The GameCube[b] 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 and competed with Sony Computer Entertainment's PlayStation 2 and Microsoft's Xbox. The GameCube is the first Nintendo console to use optical discs as its primary storage medium. The discs are similar to the miniDVD format; 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. The console supports online gaming for a small number of its titles via the broadband or modem adapter and connects to the Game Boy Advance via the link cable, allowing players to access exclusive in-game features using the handheld as a second screen and controller. Contemporary reception of the GameCube was generally positive. The console was praised for its controller, extensive software library and high-quality games, but was criticized for its exterior design and lack of features. Nintendo sold 21.74 million GameCube units worldwide before it was discontinued in 2007. Its successor, the Wii, which has backward compatibility with most GameCube software, was released in November 2006.