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Nintendo GameCube
Nintendo GameCube
A purple Nintendo GameCube model.
Developer(s) Nintendo
Release Date(s) Japan
September 14, 2001
North America
November 18, 2001
Europe
May 3, 2002
Australia
May 17, 2002
Discontinued:
2007[1]
Colors Purple
Silver
Black
Units Shipped Worldwide: 21.74 million[2]

Japan: 4.04 million[2] North America: 12.94 million[2] Europe & Australia: 4.77 [2]

Best-selling game Super Smash Bros. Melee, 7.09 million worldwide[3]

The Nintendo GameCube (ニンテンドーゲームキューブ Nintendō Gēmukyūbu) is a video game console developed and released by Nintendo initially in 2001. The first Nintendo home console to utilize optical discs, the GameCube faced competition in Michrosoft's Xbox and Sony's PlayStation 2.[4]

The GameCube, unlike its competitors, lacked the ability to play DVDs as well as a mainstream online system. While the Cube had one that worked only a few games, this paled in comparison to its competition's online services.

History Edit

Codenamed "Dolphin," the Nintendo GameCube uses the model numbers of DOL-001 and DOL-101.[5] The Dolphin was to outclass the Nintendo 64's program-ability, allowing it to be more affordable and more balanced overall than its predecessor.[6] GameCube NR Readers were sent out to developers during the production of the Nintendo GameCube for developers to beta test the Cube.

At launch, the GameCube used more modern advertising when compared to the Nintendo 64. The system's slogan was "Born to Play," and the system's logo was depicted in these commercials. Typically, it was a small cube moving along the design on the logo as a voice whispers "GameCube."[7][8]

When the GameCube finally launched, it was not nearly as successful as Nintendo's previous consoles, especially the Nintendo 64.[9] Sales were trailing along Sony's PlayStation 2[10] and even the Cube finished behind Microsoft's Xbox console.

Technical specifications Edit

  • Central processing unit:
    • 486 MHz IBM "Gekko" PowerPC CPU
    • PowerPC 750CXe-based core
    • 180 nm IBM copper-wire process, 43 mm² die, 4.9 W dissipation
    • Roughly fifty new vector instructions
    • 32-bit ALU
    • 64-bit FPU (1.9 GFLOPS, usable as 2 × 32-bit SIMD)
    • 64-bit enhanced PowerPC 60x front side bus to GPU/chipset, 162 MHz clock, 1.3 GB/s peak bandwidth
    • 64 kB (32 kB I/32 kB D) L1 cache (8-way associative), 256 kB on-die L2 cache (2-way associative)
    • 1125 DMIPS (dhrystone 2.1)
  • System memory:
    • 43 MB total non-unified RAM
    • 24 MB MoSys 1T-SRAM (codenamed "Splash") main system RAM, 324 MHz, 64-bit bus, 2.7 GB/s bandwidth
      • 3 MB embedded 1T-SRAM within "Flipper"
    • Split into 1 MB texture buffer and 2 MB framebuffer
      • 10.4 GB/s texture peak bandwidth, 7.6 GB/s framebuffer peak bandwidth, ≈ 6.2 ns latency
    • 16 MB DRAM used as buffer for DVD drive and audio, 81 MHz, 8-bit bus, 81 MB/s bandwidth
  • Connectivity:
    • 4 controller ports, 2 memory card slots
    • Analog AV Out: interlaced composite video, S-Video (NTSC models only), and RGB SCART (PAL models only), stereophonic analog audio
    • Digital AV Out (DOL-001 only): interlaced or progressive scan YCBCR video, decoded to YPBPR using a DAC chip inside component video and D-Terminal cables, ** stereophonic I²S audio (never officially utilized)
    • Resolutions: 480i, 576i, 480p
    • High-speed serial ports: 2
      • Serial Port 1 is reserved for a broadband adapter or modem adapter
      • Serial Port 2 is unused
    • High-speed parallel ports: 1 (reserved for the Game Boy Player)
    • Power supply output: 12 volts DC; 3.25 amperes
    • Physical Measurements: 150 × 161 × 110 mm / 5.9 × 6.3 × 4.3 in (width × depth × height)
  • Graphics processing unit:
    • 162 MHz "Flipper" LSI (co-developed by Nintendo and ArtX, acquired by ATI)
    • 180 nm NEC eDRAM-compatible process
    • 8 GFLOPS
    • 4 pixel pipelines with 1 texture unit each
    • TEV "Texture EnVironment" engine (similar to Nvidia's GeForce-class "register combiners")
    • Fixed-function hardware transform and lighting (T&L), 20+ million polygons in-game
    • 648 megapixels/second (162 MHz × 4 pipelines), 648 megatexels/second (648 MP × 1 texture unit) (peak)
      • Peak triangle performance: 20,250,000 32-pixel triangles/s raw and with 1 texture and lit
        • 337,500 triangles a frame at 60 fps
        • 675,000 triangles a frame at 30 fps
    • 8 texture layers per pass, texture compression, full scene anti-aliasing
    • 8 simultaneous hardware light sources
    • Bilinear, trilinear, and anisotropic texture filtering
    • Multi-texturing, bump mapping, reflection mapping, 24-bit z-buffer
    • 24-bit RGB/32-bit RGBA color depth
      • Hardware limitations sometimes require a 6r+6g+6b+6a mode (18-bit color), resulting in color banding.
  • Video Modes:
    • 640×240 interlaced (240i) or progressive scan (240p) - 60 Hz
    • 640×480 interlaced (480i) or progressive scan (480p) - 60 Hz
    • 640×576 interlaced (576i) - 50 Hz
  • Audio:
    • Integrated audio processor: Custom 81 MHz Macronix DSP
      • Instruction memory: 8 kB RAM, 8 kB ROM
      • Data memory: 8 kB RAM, 4 kB ROM
      • 64 channels 16-bit 48 kHz ADPCM
      • Dolby Pro Logic II multi-channel information encoded within stereophonic output
  • Storage media:
    • Panasonic-developed CAV miniDVD-like 8 cm optical disc, 2.000 MB/s–3.125 MB/s transfer rate, 128 ms average access time, 1.5 GB capacity
    • Memory cards of varying sizes for saved game storage

References Edit

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