Review by EZBZHawaii

"("Q" Review) With the help of Panasonic, the Cube rises to the top!"

Out of the 3 systems available to date, the GameCube has been the one to impress me most. With games like Battle Houshin, Groove Adventure: RAVE, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, Resident Evil, and upcoming Mario Sunshine and deals with Square and Konami, Nintendo has yet again propelled itself as one of the top contenders in the game wars. But the only problem that existed was that the Cube wasn't able to play DVDs, which many consider a MUST in the consoles today. Lo and behold, Panasonic created the Panasonic SL-GC10-S DVD/Game Player, or more widely known as the Japanese ''Q''. This review will cover what is unique to itself, and will not cover/go over anything that that Cube has already had reviewed (eg: the OS, the power of the system, blah blah blah. You should get the idea).

PACKAGING:
The box the ''Q'' comes in is slightly larger than the original Cube boxes. Nowhere on the box does it say ''Nintendo'' or ''Gamecube''. The only hint as to what is inside are the Gamecube symbols located on the box, and a small one on the front of the console. Inside the box are two compartments, one with the console itself, and the other containing the manuals and the accessories. Everything is nicely packaged in foam and plastic! This has to be the best packaging for a system, simple yet mysterious. The only problem is it's hard to know what you are buying, a new Panasonic console or a Nintendo Gamecube??
10/10

CONSOLE:
The cream of the crop, the god of all consoles out there, I give you the Japanese ''Q''! Easily the most beautiful console out there and the one that makes everyone who looks at it drool. It's longer and taller than the original Cube, weighs a few pounds more, but there's reason for that!

Panasonic did away with the Cube's top loading system, and in it's place they put a front loading tray, that easily fits the pocket-DVDs the Cube uses, as well as conventional DVD/VCD/CD discs. Yes, the ''Q'' plays DVDs/VCDs/CDs! A better review of that system later on.

The top of the console houses the LCD display, which shows if you are in DVD or Cube mode, gameplay or DVD time, and a few other displays that don't make much sense to me, I just think of it as an added bonus. There are also 7 buttons which control DVD/VCD/CD playback.

The front of the console is what makes the ''Q'' special. It has a mirrored front ^_^. There are the four controller ports, that each light up a bright blue when the ''Q'' is in Cube mode. There are also 2 memory card slots directly under the controller ports. The disc tray is also directly above the controller ports. The left side of the console has 4 buttons, Power, Dialogue Enhancer (??), Cinema (??), and Game Reset, as well as the the receiver for the remote. On the right side of the console are another set of 4 buttons, Open/Close, Surround (turn surround on/off), Bass Plus, and Game (hit this if you are in DVD mode to go to Cube Mode). The Cube symbol is stamped very small in the bottom right side.

The bottom side of the console is exactly the same as the original Cube, one high speed port, and 2 serial ports. Now we head to the back of the console, which shows the true power of this beast! The ''Q'' has Dolby Digital and DTS power!! There are 2 sets of audio out ports, one video out port. The ''Q'' also hosts S-Video output, and Digital-Video output, as well as Digital-AV output, and one little port next to the video out that I can't tell what it is (the katakana says ''sabuha'' ^_^;;). Then there is the power cord slot, yay!

The ''Q'' is JAPAN ONLY, and can be modded, see below for that section! Overall, the ''Q'' is the best system out there IMHO. Beautiful and more powerful than it's original counterpart. I give the console a:
10/10

EXTRAS:
The accessories that come with the ''Q'' are not many. Mainly the ''Q'' controller, has PANASONIC where GAMECUBE would be, and is a dark grey. The ''Q'' also boasts a remote, which can be use in place of any of the buttons on the console (minus an eject button, WHY LEAVE OUT AN EJECT BUTTON ON A REMOTE??). It's small and light, and only uses 2 AA batteries. You need minimal Japanese language skills (or just hit every button and record what it does) to be able to understand it! The ''Q'' uses any Cube controller or memory card, why wouldn't it? Nothing special in the extras, just that the ''Q'' has a remote, and the Cube doesn't. Since the extras kick butt for the Cube, they work better on the ''Q'', thus:
10/10

DVD/VCD/CD:
New to the ''Q'' is the option to watch video! The ''Q'' will play DVD/VCD/CD from Japan and Asia. Nifty, eh? It has Dolby output, which is useful if you have surround. I don't so I can't use this ability to it's full extent. The DVD player is overall better than the XBOX/PS2, since it's built in AND comes with a controller at no extra cost. I also find the ''Q'' has better video quality than the XBOX. Just use the many video/sound options and you have a VERY powerful home theater system combined with the best console to date! Note, the ''Q'' only plays Region 2 video, so it does need to be modified to do anything else. I'll fix this section once I actually understand what I'm talking about. Overall, the ease of the DVD player, plus all the features that the ''Q'' boasts in DVD/VCD/CD playback makes it better than my friend's Sony DREAM system, minus the surround sound. Sadly, I haven't been able to playback MP3 CDs :(. The DVD feature earns:
10/10!! Yay! Panasonic made the Cube better!!

A note about modification:
The ''Q'' and Cube are easily modified, similar to the Dreamcast. Both have SIMPLE country lockouts and are easily bypassed. We have yet to see a modified PS2 or XBOX, so HAH! This opens the door to all region DVD playback, and all region Cube playback. I am not sure if it plays Euro games, as the Euro Cube was release just days ago! The process is simple, and costs about 30-50$ depending on where you go! I suggest NCSX (www.ncsx.com) for modification. That or you can order one pre-modified from them. Having the system modified is one thing you SHOULD do! Battle Houshin rocks! Also, to move from country to country, push the power on and release immediately for JAP/ASIA, or push the power on and hold for 3-5 seconds and release for USA/NA.

OVERALL
Nintendo made a good choice to have Panasonic put a DVD system in the Cube. The only problem, IT ISN'T COMING TO THE STATES!! So buy one before production stops and modify it now!! Easily the best looking, though not the most powerful, but then again it has to be the best console out there! Power doesn't always mean the best (you hear that Microsoft!?). Anyways, I hope you enjoyed the review, albeit my first and probably the worst! This is a MUST buy, even for the price tag of $450-500. If you have any questions about topics I should have covered but didn't please e-mail me! I'm off to kick some zombie butt in Resident Evil! Mmmmm, yummy, Jill pretty!!
10/10!


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 05/04/02, Updated 05/04/02


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