The GameCube is a home video game console released by Nintendo in Japan on September 14, 2001; in North America on November 18, 2001; in Europe on May 3, 2002; and in Australia on May 17, 2002. The sixth-generation console is the successor to the Nintendo 64.  The GameCube is the first Nintendo console to use optical discs as its primary storage medium. The discs are similar to the miniDVDformat; as a result of their smaller size and the console's small disc compartment, the system was not designed to play standard DVDs or audio CDs.