The Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo’s fourth home console, entered its respective generation as an underdog for the first time since Nintendo entered the gaming industry. While the N64 was viewed as a step backwards for the company in terms of commercial success, the GameCube actually sold fewer units than the N64, even with the industry as a whole growing and becoming more popular in the early 2000s. While the GameCube’s direct competitor — the Sony PlayStation 2 — was already expected to perform very well, Nintendo failing to surpass the newcomer (Microsoft’s Xbox) in the console race while losing even further ground to Sony was a significant surprise. Despite making a small profit for Nintendo, the GameCube lost Nintendo sizable market share, finishing in third place in terms of hardware sales, which has led to it being characterized as a commercial failure. Here are 10 things that contributed to the GameCube’s failure.
10. Overreliance On First Party
While making huge strides from the days of the Nintendo 64, the GameCube still had an overreliance on its first party publications. While Nintendo managed to lure Capcom back into the fold, the majority of other developers either skipped the GameCube entirely or released shoddy ports that did not take advantage of console’s superior technological competency. When Capcom’s Resident Evil 4 arrived in early 2005, it sold extremely well and provided a breath of fresh air for a company viewed as stale, having only put out yearly releases of their rehashed games up to that point. Unfortunately, this type of scenario did not occur often enough. Nintendo’s first party games were among the best of the generation, but gamers were simply looking for new ideas. Microsoft and Sony were able to acquire far more third party support and that hurt the GameCube’s library dearly.