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So, which console should I get?

Nintendo’s GameCube, launched earlier this year, is already struggling at 3rd place in the console ‘wars’. It started off strong, but has recently dropped to 3rd place in the charts, below the Xbox.

The main problem with the machine is the format that games come on – a 8cm DVD disc. This disc can only hold 1.5GB of data, unlike full sized DVDs which the PS2 and Xbox use, which can hold 4.7GB. Because of this, larger games cannot fit on the disc. Game publishers and developers are unwilling to release their games if they have to scale them down and make sacrifices. Because of the small disc, the GameCube cannot play DVD movies. The N64’s fault was its format – the cartridge was too expensive to make – and I fear the GameCube’s format will be its downfall.

The controller is a frequent controversy – many find it too small, the controller sticks don’t feel right, and the Z button feels like it was put on at the last minute. However, the controller is ideal for younger gamers.

Enough negative points! The GameCube looks good, it’s compact and portable, it works with a Game Boy Advance and has a expansion slot for a Broadband adapter. It’s a decently powered machine; a 405MHz processor, 16MB RAM and a specially developed graphics card.

There are some excellent games, but the majority of the software seems to be aimed towards a younger target audience, ideal for children. There are some adult-orientated games though, but not many.

The GameCube has a low price-tag, and generally is good value-for- money. There are plenty of bundles, including a console and 10 games from Toys ‘R’ Us this Christmas.

A good purchase for children as their first console, but otherwise, I recommend checking out the opposition.

Last, but not least, the Xbox

The author of this fine article

is the Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in November 2000. Get in touch on Twitter @PhilipMorton.

Gentle persuasion

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