Realistically you probably would've needed a hard drive to get much use out of even the expensive one though, just like you pretty much needed one for the Wii U and Switch. Nintendo have always been very stingy with internal storage. The historical Wii had what, 500MB of internal flash memory?
It is possible to get by with 20 GB on a PS3, and I'm sure the same is true with an XBox360. You really can't get by with just 256 MB. Quite a few games require an installation that is greater than 256 MB. On the other hand, I've never had problems with gigantic installs from Nintendo first party games. I've never even had to delete anything off of my Wii, Wii U or Switch. It's not an issue. When it comes to storage 10 GB on a Nintendo console goes much farther than 20 GB on a Microsoft or Sony console.
This is another reason why a $350 "Wii HD" would be a better value than the $400 XBox360 at launch. Effectively you would get more storage space, since Nintendo uses their storage a lot more efficiently.
Maybe not for you, but storage on both Wii U and Switch was totally inadequate for me as an owner of both, I've had to expand both by purchasing hard drives/SD cards. I expect most serious gamers will not be able to make do with the paltry internal memory Nintendo tends to offer, which in 2006 would've been even less than they provided 6 years later with Wii U due to memory costing more back then.
And again, a cut to just $100 less than two years in didn't save Gamecube from third place, so even if a price advantage is perceived by some customers, I don't think it would make a significant difference to sales.
Add in Nintendo's struggles with HD development as we saw on Wii U, resulting in crippling droughts of system-selling software, and I expect a traditional HD Gen 7 console from Nintendo would've been lucky to outsell the Gamecube.
Last edited by curl-6 - on 21 August 2019