The One with the Thoughts of Frans

The Nintendo Gamecube

As you may or may not know, the only console of the “current” generation, disregarding Xbox 360, I’ve really had some playing time with was the Playstation 2. Last week I persuaded Thomas to put his Gamecube in the living room because he hardly used it anyway.

Since then the Gamecube has been used quite frequently by the rest of us, and also by Thomas. The second controller however sucked and was broken on top of that (some kind of “GT-line” thing). A new official controller would be € 35, so I (with consent because it’s not just my money :P) decided to order the cheapest one which didn’t look like it came from the 80’s (i.e. square corners instead of rounded corners). The Piranha controller arrived today and I think I might even like it better than the official Gamecube one. Of course it has to go through some more testing, but if we’d order two more of them, we’d have four good controllers (and a reserve which isn’t very good anymore) and we’d still be 5 euros cheaper off than by buying an official one!

Nevertheless, it has all the faults of the official one. I truly don’t understand why they made the design that way. The green (A) button is huge and the other three “less important” action buttons are just small (less important my ass with the exception of racing games). Every time I’m pressing some button a bit too enthusiastically I press the green one instead. I think this is just a case of “not being like the PSX” gone wrong. But perhaps other disagree with me, who knows. It starts happening less frequently now, but it still strikes me as very unintuitive.

Most importantly however, the low resolution works horrible. I remember that back in 2001/2002 the only reason I preferred playing Tony Hawk 3 on the Playstation 2 was the controller. Seriously. The Dual Shock 2 is superior to everything else, except perhaps a wireless version of it. Already on the 2001/2002 P3 1GHz Tony Hawk 3 was superior in every aspect, except that I never bothered to buy a good gamepad. High resolution, practically no loading times and a much clearer image.

As said before, the Xbox 360 currently looks about the same as my 1.5 years old laptop. So if PC gaming decreases it’s because of one thing only in my opinion: copy protection. Starforce 2, SafeDisk 4… they all seriously fuck up your computer.

Ah well, it’s still a fun machine. But only now near the end and the parts and games cost much less. Would this (now old) console persuade me to by a next-gen one? Nah, at best it convinced me to get a next-gen in 3 or 4 years…

Console and handheld are somewhat related. I was surprised to learn that Opera will be available on the Nintendo DS.


  1. As you may know, I am a huge fan of GameCube. At the time I believe I own a total of six controllers for the system (three wireless and three wired, with varied usage due to battery availability).

    I like the system for three reasons:

    * It’s small and relatively quiet compared to the XBox and original PS2 (at the time my family owns the thinner version).
    * The games are better overall, at least for my interest.
    * The system is cheaper.

    At the time I play a lot of Halo 2 online, simply because the GC lacks online gaming playing. Hopefully with the Revolution this will all change.

    February 15, 2006 @ 22:46Permalink
    Ethan Poole

  2. There’s a reason I prefer Joint Operations to most other online shooters (besides the great gameplay). I do not have to find the CD-ROM from my pile of games. Even if alphabetically categorised (as they are) it’s friggin’ annoying to get it for anything else than installing. Games which don’t even work if you own them legally if you have Deamon Tools installed deserve a boycot. They should warn you about it like with CD’s. Ah well, last game I bought was quite a while ago, next game I’ll buy will probably be some kind of cheap old good Gamecube title. Perhaps Need for Speed Underground. I enjoyed the title on the PC years ago, a living room revival couldn’t hurt. Seriously, loading times on consoles are killing me, although they’re bearable.

    Perhaps if you only require your PC as an upgraded text formatting/internet reading machine you don’t need very much, but to do anything somewhat serious (from CAD to 3D animating to compiling software) you need a good computer (with a good graphical card for the first two). You only have to extend that with a good soundcard and then you have a good gaming system.

    So basically it comes down to living room integration. But living room integration is actually annoying because other people can’t watch television at the same time… unless you put it on like the other side of the room, but then you could as well just put your computer there and use it for gaming when the time is right. But to not kill PC-gaming they should get rid of copy protections which fuck with your system.

    February 15, 2006 @ 23:20Permalink

  3. I gave up PC gaming when I decided to buy a Mac. 😉

    February 16, 2006 @ 2:30Permalink
    Ethan Poole

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