Nintendo GameCube Controller vs Xbox 360 Controller: Which One Is Better?


The controllers of both the Nintendo GameCube and the Xbox 360 are remarkable because of how they are some of the best the world has ever seen. Both are large enough yet are very comfortable in your hands. This is why people love these controllers, even when comparing them to the controllers of some newer consoles today. But which between the GameCube and the Xbox 360 has the better controller?

The GameCube controller is, by many, considered to be one of the best controllers ever made and although the console itself fell into oblivion, its controller remains popular due to its unique design, which is why I think that it could even be better than the more popular Xbox 360 controller.

In today’s article, I am going to tell you everything about the difference between the GameCube controller and the Xbox 360 controllers. These two were very specific when they first came out, which is why I have decided to compare them and tell you which one is better, and whether you can use them interchangeably. Enjoy!

The GameCube controller: An overview

The GameCube Controller is the standard game controller for the Nintendo GameCube. It was released in Japan on September 14, 2001. 

The M-shaped design of the predecessor console, the Nintendo 64, was replaced by a more conventional format; a second analog stick has been added, replacing the C buttons with an analog C, and the X and Y buttons, last seen on the Super Nintendo controller, have returned in this new generation. The L and R triggers were also changed. 

A wireless version of the controller named WaveBird was released in 2002. It had the same design as the original, but it contained an additional space for adding two AA batteries and a piece that received the signal from the control input. 

The controller was sold together with the console, contained a 2-meter long cable, and already came with a built-in vibration motor (unlike the Nintendo 64 that required the Rumble Pak). 

It has six buttons, those being the A, B, X, and Y buttons on the front side, two analog sticks, one on the left and the other on the right, a directional cross, two analog triggers, the L and R, and a Z button above the R trigger. 

The controller was sold in the colors “Indigo” (purple), “Jet Black” (black), “Platinum” (silver), and “Spice” (orange); additionally, in Japan, you could also buy it in “Indigo/Clear” (Indigo on top with a transparent patch), and “Emerald Blue” (turquoise). 

The controller can also be used on the Wii and, since recently, the Nintendo Switch. 

The Xbox 360 controller: An overview

The Xbox 360 controller is the primary game controller for the Microsoft Xbox 360 home video game console, which was unveiled at E3 2005. The Xbox 360 controller is available in both a wired and a wireless version. 

The Xbox 360 controller is not compatible with the original Xbox. On the other hand, both the wired and wireless versions are compatible with Microsoft PC operating systems such as Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10. 

The wireless controllers run on either AA batteries or a rechargeable battery pack. The wired controllers can be connected to one of the console’s USB ports or to an attached USB hub. 

The Xbox 360 controller has the same basic familiar button layout as the S controller, except that some of the auxiliary buttons have been moved. The “Back” and “Start” buttons have been moved to a more central position on the front of the controller, and the “White” and “Black” buttons have been removed and replaced with two new bumpers that are above the analog triggers on the back of the controller are positioned. 

The controller has a 2.5 mm jack connector on the front to which the user can connect a headset for voice communication. It also has a proprietary serial port (which is split in two on either side of the headset port) for use with additional accessories such as the chatpad. 

On August 31, 2010, Microsoft’s Larry Hryb (aka Major Nelson) unveiled a new design for the Xbox 360 controller to replace the wireless controller bundled with the Play & Charge Kit. In addition to the small changes such as the shape of the analog stick tops and grey-colored face buttons, the new controller has an adjustable control pad that can be switched between a disc-type D-pad or a plus-shaped D-pad. 

Did Nintendo stop making GameCube controllers?

Interestingly enough, while the console itself was discontinued in 2007, Nintendo still hasn’t stopped producing GameCube controllers. This is a direct result of the fact that players consider the GameCube controller to be one of the best gaming controllers ever made. It is relatively easy to use and it has such a configuration that is completely compatible with the player’s hand. 

The console itself was a flop, but this is truly a rare occurrence where the controller of a console manages to outlive the console itself. Plus, the GameCube controller is compatible with some of Nintendo’s later consoles, which is why not discontinuing it makes complete sense from a commercial standpoint. 

Can you use the GameCube controller on an Xbox?

And while the GameCube controller might be compatible with some of Nintendo’s later consoles, it is not compatible with the Xbox. Namely, these two consoles use a completely different architecture and hardware, which makes the GameCube controller incompatible with the Xbox. 

In this case, it is not just a matter of different ports; even if you managed to bypass that issue with some additional ports and adapters, the fact that the Xbox’s hardware wouldn’t really recognize or accept the GameCube controller would still remain, thus making your controller useless in such a situation.

Ali R.

I'm Ali, and I'm very much a geek of the 80's. I love all things involving comics, weird dice, low-resolution pixels, badly lipped synced action films with plasticine monsters, loud bright clothes that nobody should have worn, pop songs that nobody should have sung, and TV cartoon shows that ...well everyone should watch.

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