Hardware is also an aspect that you should take into consideration when choosing a home console. If you are looking for the fastest system, you should be aware of the fact that the three competitors (the Xbox, PS2 and the GameCube) are offering an almost similar gaming experience. But the difference comes in the ability of playing DVD movies or connecting to the Internet.
Slight differences can be found in the hard drive area as the three systems (the PS2, the GameCube or the Xbox) have different memory capabilities. For instance, the GameCube and PS2 use memory cards that have to be bought separately from the main system. On the other hand, the Xbox is using an internal hard drive that is obviously larger than any memory card. Therefore, the Xbox is capable of storing and playing things you download from the Internet like music or extra levels for your game.
The Internet connectivity feature means that you will be able to play with or against other persons via Internet, you can download extra levels for your games or you can upgrade your gaming options. When it comes to these Internet connectivity features, the Xbox has a built in Ethernet port that allow you to easily get online. The PS2 can be purchased in two options: with an integrated Ethernet port or with a separate Ethernet and modem adapter. The GameCube comes in some models capable of Internet connectivity.
Another hardware aspect is the home console's capacity of playing DVDs. The PS2 has the incorporated ability of playing DVDs. The Xbox is offering you the same capability if of playing DVDs but only after purchasing a separate DVD accessory. The present GameCube is unfortunately too small to hold a DVD playing capability.
In conclusion when you have to choose between the Xbox, the PS2 or the GameCube, you should look into all their features and capabilities. One home console may have a better feature than the others, or the other way around. It is a natural thing to happen in a competitive market. Your own preferences in games, hardware or Internet connectivity will be in the end the deciding factor.