Skip to Content

Why Did The Nintendo GameCube Fail?

*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.


The GameCube had promised to bring something extraordinary. And it was capable of 480p when hooked up with the right cables. With the launch of the GameCube, Nintendo entered the gaming industry for the very first time and people were expecting a lot from them.

So why did the Nintendo GameCube fail?

The Gamecube’s failure was a result of timing and competition. The Gamecube was released just months before the first Xbox was and the PS2 was released just a year prior. Ultimately the competition from these two powerhouse consoles was too much for the Gamecube to handle. 

The Gamecube is still popular today in its own right and it currently costs more to buy a used Gamecube than it does to buy either the PS2 or Xbox as the games that Nintendo releases are often timeless and well loved by many people. 

If you would like to know more about why the Nintendo GameCube failed, you will want to keep reading this article. You can also watch the video below if you prefer. 

Are you a huge Nintendo fan? Then you have to check out the Mario and Nintendo gear that you can get. Whether you want a Mario wallet, a Nintendo sweatshirt, or a classic NES hat there are plenty of choices to choose from. You can find them all by clicking here.

Paladone Nintendo NES Cartridge Retro Drink Coasters for Game Lovers - Super Mario Bros Accessories

Do you love Nintendo? Then you have to check out this amazon NES cartridge drink coaster set!

This set includes 8 double sides drink coasters that look just like the classic NES cartridges.

This set is a perfect gift for the gamer in your life!

Reasons why the Gamecube failed

The GameCube was able to earn Nintendo a small profit, but it lost the Nintendo sizeable market share and earned third place in terms of hardware sales. This is the reason why the game has earned the title “A Commercial Failure.” Below are a few things that contributed to the game’s failure.

No Online Availability

The no-online presence had taken the GameCube away from “Being the Best” and that’s why they have earned a failure tag. The game was supposed to compete with Xbox and PlayStation at the time of the release, but couldn’t stand out in the competition.

The PlayStation 2 followed suit with the online presence, requiring the purchase of an adapter, but all the online services were absolutely free. On the other hand, Xbox live services were sophisticated and this is why PlayStation was able to compete with them and earned the “Deserving Respect.”

Many of the game lovers considered “No online presence” as a missing feature and that’s why they preferred Playstation and Xbox over Nintendo’s gaming console.

Nowadays, Nintendo is seriously pursuing online gaming, because the launch of GameCube is still haunting them and will haunt them for a long time.

Poor Launch Title

Nintendo was always famous for launching the games with the title “Mario Bros” and this is why people loved to buy the game. But, when they launched the GameCube, they didn’t include the game bundle in the title name. The game Super Mario 64 was available at the launch to be purchased separately.

Instead of launching with the name “Luigi’s Mansion”, the Super Mario 64 was always a better choice for Nintendo. The “Luigi’s Mansion” name wasn’t that appealing to adult gamers, and all those who were looking for the “Super Mario 64” ended up being disappointed.

At the time of game launching, the system also launched “Wace Race, Super Monkey Ball, and Star Wars.” Honestly, all the games were excellent. However, none of them reached the popularity they should have reached.

The Controllers

The GameCube controllers can’t be recognized as a complete failure, but they were not up to the mark if we compare the controllers of the Nintendo Gaming Console with Playstation 2 and Xbox.

The controllers of the game were originally designed for the game “Smash Bros”, but you can run them with other titles as well. But, the “C” stick of the controller wasn’t as precise as the PS2 and Xbox’s analog stick.

When talking about the “Z” button, the button wasn’t replicated on both sides, which means that the GameCube control pad was missing the “Shoulder Button” found on the competitor’s controller. Finally, the design of the “Nintendo Gaming Controller”. When compared to Microsoft and PS2, Nintendo’s console wasn’t as sleek and professional looking.

But, the build quality of the Nintendo GameCube was relatively higher than both of the big giants.


In the gaming world, video games are no longer perceived as toys. Video games are now considered as a “hobby” to be enjoyed by everyone. Unfortunately, the GameCube opposed this type of “Advertising” before the launch of the game and this is why they ended up “Having an appearance of a toy rather than a serious gaming console.”

Despite beating the PS2 in terms of powerful hardware, the size of the gaming console was small and the choice of selecting the “Purple” color at the time of launch was slightly a poor decision.

The colorful representation of the “Gaming Console” at the launch time added the perception that the “GameCube was a toy.” And this might be the reason why most people didn’t take the console seriously.

For our team, aesthetics are always important. Whether it’s a video game, or something else, if the aesthetics aren’t good, no one is going to buy the product for sure.

The Lack of a DVD Player

It may seem unimportant today, but when the game was launched, the lack of a DVD player caused the console to hit a severe setback in sales. The launch of PS2 with the DVD player totally outsmarted Nintendo at that time, and with the option of playing the DVD movie on the console, nobody opted for the Nintendo gaming console.

Not only PS2, but the Xbox technology also introduced the DVD player. Nintendo, opting for their microdisk at that time wasn’t a great move because if you’re not going up with the technology, you’re going to face failure and Nintendo had learned that.

The generation at that time welcomed DVD player gaming consoles, and this is the reason why PS2 and Xbox had made a lot more sales compared to Nintendo.


So, in conclusion, the GameCube’s failure contributed to the fact that it couldn’t be played online. It didn’t have a DVD player, and the appearance made it look like a toy, rather than a video game. It also couldn’t make enough sales to compete with PlayStation and Xbox. All of these things played a major part in Nintendo’s failure to keep the GameCube alive.