NCube Central - Gamecube FAQ
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NCube Central - Gamecube Specs

Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have a question about the Nintendo Gamecube, or have lots of them and don't want to ask them all? NCube's FAQ section is just the right thing for you. Below will the most asked of the questions people ask for the Gamecube.

Frequently Asked Questions
Will there be another Nintendo videogame console after Nintendo 64?
Definitely. Nintendo's Nintendo 64 successor has already been announced by the company itself.

When was the announcement made?
May 12, 1999 at a Nintendo held press conference in Los Angeles. The company announced the next-generation console's codename, business partners, development partners and released a brief summary of official system specs. Nintendo of America chairman Howard Lincoln delivered a confident speech regarding the future game machine.

What is the system called?
It has been dubbed everything from "Gekko" to "N2000" by the press, but none of the above will likely appear on the system's box when it ships. The official Nintendo codename for the console is Project Dolphin. More recently, Nintendo has registered the proper Internet domain names and patents for a product known as StarCube, which has led many to believe this could be the final name of the company's next-generation console. However, sources have informed IGN that the final name of the console is definitely not StarCube, and the Dolphin codename is not being considered either. Rumor has it that while NCL liked the StarCube name, Nintendo of America wanted something more mature - so the moniker was changed to Nintendo Game Cube - or, even shorter, Nintendo Cube.

Why was the console previously codenamed Dolphin by Nintendo?
During a pre-E3 press conference, Nintendo of America chairman Howard Lincoln admitted that he wasn't sure. Evidently, those involved with the development of the console codenamed it. Lincoln mused that maybe they liked Dolphins.

What companies has Nintendo partnered with to make Cube?
At the pre-E3 press conference, Lincoln announced three major business partners would play key parts in the development and manufacturing of Cube. The companies are ArtX, IBM and Matsushita. Since that time IGN has learned of additional Cube business partners including NEC, MoSys which supplies the 1T-SRAM memory technology, and Applied Microsystems who is in charge of engineering the Cube development kits. Also, Nintendo announced several partnerships aimed to aid developers in Cube game creation. S3 is providing a texture compression technique for the graphics chip, Metrowerks will provide a Cube specific version of it's Codewarrior development environment, and Factor 5 will license its proprietary sound tools and technology, MusyX, for Cube software. As you can tell, Nintendo is not going to try to do it all by themselves. This is a smart move, by the opinion of many.

What is the Cube's polygon pushing power?
In a raw test, the system is capable of pushing 400,000 polygons at 60 frames per second. This is rougly 24 million polygons per second. Remember though, this test was done with no effects turned on. With tests on, however, the polygon power could double, or maybe triple.

What is the Cube's DVD format?
The Gamecube's DVD format will probably be comparable to a mini-disc in physical size. Exactly what sort of storage space the format would offer is unconfirmed, but once source provided, "something between one and two gigs." So why doesn't Nintendo exclusively go with Open DVD? Well, by staying proprietary, the company protects itself and third-party publishers against software piracy. Awesome move there.

What will the controller for the Cube be like?
The final design of Cube's controller is locked away in secrecy for now, but more information will be posted here later.

Will Cube feature a dedicated sound chip?
Yes, but there is very little information on that for now.

Will Cube sound better than Nintendo 64?
Without a doubt. Cube will feature the best audio environments of any next-generation consoles.

Will Cube play N64 cartridges?
No, obviously. The console will utilize a propriety DVD format developed by Matsushita. Games may be as large as 4.7 GBs, but some sources have indicated the mini-DVD format may have "one to two gigabytes" available. The next-generation console will not be backward compatible with Nintendo 64 games for three major reasons:
1. Cube's internal architecture is entirely different from that in Nintendo 64.
2. Cube is a proprietary DVD-based console.
3. Backward compatibility is not important enough to justify a significant increase in the price of the console in order to implement it.
Will Cube be able to play DVD movies?
Two different versions of Cube are planned. A Nintendo-released "base" unit will not support DVD playback. Nintendo is marketing the console as a videogame machine - nothing else. To this end, the console is expected to be very cheap and mass-market friendly. However, a Matsushita-branded version of the Cube console is also planned for release - initially in Japan. This machine will feature DVD playback, but will be more expensive.

Will the Cube have a modem?
Yes. Though Nintendo has not officially announced the specifics in relation to its Internet/Network strategies for Cube, it did recently confirm that they are in the works. "[The Cube] will have a function to access the Internet," confirmed Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi. "We are entering the market as a latecomer so the console will have to outperform Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 2." The Cube system is likely to support 56K and broadband modems.

Will the modem come packaged with the system?
Unknown at this time. It should be noted, however, that Nintendo will keep a close watch on Sega's Dreamcast, which shipped with a modem.

How much will Cube cost?
Exact pricing for the console is not yet known, but it's going to be marketed cheap. "While our new Cube hardware will be extremely powerful," said company chairman Howard Lincoln at a Nintendo held press conference last May, "it will retail at a mass market price for home videogame systems." A rumored $200 price-point is likely.
Lincoln also noted that Cube software would sell at a competitive price. "Let me assure you that this is a critical objective for Nintendo -- as is the need for flexible and quick manufacturing turn around of [Cube] software and strong and effective counterfeit protection. All of these objectives will be achieved under the Nintendo-Matsushita alliance."

When is Cube's release date?
An early 2001 release date is expected for Japan and a first half 2001 release date in the U.S. The system was previously scheduled to hit retail shelves in fall of 2000, but has since been delayed.

Thank you for reading the FAQ section of NCube Central. This information was take in part from IGN Cube, and gives credit to them. The information that IGN has in their FAQ section is official with some suggestive information on their part, but none holding against them. This FAQ was written as accurately as possible, but NCube regrets any errors.

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Gamecube Pics - what it looks like
The Official Specs - speed, graphics, etc
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