2007 Departures: 'Wii'-ding out the Nintendo GameCube

A household name since 2001, the Nintendo GameCube has now been replaced by the Wii. The GameCube was the fourth video game console by Nintendo, preceded by the Nintendo 64, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, the Nintendo Entertainment System, and the Color TV Game. Nintendo started off with the Color TV Game system in 1977. The system had six versions of the tennis game widely referred to as Pong.

The GameCube launched with 12 games, but the library grew to over 700 games by the time it was retired. Serious gamers, however, preferred the Sony PlayStation2 and the Microsoft Xbox, as the GameCube was known for having more family-friendly games.

Gaming enthusiasts weigh in on the GameCube versus Wii debate, and it seems that Wii is everything that GameCube could never be.
GameCube was criticized for its lack of games, so Nintendo aimed to have many more Wii titles available at the time of launch. During the first year, Wii did a better job of making games available, but some gamers still want more, especially from third parties. Nintendo missed out on a lot of market share because of its limited online presence with GameCube. The company is planning to remedy this with Wii, but the jury is still out on whether or not those efforts will be successful.

And a much-loved feature of Wii, next to its high tech features? The ability to download old game titles with the Virtual Console service.

Sales of Wii are expected to quickly pass the lifetime worldwide sales of GameCube. About 21.5 million GameCubes were sold. Wii plans to pass that number in 2008.

This post was written as part of a series on on 2007 departures. Read about more products, companies and people you won't see in 2008.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

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