The GCLoader, a GameCube optical drive emulator from Daniel Kraak (meneerbeer) and Dan Kunz (citrus3000psi), will finally be back in stock this coming Monday, July 31st. Released in 2019, the GCLoader was the first commercially available ODE for the Nintendo GameCube, boasting improved functionality over existing SD card interfaces and (after an awkward initial release) a straightforward, solder-free installation. Commercial sales of the GCLoader dried up during the ongoing worldwide components shortage though, forcing a new hardware revision to be designed around chips that had better availability.
This new hardware revision of the GCLoader is reported to have all the same functionality as the older board, which includes:
- The ability to run commercial and homebrew software
- A simple plug-and-play installation
- Audio streaming support
- Full Swiss compatibility, including write support
- Faster loading times compared to the original DVD drive
- Firmware can be updated by running a utility from the SD card
There are, however, a few changes that this revision brings with it though. First off, the price of the GCLoader has increased by $25USD, bringing it up to $105 before shipping. Second, savvy readers may have seen that this new design includes an ESP32 and an antenna, hinting at a future where the GCLoader supports some kind of WiFi functionality:
We are hoping it will soon be possible to play games online with it. Streaming games, I am not too sure if that will give a good experience.
— gc-loader (@GcLoader) July 28, 2023
For users looking to get fancy with their installations, existing SD card slot extenders from companies like Laser Bear Industries are compatible with all GCLoader revisions and are currently 20% off.
Once again, pre-orders will be available this Monday, July 31st at the following sites:
North America – Black Dog Tech
Mainland Europe – GC-Loader.com
UK (release may lag behind the other sites due to Brexit) – Games Connection UK