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Dead or alive, the GameCube's a bad deal

Whether or not Nintendo has pulled the plug on the GameCube, you should buy a Wii instead.

Nintendo GameCube
Wii don't care if you're dead

Nintendo can't seem to make up its mind. The company was no longer manufacturing GameCubes or developing titles for the console, according to company spokesperson Perrin Kaplan (quoted in a GameDaily interview earlier this week). That prompted a slew of teary-eyed GameCube retrospectives and obituaries. Now comes word from Nintendo's U.K. arm (as reported at Eurogamer) that the company is "still continuing production of GameCube hardware and GameCube software."

That's enough for Kotaku to declare the 'Cube as being "still alive and well," but it's missing the real story. Whether or not factories are still manufacturing the GameCube, it's a waste of money for you to buy one. The $100 you'd pay for the six-year-old system would cover nearly half the price of a Nintendo Wii. Yes, the Wii is still hard to find, but it does offer 100 percent backward compatibility with GameCube games, controllers, and memory cards. (In fact, you'll need those older controllers and peripherals to play the GC games--the Wii's funky, motion-sensitive controller can't control GameCube games, and--most annoyingly--you can't save your progress on GameCube titles without a vintage memory card.) And let's be honest, folks: the GameCube wasn't Nintendo's finest hour. We did some digging and couldn't find more than a handful of truly great exclusive games on the console. But you can play all of them on the Wii--along with all the enticing Wii-exclusive games that will be coming in the months and years ahead on Nintendo's latest and greatest console.

Bottom line: quit worrying about exactly when the GameCube will ride into the sunset, and let's fire up Wii Sports Tennis instead. And if you really want to play your old GameCube copy of Battalion Wars afterward, you can do that, too.