More Than You May Ever Want To Read About The Nintendo GameCube

If you’re at all interested in the video game business you’ll want to take a look at this article about the design and business decisions that went into Nintendo’s GameCube, from hardware decisions, software developer acquisitions, marketing campaigns, and the approach to multi-platform games.

This was said over 10 years ago, but man it seems poignant now.

On February 7th, 2001, former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi strongly criticized the industry for creating one game and then porting it to all three consoles.

“Now software companies are going multi-platform, running one game on lots of consoles, just to sell that little bit more. Even Sega. I can understand why the industry’s flowing this way, but, speaking for Nintendo, I can hardly welcome it,” said Yamauchi. ”When a user chooses a game, he always searches for something new and fun in a way he’s never seen before. If games on Nintendo machines are do-able on other companies’ consoles, then we’ll lose those users’ support. If we can’t succeed in separating ourselves, then we won’t win this battle. And that’s the reason why I’m not overjoyed about multi-platform tactics.”

IGN is full of videos comparing PS3 and Xbox 360 games. It’s beginning to happen with PS4 and Xbox One titles. Meanwhile, Wii-U is tanking.

Nintendo in Crisis

John Siracusa writes about Nintendo’s current mess.

My doubt is that I think we’re moving away from the age of dedicated hardware for games. I think people want less hardware in their homes, especially after a Guitar Hero fad that created corners full of plastic guitars that haven’t been touched in six years.


Cliff Bleszinski got personal about getting bullied, family, and his career at PAX East.

Amid jokes, opinions and a bit of self-affacement, the former Epic Games design director took to the stage with “Storytime with Cliff Bleszinski,” a series of stories about himself, video games and how the two have been inseparable for as long as they’ve been together.

Related: remember CliffyB’s site Tales from the Hellmouth?1 It was way back in 1999 or so – this guy was writing about bullying and prevention before it was cool.

  1. Thank you, Tales From The Hellmouth.

    Welcome to “Tales From The Hellmouth.” This website is dedicated to exposing and sharing stories of peer and administrator abuse in the public school system. You don’t have to be in school to share your stories. They could be stories from years ago. They could be stories about what happened to you today. All I ask is that they’re true. If you would like to contribute your story, please email me! Anonymity is guaranteed if requested. If you’re wondering why I’ve created this site, read this.

Jeff Rubin Interviews a Nintendo Game Counselor

When the 8-bit NES first came out, it was so popular that Nintendo ran a hotline for people who were stuck in games. At nearly any hour, you could call and reach a live “game counselor” who could help walk you through whatever level was giving you trouble. This week on The Jeff Rubin The Jeff Rubin Show, my guest is a former game counselor.

Topics include Tengen, blowing on Nintendo cartridges, game counselor training, and more.

Nintendo Affection

Today I finished Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America. Longtime Nintendo fans can skip this one because they probably already know about the history of the company. For everyone else, like many corporate stories, Nintendo in 2013 faces a whole new climate than the one that got them where they are today. They don’t have a stranglehold on distribution anymore. Developers have other options and better deals.

In other words, how does Nintendo fit into a world where you can buy Tetris for your phone for $1?1

The easy way out of this is for Nintendo to throw up their hands and declare “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!” and start making games for other platforms. On the other hand, why should Nintendo get into the red ocean of app stores? Could an official version of Dr. Mario do well for $5?

One quote that struck me had to do with how Nintendo didn’t threaten others who had used their property for Adobe Flash versions and other variations on their intellectual property.

Why not? Iwata’s explanation is commonsensical. “[I]t would not be appropriate if we treated people who did something based on affection for Nintendo as criminals.”

In the spirit of affection for Nintendo, I thought I would see if there are any apps paying tribute to Nintendo and searched for Nintendo properties in the Apple iOS App Store. I think some Nintendo titles, particularly the puzzle games, would do very well on the app store.

Others agree.

Let me be clear. This is what you find when you search for Nintendo games in the app store.

Dr. Mario


Doctor Vs. Virus


Flame Out


The Reactor


Donkey Kong

Banana Kong

Looks inspired by Donkey Kong Country.


Monkey Trouble

Looks inspired by Game & Watch.


Mario Bros

Super Squirrel Bros


This looks more like a ripoff of the Chip N’ Dales: Rescue Rangers game.


Super Island Bros


Like Adventure Island. Also from the same guy who does Super Squirrel Bros.

Adventure Island 10


Mighty Monsters


By the way, this one has a number of in-app purchases, going as high as $99, that a little kid could easily make without knowing it.


Star Fox


Wing Force


It appears that whether or not Nintendo decides to make games for iOS may be irrelevant. They’re already there. Others have already done it for them.

  1. About 6 years ago I bought Tetris for my DS Lite at around $25. That’s $25 Tetrises today! 

“Nintendo Power: Remembering America’s Longest-Lasting Game Magazine”

With Gail Tilden and Howard Phillips, names that should be familiar with you if you subscribed to Nintendo Power in the early days.

I like the idea that Nintendo Power was “a marketing vehicle, but an honest one.” I think that’s a really good description of NP.

Also, note how important it was to create a sense of community among Nintendo fans. That’s what it took for Nintendo to be successful in America.