What a wonderful world Spaceworld is!
What is the Nintendo Spaceworld Show?
The Nintendo Space World show is an annual event held by Nintendo to show off its games and new technology. Nintendo consistently holds its own event, rather than show anything during the Tokyo Game Show.
Didn’t it used to be called Shoshinkai?
Actually, it is still called “Shoshinkai.” This is the Japanese name for the show.
When was it?
August 24-26, 2000
Where was it held?
Nintendo held Spaceworld at the Nippon Convention Center, also known as the Makuhari Messe.
What was the importance of Spaceworld 2000?
Spaceworld was a monumental moment for Nintendo, in that it introduced the world to the Nintendo GameCube. Prior to the show, almost nothing was known about the system, yet Nintendophiles all over the world were eagerly anticipating any news about Nintendo’s next-system.
A large part of it was that the N64 has been slowing down fast (sadly) and overall is lacking compared to the success of Sony’s PSX. Any news of the “Dolphin” was all the hope any Nintendophile needed to feel reassured that Nintendo would somehow do better next time.
This “itch” is what helped start OperatioN2000, long before any GameCube (known back then as the N2000 and later the Dolphin,) news had been made official. After the system was confirmed at E3 1999 very little info was released, Nintendo were tightlipped. Another year and another E3 came and went without so much as a peep from Nintendo about its planned system… “Wait till Spaceworld.”
In the meantime, rumors flew about everything from the controller design to the name of the system. We waited. After what seemed like an eternity, Nintendo’s Spaceworld 2000 show began. All of the information that Nintendo had kept bottled up came out. Yet, while many long running questions were answered, many new questions about the GameCube and Game Boy Advance giving us much to think about until more is released at E3 2001. Billy touches on some of these issues in his pre-show mumble, written as he prepared to go to Japan to cover the show.
Was PlanetGameCube there?
The Planet’s beloved founder and former Editor-in-Chief, Billy Berghammer was on the scene. As luck would have it, Billy was in good company, as fellow Nintendophiles, Adam Kraus and Mikey Veroni from Tendo Box were present as well. Enjoy the boys’ adventures and in-depth reports of everything they saw in our Space World 2000 Coverage.
Billy worked to bring every bit of Nintendo news as, “Project Dolphin” became a thing of the past and Nintendo unveiled its Game Boy Advance and Nintendo GAMECUBE systems to the world. This section of the FAQ is not the only part of PlanetN2000 (as we were known back then) heavily supplemented thanks to Billy’s Spaceworld coverage.
Didn't you guys have "technical difficulties" during your coverage of the show?
You are correct, smartyman! Thanks for reminding us of this painful memory. Then again, it was pretty remarkable; Nintendophiles all over the world turned in to our Spaceworld coverage, overloading our bandwidth and melting our server. Despite the insanity, we totally appreciate your patrionage & understand it. After all, what Nintendo revealed during Spaceworld was amazing and worth every download. Our provider was nice enough to solve the problem by providing what looked to be a static picture of a smiling, handsome man in place of the site. It confused us (& countless readers) tremendously.
What did Nintendo show off at Space World?
In addition to showcasing amazing demos for GAMECUBE, Nintendo showed off several upcoming titles for its current and future game consoles. This included Nintendo 64, Gameboy Color, Game Boy Advance. Before the show, it was hoped that “Dolphin” software would make some sort of appearance at the show, though aside from the demos, no “games” were shown during the floor.
For an in depth look at the Spaceworld demos, click here.
As for actual playable games, Nintendo had several Game Boy Advance, Nintendo 64 and Game Boy software on the show floor. As part of its ongoing coverage, PlanetN2000 has previewed some of these GBA titles and have linked titles we currently have profiles on below.
Here’s the list:
Game Boy Advance:
Kuru Kuru Rin (Spinning Round and Round)
Ougon No Taiyou (Golden Sun)
GBA Wars Advance
Wai Wai All Star Racing (Konami)
Silent Hill (Konami)
Akumajou Dracula: Circle of the Moon (Konami)
Pinobee: Quest of Heart (Hudson)
Rockman EXE (Capcom - now Battle Network Rockman EXE)
Crime & Punishment
Mario Party 3
Custom Robo V2
Mickey's Speedway USA
Perfect Dark (known as Red & Black in Japan)
Mysterious Dungeon 2
Game Boy Color:
Donkey Kong 2001 (This is a GBC version of Donkey Kong Country)
Legend of Zelda: The Forbidden Fruit
Legend of Stafe
Pokémon Puzzle League
Tottoko Hamu Taro: Monumental Battle
Was Nintendo’s GAMECUBE Expected to be Revealed at Spaceworld 2000?
Before the show, many were expected a very minimal “Dolphin” presence, though it was certain that at the very least, we’d get the name, putting an end to rumors such as Star Cube. The hotly debated controller was also expected to finally make an appearance.
Prior to Spaceworld, many thought that Nintendo’s actual next console would appear as a mere supporting member of the cast and not in the spotlight as many had hoped. In almost depressing news, it seemed Spaceworld belonged to Game Boy Advance, after getting an email sent from Nintendo’s PR department the following information was conveyed.
“We want to let you know that at Spaceworld there will not be playable Dolphin software. The system will be revealed and there is a chance we will see some visuals but we still don't know what exactly that will entail.”
”There will be plenty of playable Game Boy Advance units along with a number of new N64 and Game Boy Color games, but we just wanted to be up front with you to see if this affects your decision to go to Japan.”
This in mind, we were all a bit bummed. Still, this did not affect Billy’s decision to go to Japan. We’re almost glad Nintendo got our expectations down, for what we got was fantastic.
How was the GAMECUBE Unveiled to the World?
Smoke billowed out from both sides of the stage and several attractive Japanese women came out bearing small boxes, which turned out to be GameCubes! Then, NCL’s Executive Vice President Atushi Amada announced a GameCube footage began to roll, in an introduction that left Nintendophiles speechless worldwide.
Which GameCube Games were shown?
Officially, Nintendo will tell you that they did not show any games for the GameCube system and that the demos they did show do not represent actual titles in development. However, it showcased exciting footage of many of its popular characters and franchises, which can only be seen as indications that many old favorites will be coming to the Cube.
In a matter of moments, Nintendo displayed footage of Pokemon, Samus Aran of Metroid, Luigi running through a haunted house and Rogue Squadron footage that looked like the actual Star Wars movies.
Each demo was greeted with a frenzy of cheers, as the crowd was bombarded with overwhelming presentations, promises that Nintendo would be more than making amends for the N64’s shortcomings and would be making great games with some of its best franchises.
At the same time, the demos themselves only revealed one thing about the GameCube, it’s graphical ability. Not only were the demos amazing and unbelievably detailed, they were not shown as FMV cinema scenes but examples of what realtime game play would look like on the system. In an industry where eye candy seems to matter a great deal, this presentation is more than enough to merit attention. There’s no denying the beauty of the demos, yet one can only imagine what they will be like to play.
How the controller will interface with games and what new styles of gameplay Nintendo will introduce with its GameCube titles are still closely guarded secrets. As it stands, we may know only half of the story.
This hasn’t stopped us from creating profiles on many games believed to be in development for the GameCube. Check out our Previews section to find ongoing coverage on many GBA & NGC titles.
For more a detailed run down on each of the demos shown at Spaceworld, check out our SW2k Demos section of the FAQ.
Why Didn’t Nintendo Co Ltd.’s President, Hiroshi Yamauchi Introduce the GAMECUBE at Spaceworld?
Surprisingly enough, Hiroshi Yamauchi did not speak during the introduction of the GameCube. The introductory NGC presentation was instead given by NCL’s Executive Vice President, Atushi Asada.
It is rumored that Yamauchi was in favor of naming the console “Star Cube” and was perhaps a bit sour the final decision wasn’t what he wanted. However, without Yamauchi speaking, there were no outrageous claims made and no real bashing of competitors from Nintendo’s no-nonsense leader. Instead, the GameCube demos spoke for themselves.
Was any Second-Party software shown during the show?
Actually, there were quite a few demos submitted by Second-Party developers at Spaceworld. These included the Rebirth demo and Too Human, as well as Rare demos. The demos shown of Metroid and Wave Race were presumably submitted by Retro Studios and NST, the respective Nintendo second-parties handling development on these titles.
However, some of the second-party demos particularly Rare’s demos and Mix-Core’s Rebirth demo did not represent actual games in development but helped showcase the graphic capabilities of the GameCube and its abundant second-party support.
Without necessary time to adapt to the finalized hardware, many second-parties have sent video footage of their games running in OpenGL environments to Nintendo, leaving it up to them to decide whether or not to show this video footage at the show. It is not known what percentage of demos submitted by second-parties was not shown.
There were Rare demos?!? Tell me about them!
Although two demos featuring Rare franchises were shown as part of the unveiling of Nintendo GAMECUBE, they both were frankly lacking alongside the other demos shown. Although they are covered in the Spaceworld demos section, there was a Banjo-Kazooie demo as well as a Joanna Dark demo.
We talked to our friend Dan Oxenburgh from RareNet, who visited Rare in Twycross, England over the summer of 2000. Apparently, Rare has 4-5 Dolphin titles in development. If pushed, Rare could probably have two of these titles ready to show in time for Space World.
“Rare has told me that if Nintendo shows stuff they might,” reports RareNet Dan. “If Nintendo wanted them to they would. But left to their own devices they'd show nothing. They won’t be left to their own devices though.”
This probably accurately sums up the position of most second-party developers at the time of the show—and explains why more detailed footage on Rare’s NGC projects wasn’t shown. However, the demos shown did indicate loud & clear that Rare support will be abundant for the GameCube.
Was any Third-Party Software be shown at Spaceworld?
Although third-party software was shown off for Game Boy Advance Game Boy Color and N64, there was only a few 3rd-party GameCube games at the show. Factor 5, who have close relations with Nintendo but are not a second party had too titles at the show. Rogue Squadron 2, shown in the GameCube unveiling and Thornado which was shown behind closed doors. Besides Factor 5, no 3rd-party games were shown.
There were many 3rd-parties in attendance however, who were witness to many great reasons to be interested in GameCube.
Will Third-Party Developers be announced during Spaceworld?
Many third-party developers have just started receiving finalized GameCube development-kits from Nintendo. Many more have them than now than at the time of Spaceworld 2000, though Nintendo has reportedly only been getting kits out in full force recently.
Another factor is that the identities of third-party developers are still a mystery, thanks to Nintendo NDAs (Non-Disclosure Agreements). Whatever third-party software may have been in development during the time of Spaceworld 2000, it remained quite underground. Billy interviewed Beth Llewelyn, PR Director for NOA who gave us a ballpark number: “at the moment we have over 24 worldwide developers interested in designing games for both Nintendo's future systems.”
Presumably Nintendo has been active in trying to sign a lot of developers for GameCube, though these agreements include NDAs. This has become a powder keg of information, set to go off. Spaceworld seemed to be a perfect time for Nintendo to “detonate” the info, revealing third-party developers and software titles. They didn’t, making it only a matter of time before we find out what’s all in store for us. From the same interview, Beth let Billy know: “The NDA's are not dissolved. You may hear of some third parties before E3 though.”
Since Spaceworld, title announcements for both systems have been leaking out, though much of info on GameCube games in development remains quite hidden. We get the feeling there’s a lot more in development than we think.
Until we get the announcements, scope our Developer Profiles, which cover many of the companies believed to be interested in Nintendo’s upcoming systems. Our Release List is another great source of information on 3rd-party release dates—this section continues to grow and change at a moment’s notice. For information on developer support for the Game Boy Advance, look to the GBA FAQ.
Did Billy get to play any games during Spaceworld?
Here’s an excerpt a news posting Billy sent in when he was in Japan, describing just how long the lines were at the show.
“54,000 people showed up for Day #1 of Spaceworld. When you see the crowd shots you'll understand how difficult it is to actually play a game here. Once it's about noon here, it's at least an hour wait to get on any of the good games. Blech.”
Billy however, was able to play many of the games and has compiled impressions. Still not fully recovered from the trip, more complete impressions will be coming soon.
So What did the PlanetN2000 staff think of what was shown at Spaceworld?
We’re glad you asked! Being the editorial wizards we like to think that we are, the PlanetN2000 staff began an “Impressions Week” (which stretched into “Impressions Month” as more staffers chipped in) devoted to covering what we thought of our first real look at the GameCube.
For convenience, we’ve compiled these impressions here:
PlanetN2000 Staff Spaceworld Impressions – Assembled!
Bringing Speculastion to an End – (Max Lake) As Billy made his way to Japan, I cranked out this editorial. Ironically, I claim how excited I am to update the FAQ—and then didn’t for months. Uh, oops. However, the relief expressed in this piece was almost universally felt. We would finally be getting some answers at Spaceworld.
Sizing Things Up – (Rick Powers) Leaping from obscurity, this “guest editorial” marks the online return of one of the biggest egos in the scene, Rick Powers. Rick expresses his enthusiasm and his doubts about the next Nintendo system just after Spaceworld news was reaching our shores. Ricky might just be joining up around here, stay tuned.
The Story so Far – (Ed Shih) Technical wizard that he isn’t (by his own admission), Ed’s response to the Spaceworld information was to compile this article examining and comparing the video game systems set to compete in this generation of console-gaming. This piece remains a fantastic read and works nicely as a reference on system comparisons.
My Belated Impressions -From the earliest days of the “Online Nintendo scene,” Justin Nation has been up in the mix. A member of N64HQ & founder of 64 Source, was a pioneer in GameCube coverage with the site OpN2k. Now this Nintendophile veteran of gives a run down and grades everything seen & heard at the big show. The impressions were belated because Justin’s poor wife Tammy mashed her finger in the van door… YEOWCH!
MAXimum GameCube Impressions – (Max Lake) Your lazy FAQ author submits his collected Spaceworld drool, which served as the closest thing to a FAQ update for a lonnnnnnng time. You can however witness my reaction to demos that made establishing our Previews section a priority for me.
Kosta’s Spaceworld Impressions – All the way from “down under,” Australian correspondent gives us his views! Kosta gives us very positive impressions of all that is Spaceworld and discusses the significance of the demos.
Ed’s Impressions – (Ed Shih) Along with his system comparisons, Ed Shih chucks his Spaceworld thoughts into the ring. Commenting on rumors, games and capabilities, Ed has some all around positive views on the system.
Mike’s Spaceworld Impressions – (Mike Hrusecky) Short but ever-so sweet, Nintendophile and N64 online veteran Mike Hrusecky brings his mixed yet overall ecstatic reaction to the Spaceworld discussion.
Jeff’s Spaceworld Impressions – (Jeff Shirley) Coming late to the Impressions table, Jeff Shirley realizes much of his statements have already been said. He still has no problems mixing some new points as he shares his personal delight in many things Spaceworld had to offer.
The Big Day - (Billy Berghammer) These are easily the most in-depth impressions, by virtue of Billy being there. Read his very complete coverage of what it was like to be at Spaceworld. A must read!!!
A Pessimistic Fanatic’s Dolphin Experience Part 1 – (Jaymin Reed) Originally planned as the first installment of ongoing impressions, the piece served as Jaymin’s final PlanetN2000 work –we wish him the best of luck in the future. Take a look at what Jaymin’s GameCube thoughts were before he insulted some readers & resigned from the site.
Jon’s Spaceworld impressions – (Jonathan Metts) Although he was still a newcomer to the staff of PlanetN2000 at the time, the founder of the Nformant had a great deal to say about the happenings at Spaceworld. Scope his impressions.
When will Nintendo reveal more about the GameCube?
Publicly, Nintendo plan to give audio demonstrations during the Game Development Conference (GDC) this March. it seems that Nintendophiles will have to wait until the E3 show this upcoming May for the real NGC goods. Come E3, we can expect the “official” game announcements from 1st. 2nd and 3rd party games as well as get first real look at what playing the GameCube will be like. Although the Game Boy Advance will be launched in Japan on March 21st this year, E3 2001 will provide the U.S. with its first look on the console prior to its release there some time in July. Obviously, we can't wait and are counting down the days...
Meanwhile, we'll continue to prowl for whatever GameCube information we can. Privately, Nintendo is evidently exposing various developers to GameCube. One such known incidence involved a French programmer viewing several update demos & a new controller design. It's quite possible other developers may set something leak before May.
When is Spaceworld 2001?
Spaceworld 2001 will open on Thursday, August 23 and run through Saturday, August 25 at the Makuhari Messe Convention center in Chiba (near Tokyo). Just like last year!
So tell me about E3 2001!
Sure thing. Check out our E3 section of the FAQ. There's plenty of big updates awaiting!