WODE Review

Discussion in 'Official GBAtemp Reviews' started by Opium, Feb 9, 2010.

Feb 9, 2010

WODE Review by Opium at 2:07 AM (77,244 Views / 0 Likes) 7 replies

  1. Opium
    OP

    Former Staff Opium PogoShell it to me ™

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    <font color="red">GBAtemp.net review of the...</font>

    <b><span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'><font color="#FF8C00">WODE - Wii Optical Drive Emulator</font></span></b>

    <img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/WODE.png" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    aka: WODE, Wii Optical Drive Emulator
    Homepage: <a href="http://www.wodejukebox.com" target="_blank">WODE Jukebox Homepage</a>

    Review written February 9 2010

    Many thanks to <a href="http://www.ozmodchips.com/" target="_blank">OzModChips.com</a> for providing the WODE review sample.

    <a href="http://www.ozmodchips.com/" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/ozmodchips.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /> </a>

    <b>Review Contents & Index:</b><ul><li><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#a">Introduction</a>
    - <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#a1">Official feature list</a></li><li><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#b">Packaging and contents</a>
    - <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#b1">Package contents</a></li><li><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#c">Hardware design</a></li><li><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#c2">Installation</a></li><li><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#d">Setting Up & Using</a>
    - <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#d1">Installing firmware</a>
    - <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#d2">WODE LCD menu</a>
    - <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#d3">Gamecube menu</a></li><li><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#e">Performance</a>
    - <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#e1">Wii game compatibility</a>
    - <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#e11">WODE USB loading</a>
    - <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#e2">Flat mode</a>
    - <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#e4">Gamecube game compatibility</a></li><li><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#g">Additional Features</a>
    - <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#e3">BCA patching</a>
    - <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#g1">Firmware updates</a>
    </li><li><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#h">Conclusion</a></li></ul><div class="reviewbreak"><a name="a">Introduction</a></div>
    The best way to describe the WODE is by saying it’s a USB backup loader/modchip for anyone who doesn’t actually want to modify the Wii’s system files or use homebrew. Just install the solderless modchip and attach the stand and then you have a fully functional USB loader all completely independent of the Wii’s firmware. You get all the great features of loading games from USB, like load times and convenience without any of the mess of fiddling with system files.

    WODE stands for Wii Optical Drive Emulator and it functions much like virtual cd software does on the PC. You mount an ISO file on a virtual DVD drive that the Wii is tricked into believing is a real drive. You can select which game to load either through the LCD screen on the front of the WODE stand itself or through a built-in Gamecube menu onscreen using a Gamecube controller. The WODE also has a ‘flat’ mode that makes it function just like any other modchip and allows you to boot games from a burnt DVD.

    The WODE has a ton of features and houses some impressive hardware that is currently unique on the marketplace. Not only can it run Wii games from USB but it can also run Gamecube games. However the WODE is certainly targeted towards those who are looking for a hardware solution rather than a software solution. Read on to see how it performs.

    <a name="a1"><u>WODE Jukebox official features list:</u></a><ul><li>Play Wii & GameCube game ISOs direct from USB Mass Storage devices @8X read speed (HDD and FLASH drive)</li><li>Complete Solder free install solution</li><li>Easy to use GUI - LCD & Joystick - NO homebrew software required (no any update of console can block this device)</li><li>Region hack (works on wiis with firmware 4.1 and lower), Update blocker, Autoboot.</li><li>Passthrough with FLAT-MOD mode built-in, play your DVD-R Wii & GC backups and Imports @3X read speed (doesn't work on D3 version 2+ drives)</li><li>Powerful ARM9 MCU</li><li>Totally Flexible Linux Kernel</li><li>USB hub support for multiple USB devices connection</li><li>Great File System support - use existing WBFS formatted media or 'drag and drop' ISOs to existing USB devices </li><li>NTFS support</li><li>WBFS support</li><li>EXT3FS support</li><li>HPFS support</li><li>The ability to plug as many harddrives as you want (via a USB Hub)</li><li>Future updates will bring more cool features: Disc ripping to WBFS / USB WiFi & SAMBA streaming</li></ul><u>WODE Jukebox tech specs:</u><ul><li>ACTEL A3P125 FPGA (manage bridge to Wii drive data bus)</li><li>MCU NXP LPC3143 - 270 MHz, 32-bit ARM926EJ-S - 128AES security</li><li>512 SDRAM DDR</li><li>4Mbyte SPI flash (the firmware of WODE)</li><li>SD CARD SLOT (used like drive C: for linux and extra addons)</li><li>USB 2.0 support</li><li>LCD 128x64 pixels w/ backlight</li></ul><div class="reviewbreak"><a name="b">Packaging and contents</a></div>
    The WODE comes packed nicely inside a foam sleeve. The delicate modchip and cables are taped to the inside of the stand so that they are protected during transport. The whole design is very sturdy though so there won’t be any problems.

    <a name="b1"><u>Package contents:</u></a><ul><li>WODE solderless modchip</li><li>WODE stand</li><li>Ribbon cable</li><li>Power cable</li><li>Insulation sticker

    <div align='center'><a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0236.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0236s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0238.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0238s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0239.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0239s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div></li></ul><div class="reviewbreak"><a name="c">Hardware design</a></div>
    The WODE stand itself is made from strong white plastic. It looks like a lot of effort went into the design to make it as seamless an attachment to the Wii as possible. When the WODE was originally announced I was worried because the stand pictured was bright orange. I could hardly think of a colour that would stand out more. There was a lot of talk of colours before release with grey, white and black suggested. Currently the stand is only available in white, but a limited edition black version is planned for the next few months. So if you have a black Wii you may want to hold out for a little while longer if the aesthetics are important to you. As it stands though the WODE looks the part and complements the Wii well.

    The Wii is connected to the stand via a ribbon cable that connects the modchip inside the Wii to the LCD screen on the stand and the strip of Velcro included that you attach to the bottom of the Wii. They all fit together quite snugly and the Wii is firmly held in place, which is important because if it fell out of the stand it would pull on the ribbon cable and potentially break the WODE. The bottom of the stand also has holes to allow you to fit the original clear plastic stability circle included with your Wii stand to the bottom of the WODE, which is a great idea.

    The glaring downside of the WODE design is the annoying fact that once the stand is connected you will never be able to remove it again without either opening the WODE or Wii to remove the ribbon cable. I really wish the WODE team would’ve been able to make the ribbon cable detachable or have it turn into some sort of plug you could plug into the outside of the WODE stand. That way the stand would be easily detachable and you wouldn’t have to worry about damaging the cable.

    The small joystick on the stand also seems rather flimsy. It does work, but mine has troubles when scrolling down as it doesn’t click properly. All other directions give the right resistance and click, but down seems a little broken on mine.

    The only other gripe I have with the stand is that the slot the Wii sits in is just a little too wide. Even with the Velcro on the bottom of the Wii I find that the Wii can wobble quite a bit. By placing a finger on top of the Wii you can wobble the Wii very easily. The stand is still attached firmly enough that the Wii won’t fall out, but when you press a button on the Wii, such as the power or eject button, the Wii will wobble a bit. I’ve fixed this easily by folding up a piece of paper and sliding it into the stand to fill the gap. Easily fixed, but the design should’ve been spot-on in the first place.

    <div align='center'><a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0241.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0241s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0242.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0242s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0243.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0243s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0259.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0259s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0251.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0251s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="c2">Installation</a></div>
    The WODE installation was specifically designed for the average gamer in mind. The modchip is completely solderless. All you will need is a triwing screwdriver and a small Phillips head screwdriver to open up the Wii. Opening the case is the hardest part. Once that is done the rest is simply just figuring out what goes where and connecting the ribbon cables.

    Below are two instructional video on how to open the Wii and install the WODE provided by OzModChips. You can see for yourself how easy the installation is.

    <center><object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/-dtC2Veq9HY&hl=en_GB&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/-dtC2Veq9HY&hl=en_GB&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object> <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZEs0p2Pv0zs&hl=en_GB&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZEs0p2Pv0zs&hl=en_GB&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object></center>

    The screws are fairly easy to remove and the casing slides right off to reveal the innards. A few more screws and a ribbon cable and then the DVD drive is detached. My Wii already has a Wiikey v1 soldered to the DVD board, but luckily that won’t affect the operation of the WODE. The Wiikey will no longer function though while the WODE is connected to the board. The WODE modchip basically acts as a conduit between the Wii itself and the DVD drive. When you unplug the power and ribbon cables from the DVD drive you then plug them into the modchip and use the provided extra cables to plug the modchip into the DVD drive. The modchip will now sit between the Wii mainboard and the DVD drive. Remember to cover the modchip with the included insulation sticker before closing the Wii so that it won’t short any circuits.

    When you put the DVD drive back in place make sure the modchip is nestled comfortably below it and is pressed flat against the metal without the ribbon cables tugging or twisting. When you screw the DVD drive back into place it should fit almost perfectly, but might sit just a little higher to accommodate the modchip below it. When closing the case the most important thing to remember is to feed the ribbon cord connecting to the WODE stand through the plastic area where the battery compartment is, rather than have it stick out over the metal. That way it won’t get pinched and damaged when you close the lid.

    Once you’ve screwed the case back together again all that’s left is to attach the Velcro strap to the bottom of the of the console and sit it in the stand. The USB cable sticking out from the back of the WODE stand can be plugged into either USB port on the Wii (it will power the LCD screen’s super bright backlight). That’s it. The WODE is installed.

    <div align='center'><a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0244.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0244s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0245.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0245s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0246.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0246s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0247.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0247s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0248.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0248s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0250.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0250s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0252.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0252s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0253.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0253s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0256.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0256s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0254.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0254s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0255.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0255s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="d">Setting up & using</a></div>

    <a name="d1"><b><font size="3">Installing firmware</font></b></a>

    The first thing you’re going to want to do is visit the WODE website and download the latest firmware (v1.25 as of this review). Throw the update.bin file into the root of an SD card (or micro SD card inside of an SD adapter) and stick it into the SD slot of the WODE stand (while the system is off). Power on the Wii and the WODE should light up then the screen will say ‘updating’. It takes about 5-10 minutes to update, during that time don’t turn off the Wii or you could potentially damage the WODE. Once it’s finished updating the menu will show up on the LCD screen. From that point on your can remove the SD card, you won’t need it anymore.

    <div align='center'><a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0260.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0260s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0263.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0263s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0264.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0264s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0266.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0266s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0271.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0271s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0272.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0272s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>

    <a name="d2"><b><font size="3">WODE LCD menu</font></b></a>

    The WODE menu shows a number of different options. They are:<ul><li>Favourites</li><li>Select game</li><li>Flat Wode</li><li>Settings</li><li>About</li></ul><b>Favourites</b> is what you’d expect, a list of your eight selected favourite games. By adding a game to this menu you can access it quicker, so if there’s a game you like to play a lot be sure to add it. To add a game simply go into favourites, select one of the spare slots and then choose your USB HDD and point the cursor to your selected game.

    <b>Select game</b> is the main option you will use. Go in there and you will be asked to choose what drive you want to use. The first option ‘ram1 WODE’ is the pre-installed Gamecube controlled menu for the Wii. More on that in the Gamecube menu section below. My HDD is partitioned into two drives, one is standard NTFS and the other is WBFS (specifically for Wii games). The WODE detects both of them and lets you choose which one you want to use, and because the WODE supports both types of formatting it won’t really matter which drive you put your Wii games on. When you select the drive your games are on it’ll present you with a list of games to choose from. Select your game using the joystick or Gamecube menu and the WODE will mount the game and load it.

    <b>Flat Wode</b> is the mode you use to play burnt discs just like any other modchip. While in this mode the Wii will read your backup discs just like they were originals. Backup discs won’t load unless you’re in flat mode.

    <b>Settings</b> houses a whole array of goodies. You can tune the game patching options such as region patching (to allow games from other regions to boot), updates (select whether you want to allow Wii system updates on the disc to load) and autoboot. If you turn autoboot on then when you load a Wii game from your HDD it will boot straight away without you having to do anything. If it is set to off the game will first load into your Wii’s disc channel, from there you can start the game yourself.

    In settings you can also select what region your Wii is (EUR/JAP/KOR/USA) so the WODE knows what region patches to apply I’m assuming, and also to let the update option know what updates to allow through. The WODE is smart enough to be programmed to allow discs to update your Wii with only your region and block all others so that you don’t get bricked. You can of course set it to block all disc updates as well. A very handy feature.

    One of the most useful features you can enable is ‘Auto load’. This is different from autoboot. Auto load can be set to a few different settings, including making the Wii load the last game it booted automatically when the Wii turns on. You can also make the WODE boot into flat mode by default everytime the Wii is turned on so that you can just use the WODE as a modchip to play burnt games without having to touch a menu. By far the best feature though is the ability to set auto load to boot the Gamecube menu by default when the Wii turns on, so that you can operate the WODE from the comfort of your couch without ever having to get up to use the LCD screen and joystick.

    If you ever want to disable auto load once it’s already running then press and hold eject on your Wii then press reset. It will ‘eject’ the ISO and boot you back to the main WODE menu on the LCD screen, from which you can navigate into settings and turn auto load to ‘off’.

    <b>About</b> displays the version information of your WODE. From there you can see what firmware version you’re running.

    <div align='center'><a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0273.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0273s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0274.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0274s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0276.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0276s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0277.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0277s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0278.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0278s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0280.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0280s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>

    <a name="d3"><b><font size="3">Gamecube menu</font></b></a>

    When I originally heard of the WODE I thought it was a good idea, but a little bit impractical. One of the great things about the Wii and software based USB backup loaders is that you just need to sit down, pick up a wiimote and away you go. You don’t have to leave the couch to select games or change discs. Just point your wiimote at the game you want to play and it starts. I was a little wary of the WODE because I thought I’d have to get up, go to the Wii and navigate a menu system with a little joystick before every game I played. Thankful if you have a Gamecube controller you don’t have to do that.

    A version of the WODE firmware was released that came with a controller based menu in the form of Gamecube homebrew. The Gamecube WODE menu it will appear like a Gamecube game in the Wii’s disc channel. Launch it and you will be presented with the exact same menu interface as what’s on the WODE’s LCD screen. This menu is only controllable with a Gamecube controller however, so your wiimote won’t work. You use the d-pad on the Gamecube controller to navigate and the A and B buttons to confirm or go back.

    The Gamecube menu is really quite simple in looks but it’s functional - especially when you enable auto load to automatically load the Gamecube menu into the disc channel when you power on the Wii. Combine that with autoboot for games and your games will load automatically after you select them from the WODE menu, all without ever leaving the comfort of your couch.

    <center><object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/TTPq6J5eVds&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/TTPq6J5eVds&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object></center>

    <div align='center'><a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0336.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0336s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0337.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0337s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0338.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0338s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0339.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0339s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="e">Performance</a></div>
    Now down to the meaty part of the review. I’ll skip the pleasantries and get the burning question out of the way.

    <a name="e1"><b><font size="3">Wii game compatibility</font></b></a>

    <a name="e11"><b>WODE USB loading</b></a>

    The WODE worked with all the games I’ve tried via USB HDD, regardless of whether they were running from NTFS or WBFS. I did manage to get all games to boot and play but that said, some games had quirks in getting to work. Super Smash Bros Brawl was one such game. The game would fail to boot if autoboot was set to on. It would work fine if it was set to off though. If a game has difficulties booting generally the rule of thumb is there is either something wrong with your ISO (perhaps it was edited) or you can try turning some options like autoboot off or enable updates and let your Wii update. A quick browse over to the WODE forums reveals some users having similar difficulties with certain games. Aside from these few quirks USB loading is still top notch. Every game I’ve thrown at the WODE has worked one way or another, including BCA protected games like Super Mario Bros Wii. The WODE team has been very supportive of their product so far with firmware updates to fix bugs so that leads me to believe they’ll continue to work on the kinks.

    As far as USB loading experiences go though, I’ve had an easier time using USB Loader GX (a purely Wii homebrew based method of loading games). USB Loader GX loads all my games, including trucha signed games, without any tweaks (and with a very impressive cover flow style GUI). This is however after running Wii homebrew and messing with my Wii’s system firmware. Something some people will choose not to want to do. If you’re one of those people who doesn’t want to fiddle with Wii firmware numbers and install system files the WODE is probably the product for you.

    The best thing the WODE has going for it is that it operates through hardware rather than the Wii’s firmware. It does not need Wii homebrew to run. So theoretically you should be able to keep your Wii up to date whenever Nintendo rolls out new firmware and you will still be able to load games from USB. As opposed to the messy business of not updating a homebrewed Wii, or updating and then finding all your homebrew files have been removed and you need to reinstall everything or wait for a new Wii exploit to be found if Nintendo patched the old one.

    It is also important to note that the WODE will run games from USB even on an ‘unmoddable’ D3-2 Wii. The DVD drives on D3-2 Wii’s, which showed up on the market in the later part of 2009, cannot be modded to run burnt games. Flat mode on the WODE will not work with a D2-3 drive. But since the USB loading of the WODE doesn’t use the DVD drive it will work just fine.

    There is still one drawback of the WODE though. Nintendo blocked out of region games from booting on Wii firmware 4.2. So if you are running 4.2 or higher you will still need to run some Wii homebrew to re-enable region free on your system. If you don’t, the WODE won’t be able to run games from another region. Firmware 4.1 and below are fine however.

    <div align='center'><a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0324.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0324s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0323.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0323s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0275.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0275s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>

    <a name="e2"><b>Flat mode</b></a>

    The results for running games from disc in Flat mode are not as encouraging though. Super Smash Bros Brawl and Wii Sports Resort have refused to run from disc for me. Other users have been able to get these games to work from disc but after talking with the WODE developer it seems that a bug still exists that stops the game from running for certain users. A disc with an edited copy of Super Mario Bros Wii also fails to boot (possibly because the WODE has difficulties with a trucha signed ISO). It is important to note that all these discs worked perfectly fine with my Wiikey v1. Unfortunately my Wiikey no longer works as long as the WODE modchip is attached to the DVD drive as the WODE takes precedence. Most games worked fine though and those that didn’t I could get to work via USB loading. It seems fairly evident though that Flat mode is more problematic and not as well implemented at the USB side of things.

    While Flat mode can be set to be enabled by default when you turn on your Wii, it is annoying to get out of. You have to press and hold eject then reset on your Wii for the WODE menu to return and from there you can select something else in the menu, such as the Gamecube controlled menu. I’m a little disappointed that the WODE team wasn’t able to do away with the whole idea of a ‘Flat mode’ in the first place. Why not just make burnt disc loading enabled by default without having to go into a special mode? My Wiikey plays burnt discs without me having to do anything. I’m sure there’s a reason why that can’t be done on the WODE. It probably conflicts with the USB loading aspects of the WODE, both can’t be enabled at the same time or something. That’s just speculation on my part though.

    As I said above in the USB loading section, Flat mode will not work on a D2-3 Wii. The DVD drives on a D2-3 are ‘unmoddable’ so you won’t be able to run burnt games from them. USB loading using the WODE will still work fine however, no matter what type of Wii you have.

    <a name="e4"><b><font size="3">Gamecube game compatibility</font></b></a>

    One of the WODE’s best features is you can also load Gamecube games from USB (or disc using Flat mode). It works exactly the same as if you were loading a Wii game. Put the Gamecube ISO on your USB HDD and away you go. All games I’ve tried worked perfectly. Zelda The Wind Waker, Soul Calibur 2 and even multi disc games like Killer 7 all work fine. Of course I have neither the resources nor the time to test every game, but from what I’ve tried they work without a hitch. In a previous firmware version Killer 7 would not boot, but that was quickly fixed by the WODE team in an update, which is a testament to how well the team seems to be supporting their product.

    <div align='center'><a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0286.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0286s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0288.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://opium.gbatemp.net/WODE/IMG_0288s.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="g">Additional Features</a></div>
    <a name="e3"><b>BCA patching</b></a>

    Nintendo has started using a type of disc protection called BCA, which was supposed to stop backup games from working. The first game to use this protection was Super Mario Bros Wii. It was quickly defeated but requires you to have a small .bca file with the bytes of information unique to each game for any game that uses this protection. WODE works fine even with BCA protected games like Super Mario Bros Wii. All you have to do is rename the BCA file (obtainable with Wii homebrew) to the same filename as your ISO and place it in the same directory as the game. For example if your ISO was called ‘SupermbW.iso’ you would obtain the BCA file and rename it to ‘SupermbW.bca’ and put it in the same folder. The WODE will detect this file automatically when you load the game.

    <a name="g1"><b>Firmware updates</b></a>

    Another big selling point of the WODE is that it looks to have a bright and active future thanks to the regular firmware updates. The WODE uses a Linux kernel which you can update through the WODE stand’s SD card slot. Place the update.bin file in the root of your SD card and put it into the WODE, then turn the Wii on and the LCD screen will display the ‘updating’ message. Updates take about 5-10 minutes to complete.

    During the last month that I’ve owned a WODE the WODE team has released several updates addressing either bugs or adding new functionality like the favourite games selection or the Gamecube menu. The support definitely seems to be there, which is nice to see. The team has talked about some interesting features they want to include in future updates, including: DVD ripping to USB HDD, Wifi game streaming and a Wiimote controlled WODE menu through the Opera browser. I can’t review the product based on promises, but I can say that I’m very satisfied with the steady stream of updates. If the support continues the WODE will be a powerful companion for any Wii.

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="h">Conclusion</a></div>
    I’ve been very impressed by the WODE. It is a powerful, feature rich, unique product for anyone looking for a hardware solution for Wii USB game loading. It performs almost without a hitch. Those very few games that don’t work can be made to work by tinkering with the settings. It supports BCA protected games, loads Gamecube games perfectly from USB, loads burnt discs through the Flat mode and is well supported by firmware updates. The WODE provides all of this functionality without you ever having to touch any Wii homebrew. You can keep your Wii up to date with the latest firmware from Nintendo and still have USB loading. Installation is solderless as well as painless. It is a no hassle solution. I have a few minor gripes with the stand however, like the loose fit with the Wii console and the fact that you can’t detach the stand anymore without opening the Wii. The joystick for the LCD screen is also a little flimsy. These are only minor problems though. The bulk of the time the WODE has been great to use.

    The WODE is however obviously designed for a specific type of audience - the one that doesn’t want to run homebrew or fiddle with the Wii’s firmware. USB game loading is available for free on any Wii by using homebrew and loaders. And sometimes those loaders perform better than the WODE can. They can provide intuitive interfaces using a cover flow style with boxarts, incorporate the Ocarina cheat system and feature disc ripping. If you already use one of the excellent USB loaders like USB Loader GX, then the WODE probably won’t sway you. But if you don’t want to use homebrew and install things to the Wii’s firmware and would rather have a hardware-based USB loader, then the WODE is an excellent choice. It is a powerful product with a ton of functionality and is probably the best hardware-based solution out there.

    <b><font size="3"><u>Pros & cons</u></font></b>

    <b><font color="green">Pros:</font></b>
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Loads games from USB
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Backup disc loading
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Supports Gamecube games via USB or disc
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Easy to install
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> No homebrew
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> LCD screen
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Favourites menu
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Auto load
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> NTFS support
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Frequent updates via SD slot
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> You can operate it with a Gamecube controller rather than off the LCD

    <b><font color="red">Cons:</font></b>
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> Expensive
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> Some problems with flat mode
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> Can’t detach the stand once installed without opening the Wii
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> The Wii wobbles in the stand
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> No disc ripping
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> Flimsy joystick
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> No way to control it with a wiimote
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> Simple menu

    <div class="reviewbreak"><img src="http://gbatemp.net/up/award_gold.png" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>

    <b>External Links:</b>
    - <a href="http://www.wodejukebox.com" target="_blank">WODE Jukebox Homepage</a>
    - <a href="http://www.wodejukebox.com/download.php" target="_blank">Official WODE firmware downloads</a>
    - <a href="http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showforum=107" target="_blank">GBAtemp Wii - Hardware, Devices and Utilities forum</a>
    - <a href="http://www.ozmodchips.com" target="_blank">OzModChips</a>
    - <a href="http://www.ozmodchips.com/wode-wii-modchip-wii-optical-drive-emulator-p-233.html" target="_blank">OzModChips WODE purchase</a>

    This review was written for GBAtemp.net ONLY. The article and all included photos are property of GBAtemp.net
     
  2. SanGor

    Member SanGor Witchhunter

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Messages:
    993
    Country:
    United States
    Also the WODE does not support audio streaming of GC Games!

    That means all GC games that use audio streaming have no music or whatever is played using audio streaming.

    So sadly this also isn't the ultimate GC backup solution.

    Some games that are using audio streaming:
    -Eternal Darkness
    -Extreme G 3
    -1080° Avalanche
    -Crazy Taxi
    -Mario Smash Football
    -Star Fox Adventures
    -X-Men: Next Dimension
    -X2: Wolverine's Revenge
    -Ikaruga
    ...
     
  3. WiiUBricker

    Member WiiUBricker Insert Custom Title

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Messages:
    5,827
    Location:
    Espresso
    Country:
    Argentina
    An ultimate gc backup solution doesn't exist. Everything has a flaw.

    WODE: No audio streaming
    Sundriver: No DVD drive
    Wiikey Fusion: No audio streaming
    Standard modchips: Useless with new drives
    SD-Boot/Swiss: No audio streaming
    NeoGamma: No audio streaming
     
  4. tagzard

    Banned tagzard Tagzard the Crazy Dinosaur with Wings.

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,452
    Location:
    Chicago Illinois
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    Well the wode had been updated. So can anyone with a wode post some more facts about it. Does it have audio streaming now?
     
  5. Nujui

    Member Nujui I need something to do.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2010
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    3,933
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    Dreamland.
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    United States
    Umm, tagzard, I think he probably would have knew the answer now.

    Also he's banned so......kinda pointless to answer his question.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. tagzard

    Banned tagzard Tagzard the Crazy Dinosaur with Wings.

    Joined:
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    Then does anyone have the answer?
     
  7. masterpad

    Newcomer masterpad Advanced Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
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    Cameroon
    Any update about the audio streaming fix for WODE???
     
  8. chaosdarkneo

    Member chaosdarkneo GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
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    United States
    You could use FSTFix on your Gamecube ISO... It moves the files needed for audio streaming to the right place.
     

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