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Wii versus GameCube

Instead of going for the highest possible performance, which does not contribute to software development, our idea was to create a developer-friendly next generation TV game machine that maintained above-standard capabilities.” – Nintendo

The Wii is a new console coming out, from Nintendo, whose power is maybe a little bit better than the original Xbox’s. The above quote, however, is not about the Wii, but is actually about the GameCube! But it could have been about the Wii.

I have to wonder: is the Wiimote enough to sell the Wii? Interest in the Wii is quite high. And unlike what Nintendo did with the GameCube, Nintendo is actually trying to get third-party developers to write games for the Wii.

Gord (of “Acts of Gord” fame – see link) wrote an article near the GameCube’s launch to discuss the fact that the GameCube would not do well. As it turns out, he was right! It’s a great article – Gord has a great writing style and I suggest you check out this article and the rest of his stories.

His main points were:

  • A new console should be more powerful than what’s out there already.
  • People generally don’t buy more than one console.
  • You need lots of gamers on a platform to attract developers. That’s something the PS2 had that the GameCube didn’t.

How does this compare to the launch of the Wii? Or the PS3 for that matter? I’ll let you guys discuss that.

Hmmm. I wonder if Gord could do a similar article about the next generation of consoles. I’ll e-mail him and see if he replies!

Acts of Gord – The Book of Chronicles


  1. As I dont know the exact HW details of the GC, I certainly know them of the PS2 and the XBox.

    Now, rumor has it, that the Wii CPU is clocked at about 1400Mhz (something about 3 times the speed of the GC), and MS says, the GC NOW is as powerful as the XBox? I CERTAINLY dont think so. The XBox, with its crippled 766Mhz Celeron for sure cant compete ANYTHING thats thrown against it from the Wii.

    I somehow agree with Nintendo, that not the HW Power assures good games. But consoles ALWAYS had to suffer a too small RAM. I mean, how can worlds get any bigger, if the limting factor isnt the CPU or the GPU but the RAM? Loading times suck, thats what the RAM is for.

    And for 3rd parties… Of course the more the merrier, thats why the PS2 dwarves both the XBox and the GC in number of games produced (over 1100 unique games released in the EU, interestingly more than in the US).

    Thing is, Nintendo really screwed 3rd party developers over ever since the NES, making them pay high royalties to develop for their system. This was the real deathknell for the N64, when Sony entered the console market. Both were a bitch to programm for (the N64 especially, because of its limited texture support) and Sony had the advantage of cheap CDs, which helped small developers to make cheap games.

    I think, this generation is the same ALL OVER. Sony knows what it does and Microsoft still screws up in Japan… But we’ll see, what the future has in store for us…

  2. ehandlr

    I think the wii has the potential for being the highest sold console the first 2 years of release. Mostly due to price and peoples ignorance when it comes to video games in general. The wii-mote obviously is putting interest out there albeit not for me as I prefer to be lazy when I play video games. Nintendo and developers for the Wii have really only released pix and video’s for some of their better looking games. However a few things leaked.

    These make me want to puke…..I will most likely purchase a Wii a month or two after it comes out..but thats for my Zelda fix.

  3. Extiction

    “Now, rumor has it, that the Wii CPU is clocked at about 1400Mhz (something about 3 times the speed of the GC), ”

    No, developers say Wii clocks in at twice that of the GCN. Not 3 times

  4. Extiction

    “Instead of going for the highest possible performance, which does not contribute to software development”

    Bull. It affects every aspect of software development and determines how much developers can do with their game engine. Saying specs don’t influence gameplay is a blatant lie designed to take advantage of the ignorant

  5. WonderSteve

    If we look at the response in the internet community, Nintendo’s marketing about “performance does not contribute to software development” is working. A lot of people do seem to believe it for whatever reason.

    I don’t buy this however. Performance does not gurantee the games will be good. But certain games are not possible without a console with top performance like the 360 and PS3. Best current example is Dead Rising. It’s a really well made game. I am playing that game right now and I seriously doubt that game can be on a console that’s only 2-3x more powerful than the Gamecube only. Even on a 360, that game requires quite a bit of loadings between locations and cut scenes.

    Nintendo is simply saying this because they don’t have the resources to develope high performance hardware to compete with MS and Sony. They are trying to make people to believe this is a positive thing even though it’s negative in my opinion. It’s cool that Nintendo takes a different approach. I will definitely buy the Wii at launch date, but there is no way I will only own the Wii but not have the 360 and PS3. Gamecube is a supplemental console for my PS2 ( I don’t have XBOX). Wii will probably be the same if Nintendo does not open itself up more.

  6. Martin Hansen

    Some people acuse PS3/360 for not being innovative, but just focusing on raw power. They say nintendo is doing something innovative, because of their controller. And I agree, the controller is certainly new and a great addition to the gaming world.

    But it is not enough! Raw power isn’t directely innovative, but it certainly allows DEVELOPERS to be innovative. PS3/360 will allow developers to create a more beliving world, more intelligent AI, advanced physics, advanced weather effects, clouds… the list goes on.

    Just take a look at one of the developer interviews/videos with the creator of Assassins creed, when the explain how the new hardware enables them to create an advanced crowd simulation. Would that be possible on the Wii? Probably not.

    But Wii will be a good 2nd console.

  7. Sonicluigi

    really I think of it this way…

    Yes… The wii is going to be next-gen… Its better than a xbox,gamecube,ps2… yadda yadda… Nintendo sacrificed perfect graphics for an attempt at mainstream appeal…

    Nintendo though what this blog fails to see is that the wii-mote is nintendo’s attempt to push the video game industry forward with innovation… Think about it… whats different from the ps1 controller to the ps3… It has the ability to tilt… and thats only after nintendo came out with something new and sony felt like it had to do something… Xbox 360’s controller is identical as well to its previous built in capiblities…

    video games need to evolve like everything else it… Televisions are getting better… Not just in how much power they have but the type of power they have…

    I’d consider the PS3 and Xbox 360 to be the best graphics based gaming you can find

    But nintendo might find the best as far as gaming… Its not just a 2nd console… I see it being first…