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GCDual – Gamecube HDMI review update

Who would have thought getting HDMI out of the Gamecube would prove such a challenge? Way back in December 2015, we reviewed a HDMI Gamecube modification and confidently predicted that we would be taking orders for the mod ourselves a few months later. At least three failed prototypes and a lot of wasted time and troubleshooting followed and it wasn’t until Black Dog Technology released their GCDual board this year that we finally felt confident to start offering this modification to the community. GCDual is an improvement over the older design Gamecube HDMI board we were going to supply, so we thought that we should give you a rundown of the boards new features.

GCDual – What’s the deal?

GCDual is the latest and greatest revision of the HDMI Gamecube modification. All the features of the original board are present in this latest design, so if you’re not familiar with the capabilities of the unit, you may want to check out our original 2015 article here. 

The big difference with the GCDual compared to our original prototype is its range of analogue video outputs. With a GCDual installed in your Gamecube, the standard Nintendo AV port (not the component video port, though that still works too) can output ALL screen modes from 240p to 480p. This means, for example, you can connect a SCART cable from your Cube to your OSSC, then switch the game to 480p mode and enjoy the OSSC’s unique 480p X 2 mode on your HDTV. No longer are these modes locked out of the standard analogue output! GCDual also restores RGB output on NTSC consoles, something previously only available on PAL machines.

The dual output obviously makes the unit very convenient to use for streamers, speed runners and tournament gamers. The HDMI output can be connected to a modern capture card or big screen display, while the analogue RGB output can be sent to a CRT monitor for lag free gaming. Whatever signal is output via HDMI is also output on analogue (it’s not possible to have, for instance, interlace output on the analogue output and progressive output on the digital).

GCDual is certainly a great upgrade for your Gamecube, but now that there are a range of plug and play options for HDMI output, is it necessary? GCDual does have several advantages over the plug and play solutions. First of all, it’s neater. Early plug and play Gamecube solutions suffered from design faults that could actually brick your console if the adapter was knocked during use. While better designed units shouldn’t suffer from these issues, they still require a significant, unwieldy dongle attached to your console that’s one more thing to lose, especially when you’re on the road. With GCDual there’s no dongle to lose and no fuss, your Gamecube is just HDMI compatible forever.

Of course, GCDual gives the Gamecube a range of analogue output options too. No longer are expensive, proprietary Nintendo component cables required. Simply use a regular Nintendo SCART cable with a component video breakout adapter if necessary.

Furthermore, with GCDual, it’s possible to change the HDMI settings using the controller, while plug and play options require the use of an (easily lost) remote control unit. Need to configure scanlines or set deinterlacing modes on a per-game basis? With GCDual this is easy to do from your Gamecube’s controller, a real boon if your the type that likes to tinker with settings.

Give me dual power!

Our first batch of GCDual boards has just landed and invites will be going out to the people who put their names down on the waiting list. After the waiting list is cleared, the mod will be available to everyone. We will offer both kits for DIY installations and a fitting service. If you want to get on the waiting list that’s still possible, simply contact us here and let us know.

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