Nintendo has already released official versions of the Nintendo Entertainment System: Classic Edition and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Classic Edition, and the general consensus seems to be that the company is planning a similar treatment for the Nintendo 64. But why replicate the 64-bit system when you can jump right to the GameCube, instead?
YouTube creator “Nintendrew” actually already created his own custom Nintendo 64 “Classic” system, but after viewers requested a bite-sized GameCube, he took it upon himself to shrink down Nintendo’s underappreciated console.
The criteria for Nintendrew’s custom device were that it must be able to play a “reasonable” number of GameCube games, be similar in size to Nintendo’s own devices, and cost under $100. Though he used a Raspberry Pi computer for his Nintendo 64 custom system, this wasn’t powerful enough for the GameCube. Instead, an UP2 Squared single-board computer was used. These are much more expensive than Raspberry Pi boards, however, which could limit some users’ ability to re-create the console.
Nintedrew chose Windows 10 for his operating system, as it worked more smoothly with the Dolphin GameCube emulator than Linux did, but he still ran into issues playing some of the console’s games, including Super Mario Sunshine. The majority were still playable, however, with about two-thirds of those tested running at an acceptable level.
For the user interface, he used EmulationStation, which was also used for the Nintendo 64 custom console. As you can see in his video, it provides a simple interface, complete with the games’ box art, developer, publisher, genre, release date, and even a counter of how many times you’ve played them — it’s actually quite a bit more detailed and useful than the main menu on Nintendo’s own systems.
With the help of the software Tinkercad and a 3D printer, Nintendrew created a custom case for the system, designed to accommodate the board while still providing access to multiple USB ports. It has four controller ports, rather than the two included on both the NES Classic and the SNES Classic.
Unfortunately, the total cost to produce the system was well over $200, meaning that we probably won’t see Nintendo continue its “Classics” line past the Nintendo 64 without finding a major technical workaround. Still, being able to take an adorable little GameCube with you on the go is hard to pass up!