Nov 19, 2021

Nintendo's Birthday Week

The first two Nintendo consoles to use optical disc media have reached a milestone this week.  The Nintendo Gamecube was released in North America 20 years ago, on November 18th, 2001.  It was followed by the Nintendo Wii, which first became available in the United States exactly 15 years ago today, on November 19th, 2006.

I bought a Gamecube when I was living in Nebraska in the summer of 2002, but I didn't play it too much until many years later.  The Wii is kind of a bittersweet memory for me.  I didn't get the console when it first came out, and didn't even play one until 2010 when I saw a display at the Toys R Us on Times Square when we were in the city to see the A-ha Farewell Tour.  I enjoyed playing it at the store, and my grandparents never know what to get me for Christmas, so I asked for the Wii.  The thing that makes it bittersweet is that 2010 ended up being the last Christmas we all had together as a family when my grandfather was still alive.

Nintendo must really love to release consoles five weeks before Christmas, because in addition to the Gamecube, the Wii U console was also released in North America on November 18th.  It first appeared in 2012 and was the primary Nintendo home console until the Switch was introduced in March 2017.  The Wii U tablet controller is a bit of a hassle, and it doesn't do a great job of staying connected to Wifi, but it's still a pretty good system with a great library of virtual console games that I play often to this day.