Over the weekend, we'd heard smatterings of reports that Stores are starting to receive their GameCube units, and that they are starting to appear on eBay. Since eBay is hardly a bastion of accurate reporting, we've done some legwork, including making a couple phone calls to Nintendo. Here's the skinny ... Nintendo has started shipping GameCubes. (YES!) This is a week earlier than was anticipated. While some stores claim to have been told by their corporate liasons to Nintendo that they will be fined if they sell early, this appears to not be the case. Nintendo has told us that stores are free to sell the GameCube as soon as it arrives, in order to get a jump on the X-Box launching on Thursday. They also said that no store would be fined for breaking the release date.