Denki News

July 31, 2006

Intec Color Game Screen review — Make your GameCube semi-portable

Filed under: Video Games — icruise @ 8:00 am

I was at Toys R Us recently when I saw that they were having a clearance sale on some video games and accessories. In particular, they had Intec Color Game Screens for the GameCube on sale for $30 (regularly $130). These kinds of accessories had always struck me as being a little silly, although I could see that it might be useful for someone who wanted to have a console in their van or boat. But I suppose I was influenced by all the thinking I had done recently about making your own portable versions of game consoles, because I decided to buy one. (More after the jump.)

Although it comes with an adapter that allows you to use the GameCube and screen in the car, I have no need to use a GameCube in the car. In fact, I have no real use for it at all — I just thought it would be fun to play with, especially since you can use it with video sources other than the GameCube. I’ve always been a sucker for bargains, even if they are things that I might not otherwise buy. They had one black, one silver (aka platinum), and three indigo screens. For some reason, the indigo screens were full price ($130). I have two GameCubes — one black and one silver. I got the black one, since it looked a little more attractive and I thought it might blend in if I wanted to use it with something other than the GameCube.

When I got home and attached the screen to my GameCube, it made some loud staticky sounds and the picture was very distorted. I found that if I pinched the bottom of the case (by the speakers) together, it would work more or less correctly, but otherwise it was terrible. It was clearly defective, so I packed it back up and took it to Toys R Us. They were nice about it and exchanged it for the silver one. This one worked OK, but it did have an ugly mark (maybe a smear of some kind) inside the screen. Oh well. Not the greatest quality control at Intec, it would appear.

So how is the screen itself? Pretty underwhelming. Honestly, I didn’t expect a whole lot, but even so I was a bit disappointed. It’s a terrible screen. It’s usable, yes, but it drains the life and attractiveness out of most games. Dark games look really bad, and bright games like Super Mario Sunshine look just mediocre. It looks as though the screen can’t handle the entire range of colors that the GameCube is capable of producing, which results in an oddly dithered display. I tried using Photoshop to simulate this effect (see below). It’s similar to what you would get if you converted a full color image to only a few thousands of colors, and it’s also pretty washed out as well. The only controls are volume and brightness. Adjusting the brightness only helps a little bit. Sound is decent, and appears to be in stereo, although you can’t really tell since the speakers are only about three inches apart.

Above, the original image (how it should look on a decent TV)

And how it looks (more or less) on the Intec screen. Dark games are much worse.

One other thing that is not mentioned on the box, instructions, or on the Intec web site is that this screen will not work with the latest revision of the GameCube. Nintendo removed the component video output from the GameCubes manufactured after May of 2004 and in doing so shifted the location of the composite video output that the Intec screen uses. This means that the cord attached to the screen is about 1 inch too short to reach the port. So the silver screen that I bought won’t actually work with my silver GameCube (I just attached it for the purposes of taking the picture).

Reading some other online reviews leads me to believe that there are two or more revisions of this product being sold under the same name, so it may be that I got the inferior version. If you can get it very heavily discounted like I did, and you know the screen’s limitations, I suppose it’s not too bad. But I feel sorry for people who paid full price for it. After all, $130 is the price of a DS Lite, and that gives you two brilliant (if smaller) LCD screens and actual portability.



  1. I want one of these sooooo BAD!!! My b-day is June 27th…..I’m gonna ask 4 one!!!!

    Comment by Skittles — June 10, 2007 @ 1:31 pm

  2. that nice i would love to have it

    Comment by vincent — August 17, 2007 @ 3:10 pm

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