Nintendo GameCube Video Game Memory Cards and Expansion Packs

The GameCube is a video game console that was developed and released by Nintendo in 2001 and 2002. Because the games are delivered on a readable-only optical disc format, the Nintendo GameCube system relies on memory cards to store game data and save files. Otherwise, game progress cannot be saved.

How do the GameCube memory cards work?

The Nintendo GameCube memory card is a type of flash memory that holds save data, high scores, controller settings, replays, and much more. Because the data is stored electronically, flash memory tends to be stable. It is resistant to vibrations, drops, and other harsh conditions. The card is also small and portable. The Nintendo GameCube memory card is proprietary to the Nintendo GameCube video game console. Once it is inserted into the memory card slot directly below the controller ports, the system will automatically read it. The GameCube has two different slots, so two players can access their own data independently of one another.

How much memory can the Nintendo GameCube memory cards hold?

Storage space varies depending on the size of the card. Nintendo released three official memory cards for the Nintendo GameCube system. The grey-coloured Nintendo Memory Card 59 holds 512 KB of data. The black-coloured Nintendo Memory Card 251 holds 2 MB of data. The white-coloured Memory Card 1019 holds 8 MB of data. Data is saved in discrete blocks, each of which holds around 8 KB of information. The number on the card signifies the amount of save blocks available on the card. In addition, third-party companies released their own memory cards, some of which extended well beyond 8 MB in size while 16 MB, 32 MB, and 64 MB options are not uncommon. However, the official Nintendo brand tends to be more reliable than the third-party counterparts.

How large are GameCube save files?

GameCube save files can occupy as little as a single block while some save files may occupy more than 10 blocks. Although the size of a single save file can vary widely, the data will not exceed the size of a Memory Card 59, meaning that even the smallest memory cards are compatible with all games. Replays and other optional save data, however, may take up quite a bit more space.

Are the cards compatible with the Nintendo Wii console?

The original version of the Nintendo Wii hardware is backward-compatible with GameCube games. In order to access the data, two GameCube memory card slots are built directly into the console, so game progress can be transferred between the GameCube and Wii (the Wii Mini revision, released in 2012, removed both GameCube compatibility and the memory card slots). However, GameCube and Wii functionality are completely separate from each other. GameCube memory cards cannot be used to store Wii data. Likewise, the Wii's internal flash storage also cannot store GameCube data, so the GameCube memory cards are mandatory to play through GameCube games on the Nintendo Wii.

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