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Nintendo: GameCube Almost Had A LCD Monitor Add-On (& It Was Also A Cube)

The Nintendo GameCube was a unique little console. Its compact design and sturdy carrying handle made it surprisingly portable compared to its competition. And thanks to its fair share of wacky add-ons that altered the console's functions, such as the Game Boy player, it was incredibly versatile. But as it turns out, one more add-on was originally planned for the Nintendo GameCube.


In 2002, Nintendo revealed a prototype for an LCD monitor add-on for the GameCube. This five-inch screen sat directly on the console and featured a 4:3 aspect ratio displaying a 320 x 420 resolution. Although not impressive by today's standards, its specs were on par with other small screens at the time. And seeing the latest console Mario game in a portable package would have undoubtedly been an impressive site to behold.

Nintendo also planned to utilize the add-on's tiny screen for its first-party games in some creative ways. From LAN parties to card games, the Nintendo GameCube LCD monitor was set to do it all. Although this unique add-on never reached consumers, some old footage was recently unearthed to give gamers a glimpse at what could have been.


Even more portability

In footage previously thought to be lost, media executive Adam Doree shows off the Nintendo GameCube LCD screen prototype at E3 2002. The footage showcases the then-unreleased "Super Mario Sunshine" being played on the tiny screen. Additionally, the video revealed some of Nintendo's big plans for the add-on.


Accompanying the gameplay footage was an interview with Nintendo legend Satoru Iwata, in which he discussed the prototype add-on. Iwata noted that the add-on would be useful for those who didn't have access to a screen. But he also said the add-on could function as a multiplayer tool.

Iwata noted the possibility of gamers meeting up locally and connecting their LCD-equipped GameCubes. This would give each player their own screen, making for a better multiplayer experience. And considering the local party multiplayer game "Super Smash Bros. Melee" ended up being the best-selling title on the console, the idea very well could have worked.

Iwata also noted that the add-on would work with card games, as thanks to the individual screens, players could conceal their hand from the other player. Iwata even revealed that SEGA developed a card battle game for the add-on based on "Phantasy Star Online." Although, footage of the game was not shown.


It's unfortunate for Nintendo enthusiasts that the LCD screen add-on for the GameCube did not come to fruition. But anyone dead set on the idea can always build their own to make the Nintendo GameCube the ultimate 2000s-era portable gaming machine.