The GCHD is the GameCube’s Most Important Accessory – REVIEW
Since the advent of high definition televisions, retro gamers have had to overcome many obstacles to play their favorite consoles without a CRTV. Some consoles have easy fixes, such as the HDMI for the Wii or the use of the original PlayStation 3 to play PlayStation 1 and 2 games, however, one console has remained an enigma for years; the Nintendo GameCube.
Fret not fellow gamers, EON has come to our rescue with the EON GCHD, an add-on for the Nintendo GameCube that offers HDMI output. With no mods required, the GCHD allows the GameCube hardware to produce the highest native resolution possible.
Check out the features below:
- ‘Highest Native Resolution: Get the most out of your GameCube with true 640x480p through the GameCube’s Digital AV port. Powered by GCvideo.
- Lagless Input: Enjoy seamless gameplay on HD displays without the typical high latency associated with analog to digital setups.
- Plug and Play: Simply plug the GCHD into a compatible GameCube and you’re ready to go!
- Professional Grade Construction: Only the best components including top quality chips, boards, and custom tooled fittings
- Custom Dual Prong Design: GCHD’s dual prong design allows for secure, worry-free connections that will never damage your system.
- Fully Customize Your Experience: Sync any universal IR remote to GCHD to access a full menu of options including scan lines and line doubling.
The GCHD is a plug-and-play as it gets. Simply insert the device into the back of our GameCube, insert HDMI, and you’re on your way to Nintendo glory. It’s important to note the GCHD will only work with the original GameCube Model DOL-001 due to its inclusion of the digital out port on the rear of the console. This is the same outlet that was used for the OEM Nintendo component cables (YPbPr).
For years, the ability to display video beyond the OEM output has only been possible via the GameCube component cables. The problem with this is the rarity of the cables themselves. Nintendo only produced the cables for a short amount of time and they were only available via a mail order special request, causing them to be astronomically expensive in the retro collectors market (a set of GameCube component cables will cost you upwards of $250). Furthermore, the ability for third parties to manufacture the chip was rendered impossible due to a special DAC chip that was in the plug base.
The GCHD has hurdled this obstacle, allowing gamers to play all of the lost GameCube discs in HDMI. Better yet, it also takes any of the (many) games that utilize Progressive Scan and brings them to your HD screen with stunning clarity. This where the GCHD really shines as graphics output of the GCHD is amazing compared to the OEM counterparts. Colors are more vibrant and edges are a bit smoother, adding a modern feel to your retro gaming experience. It’s important to note that this is NOT an upscaler. The GCHD outputs the resolutions supported by the GameCube hardware (480p, 480i, and 240p) so it won’t be turning your copy of F-Zero X in 1080p. What it will do is essentially future-proof your GameCube, allowing you to enjoy some great titles at their best visual quality. Don’t forget about the capability to use the Gameboy Player add-on that, combined with the GCHD, will relay the GameBoy’s native 240p on your HD TV.
The looming question here is a big one: is the high price point worth it? The answer depends on the buyer. If you’re a casual gamer that isn’t bothered by the rough edges of the GameCube, then any amount is probably too much. For a retro gaming enthusiast such as myself, the answer is a definite yes. The GameCube has long been a system that gathers dust on my shelves as I have been unable to unlock its true potential. I’m generally unhappy with most upscalers or video outputs, yet EON’s GCHD works beautifully and had me digging out my copy of Rogue Squadron and remembering the beauty if Progressive Scan. I also consider this an investment for my collection, as future televisions will most likely support HDMI and I am now set for GameCube, GameBoy Color, GameBoy, and GameBoy Advance games on the big screen. The build quality is great and, as a company, EON is extremely friendly. This is a perfect product to help you relive memories of Nintendo’s past.