast loading times. I have not seen a PS2 or Xbox game load nearly as quickly as a GameCube game.

    *phew* thats a load off my mind... I might have missed a couple of points and I'll update if I come to realise that. In the meantime feel free to disagree with anything I posted. I tried to keep it as objective as possible
     
  2. Diomedes

    Diomedes WiiChat Member

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    I agree with your comments, the gamecube does lack a few things.
    I remember the moment when I heard that it would have optical media, that i did'nt realise that it did not play normal disks until I broke one when I was trying to play it on the gamecube.
     
  3. Arcadium

    Arcadium Not Banned

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    the GC had a lot of problems compared to the PS2 and Xbox, anyway I agree with all u said
     
  4. MetroidZ

    MetroidZ Only took 4 years to get1

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    if the n64 used discs then the gamecube would probably have been backwards compatible with N64
     
  5. NateTheGreat

    NateTheGreat Pondering Member

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    What!? Are you joking, the PS2 had Xbox had many more problems.

    The PS2 did and still does have a laser problem which over time, kills your PS2; a friend of mine went through three PS2s in one year!

    The Xbox, as all of us know, had a bad first batch and it's other batchs weren't always good either; I had to get a new one because mine simply wouldn't boot games and it was like two years after the Xbox had launched.

    As far as I know, the Gamecube had no major recalls or problems at all.

    Now, as for these things being called problems, some of them aren't.
    The console was not backwards-compatible
    Yeah, I definitly agree with you here; thank goodness Wii will be backwards compatible.

    Lack of built-in networking
    While the Gamecube didn't have a built-in modem, neither did the PS2. Haha, the PS2 even today still needs a multi-tap just to have 4-player split screen.:D Also, while I too get annoyed by playing split-screen, I'm not rich. Thus, I don't have the money to buy another TV and it's very difficult to find a friend with a small 13" TV these days.

    Absence of a DVD player
    I agree with you here. It would have been nice if Gamecube had had a DVD player, especially because it would have been such a small DVD player for it's time.

    Specially designed optical media
    I don't see a problem with this. Are you upset that the DS and PSP don't have DVD discs? I'm not. I liked how small they were because the carrying case I bought for them was around their size, but it didn't have any advantage either.

    You sort of sound like you're in support of illigally copying games, which isn't a bad thing persay; I have a modded Xbox with Half-life 2 on the hard drive because I don't want to not be able to play that game if it gets scratched. However, the fact that it was easier to do this on the Xbox and PS2 isn't that appealing to many people because it's still pretty difficult to mod a system without somehow screwing it up. Hopefully someday, the console makers (Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft) will allow us gamers to save games to the hard drive of their consoles, which is already possible and completly legal on the PC.
     
  6. Arcadium

    Arcadium Not Banned

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    ^^ totally agree, but nintendo only noticed the CD thing when sony came out with the PS1
     
  7. Mr_Stoukaph

    Mr_Stoukaph WiiChat Member

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    Nintendo shared a console with Philips called the Philips CD-I which had CDs. But they went back to cartridges for the N64. and also, the PSP has mini CDs like the GC but nintendo still made cartridges for its DS.
     
  8. in touch with the wii

    in touch with the wii prez , you suck :p

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    thats why nintendo had low sales these passing years but wii have fixed all the problem and added more stuff
     
  9. NateTheGreat

    NateTheGreat Pondering Member

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    I don't believe the disc-media the Gamcube uses is why Nintendo hasn't made a lot of money from it.

    It's mainly because the Gamecube didn't have enough exclusive games released on a regular basis. Their Gamecube-only games were released so far apart, it felt like the Gamecube way losing support.

    3rd party support was also lacking because (and this is just a guess) Nintendo wanted a "kid friendly" console and thus, not a lot of mature games were made it on the Gamecube.

    Finally, the great exclusive games that it did have, like Mario Kart: Double Dash did not support online play, which was a real downer to a ton of people.

    I think Nintendo has changed their focus for the better with Wii and it'll be one of the coolist comebacks in quite some time.:)
     
  10. in touch with the wii

    in touch with the wii prez , you suck :p

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    it did you had to have lan for it to work
     
  11. NateTheGreat

    NateTheGreat Pondering Member

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    Yeah, I know about the WarpPipe project, but I mean Nintendo-implemented online play. Yes, you can play LAN but that's not online, that's LAN.

    Many people wanted to actually be able to play this aswell as Geist online.

    I wonder if with Wii we might be able to play Mario Kart: Double Dash online?
     
  12. MetroidZ

    MetroidZ Only took 4 years to get1

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    roms are better for loading times, imagine playing zelda ocarina of time on CD, loading will take long.
     
  13. Dark Void

    Dark Void WiiChat Member

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    I think he is talking about the Game Cube. not a portable game system. if DVD disks were used on something that is meant to fit in your pocket, that would be dumb it would be too big. But something that stays home, would b nice to have regular disks. Also, as far as porting the games around.... the boxes for GC games are the same size as x-box and ps2 so the smaller disks wont make a diference in making the games more portable.


    I agree with everything the topic starter said and i have something to add that i didnt like as well. Almost none of the games for the Gamecube had voice actors. i know that some did, but a large majority didnt. I dont mind reading the text but sometimes its nice to hear voices it makes the game better. also in a lot of games instead of voices they gave stupid grunts and other noices for characters. why b cheap and not get voice actors. NE way thats just a small thing i would have liked on GC games.
     
  14. NateTheGreat

    NateTheGreat Pondering Member

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    Yeah, I didn't make my point very well. I was trying to say that the Gamecube's smaller discs really weren't a problem with the Gamecube. I talked about the DS and PSP media size just to illustrate that media size isn't a positive or negative as long as there is enough space to fit a fully featured game, which GC discs did. I don't care about what size the disc is, I just want to play the game.
     
  15. Dark Void

    Dark Void WiiChat Member

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    ok. hehe that's a little better explained. I originaly thought u just wanted the smaller case (for ds and psp) but thx for clarifying that.
     
  16. NateTheGreat

    NateTheGreat Pondering Member

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    Thanks for catching my confusing words; I hate when I don't make sense.:D

    And I agree that for some reason there were a lot of GC games that lacked voice-overs.

    I'm pretty sure there are a lot of PS2 games that have this problem, but it did seem to be common in GC games. I also strongly dislike when characters talk some gibberish, unless it's like an alien language, like in Halo.

    I think if the next gen consoles (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii) want to really be next gen, they need to put voice-overs in 99% of games. Or maybe some kind of speech recognition system that will read the words, although I don't want it to sound like a robot, which a lot of text-reading systems do.:D
     
  17. Dark Void

    Dark Void WiiChat Member

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    lol. too true. and i really think that it makes the game more enjoyable, especially when its an RPG lol.
     
  18. Ezekiel86

    Ezekiel86 Chillin in the Mill

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    I wasn't specifically pointing to defects of the GameCube, mainly things it didn't do which it should have. Having said that, in terms of defects it was probably the sturdiest, most reliable console of the current gen. I have heard of a few problems with the PS2 and Xbox, but never any with the GameCube. Nintendo seem to have a thing for manufacturing sturdy consoles, hell look at the N64, those things (and its cartridges) could survive an atomic bomb. My mates N64 has been through just about everything a console cud go thru (including, but not limited to: dropped off a table, had heavy stuff fall on it, dropped onto hard surfaces, had its cables chewed apart) yet the thing can still fire up on first time, never seen any other console do that :p

    In my opinion its one of Nintendo's worst problems. Another poster (forgive me for not mentioning your name, but you know who you are) mentioned that if the N64 used discs the GameCube could have been backwards compatible, I totally agree, but it would have been nice if they released like an attachment for your gamecube to sit on (turn any nintendo console upside down and you'll see a multitude of unused ports) and ur cartriges could plug into the side or something, or even make the thing compatible with ROM images burnt onto discs or something... naturally those against piracy might have something to say about this... although its not technically piracy if you can't buy the things anymore is it?

    The PS2 might not have have had a modem but the fact it could connect with another PS2 through CAT5 or Crossover cable was enough (Afterall, we're not specifically talking about modems here are we? Just networking hardware in general :p ). At the time console-to-console networking was a pretty impressive feat, and by not having a modem and connecting directly to another console meant that you dont have high ping times to worry about (colloquially referred to as 'lag' in online multiplayer gaming). I would have been more than happy if Nintendo included hardware like this. As far as having another TV goes, you can buy small foldout LCD screens for the PS2 (and I think Xbox might have one too). I dont believe they were too expensive either (if you could afford your own PS2 with a few games, you should be able to afford one of those). From what I've seen it makes your PS2 look like a laptop, so you can drag it along, link it up with another PS2 and do some networking. If only it was that easy with the GameCube :(

    It would have made the console alot more attractive to causal gamers and people needing DVD players (like me back in the day)

    My point was in part about how the types of disc the GameCube used could have driven its retail price up, since the discs require special hardware to manufacture and cant be mass produced with the rest of the DVD optical media. This could have potentially been offset though by the fact the GameCube SDKs (software development kits) costed about $2,000-3,000 for a company, while PS2 SDKs costed somewhere around $40,000 - 50,000, which could have balanced the price. Which also makes you wonder if they used normal DVD discs, would GameCube games be cheaper still?

    I neither support nor oppose illegally copying games. Even if I was copying games I would still buy some if they were reasonably priced (I refuse paying $100 just for a game unless its friggin good and by friggin good I mean of Half-Life status). I've heard some talk here and there about it being legal to make backup copies of your games, and I'm all for that. Modding a console might not be easy but its still possible, and the modders seem to have a pretty high success rate, so its still relatively do-able. Plus, theres nothing like the feeling of owning a real copy of a game, so if the game was really worth it I'd buy it anyway. If I dont buy it, its probably because it wasn't worth spending $50/70/100 on it.

    As far as the MiniDiscs go, I largly agree with your later post "i just want to play the game". however, if I were to extend it I would say "I just want to play the game but not at the expense of content". I know the GameCube games werent lacking anything, but those storage restrictions might be what caused us GameCube gamers to miss out on games like Star Ocean: Endless Story (on PS2 which used 2 Double-Layered discs i am pretty sure).

    I agree with your point about saving games to the onboard storage device. It would really help preserve our discs by reducing the risk or accidents/damage.

    it's been nice debating this out :)
     
    #18 Ezekiel86, Aug 8, 2006
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2006
  19. Diomedes

    Diomedes WiiChat Member

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    dont forget about the resident evil 4 incident
     
  20. WiiGamer24

    WiiGamer24 WiiChat Member

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    This was a bit of a problem but it would of been hard for the GC to be backwards compatible considering the N64 used cartridges. However a GB style add-on for N64 games would of been nice. With the virtual console and GC compatibilty the Wii won't have the same problem.

    Meh, the PS2 only had a few more online capabilitys than the GC. The only this gen console good for online gaming was the X-Box. The Gamecube had a lot of good multiplayer games, so yeah, it should of been online. Anyway the DS has rectified this and the Wii will have good online capabilitys.

    This was a problem, Nintendo should of made a GB player style add on for DVDs. It didn't really affect me though, I'm happy playing DVDs on my Laptop or DVD player.

    I don't see this as a problem at all. 8cm discs prevent piracy, are quicker and easier to carry around. Also 8cm make the GC smaller. Storage capabiltys didn't appear to be much of a problem as a lot of a GC games were longer than a lot of X-Box and PS2 games, how long a game is normally depends on the developer, Nintendo could of made WW a lot longer but they didn't.
     

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