What was Nintendo's thinking behind the Gamecube?

It doesnt play DVD movies apparantly because the disks it takes are smaller in size than normal ones. Surely they will lose sales because of this design quirk? I certainly would have bought one if it played DVDs.

Kind of a pro and con thing in my opinion.

Personally, if I had been more interested in the GC when it came out, the lack of DVD capabilities wouldn’t have really deterred me.

I ended up buying a PS2 (mainly because of the games), and the DVD playback was just a bonus. Since I already have a DVD player, I didn’t think I’d ever use it. However, I actually do use it all the time, I bought an RF adapter and another power cord, and leave them hooked up to the bedroom TV. That way it’s pretty darn simple to move the machine in there if I want to watch a late night DVD (now I just need a TV with a headphone jack so I don’t wake up Mrs. S). :slight_smile:

it may be more inconvenient for the consumer, but nintendo’s thinking was this:

older systems (PS, DC) used cd’s
people got cd-burners
people found a way around anti-piracy measures
people copied their games instead of buying them

newer systems (PS2, X-Box) use dvd’s
people have DVD burners nowadays,
people will find a way around anti-piracy measures
people will copy games instead of buying them

Nintendo did the same thing with the N64, they stuck with cartridges because they can’t be copied (at least not by the average joe). Since a egular sized cd/dvd won’t even fit in the gamecube, there is no way that their games will be pirated. And have you ever seen little discs like that sold in stores?

A side effect iis the lack of dvd playing ability, but dvd players are dirt cheap nowadays, and most gamers won’t use it to play dvd’s anyway.

Some people don’t like that, but i bet that the Big N is making more money from selling games (that otherwise would’ve been pirated) than they’re losing from not selling systems (because some people HAVE to have a DVD player too)

This also keeps pother game developers happy. Makes good business sense IMO.

Not having a DVD player keeps it cheaper. Using Nintendo’s smaller, reverse-rotating minidiscs reduces piracy. And maybe Nintendo figures that anyone who wants to watch DVDs would rather use a dedicated player, with more features, than their bare-bones implementation.

Though I believe a company in Japan (Toshiba?) is sellign a Gamecube-compatable console that also plays DVDs.

Hey Slacker, take the audio out of the PS/2|DVD player and feed into: a RCA to headphone Y-plug, then an inline volume control, a long cord and finally your headphones. All available at RS type stores. Put the TV on “mute” if it’s still making sound. The line-out audio is usually too loud for headphone listening and the volume control helps that. You can also use the line-out of a TV (my sets’ line-outs are not affected by mute or volume, on some there is a menu setting for line-out and volume control). There’s also the line-out of a VCR if it’s tuned to the same thing as the TV.

Guess who else also watches stuff quietly well into the night.

Another bonus for Nintendo is that they don’t have to create a DVD player, with everything that entails. Paying for the DVD tech licenses (which is not cheap), creating a remote and selling it, taking care of region encoding / copy protection / macrovision, creating DVD player software which has to be stored on the ROM, etc.

Instead, they just have to make a machine that plays their games.

Panasonic is making the Gamecube/DVD hybrid. And it is being sold in Japan only…

http://www.gamesradar.com/news/game_news_2547.html

You can actually buy the 3" discs used in the Gamecube. They hold about 210 MB. From what I understand, the Gamecube uses a DVD-type disc and laser, just 3" instead of the normal 5.

I seriously doubt piracy by the average consumer was a deciding factor. Nintendo has consciously geared itself more to the middle-american youth market.

I have alot of computer savy friends and relatives (one works for Real Networks as programer) and only one ever bothers to make copies of CDs.

I think had more to do with cost and it’s target demographic.

I’m convinced that GC games ARE mini-DVDs. Star Wars: Rogue Leader II has full footage from the SW films that looks like DVD-quality. Pretty damn impressive.

I LIKE my Gamecube, darnit…

Nope, those’re mini-CD’s, not mini-DVD’s (and they hold about 175 megabytes). And they’re not compatible with the Gamecube (GC discs spin in the opposite direction that standard CD/DVD’s do).

I work in the game industry and followed the debates that Microsoft had about including DVD capabilities in the XBox. From that I can speculate on why Nintendo went the direction it did.

  1. It’s probably not a piracy thing. Piracy isn’t a significant factor for consoles. With a proprietary system, (unlike with a PC) it’s easy to encode your game disks so they’re hard to copy.

  2. It’s probably not a cost thing. The hardware to read the GameCube disks is probably more expensive than the hardware for a standard DVD player since it’s manufactured in lower quantities.

More likely they were concerned over attachment rates. The attachment rate of a console is the number of games the average consumer buys. Since console manufacturers lose money on the consoles and make it back in the games they want to make sure that a consumer wil buy enough games to make a profit for them.

If you sell a console that does things other than playing games (surfing the internet, playing DVDs) you run the risk that large numbers of people who aren’t very interested in games will buy it for those other features alone. The attachment rates for those consumers won’t hit the break-even point and the company will take a loss.

If this was an issue for Microsoft with its buckets of cash, you can imagine how worrisome it might be to Nintendo who makes all of its revenue off of game sales. They were probably willing to risk losing a few consumers like yourself in exchange for greater assurance that most of the consumers they do have will be interested in buying lots of GameCube games.

Ah… But college students, who play a lot of video games, do burn CDs. And DVDs. And Playstation games.

This is just anecdotal, but I know a guy who has bought and paid for, on the high end, a dozen PS or PS2 games. However, he has literally hundreds of games, on burned disks.

So I would posit that a not insignificant number of players are playing pirated copies.

Er… that’s it.

Tenebras

I work in the game industry and followed the debates that Microsoft had about including DVD capabilities in the XBox. From that I can speculate on why Nintendo went the direction it did.

  1. It’s probably not a piracy thing. Piracy isn’t a significant factor for consoles. With a proprietary system, (unlike with a PC) it’s easy to encode your game disks so they’re hard to copy.

  2. It’s probably not a cost thing. The hardware to read the GameCube disks is probably more expensive than the hardware for a standard DVD player since it’s manufactured in lower quantities.

More likely they were concerned over attachment rates. The attachment rate of a console is the number of games the average consumer buys. Since console manufacturers lose money on the consoles and make it back in the games they want to make sure that a consumer wil buy enough games to make a profit for them.

If you sell a console that does things other than playing games (surfing the internet, playing DVDs) you run the risk that large numbers of people who aren’t very interested in games will buy it for those other features alone. The attachment rates for those consumers won’t hit the break-even point and the company will take a loss.

If this was an issue for Microsoft with its buckets of cash, you can imagine how worrisome it might be to Nintendo who makes all of its revenue off of game sales. They were probably willing to risk losing a few consumers like yourself in exchange for greater assurance that most of the consumers they do have will be interested in buying lots of GameCube games.

I’d love to! Only problem, my bedroom TV doesn’t have a composite input, only co-ax. :frowning: