Tito from Macho Nacho Productions has just released a video about the GameCube Optical Drive Emulator called the “Flippy Drive” – A plug & play (no soldering!) device that also retains the functionality of the original optical drive. Check out Tito’s video for all the details, and if you’re interested, sign up to be notified when they go on sale. This is simply a notification list with no money collected at this time, however the price will be $38 plus shipping when it’s ready in Q1 this year:
Main Site: https://flippydrive.com/
While Tito’s video was awesome, I want to reiterate some of the stuff he talked about. And the first is price! This is a completely plug and play installation, for under $40! All the other GC mod chips out there require soldering and the other drive-replacement ODE is much more expensive (but also plug and play). Even if compatibility was about the same as using mod chips and SD loaders, I’d still think it was a win, simply because you don’t need to solder anything. And yes, installing the ribbon cable looked tricky…but anyone with some patience can do it.
The next feature that’s a very big deal, is the ability to retain the original optical drive; Simply insert your disc with the GameCube powered off and hold the L trigger on your controller as you power on the console. It’ll work like an unmodded GC – including the reset button – until it’s fully power cycled again. While you can get ODE + Disc functionality using Swiss and an Action Replay (or mod chip), this might be an easier and cheaper solution overall.
In my opinion, the network loading of games is the most exciting feature! This is a massive time savings for anyone who simply has a network share where they like to keep their games; No more copying back and forth to an SD card, just load them right off your share (or RetroNAS!). Not everyone will be as excited as I am for this feature, but all of my fellow nerds with a home server will be!
Booting games off a network will also allow you to only configure the MicroSD card once and leave it connected directly to the Flippy Drive. For people who want easier access to the card, the developers will be suggesting MicroSD extension locations, for people with and without the original optical drive. I’m not sure if they’ll be selling this at some point, but if not, I’m sure someone like Greg from Laser Bear will come up with something pretty quickly.
Anyway, please check out Tito’s video for more info!