Nintendo GameCube Almost Got An Official LCD Screen In 2002
The Nintendo GameCube was a weird little console, but that's what made its add-ons and peripherals so interesting. One of these was its planned official LCD screen, which never came to fruition. Nintendo revealed plans for the LCD screen during its presentation at E3 2002, with attendees able to view an uncut video presentation featuring Shigeru Miyamoto, Satoru Iwata and Bill Trinen. In the video, after the crew spent time talking about Wind Waker and Metroid Prime, Iwata revealed that they had one last surprise to show: a first-party LCD screen designed to attach to the top of the console and make it even more portable than it already was.
Measuring just five inches across with a 4:3 ratio, and a resolution of just 320×240, the screen is tiny by today’s standards, but was passable enough by 2002 standards. None of this ever came to pass, but it was interesting to hear Iwata say that peripherals like this convinced Nintendo to install digital output, itself a forgotten but amazing aspect of the hardware, for the GameCube. He even mentioned that he had met with Sega's Yuji Naka about the possibility of making Phantasy Star Online a portable game to make the most out of this unofficial screen attachment.
While Nintendo GameCube’s LCD screen never saw the light of day, other companies have released various screens of varying quality for the console. A higher cost of production for the LCD screen might have been the key reason why Nintendo ditched their plans for an official release. Regardless, it’s still neat to imagine a GameCube era where you could have grabbed your console and settled down to play your favorite games, complete with your own little digital LCD screen.