By Andrew Liszewski
The Wii ‘homebrew’ scene has evolved over the years to the point where you don’t need a steady hand and a soldering iron to ‘enhance’ the console’s capabilities anymore. But while the WODE (Wii Optical Drive Emulator) Jukebox doesn’t require you to know how to solder, there is some assembly required, including opening up your Wii and swapping around some ribbon cables. The WODE Jukebox connects between the Wii and its internal DVD hardware, and ends up functioning like a virtual drive, allowing you to mount ISO files which the Wii will think are actual game discs. So while there are some hardware modifications needed, you aren’t doing anything to your Wii that can’t be reversed.
The WODE Jukebox features a USB port allowing you to connect flash drives or an external hard drive loaded with homebrew software, as well as an SD card slot providing the same functionality. But it can also operate in a ‘Flat WODE’ mode allowing you to load software burned to DVDs like with other modification chips. A monochrome LCD display and a tiny joystick on the front of the Jukebox allows you to choose what titles you’d like to load, though if the prospect of having to get up to change applications isn’t that appealing to you, a special version of the WODE firmware lets you use an on-screen menu with the Gamecube controller instead.
If you’re seriously interested in the device, and aren’t scared off at the prospect of cracking open your Wii, or the $95.46 price tag, GBAtemp has an extremely thorough review on the device, including installation procedures and compatibility tests.