Our attention was captured when Nintendo showed us how we would control games on their revolutionary new system. It was weird, it was white, and it was going to be fun. The system even had a cool name that most people liked. Just as everyone was getting comfortable with what the Revolution would entail, the name was changed to Wii. The Internet erupted in a flurry of polls, petitions, and lengthy discourses about the change. This is recent history, with which most of us are extremely familiar. But how did the online community react when Nintendo announced the new name of their most recent console?
On August 24th, 2000, just before Nintendo’s Space World expo, the code-name Dolphin was laid to rest. Rumors of the new console being called “Star Cube” were close, but the little, purple box would now be known as GameCube.
The Internet of the year 2000 was far more obsessed with the design of the actual hardware than with its name. “Why is there a handle?” “It looks like a rice cooker.” Others were curious about the announcement of a controller that would allow you to play games from 10 yards away. “Is Nintendo planning on giving away 72-inch TVs?”
The code-name Dolphin was hardly missed, people accepted the new name, and went on with their lives. It wasn’t too dissimilar to the names of other consoles that generation. Gamers accepted their Stations, Boxes, and Cubes while worrying more about graphics, processors, and design.
The name Dolphin lives on, however, in the form of the product number on every GameCube related item. Next time you pick up your controller, notice the number DOL-003 engraved on the bottom.
Do you remember the Dolphin? If so, please share your thoughts on the announcement of GameCube’s name in our comment section.
“So long, GameCube” is an Infendo GameCube salute and five-part series celebrating the final month before the launch of Wii.