Three Nintendo Systems Share A Birthday Today

Three Nintendo Systems Share a Birthday Today

Though plenty of attention this week is on the PlayStation 4's launch last Friday, and the Xbox One arriving on the next, at the midpoint — today — is a rather significant date in video gaming history: Three Nintendo systems all released in North America on Nov. 18.

The Wii U, of course, is most recent, launching last year to kick off the next console generation. But it also shares a birthday, on this continent, with the GameCube and the Game Boy Colour.

The GameBoy Colour was, as its name implies, the first colour handheld made by Nintendo, and also the first handheld to be backward compatible, which to this day is a bedrock feature of Nintendo's portable line of hardware.

The GameCube was Nintendo's workhorse of the early 2000s, when consoles were graduating to online play and deepening their offerings of mature titles, neither of which were hallmarks of the GameCube. The uncertainty Nintendo faced in the console market with the GameCube gave rise to its bold moves with the Wii in 2006 and the DS in 2004, both lines becoming enormous sellers.

Nov. 18 was a Wednesday in 1998, and on a Sunday in 2001 and last year. It's not inconceivable that someone bought all three on their launch day. Was that someone you? We welcome your thoughts on these three very different platforms, what they represented in their time and mean today, and to you, personally.

Game Boy Colour

Launch Date: Nov. 18, 1998.

Decommissioned: 2003.

Notable Titles: Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver; The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX; The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons.


Launch Date: Nov. 18, 2001.

Decommissioned: 2007.

Notable Titles: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker; Metroid Prime; Super Smash Bros. Melee; Viewtiful Joe; Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door; Resident Evil 4.

Wii U

Launch Date: Nov. 18, 2012; currently in production.

Notable Titles: Rayman Legends; Pikmin 3; The Wonderful 101, ZombiU, Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros. U.

To contact the author of this post, write to [email protected] or find him on Twitter @owengood.


    Man, thank god the days of waiting almost a year for aussie console releases are over.

      Interesting you say that. Because I clearly remember getting a GBC for Christmas during our America trip, which I know was at the end of 1998. And they were certainly AU units that we got, not US. So it must have had a near-simultaneous release then, unlike the Cube which didn't release til the following May.

        How certain are you that they were AU units? You can't tell by the region locking because Nintendo handhelds have historically not been locked.
        EDIT: Then again, wikipedia tells me they were released quite close to each other, so never mind.

        Last edited 19/11/13 10:43 pm

          It was the AU markings on the boxes that gave it away :P

        Id be pretty pissed if i bought s 3ds from EB and it was a USA model with their AC adaptor.
        Worst wait was the Nintendo 64. 1 year after Japan!

    Child #1 grew up to be an obscenely successful yuppie. Child #2 grew up to be a quirky, misunderstood genius. Child #3 is destined to stay chained up in the basement like Sloth.

      A sloth that will build up so much pent up rage that it will go beast mode and wreck a pretty decent percentage of homes (30-50%) with a few 1st party games.

      Last edited 19/11/13 9:42 pm

        I think you're confusing it with the Wii. The Wii U is not selling anywhere near that much and I think it is unlikely to gain much of this generation's market share in the long run.

          Keep in mind, there haven't been any must have' games for the system yet, whereas the Wii launched with Wii Sports and a Legend of Zelda game.

            The Gamecube also had great exclusives, but it sold barely more than 20 million in its lifetime.
            Optimistically speaking, I see the Wii U not reaching 50 million units, and realistically I'd peg it closer to 30 million.

              If it has the games I'll get it. Sales figures just don't effect my gaming experience. That said Nintendo do have like 7 billion dollars in reserve so they aren't going bust.

                For Nintendo gamers, that's perfectly true. So long as Nintendo makes the games there will be gamers to follow, and I think that's what kept Nintendo in contention for not-last-place in the Gamecube era sales wise.
                When it comes to consoles I'm mostly a Nintendo gamer myself. I'm not sure whether I'd pick the Gamecube or the 64 as my favorite system, but I know it is between those two.

    Happy birthday to the little box that could, Gamecube... Brings back all the feels man.

      My favourite console of all time.

        And my favourite controller of all time. I salute you, you magnificent bastard!

        Last edited 19/11/13 11:31 pm

    wow... this is so relevant to us Australians... on Kotaku Australia...

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