Nintendo's next-generation gaming console, which eventually became the Gamecube, was originally named Project Dolphin. In a 1999 press conference, Nintendo of America chairman Howard Lincoln admitted that he had no clue why the system was originally named after marine mammals, but he did propose that perhaps the original developers had a thing for dolphins.
The first pictures of the Dolphin were curvy and rounded with almost no edges to speak of. The irony of this, of course, is that the present-day Gamecube has absolutely no curves at all. I can't even imagine what kind of R&D warfare must have occurred for them to do such a complete redesign.
In December of 1999, Nintendo filed a patent for the name Star Cube with a description eerily similar to the N64. Rumors started flying and intensified when Computer and Video Games announced that they had received word from "sources close to Nintendo's Japanese Office" that Nintendo's new system will be called "Star Cube", with an official announcement coming at Space World on August 24-27 of 2000 (Space World is Nintendo's trade show held annually in Tokyo).
Nintendo of Sweden also misreported this unfortunate name in a mistaken press release on their website. Mass panic ensued. Apparently, folks close to the Nintendo scene believed that the Star Cube was not just a name, but a visual description. This begged the question of what exactly did they think that a Star Cube would look like? A cube shaped like a star, or a star shaped like a cube? This is as nonsensical as saying I have invented a square circle.
Fortunately (for Nintendo's marketing department), Nintendo of America convinced Nintendo of Japan that Star Cube was a horrible name. They both eventually decided on naming the console the Gamecube, probably in reference to the popular Game Boy.
I think that Gamecube was an unfortunate name. It is a gross misrepresentation of the console. After careful measurements, it has become apparent that the Gamecube is not a cube at all. A better name would have been the Nintendo Rectangular Gameprism.