Several company executives have spoken about GameCube on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of its launch
Twenty years ago, Nintendo GameCube was released in several territories, the home console that was one of the Big N’s biggest failures in this market, at least until the arrival of Wii U. Two decades on, we’re still wondering exactly what went wrong to prevent it from achieving similar success to the brand’s other machines, which succumbed to PlayStation 2 and the original Xbox.
It seems that the company has some idea of what might have happened, as in a unique VGC feature to mark the 20th anniversary of the US release, some of those responsible at the time have delved into the subject. And, undoubtedly, what caught our attention the most is that Nintendo believes that the purple colour hurt them against the competition.
“We suggested that purple wasn’t the best colour to start with, and Japan said they were going to use it,” says Perrin Kaplan, Nintendo’s former vice president of marketing and corporate affairs in the US. “We then pushed for black and silver because no one in the US had done anything in purple before. It’s not that you can’t put out a console in a different colour, it’s just that it was perceived as a very feminine colour. It didn’t feel masculine. I remember we were very nervous at E3 that we would get bad press just because of the colour.”
Meanwhile, Beth Llewelyn, Nintendo America’s former director of corporate communications, also insisted that it was a problem to promote it. “This was before Apple. Choosing your colour today is a statement of intent, but before that, all systems were black… even white hadn’t been used much,” she explains. “We were always looking at what Sony and Microsoft were doing as competitors, and having this purple box didn’t help much.”
Be that as it may, the fact remains that GameCube has won a place in our hearts for its personality. While not Nintendo’s favourite, the groundbreaking console has become an icon of its time, even making a mark on some of today’s biggest names, such as Xbox boss Phil Spencer.