Did Purple Hurt the GameCube?

The GameCube is a great system. The games that have graced it are some of the best ever. But at the end of this cycle, I’m left wondering. Why did it place third? Did purple hurt it’s sales and give the brand a bad image from the start? Granted, I know a lot more than just a color goes into a successful product, but maybe it did have an adverse effect.

Penny for your thoughts?


  1. I think the color is a very very important thing and purple just doesn’t work for teens and adults at least in the US and EU.
    In my opinion it looks great, but most people I’ve talked to mentioned the color as the first downside of the GC…..

  2. I think this had a significant reason in the saggy sales of the cube. If the default color was black or silver I have no doubt that this generation Nintendo sales would look significantly different. Also the controller looks a bit too bright/candy like for most. It’s sad to think this would effect sales, but the majority of people are quick to pass judgment and make assumptions based on things like the consoles color. Image is very important for the majority of people and the cubes first impression left some of them wondering who exactly this console was made for.

  3. The color is important… and purple sucks.
    I’ve bought the cube when i found the black one

  4. No – a purple GC didn’t ‘hurt’ GC.

    I can see what people are saying from a presentational view ie how the system is percieved. But really, if GC had the breadth and range of games of the PS2 would the colour of the system have mattered? I think not.

    The PS2 had generally been seen as an ugly beast but that did little to impact sales in any negative way.

    The key reason why GC fared so poorly was that it first launched in Sept 2001 whereas PS2 first launched in Mar 2000. ie a full 18 months (year-and-a-half) AFTER the Sony machine. That’s just too late. There’s also the fact that Nintendo suddenly found themselves competing for 2nd place with MS with their XBox.

    Hopefully Nintendo won’t make the same mistake and will get the timing of the launch right with Rev.

    After all, look at the phenomenal sales of the DS: marketed well and timed perfectly just before thanksgiving.

  5. Different people look for different things in games. While we can appreciate games like Zelda and Metroid, most gamers just want to blow shit up and watch blood fly around.

  6. Yes, Purple did hurt the GameCube; it supported the kiddy image associated with Nintendo. You just need to look at how Nintendo pushed ASAP the black version and then the silver one (to bad we never got the spice color in North America). And after the silver came out, most of the marketing from Nintendo featured it.

    The purple version was a bold identity statement, but it didn’t work out.


  7. The purple GC ‘hurt’ Nintendo’s image yes, but did it affect the buying decision of gamers?

    In other words, if you were interested in a GC exclusive would you not buy a GC simply because it was purple?

    Sounds a bit irrational to me (but then you gamers can be quite an irrational lot).

    And there was always the black GC.

    In any case, hopefully with the release of Rev we can put these arguments behind us.

    No doubt we’ll find something else to argue about – prob. the Rev controller!

    Maybe in 4 years time we’ll be arguing: did the Rev’s controller harm Nintendo’s chances?

  8. Yes, For mainstreamers who know nothing about what they buy, they see the purple color and the lower price and think its just a toy.

    Somebody on IGN said its like the big 3 switched consoles right before E3. The PS3 is so big and powerful it seems more like a new xbox. The revolution is so sleek and “sexy” as they call it it should be the next playstation. And the 360 is so awkward with its unusual shape and oversized and overlit power button, it seems like it should be the successor to the gamecube.

  9. It was Indigo…

    I bought the Jet black one, but Indigo was okay, too.

  10. I think the 360’s case looks kinda cool. It seems sorta familiar, though.

  11. i think that people who care about color and look would not like the gamecube…i dont like the purple my self but i am a big nintendo fan

  12. I think color does go along way. I bought a black one, and when they released the silver one sales went up a bit. A blue DS and all of sudden sales went up 80%. Color defentley helps, I hope the Revoluion comes in all those colors they had at E3, I want that lime green one for some reason.

  13. Wasn’t the GB Color originally launched as a purple machine?

    And delayed the introduction of GBA because GB Color was selling so well?

  14. “I want that lime green one for some reason.”
    So do I, it’s like cool and quirky at the same time.

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