The Nintendo GameCube is a console that I’m especially nostalgic for. Like many others in my generation, it wasn’t my first console, but the memories I made with the GameCube and its games have an outsized place in my heart. Because of this, anytime there’s news that grants the GameCube the spotlight in the modern day, my interest is immediately piqued. I also have a bit of a fondness for modding consoles, so Macho Nacho’s latest video about a brand-new GameCube mod, the Flippy Drive, grabbed my attention the moment my boss Jason brought the product to the our team’s attention.
What is the Flippy Drive?
The Flippy Drive is a brand-new mod for the Nintendo GameCube that allows GameCube owners to run disk image backups of their games off of an SD card as if they were being read off of a disc. With hardware developed by Chris P Ville, the Flippy Drive is unique in its approach in that, unlike other similar GameCube mods, the GameCube’s original optical drive (disc reader) is able to stay installed and intact in the GameCube once the Flippy Drive is installed. The Flippy Drive accomplishes this with a unique, and, in my opinion, genius, ribbon cable connection that actually slots inside of the existing optical drive connector on the GameCube’s motherboard. This unique approach lets the cable’s connection contacts sit in between the optical drive and the motherboard, passing the GameCube’s existing optical drive connection through to the motherboard, allowing the optical drive to continue working as intended.
How does the Flippy Drive work?
Thanks to the Flippy Drive’s unique ribbon cable utilizing the optical drive’s connection to the motherboard, the Flippy Drive can act as a virtual optical drive for the GameCube when the GameCube is booted up, booting into a new custom software called Cube Boot, developed for Flippy Drive by Trevor Rudolph. Cube Boot is an incredible piece of software that will feel right at home on the GameCube, because Trevor has engineered it to use only assets already available in the GameCube’s bootrom, making it feel just like the GameCube’s existing OS. Booting a GameCube with the Flippy Drive installed will automatically boot into Cube Boot, but if you connect a GameCube controller and hold down the L button while booting the GameCube, it will run the console’s disc drive and read whatever GameCube disc you have in the console.
Does the Flippy Drive work with the Game Boy Player?
As mentioned in Macho Nacho’s video review of the Flippy Drive, the early Flippy Drive unit he had for the production of his video did not support using the Game Boy Player with a backed up disc image of the Game Boy Player disc. Fear not, however, as the Flippy Drive will fully support using a backup disc image of the Game Boy Player disc to run the Game Boy Player.
When will the Flippy Drive be available?
The Flippy Drive is not currently available commercially, though the plan is to have it available in the first quarter of 2024. If you’re interested in receiving a notification about when Flippy Drive pre-orders go live, you can sign up for email updates on the Flippy Drive on the Flippy Drive website. You can also follow the Flippy Drive team on Twitter at their respective profiles, ChrisPVille and trevorrudolph.
How much will the Flippy Drive cost?
While it is not currently available, the Flippy Drive team has stated that the Flippy Drive will be available for $38 when it launches.
It’s always exciting to see a new mod burst onto the scene to revitalize old consoles and, quite frankly, the Flippy Drive is one of the most exciting mods I’ve seen in a very long time. If there are any more crucial updates on the Flippy Drive project, you can be sure you’ll find them right here on Nintendo Wire, but until then, we’ll be impatiently waiting for Flippy Drive pre-orders to go live.
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