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gamecube vs xbox

GameCube vs. Xbox Original: Full Comparison

Are you planning to go down a trip to memory lane and get yourself a retro console, but are confused about which one to get? Or are you trying to settle a debate with a friend over GameCube vs. Xbox Original

Well, in either case, we’ve got your back. In this article, we’re going to compare the two retro consoles thoroughly and help you make an informed decision.

In this guide, we will talk about:

  • GameCube vs. Xbox: Compared Across All Categories
  • FAQs About GameCube and Xbox Original
  • Our Verdict

Let’s get going.

GameCube vs. Xbox: Compared Across All Categories

Let’s compare the two classic consoles categorically.

Game Library

The first category in GameCube vs Xbox Original is the game library. The success of a console depends on its game library. With almost 1000 games, Xbox surely has the more impressive multiplayer titles with games like Halo 2, Doom 3, and Tom Clancy’s: Splinter Cell in the mix. Its huge variety of games, combined with the thrill of playing them with friends, made Xbox a success. But what about GameCube?

Well with just 653 games, Nintendo’s GameCube surely didn’t have the biggest game library, but its exclusives still hold a fond place in a lot of gamers’ hearts. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Metroid Prime, and Super Smash Bros. were some of the best entries in Nintendo’s biggest franchises.

Power and Hardware

On paper, the original Xbox leaves GameCube biting the dust as it has an Intel Celeron 733 running at 733MHz. Combine that with its 233-MHz graphics processor and 64MB of total memory, the Xbox comes on top.

The GameCube is significantly smaller in size as compared to the Xbox, but it still packs a punch. Powered by PowerPC 750 running at 500MHz, GameCube has better thermals as it produces 1/3th the heat produced by the higher-powered Xbox.

But raw power isn’t everything, consoles need better software to optimize all this power to provide a smooth gaming experience.

Operating System

Operating system is yet another super-essential category in the GameCube vs Xbox Original comparison. Based on a version of Microsoft Windows, the Xbox ran on the “Xbox System Software”. Many believed that the original Xbox was bottlenecked because it had a slightly better performance than the GameCube despite having significantly better hardware. In terms of support, Microsoft ended the Xbox’s support on March 2, 2009.

Powerwise Xbox was the champ. But running on “Nintendo Operating System”, the GameCube was better designed to utilize its less powerful CPU. The GameCube was able to handle more polygons as compared to the Xbox, that is, its GPU was notably more efficient than the Xbox’s. This proved that despite having less power, the GameCube definitely came with better software. Nintendo ended GameCube’s support two years earlier than Xbox in February 2007.


The original Xbox shipped with a very bulky controller. Nicknamed “The Duke”, the 431g oversized controller was not very well received. It had a total of 10 buttons, 2 analog triggers, and 2 analog sticks. The Duke won the Guinness World Record for “The Biggest Controller” in 2008.

On the other hand, GameCube’s controller is considered one of the best controllers of all time. It excelled in every category the Xbox’s controller lacked. It only had 8 buttons, hence less complexity. It weighed significantly lighter at just 192.8g, and its button layout was more convenient. The controller was overall more comfortable and felt right in the hand.


The original Xbox was launched at $299 back in 2001, and 300 bucks meant serious money back then. So gamers had huge expectations from the console. And it’s safe to say that the Xbox wasn’t a disappointment. Sure, it had its shortcomings but the immense library of games, filled with exciting multiplayer games made its money worth.

The GameCube was launched at $199. The smaller size and inferior hardware played a role in making it $100 cheaper than the Xbox. However, the console proved its worth as it performed similarly to the Xbox with its better software optimization. The exclusive titles of GameCube also made it a better bang for the buck.

Today, you can pick up an original Xbox for just $140 and the Nintendo GameCube for $120. The current prices of the two consoles also show that the GameCube held its value more.


Both consoles have their pros and cons. But they managed to create a huge fanbase for themselves that still loves to game on these consoles to this day.

It won’t be right to say that the Xbox has aged better than the GameCube or vice versa. Gamers love the exclusive titles of the GameCube and the controller it came with. And the nostalgia they get from remembering their multiplayer Xbox lobbies.

The GameCube has aged better in terms of holding its monetary value but both consoles have created such a massive legacy for themselves that they’ll always hold a special place in gamers’ hearts.

Exterior Design

Microsoft’s original Xbox was very true to its name and had a “boxy” design element.  It was a big black rectangle that was compared to Betamax VCRs. It had more thickness and width than the GameCube. How it looked is subjective but it was definitely better than having a purple cube in your room.

Just like Xbox, the Nintendo GameCube was also very true to its name – it was a cube. The GameCube stood apart from the rest of the consoles due to its innovative design. The “cuby” design element made the console distinguishable, but that wasn’t enough, the GameCube also came with a variety of different colors from indigo to orange making it stand out from the competition.

Overall Experience

Both consoles provided a different overall experience, if you liked playing with your friends then Xbox was your thing. If you liked single-player games more then you preferred GameCube more. 

Overall, the gaming experience of GameCube was better because its controller was more comfortable and the console itself consumed less power while being more reliable. 

But the multiplayer support of Xbox made it very memorable. Combine that with better performance and graphics, playing Halo with your friends after school was something we all looked forward to.

FAQs – GameCube vs Xbox Original

Let’s answer some of the hot questions about this topic.

When did the original Xbox and GameCube come out?

Both consoles were released more than 20 years ago. The Nintendo GameCube came out on 14th September 2001 while the Microsoft Xbox came just a couple of months later on 15th November 2001.

Was the GameCube a failure?

Nintendo only sold 22 million GameCubes, which is less than the 24 million Xbox Microsoft sold. It finished third in terms of Nintendo’s hardware sales. Nintendo also lost a considerable market share due to the poor sales of GameCube.  All of that resulted in the GameCube being termed as a commercial failure.

Does the Xbox Original have better graphics than the GameCube?

The Xbox original has a slight edge on graphics as compared to the GameCube. It is rightly so because the graphics processor of the original Xbox was 233MHz while GameCube’s was only 162MHz.

Was the GameCube the most powerful console?

The GameCube was not the most powerful console. It came with less powerful hardware due to its small size. However, it still managed to be neck to neck with the higher-spec Xbox.


We hope this GameCube vs Xbox Original comparison has made things clear for you. But remember, at the end of the day it all comes down to personal preference. No matter which console is more powerful or which one looks better. You will always select the console you think has better games. So pick one and start gaming!

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