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Gallery: Is The Panasonic Q The Most Goshdarn Beautiful Nintendo Console Of All Time?


Panasonic Q
Picture: Nintendo Life

This week, the Nintendo GameCube turns 20. This eye-catching system might have struggled in opposition to the unimaginable would possibly of the PlayStation 2, however few would argue that Sony’s machine was extra engaging on a purely bodily stage. The boxy GameCube, full with its uncommon journey deal with, is a real design icon and its interesting aesthetics are maybe one of many key causes it stays so beloved, even after 20 years.

Nevertheless, it is easy to overlook that an much more engaging variant of the GameCube exists – though, with reported gross sales of simply 100,000 models, you may’t be blamed for having by no means seen one within the flesh. The Panasonic Q follows on from Sharp’s Twin Famicom – a Nintendo system that wasn’t really manufactured by Nintendo itself, however one other firm beneath licence – and for a lot of collectors, is the crown jewel of Nintendo fandom.

It is simple to see why the Panasonic Q exists. The GameCube was the one system out of the three primary consoles of the period (PS2 and Xbox being the others) which did not characteristic help for the flamboyant new DVD film format which had simply hit the market, so, by introducing a particular mannequin that did every little thing (together with the playback of music CDs and MP3 CDs), Panasonic may doubtlessly carve out a worthwhile area of interest for the extra discerning Nintendo fan. Along with the extra media performance, the Panasonic Q is clad in probably the most downright beautiful shells ever seen. The mirrored entrance panel is festooned with buttons, whereas the steel casing positively exudes the impression of a premium piece of AV tools. Who would not need considered one of these? Effectively, with a retail worth of ¥41,000 (round $375) when in comparison with the ¥25,000 ($227) being requested for the usual GameCube at launch, the Panasonic Q was by no means going to be a mass-market proposition, therefore the aforementioned dismal gross sales. The console was discontinued on the shut of 2003.

It is value noting that DVD playback was restricted to Area 2 because the Panasonic Q was by no means offered within the west, however many importers would supply modified models that would run discs from different areas. The Q helps a wide variety of GameCube equipment, with essentially the most notable exception being the Recreation Boy Participant, which does not match beneath the system resulting from its totally different footprint. Nevertheless, a novel Recreation Boy Participant was manufactured particularly for the Panasonic Q and is insanely costly today.

The identical could be mentioned of the machine itself. As a consequence of its beautiful design, DVD performance and low manufacturing run, the Panasonic Q is now probably the most sought-after items of Nintendo-related {hardware}. Provided that it is attainable to select up a second-hand GameCube for a really affordable worth (to not point out the truth that DVD gamers have since been supplanted by Blu-ray gamers), there’s little purpose to spend money on a Panasonic Q in 2021, past the way in which it appears – however then, when a console is as lovely as this, maybe that is all the explanation you want.

Is the Panasonic Q drop-dead beautiful, or do you suppose it is ugly? Vote within the ballot beneath and depart a remark to inform us, and the world, your ideas on this subject.

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