The “Nintendo GameCube Advance” is a strange piece of internet gaming history: a fanciful rendering of a portable version of the GameCube that made the rounds online since 2005† But while the render has long been dismissed as a fan-made fake, YouTuber GingerOfOz has taken matters into his own hands and built a real, functional version of the concept† as noted by Eurogamer†
Ginger didn’t just build his own Real GameCube Advance, however: He also tracked down the original artist behind the 2005 mockup and got the scoop on how and why they made it in the first place.
Ginger is no stranger to creating slick custom Nintendo mods, like his impressive Wii Boy Color from 2020 who somehow managed to shrink an entire Wii to the size and form factor of a Game Boy Color.
The nearly 20-minute video chronicles Ginger’s quest to recreate the console (based on just a 2005 rendering of a single corner of the device) and the trials and tribulations along the way. Some aspects of the original render were just not viable in real life, like the hinge (which Ginger instead built to function similar to a Nintendo DS for a more comfortable viewing angle) or the joysticks (which had to be replaced with 3DS-style sliders so that the screen can actually close).
The biggest sacrifice, however, is the lack of a functional disk drive. The parts were just too big for the modded console, although Ginger leaves in a slot so that a disc can be (uselessly) inserted to match the aesthetic of the render.
Ginger technically did not build a portable either GameCube. Instead, he used a Wii motherboard, which uses less power, is physically smaller, easier to modify and more affordable to get. Despite this, Ginger went out of his way to include some of the GameCube’s unique software (including the iconic boot logo).
The final build is impressively functional: it looks like the original render and plays GameCube games, although it gets about an hour and a half of battery life.
As for the original render, it was made by an artist named Demond. They said they created the original image for fun as a way to practice product rendering in Autodesk 3D Studio Max. Demond went on to create other futuristic renders – such as a popular PSP2 image which found its way onto the internet a few years later — and has gone on to work for real-life video game companies like Ubisoft and Epic Games.