To celebrate the launch of the Wii this Sunday, I am spending the week wearing a different Nintendo t-shirt each day... and presenting a new Nintendo "innovation" from the Era of the GameCube.
The Nintendo logo. Sort of boring. I don't wear this one much.
Today's GameCubeian innovation: Animal Crossing. A Japanese N64 game given a spit-and-polish for the GameCube, this game went above and beyond innovative. Animal Crossing was a community, an obsession, a lifestyle.
The real time clock and calendar gave you a reason to turn on your GameCube every day of the year and spawned insane ethical debates among fans. You could trade in-game items with your friends via obtuse passcodes. Rare codes were given out on the website and in Nintendo Power. You could plug in a GBA and unlock a "hidden" tropical island. You could plug in an eReader and scan in items and letters. And every Saturday night revealed an accoustic concert by the train station. If Animal Crossing had been released after the microphone and bongos, you can bet the game would have figured out something to do with those as well. In short, you have to go through a lot of games to equal what Animal Crossing had to offer. This one broke all the rules about what a top-selling video game could do.