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by Billy Berghammer - September 10, 2001, 5:01 am EDT

That stands for Point of Purchase up the ass! Well sort of. Akihabara is gearing up for the launch of the Nintendo GameCube…and Billy was on the scene for the setup! Complete with pics!

I stopped by Akihabara today to check out the vibe on GameCube, and see if there was any actual promotion of GameCube. 10 days ago there was barely anything visible, but now a lot has changed. Some stores have barely anything visible, but this Laox store that I went to had a truckload of GameCube stuff up. It also noted on the sign that they would begin selling the system at 7am on the 14th. Hell yeah baby…this is probably the store I’ll be camping at. Breakfast and a GameCube… word!

Japanese GameCube Launch: The wall of Nintendo lovin

Japanese GameCube Launch: Gotta catch 'em all!

Unfortunately they had no systems to preview and play any of the launch titles, but they did have displays in place of fake game cases, and posters explaining specs and showing screen shots. It was very nice to finally see POP items for GameCube all over the place. Lots of people were checking it out, smiling, and looking excited. Good news for Nintendo for sure.

Japanese GameCube Launch: Target acquired... locked and loadedJapanese GameCube Launch: The objects of your desire...

What caught my eye was a video that they were showing on a TV that showed some new game footage that I hadn’t seen before. Primarily what was impressive was the Metroid Prime and 1080 GC footage, which I took some video of (and we should have new bits from online soon). Metroid Prime in my opinion looks excellent, and flowed quickly and beautifully. I didn’t see any of the mask reflection IGN talked about…but lots of cool particle and lighting effects. The weapons look like they will be a lot of fun to blast the baddies away. 1080 is also looking nice as well. The mountains and courses in this clip were also very nice. I did notice a ramp that had a SSX red arrow look to it. Interesting if Left Field will adopt these direction markers for 1080 or not. This game also looks really impressive. There were a lot of people watching the video and oohing and ahhing.

Japanese GameCube Launch: Cube love on display

Overall I would have to say one thing to Nintendo about promotion. IT’S ABOUT TIME. I don’t understand how or why Nintendo could keep so silent about the launch of GameCube. About 2 weeks ago, unless you were a hardcore Nintendophile, you probably wouldn’t have known that Nintendo was launching a system. Even now it’s still a little too quiet for my tastes. There still seems to be a lot more promotion of Parappa, Final Fantasy X, and Zeonic Front than there is for GameCube.

Launch is only 5 days away. Keep Planet GameCube loaded at all times for round the clock coverage of the Japanese GameCube launch direct from Akihabara!

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