Grab your iron and add GameCube back to the Wii

One of the really cool things about the Nintendo Wii when it was first introduced was the ability to play GameCube games on it. This made it a no-brainer for a lot of folks to upgrade. But as the heyday of legacy systems fades into history, Nintendo decided this was no longer a selling point and stopped populating those components. The good new is, if you don’t mind a lot of PCB soldering you can add your GameCube bits to a modern Wii motherboard.

[Deadlyfoez] launched a raffle to raise enough money to buy a new version of the hardware (we guess the raffle prize is the modded console). He then proceeded to solder on four GameCube controller ports and a memory card reader. There are also a number of passive surface mount components that need to be added. But as the video after the break shows, once in place the functionality reappears on the software side.

Comments

  1. dillon1337 says:

    I didn’t realize they removed the GameCube bits from the newer Wiis. Makes sense when reducing the cost.

    • deadlyfoez says:

      Whats funny is they dropped the price in the US to about $130, and then went and removed these ports and the vertical stand, but then upped the price by $20. So the put effort for saving money, but then charged people more for less. Kinda crappy on Nintendo’s end. I honestly only expected that type of move from Sony.

      • SirGouki says:

        Really? You’ve heard of the PS3, right? I paid $300 for mine when it first came out, and since then, they’ve both removed the MSPro ports, and removed the OtherOS option, and at the time they did this, my model cost about $200 and the models without those things were still costing up to $400. No company is innocent to something like this, it’s just so many consumers refuse to educate themselves on what they’re buying that not enough people are noticing, nor do most of them care.

  2. Pat Hartl says:

    Wait, to enable Gamecube compatibility all you have to do is solder a few SMD components and solder the controller ports back on? That’s really not that bad. I mean I know they use very similar CPU’s, but that’s just excellent. Nice hack!

  3. Are you guys saying the new wii consoles don’t have gc controller ports?

  4. fartface says:

    Or just buy a used one. The 1st gen units are all over ebay and craigs list.

  5. tyco says:

    Where did he source the connector components, since they’re proprietary?

  6. Slegiar says:

    cripes D: all the more reason to hang onto my 1st gen, since i wasn’t aware either that the newer ones were non compatible XP when did nintendo catch the sony asshole virus? rants aside, sweet hack =D ‘s awesome to know the functionality is still availble within the system even if the components aren’t there.

  7. andar_b says:

    That’s interesting, because the DDR mats for the Wii work in the Gamecube port and not the USB ports. I’ve always found that a rather lame hack, but now you’re telling me that the new consoles won’t work with them at all? Double lame.

    DDR can be pretty silly to watch, but honestly, it’s a lot less silly than Just Dance.

    • LarrySDonald says:

      This was my first thought as well, my kids really like DDR. I’d be pretty upset if they suddenly stopped supporting it or if I’d bought it for a new console. I was already pretty confused after buying the mat since I didn’t realize it had GC ports – I thought perhaps someone had sold me a mat for something else in a Wii DDR box (it was used at a yardsale) until I found them.

  8. the dude says:

    nice one! didn’t know that they removed the gc ports (still on 1st gen..), further more the wii graphics havent improved that much since the gc.. (well for mario-(kart/stuff) at least)
    great hack! (gonna check if i can find me some gc controllers)

  9. Mrthekod says:

    Programming wise The Wii seems pretty much identical to the GameCube cept with accelerometers and a pointy stick. Also, where do you plug in your classic controller now? Can you still download wiiware?

  10. Nunya Bidness says:

    Actually, the functionality does not just reappear.
    Deadlyfoez, being a GBAtemper, added a WODE to play GC games. Thus requiring piracy.

    In order to restore true functionality, you would have to replace the DVD drive with one from a BC wii.

    Here are the guys that did it first:
    http://www.gc-forever.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=683&start=12
    Although they never did a decent write-up.

    • deadlyfoez says:

      Just because someone owns a WODE it does not mean that it is being used for piracy, just like if someone owns a gun it does not mean that it is being used for armed robberies.

      But as everyone already knows that the DVD drive is easily swappable, but no one proved that GC ports could be added back to the wii.

      Yes, I heard about those guys at gc-forever, but just because they said that they did it does not mean that they proved that they did it. There was absolutely not even one little glimmer of proof that they had done that at all. I at least proved it beyond a doubt and took an insane amount of pictures. For all I know, those guys at gc-forever could have just been making things up. I’ve heard that those folks are reputable, but I’ve never heard of them before, and still, there was absolutely no proof of it.

      But also, being that this is hackaday, and I am a gbatemp member, it is obvious that I would be softmodding the Wii, and with things like DML, and the soon to be released Devolution, there is not need for a gc compatible DVD drive.

      I only did this whole venture to prove a point.

      • EmuMoogly says:

        Wow, a little hyper-sensitive to criticism, are we? Get a thicker skin, bud.

      • Garbz says:

        Since when is trolling the same thing as criticism?

      • bufboof says:

        EmuMoogly

        Being accused of piracy/being accused of being a pirate simply because one does not use the original disc drive supplied by the original manufacturer, is not criticism. Being a member of a website/forum (forum in question is GBAtemp) does not not constitute piracy or support of piracy either. Your logic is fallacious.

      • deadlyfoez says:

        @EmuMoogly, Sorry, I was in a rush to get out the door for my vacation so my response may have seemed a little off from how I actually meant it, but I was in a great mood and was only trying to explain things as quickly as I could.

        But the fact is, what I did should not bring up a piracy debate because this was not intended for piracy, but instead just a POC that the GC ports do in fact work.

        I’m still in a rush now bc I have to unpack, but I did want to clear that up and hope that it puts an end to any more piracy debate because this is not what it is about.

  11. t&p says:

    So they removed all GC compatibility without anyone much noticing? WHA EHHH THE HELL WAA… *brain just exploded!
    WHY NINTENDO…. WHY?
    -Because we are cheap! HAHAHA-
    THAT IS NOT AN EXCUSE!

  12. shano56 says:

    EmuMoogly

    Being accused of piracy/being accused of being a pirate simply because one does not use the original disc drive supplied by the original manufacturer, is not criticism. Being a member of a website/forum (forum in question is GBAtemp) does not not constitute piracy or support of piracy either. Yours and Nunya Bidness logic is fallacious. You can rip games yourself. One backup ripped by yourself is completely legal.

    • cantido says:

      >One backup ripped by yourself is completely legal.

      Where are you talking about? Personal backups aren’t “legal” in a lot of places. The WODE itself probably isn’t legal in a lot of places.

      • deadlyfoez says:

        I reside in the US where the WODE and self made backups are legal. Enough said. Please, lets not make this into a piracy debate, instead lets just complain about how nintendo pulled a stunt similar to Sony.

    • Nunya Bidness says:

      That’s “Nunya Bidness’” (Mind the single quote)

      and it is completely illegal. I could site legal precedence, but you can just google that yourself.

  13. Th3_W01f says:

    It would have made more sense to me for you to make a guide or video showing the soldering process so that others can readd the ports as well. Truthfully that could have been a g1 console in the video, as there is no proof of the process besides images, which could be from resoldering a g1. The actual process would prove 100% true!

    • deadlyfoez says:

      WTF is a g1? Anyone who has taken a wii apart knows for a fact that this is a wii motherboard. This is no way to mistake it. The soldering process sucked because of the headers were filled with solder so I had to preheat the board so I could wick out the solder just so I could fit the ports in place, and that process alone was about an hour long to do.

      I’m not even going to explain the troubles I had with soldering on the SMD components, but I will tell you that I did not have the right tools for this job so it was a pain in the ass.

      I think I spent about 6 hours on the soldering process, and I also did part of it at a friends house, so it would have been unfeasible for me to make a video of the whole process.

  14. Luke says:

    deadlyfoez, great job, I dont understand why people waste time posting crap. Good job thanks for posting this!

  15. Th3 W01f says:

    G1 refers to Generation 1 or bc, and sorry if I seemed like a hard ass, but I want to be able to do the soldering work myself, could you explain what the surface mounts are, and where to solder them?

    • deadlyfoez says:

      If you follow the link to my blog in the main post and then open the spoiler you will be able to see which SMD components I had to solder in place. There was maybe around 20 of them that needed to be soldered on.

      But yeah, I wouldn’t go through the trouble of all of this if I did not in fact really do it. I’m not one to care for making shit up.

  16. Th3 W01f says:

    are those next to the C121 numbers(SMD components) and so on?

  17. WiiMaster says:

    For all you people that don’t want to loose their warranty and open up their wii just to get GC games playing or even DDR for wii, listen in. If you just bought a new wii and are just as pissed as I was when you brought it out of the box and realized that all those GC games collecting dust will not work. CALL NINTENDO!!! They will ship you a new will with GC ports for $5!!! I just got the new black wii with new mario bro’s a week ago. Called + emailed their support and told them I wanted to play GC games. Well folks I just opened the one they sent me yesterday! Works Great! And It’s even black like my original!

  18. chakanevil says:

    Ya did you have to send the other unit back, and about those supports, can’t you just solder the gamecube ports in, or do you need supports, are those those things that look like jumpers?

  19. Bmak says:

    is it possible for this to work on an wii u? please try same process for wii u to see if it works!

  20. bbizzyonebb says:

    Lol this guy thinks he was the first to do this. You sure were the first to take pics and post them to the net. Lol. And you got called out on using a wode lol.

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