For those using ODEs (Optical Disc Emulators) will you also keep a stock disc unit intact?

I’ve been thinking about this.

Mechanical optical disc readers aren’t the most reliable–although mileage varies here. I notice some of my older disc consoles are still going strong (knocks on wood).

Long term, though. I think I will move to ODE solutions for all consoles that have that

I’m also a little different compared to many here. I don’t modern physical media too compelling. Patches, full disc installs making discs authentication checks, and so on.

However, I do love physical media for retro stuff. Both due to nostalgia, but also due to the amazing packaging, especially the Japanese stuff–full color manuals, control inserts, and such.

So I’d like both options myself, similar to using Everdrives with my cart based consoles. However, unlike Everdrives, many ODEs require sacrificing the disc readers.

After getting my 1st ODE for Dreamcast I decided to not use discs anymore and will go the ODE route for the other consoles as I already now have soft modded those that can even use a hard drive to play games off of them as well.

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I guess I come at this a bit backwards.

I used an ODE on my Wii since 2010. Never thought I’d want discs again. Even when I felt more opposed to piracy, I bought into Wii games on the Wii U eshop (I own 10 games like that). Few years later I got a couple favs on disc (NSMB Wii and Fortune Street) and over time built up a library. Now I just prefer to play Wii games off disc; if I want to play something odds are I just have a disc copy.

I’ve had the ability to run games off other storage media for PS2, GC, Xbox, Wii, Xbox 360, (I’ll even include PSP’s crummy UMDs in this) for years now but just come back to liking using discs. Those options are very convenient but I really love the way using discs feels, there’s something about it that makes me more into the experience of playing.

Will say screw XB1/PS4 + style disc games. They’re so useless, needing to install and how slow they are, plus how crap the packaging is makes the whole thing feel actively backwards.

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If there is an ODE that allows me to keep the original assembly in place that will always inform my purchase. The PSIO and Satiator are superior products for that reason alone. That said it’s more of a cosmetic thing for me.

In the cases where that isn’t an option, I just store the original assembly so I can replace it if I wish - although it is doubtful that will ever happen.

I can see this.

When you have a list of games, it can be overwhelming. But if you’re using single carts or discs, it’s easy to focus.

Similar to vinyl versus streaming. Spotify, you’re all over the place and at the mercy of their algorithm at times. Vinyl is about listening the whole record, with care.

To solve that just limit the list of games you would want to play. You don’t need hundreds of games, just enough for those that interest you to play 1st, and it’s easier to juggle with that than to worry about a disc or laser lens on a system not working properly, and trust me I experienced that quite a bit to the point that I don’t need to rely on discs anymore for my consoles.

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ODEs are just such game changers it has modified my disc purchases to be only for the absolute necessities and personal faves.

And as far as the FBI is concerned, I have deleted everything I don’t own after the customary 24 hour sample period.


I still play my favorite games off discs for the systems that ODEs don’t replace the disc drive (PS2 and Wii right now) but ODEs seem to be the future. I know my PS2’s drive’s days are numbered for example.

Playing off hard drive or ODE on original hardware is still an amazing option. Especially for games that are either rare and stupid expensive or playing homebrew as well as of course the convenience of having the entire library of a system on one storage device if you so choose.

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Yeah, that’s true, I agree with all of this when it comes to options like that with hard drives/ODEs. I even been playing games off the hard drive on my PS2 and it’s been working very well since I had some games that couldn’t be read properly from the disc drive, plus it’s more convenient along with faster load times.

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I don’t have any ODE’s, but I do plan to get them someday. But it could never replace my physical media - I will pretty much only use them to play fan translation patches and unreleased games. That’s also how I use the few flash drives I own. For example, I use my SNES flashcart to play Satellaview games and Trials of Mana that was ripped from the Switch collection on original hardware.

For ODE’s that replace the original disc drive, I plan to have a spare system for those. It’s pretty easy to swap systems when you’re leaving the cables intact and everything.

Basically, I’ll treat the console with the ODE as a giant flash cart that I only bust out when I want to play something I cannot play on disc. I’ll only install the ODE on a system with a dead disc drive anyway - basically saving a system from the trash, and those with bad drives can be had very very cheaply compared to working systems in good condition.

Of course, something like Satiator offers the best of all worlds. For the others though, they will go into systems that have no working laser rather than my main system. I feel very strongly about preserving the original experience, including using the original discs when I can. It just makes it more enjoyable for me.

Yes I keep a second console that can read discs for all my ODE systems except the Marty

I have been running a hacked Wii with external hard drive for years, and it’s been amazing. I still use discs here and there, but only rarely.

I recently bought ODE setups for my PS1, Saturn and Dreamcast. Both the Saturn and the Dreamcast require you to remove the stock drive guts, but I will keep all the parts in case I want to revert at some time in the future.

That said, I’m perfectly happy to run completely disc-less on anything I can. Not only is it far cheaper than collecting all the titles I would be interested in, but it’s more convenient and affords me the freedom to explore the library and try out many titles I would otherwise never experience.

I also want to get my Xbox and PS2 set up running completely off hard drives, so I don’t have to buy media anymore.


I agree with everything you said. I use hard drives for my OG Xbox and PS2(heck I use a SSD for my PS2, lol) and it’s amazing.