The Nintendo GameCube. The little cube that tried so hard but just couldn’t make it, despite some very notable releases that graced it’s presence during it’s lifetime. Games such as Paper Mario 2, The Wind Waker, Resident Evil 4, Eternal Darkness and Metroid Prime helped to define the GameCube for what it was. Each of those titles were huge hits and arguably the most memorable of Nintendo’s fourth generation console, but even so, a handful of great games can only carry a system so far.
The GameCube was the first home console from Nintendo where Rare was not a significant presence. The reason for that being, of course, was Nintendo’s decision to not fully acquire the company when the opportunity arose, so Microsoft bought them instead. But what if this scenario had played out differently? If Nintendo had purchased them, then what games could we have expected to see released on the GameCube? Let’s take a look…
Rare had three very significant titles in development that were poised to see release within a year or two of the GameCube’s release. These titles were Kameo: Elements of Power, Donkey Kong Racing and Starfox Adventures. SFA was the only Rare game that ever released on the GCN, with Kameo becoming a launch title for the Xbox 360 four years later and DKR was cancelled. Both Kameo and DKR would have been huge hits on the GCN, as both were highly innovative and looked fantastic for their time.
Grabbed by the Ghoulies and Perfect Dark Zero were two other titles that were to be released within the GCN’s lifetime as well. Also, considering Banjo-Kazooie was shown off as a tech demo at the Spaceworld 2000 event, a new B-K title on the GCN was not out of the question.
Do the math and that equates to six Rare games that would have potentially seen release on the GameCube. Had each of them come to fruition, then the GCN’s misfortunes would have been quite different indeed. Nintendo has continuously stated over the years that software is the driving force behind how well hardware will sell. The GameCube had a shortage of both first and third party software, but had Rare still been a part of it’s life, then things could have turned out considerably different. You wouldn’t make a ham and cheese sandwich and leave out the cheese. Nintendo did and as a result, missed out on the software that would have undoubtedly led the GameCube to a more moderate success.