If you've been looking for a better alternative to the SD2SP2 adaptor or SDGecko to store and load your GameCube games, then you may be in luck. Recently, on their channel, Macho Nacho Productions gave viewers a first look at an exciting prototype from WebHDX called the M.2 Loader.
This is an M.2 SSD-based device that plugs into the serial port 1 slot on your Nintendo GameCube and allows you to store and quickly load games with fewer audio glitches and better compatibility than many of its contemporaries.
According to Macho Nacho Productions, it's able to do this because of the presence of an integrated CPLD chip that increases the transfer speed between the SSD and Nintendo GameCube. There's no exhaustive study on the extent of these improvements yet, but footage within the video shows some spectacular differences in performance between loading Mario Party 5 through the device over using SD2SP2.
It's worth mentioning that, before getting started, the prototype requires a GameCube modified (with something like PicoBoot ModChip) to load into SWISS. It also currently requires an SD2SP2 because, at least for the time being, SWISS cannot be loaded directly off the M.2 loader. However, this will apparently change once it finally releases.
As Macho Nacho Productions notes in the video, WebHDX is also currently redesigning the device to replace the CPLD with the RP2040 processor instead to keep costs down and ensure a steady supply of parts. As a result, it will likely be a while before it's ready for the public to buy.
There's currently no news on a price or a release date, but we'll try and keep you posted once more information is available. You can watch Macho Nacho's full video below for a hands-on preview of the functioning prototype: