In context: In 2005, a render of a portable handheld called the “Nintendo GameCube Advance” began circulating the internet. It was relatively quickly dismissed as a fake and slipped into obscurity. However, someone has gone through the effort to create the real deal based on that nearly twenty-year-old render.
YouTuber GingerOfOz, whom you may remember as the hobbyist who crafted a PlayStation 2 handheld, a WiiBoy Color, and a GameCube Classic Mini, just finished work on the Nintendo GameCube Advance. His inspiration for the project comes from a mockup from 2005 (below) created by an unknown artist as a gag to see how people would react. Come to find out, the creator of the image was a student at the time who went on to work for Ubisoft, Epic Games, and Squanch Games.
Ginger tried to stay loyal to the look of the original render but did change a few things. For one, the disk slot on the front is purely cosmetic. There was simply no way to fit a disk drive into the dimensions of the tiny chassis, which he spitballed based on the size of a GameCube disk.
The second thing he changed was the back of the fold-down screen. The reason was that it looked somewhat like a cheesy portable MP3 player—it just wasn’t Nintendo-looking enough. Plus, the lid design was from a less circulated render that not many would even remember.
He also compromised the internals by using a Wii motherboard instead of a genuine GameCube mobo. This change was because the Wii is much easier to shave down to size. Plus, Ginger was already familiar with the process from when he crammed a Wii into a Game Boy Color chassis.
The DIY GameCube Advance handheld otherwise looks just like the original mockup and is fully functional. Since the Wii is backward-compatible with its predecessor, it plays GC games without third-party emulation software. The video in the masthead starts when Ginger demos some gameplay, but if you are interested, watch from the beginning to get the complete 411 on the creation process.