Remembering the first year of NINTENDO GAMECUBE in the UK

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KK
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PostRemembering the first year of NINTENDO GAMECUBE in the UK
by KK » Wed Aug 19, 2020 4:26 pm

April 2002: Gamecube prepares to launch in the UK, priced at £150...except it doesn't, as most stores plan to sell the console at £169.99 (HMV, Dixons, Argos and Amazon) and £174 (Dixons Online, GAME) due to Nintendo not actually setting the RRP. Some retailers complain of the 'tiny profit margins'. Bundles expected to start off at £235 for a game and extra controller.
18th April 2002: Despite sales success in the UK and US, sales of Microsoft's Xbox flatline in Europe and Japan, causing the company to knock £100 off the price - down to £199 - mere weeks after its March 14 launch. Nintendo meanwhile tells BBC News: "GameCube has exactly the right proposition for success, a dedicated console, an excellent software line-up for launch and throughout 2002, plus the right price."
22nd April 2002: Nintendo announces a price cut of the GameCube in Europe almost two weeks prior to its launch, down to £129. "Because we have shipped more than four million GameCubes worldwide we have been able to bring down the cost of production and have a price cut before launch" David Gosen, managing director of Nintendo Europe, tells BBC News.
3rd May 2002: Gamecube finally goes on sale in the UK, priced between £130 and £140, shifting 75,000 consoles within its first two days on sale.

Launch Games:

    - Luigi's Mansion
    - Wave Race (unfortunately suffers a case of the Ridge Racer V's and ends up being an inferior PAL conversion)
    - Super Monkey Ball
    - Star Wars Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron II
    - Sonic Adventure 2 Battle (enhanced port of the original, which released in June 2001 on Dreamcast)
    - Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (released on PS2 in October 2001)
    - Burnout (released on PS2 in November 2001)
    - Crazy Taxi (released on Dreamcast in February 2000; on PS2 in May 2001)
    - ESPN International Winter Sports 2002
    - Extreme G3 (released on PS2 in August 2001)
    - Tarzan Freeride (released on PS2 in October 2001)
    - Batman Vengeance (released on PS2 in November 2001; March 2002 on Xbox)
    - NHL Hitz 2002 (released on PS2 in November 2001; March 2002 on Xbox)
    - Dave Mirra 2 Freestyle BMX (released on PS2 in October 2001; March 2002 on Xbox)
    - Universal Studios
    - International Superstar Soccer 2
    - Bloody Roar: Primal Fury
    - 2002 FIFA World Cup
    - The Simpsons Road Rage (released on PS2 in November 2001; March 2002 on Xbox; May 17 on Gamecube)
May 24 2002: Super Smash Bros. Melee & NBA Courtside 2002 are released.
May 31 2002: 18 Wheeler - American Pro Trucker (released on PS2 in November 2001)
June 2002: Pikmin, Spider Man: The Movie, Spy Hunter (released on PS2 in October 2001), James Bond 007: Agent Under Fire (released on PS2 in November 2001), and Legends of Wrestling (released on PS2 in February 2002).
July 2002: SSX Tricky (released on PS2 in November 2001), F1 2002 (released on PS2 and Xbox a month earlier in June), Redcard Soccer (released on PS2 in May 2002)
August 2002: Lost Kingdoms
September 2002: Remake of PS1 heavyweight Resident Evil launches in the UK, setting the graphical bar so high only Splinter Cell Chaos Theory would come close to matching it in 2005; WWE WrestleMania X8, UFC: Throwdown, Taz: Wanted, Turok: Evolution, Beach Spikers: Virtua Beach Volleyball, Doshin the Giant, Aggressive Inline (released on PS2 in August); readers contact NGC magazine in their hundreds in regards to crashing Gamecube's - GAME and Nintendo deny they've had any reports. Star Wars Rogue Leader appears to be the culprit.
October 2002: Super Mario Sunshine, Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer, FIFA 2003, Smuggler's Run Warzones (released as "2" on PS2 in November 2001) Capcom vs. SNK 2 EO, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 (miserable port of the PS2 version), Top Gun: Combat Zones (released on PS2 a year earlier in October 2001), Pro Rally (released on PS2 in March 2002), and SEGA Soccer Slam; Sony cuts the price of the PS2 down to £170 - "It is a surprising move and may indicate that Sony is feeling the pressure from the recent platform launches. Nintendo Gamecube had an extremely successful launch, selling a million in just 11 weeks, and its installed base is continuing to grow rapidly." says Nintendo in response. Microsoft quickly follows with a price cut of its own for Xbox, down to £160 - "This is obviously a reaction to Sony's recent price cut but is less surprising as reports show their sales in Europe are disappointing." says Nintendo. Oooooh, handbags.
30th October 2002: The European Commission fines Nintendo 146 million Euros for price fixing between 1991 to 1998 in certain EU territories; priced up at £35, Wavebird controllers become widely available in the UK, ushering in a new cordless future years before Sony and Microsoft.
November 2002: Eternal Darkness, James Bond 007: Nightfire, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Mario Party 4, Star Fox Adventures, Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee, Rocky (released on Xbox in October), Star Wars Jedi Knight II, Star Wars: The Clone Wars (later released on PS2 in February and Xbox in May 2003), Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex (released on PS2 in November 2001), Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions (another crappy port, released on Xbox in March 2002), Die Hard: Vendetta (later released on Xbox and PS2 in June 2003), Reign of Fire, Ty the Tasmanian Tiger, and Timesplitters 2 (released on PS2 and Xbox in October 2002 - Eidos blames Nintendo's "submission and manufacturing timelines" being longer than either Sony or Microsoft); Rare departs for Microsoft.
December 2002: Medal of Honor Frontline (released on PS2 in June 2002), NBA Live 2003, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003, Bomberman Generation, and Ace Golf are released. Sales begin to slide dramatically for Gamecube in the UK, with the w/e 22nd December 2002 seeing Xbox sell 38,727 to Nintendo's 15,943. Things didn't improve the following week either, as Xbox managed 31,735 to Gamecube's 10,866. Worldwide, Nintendo edged ahead of Microsoft with 1.5 million sales to 1.4, says analysts. According to Chart Track, Xbox had sold 589,284 units in the UK, compared to 436,488 Gamecube's - the all important Christmas period having seen Xbox suddenly surge ahead and outsell Gamecube by 100%+.
January 2003: Blood Omen 2 (released on PS2 in March 2002).
February 2003: Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, Evolution Skateboarding, Pac-Man World 2, Micro Machines, Rally Championship, Fire Blade, ATV: Quad Power Racing 2, Legends of Wrestling II, and BMX XXX are released; with sales now extremely disappointing, Nintendo announce a free game promotion with every Gamecube sold, running from 3rd February 2003 to 20th March 2003 - with titles such as Pikmin, Luigi's Mansion, Eternal Darkness, Wave Race and Doshin the Giant being offered.
March 2003: Metroid Prime, Resident Evil Zero, Super Monkey Ball 2, Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (released on PS2 and Xbox in October 2002), NBA 2K3, NFL 2K3, NHL 2K3, Dr. Muto, Dakar 2, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon (released on PS2 and Xbox in December 2002); Phantasy Star Online, Dead to Rights, Robotech: Battlecry, The Sum of All Fears, and BloodRayne are released; the Gamecube GBA player launches; Dixons drops the price of the Gamecube down to £99.99 with a copy of Metroid Prime.

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Argos follows and decides to go one better and take the price down to £78.99 with a game: "Sales have been slow so we wanted to speed things up". Gamecube sales reportedly jump from 100 units on an average Saturday at Argos to 5,000. "The demand for Gamecube has been unbelievable! We've been struggling to keep up and have cleared out most of our overstock. It's been an unbelievable increase in demand." Thanks to retailers Gamecube sales momentarily surpass PS2, leading Nintendo Europe to issue a hasty press release "We've had a great week - Gamecube sold around 14,000 units in the UK and on top of that Metroid Prime launched at number 1 in the all formats charts".
April 2003: Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (released on PS2 in December 2001), Summoner: A Goddess Reborn (released on PS2 November 2002), Conflict: Desert Storm (released on PS2 and Xbox in September 2002), Sonic Mega Collection, Vexx, and The Sims; Nintendo launch their new Platinum £19.99 label, called "Player's Choice" - including Pikmin, Super Smash Bros Melee and Luigi's Mansion.
May 2003: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and Ocarina of Time Master Quest, Skies of Arcadia Legends (released on Dreamcast in April 2001), Splinter Cell (released on Xbox in 2002), Burnout 2 (released on PS2 in October 2002), Ikaruga, Enter the Matrix, Resident Evil 2 (released on PS1 in 1998), Resident Evil 3 (released on PS1 in 2000).

What do people here remember, who jumped in during the first year, what went right, what went wrong, and if you didn't buy one why not...

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JT986M2
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PostRe: Remembering the first year of NINTENDO GAMECUBE in the UK
by JT986M2 » Wed Aug 19, 2020 4:48 pm

The Gamecube is the only console I've bought twice. I sold it the first time because I'd played through most of the major first-party titles and, at the time, there wasn't really anything on the horizon that I was interested in. I had an Xbox as well so didn't see the point in hanging onto it. So that dry spell came and went and then a whole bunch of other games came out that I was really interested in :fp:

It was a great console. Great games, superb form factor and I really liked the tiny discs. Plus the power-on splash screen was ace :wub:

When I went to University I lent it to my nephews and never saw it again :(

(If we are being picky I bought two Xbox's but that's because the original one died and the second one was a second-hand crystal version (that I also sold :fp: ) ...)

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Tomous
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PostRe: Remembering the first year of NINTENDO GAMECUBE in the UK
by Tomous » Wed Aug 19, 2020 4:50 pm

Pretty good launch lineup to be fair. No system sellers but lots of solid titles.

Forgot how long Mario took to turn up.

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Mafro
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PostRe: Remembering the first year of NINTENDO GAMECUBE in the UK
by Mafro » Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:06 pm

Had a purple one preordered at Game with Sonic Adventure 2 and Rogue Leader, changed my mind and ended up getting a black one instead. Rogue Leader still looks good to this day.

Forgot Melee came out so soon after launch, that was a huge step up from SSB64.

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Ironhide
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PostRe: Remembering the first year of NINTENDO GAMECUBE in the UK
by Ironhide » Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:15 pm

Wasn't interested in getting one at launch as I'd already got a PS2 and didn't see the point in yet another console.

Ended up getting bought one for Christmas with Starfox Adventures (which I actually liked) and a Wavebird, then bought several of the launch games for cheap (Wave Race, Luigis Mansion, Pikmin, Rogue Leader and Monkey Ball, all pre owned but almost pristine) along with Mario Sunshine and Eternal Darkness, good times.

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Jenuall
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PostRe: Remembering the first year of NINTENDO GAMECUBE in the UK
by Jenuall » Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:22 pm

Pretty sure I got mine at launch with Luigi's Mansion and SA2: Battle and was very happy. I felt like it had a great first UK year in terms of releases but the momentum, hype and publicity just wasn't there for it in the wake of the PS2's dominance sadly

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Captain Kinopio
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PostRe: Remembering the first year of NINTENDO GAMECUBE in the UK
by Captain Kinopio » Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:27 pm

Remembering when Nintendo made good consoles :wub:

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Knoyleo
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PostRe: Remembering the first year of NINTENDO GAMECUBE in the UK
by Knoyleo » Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:29 pm

Best console ever, and a strawberry floating bargain, too.

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Victor Mildew
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PostRe: Remembering the first year of NINTENDO GAMECUBE in the UK
by Victor Mildew » Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:35 pm

Captain Kinopio wrote:Remembering when Nintendo made good consoles :wub:


Sadly it was awash with SNES ports

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Ironhide
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PostRe: Remembering the first year of NINTENDO GAMECUBE in the UK
by Ironhide » Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:43 pm

Jenuall wrote:Pretty sure I got mine at launch with Luigi's Mansion and SA2: Battle and was very happy. I felt like it had a great first UK year in terms of releases but the momentum, hype and publicity just wasn't there for it in the wake of the PS2's dominance sadly


I don't think big publishers liked having to make allowances for the controller having fewer buttons when porting from PS2 and Xbox, plus, as with the Dreamcast, major retailers like GAME seemed to lose interest in it and reduced its in-store presence long before sales began to decline.

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Corazon de Leon
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PostRe: Remembering the first year of NINTENDO GAMECUBE in the UK
by Corazon de Leon » Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:46 pm

That's easily the best launch line up of any console I've ever heard about. Absolutely phenomenal value. I got mine the day after release with Rogue Leader and then picked up Smash Brothers three weeks later. Then was given THPS3 and Resident Evil for my birthday the following September. That was a fantastic year of gaming.

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Jenuall
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PostRe: Remembering the first year of NINTENDO GAMECUBE in the UK
by Jenuall » Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:47 pm

Ironhide wrote:
Jenuall wrote:Pretty sure I got mine at launch with Luigi's Mansion and SA2: Battle and was very happy. I felt like it had a great first UK year in terms of releases but the momentum, hype and publicity just wasn't there for it in the wake of the PS2's dominance sadly


I don't think big publishers liked having to make allowances for the controller having fewer buttons when porting from PS2 and Xbox, plus, as with the Dreamcast, major retailers like GAME seemed to lose interest in it and reduced its in-store presence long before sales began to decline.

Did it have fewer buttons? 2 sticks, 4 face buttons, 4 shoulder buttons, d-pad. Only limitation I can think of is it only had a start button so no equivalent to the Select button on the dual shock. Doesn't seem like a major limitation really!

But yeah it was fighting an uphill battle right away and shops and publishers were looking for any excuse to move away from it sadly

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ITSMILNER
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PostRe: Remembering the first year of NINTENDO GAMECUBE in the UK
by ITSMILNER » Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:50 pm

I got the Purple GameCube, an extra (3rd party) controller, Luigi’s Mansion, Super Monkey Ball and Sonic Adventure 2 Battle on launch day from my local Dixon’s.

Man, this was a fantastic system, just look at that list above of all the games that came to the system in its first year. Incredible line up of quality games.

It’s my favourite Nintendo console :wub:

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jiggles
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PostRe: Remembering the first year of NINTENDO GAMECUBE in the UK
by jiggles » Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:56 pm

Still hard to believe that launch price.

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Robbo-92
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PostRe: Remembering the first year of NINTENDO GAMECUBE in the UK
by Robbo-92 » Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:56 pm

Didn’t have one within the first year of it launching but it was a fantastic console, amazing price and had some absolutely amazing games. One of the best controllers as well in my opinion.

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PostRe: Remembering the first year of NINTENDO GAMECUBE in the UK
by HaruKazuhira » Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:01 pm

Was our first Console we got at launch. My brother legit pre-ordered one without any games because it was around the time of the World Cup and he didn't want to be distracted. He was mental about that stuff back then. We didn't actually buy a game a month later until Melee released lol. But holy heck, what a game to crack open the console for. I remember just being blown away with how detailed the character models looked.

Last edited by HaruKazuhira on Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ironhide
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PostRe: Remembering the first year of NINTENDO GAMECUBE in the UK
by Ironhide » Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:02 pm

Jenuall wrote:
Ironhide wrote:
Jenuall wrote:Pretty sure I got mine at launch with Luigi's Mansion and SA2: Battle and was very happy. I felt like it had a great first UK year in terms of releases but the momentum, hype and publicity just wasn't there for it in the wake of the PS2's dominance sadly


I don't think big publishers liked having to make allowances for the controller having fewer buttons when porting from PS2 and Xbox, plus, as with the Dreamcast, major retailers like GAME seemed to lose interest in it and reduced its in-store presence long before sales began to decline.

Did it have fewer buttons? 2 sticks, 4 face buttons, 4 shoulder buttons, d-pad. Only limitation I can think of is it only had a start button so no equivalent to the Select button on the dual shock. Doesn't seem like a major limitation really!

But yeah it was fighting an uphill battle right away and shops and publishers were looking for any excuse to move away from it sadly


It only had two proper shoulder buttons (plus the bafflingly terrible z button) so games like SSX often had content changed or removed to allow for the difference.

The 2nd stick was also hard to use in FPSs.

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Jenuall
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PostRe: Remembering the first year of NINTENDO GAMECUBE in the UK
by Jenuall » Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:05 pm

Ironhide wrote:
Jenuall wrote:
Ironhide wrote:
Jenuall wrote:Pretty sure I got mine at launch with Luigi's Mansion and SA2: Battle and was very happy. I felt like it had a great first UK year in terms of releases but the momentum, hype and publicity just wasn't there for it in the wake of the PS2's dominance sadly


I don't think big publishers liked having to make allowances for the controller having fewer buttons when porting from PS2 and Xbox, plus, as with the Dreamcast, major retailers like GAME seemed to lose interest in it and reduced its in-store presence long before sales began to decline.

Did it have fewer buttons? 2 sticks, 4 face buttons, 4 shoulder buttons, d-pad. Only limitation I can think of is it only had a start button so no equivalent to the Select button on the dual shock. Doesn't seem like a major limitation really!

But yeah it was fighting an uphill battle right away and shops and publishers were looking for any excuse to move away from it sadly


It only had two proper shoulder buttons (plus the bafflingly terrible z button) so games like SSX often had content changed or removed to allow for the difference.

The 2nd stick was also hard to use in FPSs.

True, and yeah I'm wrong about the shoulder buttons as it only had the two triggers and the Z button

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Mafro
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PostRe: Remembering the first year of NINTENDO GAMECUBE in the UK
by Mafro » Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:08 pm

The analogue shoulder buttons felt incredible.

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HaruKazuhira
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PostRe: Remembering the first year of NINTENDO GAMECUBE in the UK
by HaruKazuhira » Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:14 pm

The sounds the GC controller makes are timeless.


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