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Acclaiming Of The Q

Panasonic QIt's not uncommon for video game console manufacturers to release special hybrid hardware in Japan.  There's the Famicom and Famicom Disc System combination unit created by Sharp, the PSX PlayStation/DVR, a IBM compatible PC grafted to a Sega Genesis, and so much more.  Today Kotaku has a look back at the Nintendo GameCube's turn at the specialization machine co-created by Panasonic, the mighty Q.  Part GameCube and part DVD player, this only-in-Japan box aimed to bring parity with the Sony PlayStation 2's movie-watching abilities.

[I]n addition to its regular GameCube components also boasted more advanced features like an optical out port (for true 5.1 surround sound support), a swish front-loading disc tray, a neat little LCD display panel at the top, a separate subwoofer output for the Q's "Bass Plus" feature and, best and most badass of all, a polished glass front with a stainless steel chassis.

Despite this more advanced feature set, and a price tag of around USD$450 (which wasn't that expensive), the Q remained something of an oddity, an ugly stepsister, and sadly never really took off in Japan. It was discontinued only two years later, in December 2003, and was never officially released outside Japan.  Because of its unique appearance and capabilities, though, the Q remains a favourite of hardware collectors, and can be had quite easily online for anywhere between $300-$600.

How can you not like the Q?  It looks like it comes from the future!  All shiny and glowy... There was even a specialized Game Boy Player add-on for it that fit the Q's unique footprint.  Just for fun, buy a Q with Game Boy Player and connect it to a Sharp SF-1 television that sports a built-in Super Famicom for the ultimate Nintendo convergence experience.