The Nintendo GameCube was not Nintendo’s most successful console, but it remains beloved by many, and it just celebrated its 20th anniversary. VGC ran a wide-ranging retrospective on the console, and the full thing is worth a read, but there are some notable standout sections. One of these involves the different colors that Nintendo considered before settling on purple.
As it turns out, one of the colors presented to Nintendo higher-ups was “poopy” brown. Former marketing boss Perrin Kaplan told the site about a meeting in early 2001 when this was being discussed.
“We were called in to rate which colors we liked,” Kaplan said. “There must have been 30 GameCube box samples in there and the colours ranged from ‘poopy’ brown to crazy and striking prime colors. I remember some were these dark yellow, almost skin-tone-like colors and we were like, ‘You cannot launch that! It’s so unattractive!'”
Nintendo of Japan ultimately decided that purple would be the main color of the GameCube at launch, but Nintendo of America higher-ups wondered if this would work in the West. In particular, purple was not seen as masculine enough.
“It wasn’t that you couldn’t bring out hardware that was a different color, it was just a very… ‘female’ looking color,” Kaplan said. “It just didn’t feel masculine, I think. I remember us being very nervous at E3 that we were going to get bad press purely based on the color.”
The primary color for the GameCube was purple, or “indigo,” but Nintendo also released the system in black, as well as silver for a limited-edition model.
The GameCube sold 21.74 million units worldwide over its lifetime, making it the second worst-selling piece of major Nintendo hardware after the Wii U (13.56 million units sold worldwide). It still had plenty of great games, and you can read more in GameSpot’s roundup of the best GameCube games.