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Was the Gamecube the final bastion for offline gaming?


ThePhleo
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What do I mean by that title?

Well, let's take a look at the transitional generation, the sixth generation of home game consoles.

We had four major consoles, the Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Gamecube.


The Dreamcast had about 30 or 40 titles that had online features, the PS2 had about 300 games with online features, I can't find a list of Xbox live compatible games but I imagine that the list is huge, but the Gamecube?

8.

It had 8 games with some sort of online functionality. Only five of those eight were actually over the internet and ONE of those five were for DLC....there are only four functionally dead Gamecube games in the entire library of 658 games.

Functionally Dead Gamecube Games (psst: Phantasy Star is still playable via private servers as well)

  1. Homeland
  2. Phantasy Star Online Episode 1 & 2
  3. Phantasy Star Online Episode 1 & 2 Plus
  4. Phantasy Star Online Episode 3: Card Revolution

Gamecube Games with DLC

  1. Jikkyo Powerful Pro Baseball 10

Gamecube Games with LAN Capabilities

  1. 1080 Avalanche
  2. Homeland (again)
  3. Kirby Air Ride
  4. Mario Kart: Double Dash

 

 

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Phantasy Star online can be played single player offline. I know because we were often having a bad connection back in those days and it would kick us offline. If it happened 3 times in a row, we would grow impatient with the wait time to connect online and just play offline 

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Member · Posted

It was the last "pure" gaming console (that is, it played games and nothing else; no paying extra for a built in DVD player most everyone by late 2001 already had if they really wanted one)...and as I often like to say, it's the "Harry Truman" of consoles...during the time it was an "active" console it was completely overshadowed by the PS2 (an over a year head start helps...though it came at the cost of the PS2 having weaker specs) and even got beat in the US by the upstart Xbox, plus the mini-discs were often criticized for not having as much room as the DVD formats on the PS2/Xbox.  BUT...after the GC was "retired" in 2007 it grew to get more and more respect and is now among the most beloved of retro consoles.  Just like how Truman was a rather unpopular President and left office with I believe to this day the lowest approval numbers of any outgoing President...yet over time he became among the most well respected Presidents of at least this century.

Fair analogy?

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Administrator · Posted
Just now, Estil said:

It was the last "pure" gaming console (that is, it played games and nothing else; no paying extra for a built in DVD player most everyone by late 2001 already had if they really wanted one)

Hmmmm...

Panasonic Q: Nintendo GameCube + DVD Player + Apple G4 Cube rip ...

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What about the Hyperscan?? But for real, even though my Wii was online, I barely did anything online with it except download VC games and play some Mario Kart a couple times. My Xbox 360 and PS3 were constantly online, even if it just meant throwing ads in my face all the time and updating games. I think an offline Wii would still provide a pretty standard Wii experience, but an offline Xbox 360 would not. I realize there are still probably 100s of Wii games with some lost online functionality though.

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Member · Posted
27 minutes ago, Estil said:

True but it cost $100 more than the GC because of it.

PS2 had a built in dvd drive, it worked for games and movies out of the box.  There was a small licensing fee to the tune of a few dollars, not $100.  Restricting dvd playback would not have been a major factor in reducing the cost of the system.

Most didn't have dvd players in 2001, PS2 was a lot of peoples first gateway onto the format.  Stand alone dvd players were still selling for $300 then, so getting a game console and a movie player combo was considered a huge value.  Keep in mind this is early 2000s, before the netflix era and a dozen other streaming services, physical movies actually mattered to many people.

Edited by fox
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Member · Posted
20 hours ago, ThePhleo said:

Well, let's take a look at the transitional generation, the sixth generation of home game consoles.

We had four major consoles, the Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Gamecube.

I did remember dinking around with Dreamcast online features.  Getting pumpkin dlc for Sonic Adventure, downloading homebrew vmu games which were pretty spiffy, and playing Chu Chu Rocket online a couple times.  I even got the keyboard, but the web browser was awful even back then.  Then I switched over to cable internet in 2000/20001, so couldn't go online dial up anymore.  There was suppose to be a rare cable internet adapter, but too little too late.  Outside of PSO, you prob weren't doing much online with the DC.

300 online games on PS2 is a shocker.  I never used the online adapter and didn't know anyone else who did.  Sure I heard about FFXI and the RE Outbreak files, but everyone had a PS2 and nobody I knew played it online.  Apparently 50 of those games still have servers online, while others have private servers or lan support.

I'd consider DC, GCN, and PS2 all offline systems with very niche' online support.  It wasn't until the Xbox and Xbox Live that online games on home consoles really became mainstream.  Xbox Live had a couple cool online games like I remember playing Star Wars Battlefront 2 at a buddy's and that was neat.  But the real game changer was Halo 2 in 2004.  Halo Multiplayer was already huge and lanning it up was a big deal, but now you could play online, it just took things to a whole new level. 

They followed that up a year later with 360 and then it was like if you get a 360, you have to get Xbox Live or you are missing out.

Edited by fox
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1 hour ago, Estil said:

True but it cost $100 more than the GC because of it.

Maybe? GameCube came out a year and a half later so they had to use a lower price to entice buyers, especially since their launch competitor was Xbox and not PlayStation.

GameCube also didn't use coltan which ended up driving the price of the PS2. 

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I was really not into gaming that generation.  I was in college for most of it and more interested in... let’s say studying.  
I eventually inherited my younger brothers PS2 when he got the PS3 and I’ll tell you, I honestly did not know it even onlined. Pretty sure my parents were on 56k until like 2010.

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I think this thread is trying to uncover something that we sense has changed but maybe is not easily explained in definite terms. Part of the discussion is when games started getting published incomplete to some extent (updates and patches would release at later dates to fix bugs or add new levels of gameplay).

I know that on Wii, there was a game breaking bug in Twilight Princess. Nintendo addressed this with a patch on the eshop

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Member · Posted
8 hours ago, Estil said:

(that is, it played games and nothing else; no paying extra for a built in DVD player most everyone by late 2001 already had if they really wanted one)

You must not have been paying attention when that period was actually happening.

As stated the PS2 was the first DVD player for a majority of people. It was also among the cheapest. It pretty much was the reason DVD vaulted ahead of VHS as quickly as it did. Not to mention it played CDs. It was everyone's dream, a single device for most of your media.

Very similar to how the PS3 was most people's first Blu-ray players. PS3 was nearly three hundred dollars cheaper than the cheapest standalone on launch, believe it or not.

There's a reason the PS2 outsold every other console in history. DVD was a huge part of it.

Edited by Tulpa
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Member · Posted
3 hours ago, Hammerfestus said:

I was really not into gaming that generation.  I was in college for most of it and more interested in... let’s say studying. 

I wasn't really into much gaming that generation either.  More interested in girls partying concerts drinking studying...yeah let's go with studying
 

24 minutes ago, Tulpa said:

You must not have been paying attention when that period was actually happening.

As stated the PS2 was the first DVD player for a majority of people. It was also among the cheapest. It pretty much was the reason DVD vaulted ahead of VHS as quickly as it did. Not to mention it played CDs. It was everyone's dream, a single device for most of your media.

Very similar to how the PS3 was most people's first Blu-ray players. PS3 was nearly three hundred dollars cheaper than the cheapest standalone on launch, believe it or not.

There's a reason the PS2 outsold every other console in history. DVD was a huge part of it.

That's true.  DVD surpassed VHS for the first time in 2002 and that was in part to the PS2.  Being able to play CDs was nifty too, you know this was before ipods and pandora and most still listened to their music on disc.

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As bad as DVD players were in pricing for the US, I read back then in Japan they cost even more.  They supposedly had even less amusing games on release there too to the point they sold out of the hardware everywhere basically in Japan because the math was in their favor.  You could pay like $300 for a PS2 in US dollars or go pay like twice that for a stand alone player that just does that and CD audio so it was a no brainer.  1/2 price movies and games in one system.

By the time I got a PS2 I already had a DVD player in the home, but it was a nice second to have in the bedroom.  Same logic applied when Circuit City was going out of business I snapped up a PS3 80GB unit, 3 games, component cables for the price of a normal PS3 system at the time ($400~) and I had avoided blu ray at that rate despite having for a short few years a LCD TV because the price was garbage.

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Not having DVD or CD playback didn't bother me, as I already had a DVD Player (and nowadays, a Blu-Ray Player). In addition, nearly everyone I knew in 2003/2004 had a DVD Player anyway even if they had a PS2. Even I, an owner of both a PS1 and PS2, didn't and still don't care much about the option to play CDs or the PS2's DVD capability. I bought them to play games, and that's what I did then and do now when turning one of them on.

After all, the point of buying a game system is to play games. So naturally, I was and still am fine with the GameCube just being a game system (especially since it has plenty of games I like). Offline gaming was fine by me as well. I had friends then who played Melee, Double Dash!!, and Sonic Heroes (among others) with me, and I still have friends now that play Melee with me occasionally.

Edited by MegaMan52
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17 hours ago, Reed Rothchild said:

OP seems like flawed logic.  The PS2 had 300 online games, and like nine billion offline ones.  What percent of PS2 players never bought the modem?  99.5%?

The vast majority of online compatible games were sports or racing. Madden 04 is an online game. So was NBA 2k5. But who was playing these games online? I played them online on Xbox 360 in 2006 but I knew no one playing online on PS2.

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Every multiplayer game I had for the PS2, aside from the Outbreak games, was fully playable offline. I remember Outbreak being almost unplayable because of the AI. It really made the complaints about your AI partner in Resident Evil 5 seem unjustified. At least in that game they would revive you, and you didn't have to carry all the key items when you only have 4 inventory slots.

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Administrator · Posted
1 hour ago, Gary Hobbesworth said:

Every multiplayer game I had for the PS2, aside from the Outbreak games, was fully playable offline. I remember Outbreak being almost unplayable because of the AI. It really made the complaints about your AI partner in Resident Evil 5 seem unjustified. At least in that game they would revive you, and you didn't have to carry all the key items when you only have 4 inventory slots.

Agree - Outbreak's AI sucked balls.

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I've said this before but I feel like the 6th gen in general was the last era of offline gaming. While games did have online capabilities it was usually just that. Playing against other people and nothing more. Meaning no boatloads of DLC that you had to buy like extra costumes, extra maps, extra weapons, etc. 80% of the game was usually focused on the offline/single player mode. The few online games that did have DLC was usually free IIRC.

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21 hours ago, Reed Rothchild said:

OP seems like flawed logic.  The PS2 had 300 online games, and like nine billion offline ones.  What percent of PS2 players never bought the modem?  99.5%?

PS2 was released before Gamecube though.

Also, if there's 300 games with online functionality (to any degree) and the PS2 had 4500 titles then that's 6.66% of the library with missing functionality.

On 7/26/2020 at 10:33 PM, phart010 said:

I think this thread is trying to uncover something that we sense has changed but maybe is not easily explained in definite terms. Part of the discussion is when games started getting published incomplete to some extent (updates and patches would release at later dates to fix bugs or add new levels of gameplay).

I know that on Wii, there was a game breaking bug in Twilight Princess. Nintendo addressed this with a patch on the eshop

I think that's kinda what I was trying to put into words.

Something changed for the worst from the PS2/Xbox/Gamecube generation to the PS3/360/Wii generation, but what actually changed isn't clear. The only thing that seems obvious to me is the focus on online driven content.

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Editorials Team · Posted

Lots of things changed.  Like Western devs - lots of them from the PC gaming scene - coming into the console scene and giving us hit after hit after hit.  The Japanese had been responsible for the majority of every* library's strongest hits before that.  Not that gen.

Bioshock, Dragon Age, Portal 2, Fallout 3, Red Dead Redemption, Call of Duty 4, Left 4 Dead, Little Big Planet, Ass Creed 2, Tomb Raider, Uncharted 2, The Last of Us, GTA V, Mass effect, Skyrim...

But Reed I don't like those games though!

Well, you're probably a grumpy old fart

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