FlippyDrive Mod Chip Allows Users To Play ROMs On GameCube Via SD Card

FlippyDrive GameCube Mod

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It’s been a while since we’ve covered anything Raspberry Pi related here on Retro Dodo, but now and again there’s some relevance with the Retro Gaming scene. And that’s where the FlippyDrive comes in, a new mod chip that can turn the Nintendo GameCube into a bona fide ROM powerhouse.

We know full well how much the Retro Gaming world likes to mod devices; you’ve only got to look through our back catalogue of articles to see some incredible modded Gameboys such as the WiiSP or the the N64 Gameboy to discover how much we all like tinkering.

And that’s one of the beautiful things about Retro Gaming. It’s not just a nostalgic run down memory lane; it’s also a creative art form and a chance to improve on the technology of yesteryear.

Modern tech allows us to have wireless controllers for the N64 – can you imagine how amazing it would have been to play GoldenEye with a wireless controller back in the day!

We’re big fans of how Raspberry Pi can help to bring these dreams to reality too, especially when it means we get to cover handhelds like the PiBoy Mini. And now, thanks to Raspberry Pi Pico, the team over at FlippyDrive have created something exciting for Nintendo’s cubic marvel.

Will The FlippyDrive Give Your Old GameCube A New Lease Of Life?

FlippyDrive installation
Credit: Machonachoproductions

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what this thing does.

For starters, the FlippyDrive is a solderless mod chip. That essentially means that you don’t need to solder it into your GameCube or mess around with the internal gubbings of your console while wielding a red hot soldering iron in order to make this thing work.

So, good news for everyone who might have been afraid of damaging their console!

The FlippyDrive is super small and has been designed so that you don’t need to modify the case of your GameCube whatsoever. No one is going to have to add an extra purple block onto the side of the console like a second head to be able to house the mod chip; it’s super slick and fits right under the existing casing.

The one thing users will have to do is to remove the optical drive assembly in order to install the chip, but MachoNachoProductions has a a great video on how to do all of this, including how to do some neat origami with a ribbon cable in order to connect everything up.

Yes, this does sound a little complicated at first, but after watching the video, the main thing you need to remember is which screws and pieces go where when you’re putting everything back together, and that’s nothing a little numbered grid on A4 paper can’t solve!

What Can I Play On The FlippyDrive?

FlippyDrive Cube Boot screen
Credit: Machonachoproductions/flippydrive

The FlippyDrive has lots of neat features that, while modernising the GameCube, also keep the original essence of the console intact.

For starters, the Cube Boot menu interface looks exactly like the original console interface, just with the added bonus of being able to play game backups as though you were playing a propper disc and changing the region of any console.

And, if you still want to play your original games, there’s a way of bypassing the FlippyDrive by just holding the L button on your controller, which will engage the optical drive until you turn the console off again.

It’s even possible to play games over a home network thanks to the inbuilt WiFi capabilities on this thing – is there nothing it can’t do?

How Much Will The Flippydrive Cost?

According to the FlippyDrive website, the mod chip will cost $38 and is releasing in Q1 this year. That’s not a bad price at all for a Raspberry Pi Pico board (RP2040 for the aficionados) with an ESP32 providing the WiFi capabilities that modifys the GameCube in such a big way!

What do you think of the chip? Do you want to give your GameCube a glow up or just leave it as the gaming gods intended it to be?

And here’s the main question… how long will Nintendo let this thing live for?

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