The Nintendo GameCube (ニンテンドーゲームキューブ Nintendō Gēmukyūbu?), often abbreviated as GCN, is Nintendo's fourth home video game console and is part of the sixth generation console era. The hardware system is the most compact, and second-cheapest after Sega's Dreamcast, of the sixth generation. It is the successor to the Nintendo 64/64DD and the predecessor to the Nintendo Wii. The console was released on September 14, 2001 in Japan; November 18, 2001 in North America; May 3, 2002 in Europe; and May 17, 2002 in Australia. The GameCube marks the first (and so far the only) time Nintendo came in third during a console gen, with only 21.74 million units sold worldwide, putting it just a couple million behind the original Xbox.

The Nintendo GameCube Optical Disc is the medium for the Nintendo GameCube, created by Matsushita. It is a mini-DVD that stores up to 1.4 GB of data. The reason for the mini-DVDs was to prevent unauthorized copying and to avoid licensing fees to the DVD Consortium. It was Nintendo's first non-cartridge storage method for systems released in North America and Europe. Some games which contain large amounts of voice acting or pre-rendered video were released on two discs; however, only twenty-five titles have been released on two discs, and no games require three or more discs.

An accessory titled the Game Boy Player was released in 2003, allowing Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games to be played on the GameCube. With the release of the Collector's Edition disk and the Game Boy Advanced adapter, the GameCube also plays more Zelda games than any other Nintendo system.

The GameCube's successor, the Wii, has backwards compatibility with all GameCube games, meaning that despite being a generation earlier, GameCube games can still be played on the Wii. This does not apply to Wiis produced from late 2011 onwards, as these later models removed all Gamecube backwards compatibility due to production costs, as well as GCN peripheral inputs.

Twilight Princess Controller

The scrapped Special Edition Controller Scheme

In 2011, five years after the release of Twilight Princess, photographs emerged of a special edition controller that would have been released with the game. Its appearance was based on Link's apparel in Twilight Princess, featuring a green and brown color scheme and an image of Link on the left handle. Additionally, the controller featured a large shield in place of the Start button, and an ornamental arm guard like those Link wears in the game on the right handle. The controller was designed by Nubytech, the same company that designed the special edition controller for Resident Evil 4, but Nintendo decided against shipping the controller for unknown reasons.

Zelda games released on the Nintendo GameCube

Related non-Zelda games released on the NintendoGameCube