The Q is a hybrid version of the Nintendo GameCube with a DVD player manufactured by Panasonic in cooperation with Nintendo. The system was only officially released in Japan. A feature of its main competitors Xbox and PlayStation 2, the GameCube lacked commercial DVD movie playback functionality due to the use of the miniDVD format for games and the correspondingly small disc tray. The Q system was licensed by Nintendo and released on December 13, 2001 and listed at US$439. A modified version that allows users to play commercial DVDs from all regions was listed at US$499.
Nintendo's uncharacteristic decision to license the gaming technology to Panasonic was a result of a deal brokered between Matsushita (owners of the Panasonic brand) and Nintendo. When Nintendo signed Matsushita as the producer of the optical disc drives used by GameCube, an agreement was struck allowing Matsushita to produce a DVD system with the capability to play GameCube games.
Panasonic and Nintendo announced they were ceasing production of the Q in December 18, 2003 due to low sales.
Other features of the Q include a backlit LCD, a front-loading slot disc tray, an optical sound output supporting Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS (sound system), a separate subwoofer jack, and a stainless steel chassis.
The Q comes with a grey, Panasonic-branded controller and a remote control. The Q is capable of installing all of the GameCube hardware upgrades; however, due to the legs on the bottom, it requires a special Panasonic Q Game Boy Player unit designed specifically for it.