Gallery: Is the Panasonic Q the Most Beautiful Nintendo Console Ever?

Panasonic Q
Image: Nintendo Life

This week, the Nintendo GameCube turns 20. This eye-catching system may have fought against the incredible power of the PlayStation 2, but few would say that Sony’s machine was more attractive on a purely physical level. The square GameCube, complete with its unusual travel handle, is a true icon of design and its attractive aesthetic is perhaps one of the key reasons it remains so beloved, even after two decades.

However, it is easy to forget that a even more attractive There is a variant of the GameCube, although, with reported sales of just 100,000 units, you can’t be blamed for never having seen one in person. The Panasonic Q is the continuation of Sharp’s Twin Famicom, a Nintendo system that was not actually made by Nintendo itself, but rather another licensed company, and for many collectors, it is the crown jewel of Nintendo’s fandom.

It’s easy to see why the Panasonic Q exists. The GameCube was the only system of the three major consoles of the time (PS2 and Xbox being the others) that didn’t have support for the sleek new DVD movie format that had just arrived. to the market, so by introducing a special model that did everything (including playing music CDs and MP3 CDs), Panasonic could create a profitable niche for the most perceptive Nintendo fan. In addition to the additional multimedia functionality, the Panasonic Q is clad in one of the most beautiful cases ever seen. The mirrored front panel is adorned with buttons, while the metal casing positively exudes the impression of premium AV equipment. Who wouldn’t want one of these? Well, with a retail price of ¥ 41,000 (about $ 375) compared to the ¥ 25,000 ($ 227) that was being asked for the standard GameCube at launch, the Panasonic Q was never going to be a mass market proposition, of hence the aforementioned sad sales. . The console was discontinued in late 2003.

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It’s worth noting that DVD playback was limited to Region 2 as the Panasonic Q was never sold in the west, but many importers would offer modified units that could run discs from other regions. The Q supports a wide range of GameCube accessories, with the most notable exception of the Game Boy Player, which will not fit under the system due to its different size. However, a unique Game Boy Player was made specifically for Panasonic Q and it is madly expensive these days.

The same can be said of the machine itself. Due to its superb design, DVD functionality, and low throughput, the Panasonic Q is now one of the most sought after pieces of Nintendo-related hardware. Given that it is possible to buy a second-hand GameCube for a very reasonable price (not to mention the fact that DVD players have since been replaced by Blu-ray players), there is little reason to invest in a Panasonic Q in 2021 , beyond the way it looks, but then when a console is as beautiful as this, maybe that’s the reason you need it.

Is the Panasonic Q incredibly beautiful or do you think it’s ugly? Vote in the poll below and leave a comment to tell us and the world what you think about this topic.