WebHDX has just made his PicoBoot modchip available to the public. PicoBoot is an IPL replacement modchip for the Nintendo Gamecube which, at its core, utilizes a Raspberry Pi Pico. It allows you to bypass the Gamecube’s bios and boot directly into any homebrew application, such as Swiss, upon powering the console on.
— webhdx (@webhdx) June 30, 2022
This is different from the current dominant modchip, the Xeno GC, which requires a boot disc or game exploit in order to operate. PicoBoot is a stand alone solution to loading homebrew making it much more convenient.
As stated on the Github, these are the PicoBoot’s primary features:
- it’s open source
- uses $4 Raspberry Pi Pico board
- very easy installation, only 5 wires to solder
- programmable via USB cable, without any drivers and programs
- automatically boots any DOL app of your choice
- uses “IPL injection” approach superior to mods like XenoGC
Some other great features that webHDX doesn’t mention is that this mod allows you to quick-boot in up to 3 additional DOL apps. By renaming your additional DOL applications either B, X, or Y, you can boot directly into those applications by holding down the corresponding B, X, or Y button on your controller prior to powering on the console. For example, even though Swiss is your main DOL application, if you rename GBI.dol (Game Boy Interface) to B.dol, the next time you turn on the Gamecube and hold down the B button, you will boot directly into GBI instead of Swiss. Very neat!
Additionally, the mod retains the original optical drive so you can play physical game discs. This is in contrast the GC Loader which replaces the optical drive all together. Another really cool feature is just how easy it is to update the PicoBoot firmware, just simply plug the Pico to the computer via the USB micro port, and drag and drop the new firmware file to the Pico. No need for any special drivers or applications.
In order to get the PicoBoot up and running on your GameCube you’ll of course need a Raspberry Pi Pico, a SD Geko or SD2SP2 adaptor, and of course a SD card. All of your games and homebrew files will reside on the SD card.
Below are affiliate links of all the parts you need to get started:
- Raspberry Pi Pico (Affiliate): https://amzn.to/3a0yHDK
- SD2SP2 Adaptor (Affiliate): https://amzn.to/3I0TyDz
- SSD Card (Affiliate): https://amzn.to/39YmJuB
For step by step instructions on how to install and setup PicoBoot on your GameCube, check out my video linked above.