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The GameCube (ゲームキューブ Gēmukyūbu?, officially called Nintendo GameCube, abbreviated NGC in Japan and GCN in North America) is a video game console released byNintendo on September 14, 2001, in Japan and November 18, 2001, in North America. It was later released worldwide in 2002. The sixth-generation console was the successor to theNintendo 64 and competed with Sony's PlayStation 2, Microsoft's Xbox, and Sega's Dreamcast.The GameCube was the first Nintendo console to use optical discs for its primary storage medium. The discs are similar to the miniDVD format, and as a result of their smaller size, the system was not designed to play standard DVDs or audio CDs. Nintendo also introduced a variety of connectivity options for the GameCube. It was the first Nintendo console to supportonline gaming, a feature that required the use of an add-on broadband or modem adapter sold separately. Game support and availability of the adapter was, however, very limited. The GameCube also supported connectivity to the Game Boy Advance, allowing players to access exclusive in-game features using the handheld as a second screen and controller.Reception of the GameCube was generally mixed. Some praised the extensive software library and high-quality games, while others criticized the console's exterior design and lack of features. The GameCube sold approximately 22 million units worldwide before being discontinued in 2007. Its successor, the Wii, was released in November 2006.