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Unofficial Homebrew Channel For the Wii

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the hacking-twilight dept.

Hardware Hacking 150

marcan writes "The Homebrew Channel is a tool that can be installed on any Wii (no hardware mods required) that lets you run unsigned homebrew software from an SD card, or upload executables via WiFi or a USBGecko. We've tried to make it friendly for users with a simple GUI, and powerful for developers with direct upload features and reloading which we hope will make testing less painful. The channel can be installed using a DVD if you have a modchip, or using an exploit in Zelda: Twilight Princess which only requires an SD card (or any future hack or booting method). Once installed, it simply shows up as a Channel on the Wii Menu, just like any official channel. Hopefully, this and other recent developments (such as the upcoming devkitPPC r15 toolchain, much improved and with many bugs fixed) will help make the Wii an appealing platform for DIY software. And yes, it also runs Linux."

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150 comments

strange brew that's good for you (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23539063)

That would be Kombucha.

Oy vey (5, Funny)

yada21 (1042762) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539067)

Anyone else read that as Hebrew channel? Go on and mod me down you schlemiel's. I got first post already.

Re:Oy vey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23539081)

I got first post already.

Then ur doin it wrong, because irritablebeing got there a minute before you.

Re:Oy vey (0)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539101)

At least you read it... I'm still trying to figure out how it got labeled "hardhack" even though the summary states in the first line that there are no hardware mods necessary.

Re:Oy vey (4, Informative)

KingArthur10 (679328) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539169)

No hardware mods necessary, but one of the avenues of attack is by using a hardhack and modding the DVD drive.

Re:Oy vey (1)

story645 (1278106) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539245)

Uh, 'cause it's modding a Wii and modding console's supposed to automatically equal modding hardware 'cause a console is tied to it's hardware in a way pc's aren't? *shrugs* Not that I think it should be modded hardhack-I just think that's the thinking process that lead to the tag.

I'm just sad that my bro basically stole my wii, so it'd take too much work to get it back to play with the hacks.

Re:Oy vey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23539683)

That's a few too many apostrophe's, son.

Re:Oy vey (1)

story645 (1278106) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539781)

daughter (it's even in my sig)

Oops, I know, its possessive and it's contraction-should have been former, I used the latter (and pc's should really be PCs). As for everything else? I speak in contractions, so why not write that way?

Re:Oy vey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23539313)

YES!! I was very confused when I started to read it. It didn't make sense, until I read the headline again. lol For a moment there I thought it somehow involved http://jewtube.com/ [jewtube.com]

Re:Oy vey (3, Funny)

Viceroy Potatohead (954845) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539755)

I saw the title and reflected on how little needed to be changed to say: "Unofficial Homebrew Chanel From the Wee". I thought: "Finally, perfume I can afford for the girlfriend I wish I had!"*

*Note to self: My DIY perfume philosophy may be hindering mating efforts,

posting in the new on-page reply box (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23539085)

holy crap .... this is awesome and about time! thanks!

I want my beer! (4, Funny)

humphrm (18130) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539097)

How does this help me brew my own beer???

Free as in what ? beer ? speech ? (0, Troll)

DrYak (748999) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539875)

How does this help me brew my own beer???
No, no. You got it wrong. It's not free as in beer, but free as in linux.

--

More seriously, it's sad that the users have to resort to such hacks to enable homebrew. The only console designed from ground up to run 3rd party software are Dreamcast (mainly done for 3rd party music discs, but used a lot by the homebrew community) and PS3 (boots Linux CDs out of the box. Although the hypervisor restricts access to the GPU. But the Gallium3D team is successfully making a software OpenGL implementation that runs on the Cell's SPU).
I think a lot of console could benefit from having homebrew developer in mind.
Specially the Wii with its peculiar controllers just cries to see a vibrant community of homebrewer making clever use of the accelerometers & IR cam.

But I guess that Nintendo will just fix the hole and disable homebrew in the next firmware upgrade they will push.

Re:Free as in what ? beer ? speech ? (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 5 years ago | (#23540069)

The hole isn't fixable when it is in the DVD that was launched and distributed at the Wii launch in 2006.

The Zelda: TP DVD has the bug which allows the elf-loader to do its thing.

Re:Free as in what ? beer ? speech ? (3, Informative)

LiENUS (207736) | more than 5 years ago | (#23540373)

Specially the Wii with its peculiar controllers just cries to see a vibrant community of homebrewer making clever use of the accelerometers & IR cam.
Fortunately Nintendo didn't abandon us entirely. The Wii remote uses standard bluetooth. So even if Nintendo blocks homebrew by divine magic. Developers [arstechnica.com] will [thisisnotalabel.com] keep [sourceforge.net] developing [sourceforge.net] .

This combined with 20G memory expansion is great (4, Funny)

ylikone (589264) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539123)

Finally the Wii is becoming the awesome system it should have been from the start... with products like this [consolegameslist.com] that should have been available long ago.

Re:This combined with 20G memory expansion is grea (5, Interesting)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539389)

That's just an SD Gecko. It has no internal memory, it's just a way of plugging in an SD card into a memory card slot - the description is a lie. It was rather useful in the GC days, but was superseded by the internal SD slot on the Wii once we added support for it. The internal memory is not "expandable" like this.

Re:This combined with 20G memory expansion is grea (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539429)

Hey, you're marcan from team twiizers right? Congrats on this excellent release! This is probably the best thing for Wii Homebrew ever.

Re:This combined with 20G memory expansion is grea (5, Informative)

LiENUS (207736) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539453)

The website he linked to is a joke (whether the op is aware of this I do not know) but try clicking the buy this now link

Re:This combined with 20G memory expansion is grea (1)

ylikone (589264) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539527)

If you click on the ORDER NOW you may clue into the fact that I posted this to be funny, not "Interesting". lol

Re:This combined with 20G memory expansion is grea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23539637)

Well funny doesn't give you karma now does it. Someone (hint hint) was probably just trying to help you out there, cause the thought of some little gamer kid rushing to spend his $90 only to have his dreams crushed is kind of funny.

In addition, moderating funny stuff as informative or insightful pisses off the curmudgeonly anti-socials that put funny mods at -6, which is humorous in and of itself.

Re:This combined with 20G memory expansion is grea (1)

geekboy642 (799087) | more than 5 years ago | (#23540669)

I put troll at +6, offtopic at +2, and insightful at -3. My way of counter-acting the group think.

Re:This combined with 20G memory expansion is grea (3, Insightful)

hiruhl (1171697) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539817)

How about "Funny", "Interesting", and "Insightful"? Funny, as you intended it, insightful as it is insightful satirically, and interesting because it is just so danged multifaceted? Congratulations.

Re:This combined with 20G memory expansion is grea (1)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 5 years ago | (#23540779)

You know, I didn't click on the "Buy it Now!" link, but I gotta say, that web site is fcking hilarious.

I don't know who this crankHacker fella is, but I'd sure like to buy him a dozen beer...

Re:This combined with 20G memory expansion is grea (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539411)

Geez, there's so many typos on that thing I don't know why anyone would buy it. Looks way too shady for me.

bueller? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23539129)

no first post? where is everyone?

Re:bueller? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23539139)

Posting before you, apparently.

Re:bueller? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23539229)

They are in your base, killing your dudes.

And so it begins. (2, Insightful)

Awptimus Prime (695459) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539199)

And so it begins, watch as the Wii goes the way of the Dreamcast due to "no hardware mods needed" to run unsigned software.

No, I'm not being negative. This is just how consoles seem to die off quickly. You know, when the business model breaks down due to a large number of console sales (usually a loss) and a low number of game purchases due to them being free on P2P or usenet.

Re:And so it begins. (5, Informative)

LiENUS (207736) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539235)

This mod certainly allows you access to free games, however it does not make it easy to run commercial games for free. It merely allows access to home brew games without a modchip. Modchips do not make Nintendo any additional money over the cost of the console anyway.

Re:And so it begins. (1)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 5 years ago | (#23542171)

however it does not make it easy to run commercial games for free

Do you happen to know if it enables you to play legally purchased out-of-region games? I would really really love to play Densha De Go [wikipedia.org] on my UK Wii, but as far as I know this game won't play even if I bought a copy from Japan.

Rich.

Re:And so it begins. (5, Informative)

Xebikr (591462) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539237)

Except Nintendo actually (gasp) sells the Wii at a profit: [wikipedia.org]

While Microsoft and Sony have experienced losses producing their consoles in the hopes of making a long-term profit on software sales, Nintendo reportedly has optimized production costs to obtain a significant profit margin with each Wii unit sold. According to the Financial Times, this direct profit per Wii sold may vary from $13 in Japan to $49 in the United States and $79 in Europe.

Re:And so it begins. (1)

Awptimus Prime (695459) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539339)

That's good. Let's hope the profit persists and allows for more to be made in the future.

Let's hope game developers don't get their panties too twisted and continue to make games for it, knowing a softmod is out there ready to take a chunk out of their end of the cut.

Re:And so it begins. (1)

LiENUS (207736) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539431)

I don't believe the homebrew channel makes it any easier to run pirated games.

Re:And so it begins. (5, Insightful)

Grakun (706100) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539481)

That's good. Let's hope the profit persists and allows for more to be made in the future. Let's hope game developers don't get their panties too twisted and continue to make games for it, knowing a softmod is out there ready to take a chunk out of their end of the cut.
Do you really think any major game development companies are worried about competition from a bunch of geeks writing their own games that people have to jump through hoops to play? Even though the game devs companies have documentation and an SDK, while the geeks have neither? Are you a troll, or did you just fail to read the title?

Re:And so it begins. (1)

Awptimus Prime (695459) | more than 5 years ago | (#23540175)

No, I was speaking more about the resulting game piracy due to softmods of the Wii. Regardless, it looks like someone has some shitty knickers and needs a change.

Re:And so it begins. (3, Informative)

cduffy (652) | more than 5 years ago | (#23540259)

Have you read the documentation on this softmod discussing why it can't be used to pirate commercial games? There are substantial technical measures protecting commercial software for the Wii (excluding Virtual Console titles) which haven't been cracked, and which this particular team (like most of the Wii homebrew scene) will not assist any third party in cracking.

Also, I haven't noticed any reduction in commercial properties being produced for the DS, despite the availability of toolage for pirating commercial games; the legitimate userbase is simply too large for the pirates to make the system unprofitable.

Re:And so it begins. (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#23540341)

Original Games? No.

But Nintendo may certainly be worried that geeks will get some emulators up and running. Justifiably, too.

Re:And so it begins. (2, Insightful)

Rhapsody Scarlet (1139063) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539533)

According to the Financial Times, this direct profit per Wii sold may vary from $13 in Japan to $49 in the United States and $79 in Europe.

This always pisses me off. Assuming these figures are in any way accurate, this effectively means gamers in the US and Europe (especially the UK) are effectively subsidising lower costs in Japan. How the hell is that legal? Or am I missing something?

Re:And so it begins. (1)

jcostom (14735) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539613)

This always pisses me off. Assuming these figures are in any way accurate, this effectively means gamers in the US and Europe (especially the UK) are effectively subsidising lower costs in Japan. How the hell is that legal? Or am I missing something?

You're missing something. It's not illegal, as Nintendo is free to charge whatever they want for their product. In a free-market economy, one is free to charge whatever price they feel the market will bear. If you feel the pricing is unfair, I recommend you vote with your wallet and purchase some other system..

Re:And so it begins. (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 5 years ago | (#23541625)

Of course, the price difference on said other systems may be even more outrageous (*cough* PS3 *cough*).

Re:And so it begins. (1)

SynapseLapse (644398) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539675)

It's legal because there's no magical system saying things have to cost a certain price. Nintendo could charge $1,000 for their system if they wanted too, or they could charge $10 and give away the system essentially. Economics 101, you charge what the market is likely to bear while still giving you a profit.

Re:And so it begins. (2, Insightful)

LiENUS (207736) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539725)

Economics 101, you charge what the market is likely to bear while still giving you a profit.
And then you get into the 200 level courses and realize thats not true.

Re:And so it begins. (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539747)

Perhaps $36 USD of the profit in the US could be apportioned to profit on the Wii Sports game which sells separately in Japan.

In any case it's difficult to imagine why such a thing would be illegal.

Re:And so it begins. (4, Informative)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 5 years ago | (#23540165)

Currencies fluctuate in value relative to each other, taxes and logistical considerations vary from region to region, there are different marketing expenses and the comparative "value" of the system will vary along with the disposable incomes of consumers across different regions as well. Why in the world shoudn't Nintendo charge different prices in different regions when there are so many other fluctuating variables across different markets?

Re:And so it begins. (3, Insightful)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 5 years ago | (#23541917)

I agree charges different amounts in different locations makes sense, but sometimes it's just plain stupid, e.g. US vs AU prices on a wii, $250USD in the US, $360 USD in AU (about $400 AUD)

*sigh* least it's not as bad as the games, hear most of them are only $50, $100 is the standard, some up to $130, that's some nice pal tax

in the end it's cheaper and faster for people here to just import their console and all the games, still comes out cheaper than buying locally

Re:And so it begins. (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 5 years ago | (#23542537)

Hate to disappoint you cobber, but it's now $383. When the Wii launched it was more like $310. Your example perfectly demonstrates why these pricing strategies aren't wholly unjust.
The UK used to be one of the most expensice markets in Europe, but now that the Pound has plummeted its positively bargain-country.

Re:And so it begins. (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#23540217)

Nintendo reportedly has optimized production costs to obtain a significant profit margin with each Wii unit sold.

That's true.

But you are betting on "old tech" and the budget price.

That you won't be caught one, two, or three generations behind your competitors somewhere down the road.

It has happened before in an industry that is notoriously cyclical. You need to be there with the NES when the Atari 2600 is retired to the bedroom closet.

Novelties like the Wii controller and the Wii-Fit board do not remain novelties forever,

Re:And so it begins. (4, Insightful)

dogbowl (75870) | more than 5 years ago | (#23540611)

Like the D-pad novelty, the shoulder button novelty, and the analogue stick novelty??

The only thing cyclical is Nintendo pushing the market/possibilities in new directions and everyone else following.

Re:And so it begins. (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539269)

Well, Nintendo doesn't believe in selling at a loss. And people seem to love Nintendo games.

Re:And so it begins. (1)

Tangent128 (1112197) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539271)

The Wii is actually sold at a profit, last I heard. More importantly, it has the advantage of an on-average less technically inclined user base.

Re:And so it begins. (4, Informative)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539413)

Unsigned software != pirated commercial software.

While, of course, this ability implies that you *can* run pirated software, with the right modifications, in practice I have yet to see a plausible black-hat group with the expertise needed to develop such a hack. And we're sure as heck not going to do it ourselves. All that people have been doing is Virtual Console piracy, which is quite easy once a few details got released / leaked, due to nintendo's multiple mistakes on their DRM. But patching commercial games to read their data from SD or USB is not at all trivial.

Except Nintendo is well-positioned to avoid this (4, Interesting)

patio11 (857072) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539523)

I would hate as much as the next guy to see pirates (yeah, yeah, I know there are folks out there who just want to code 2D Tetris to work on your Wii... and there are about 10,000 pirates for every one of you, who want to play first-party Nintendo games for free) take down an IP producer I liked.

That being said, it isn't going to happen to Nintendo: they are largely pitching the console at folks who both don't pirate games and wouldn't know how to if they did (targetting customers who enjoy paying money for your product -- a novel concept!). They've sold a bazillion units -- and every one at a profit, thank you very much. They can update the firmware to remove this channel and the exploit any time you put in a first-party disk, and with the Nintendo model they can be reasonably certain that any console which is turned on in 2008 will play one of the next three Big Series releases from Nintendo. They have caused a resurgence in interest in alternate peripherals (credit also to Guitar Hero), which means that just stealing the game itself doesn't get you all of the fun. They have a very friendly online purchasing experience for many old games, which makes it less appealing to use the system as an SNES emulator (a very popular "homebrew" application in my experience).

So I'm not worried about Nintendo. Good thing, too, as I own stock in them.

Re:Except Nintendo is well-positioned to avoid thi (5, Informative)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539631)

They don't seem very worried either. Virtual Console piracy is relatively popular recently, due to several massive flaws in their DRM, which also happen to enable our homebrew software (in part). They've had a fixed piece of security software install itself as part of the newest update, but they haven't flipped the right bit to enable it yet. It's been a long while. The big bug? A terribly, horribly, completely broken RSA implementation with an effective security of 8 bits - because they used strcmp() instead of memcmp() when testing signatures!

As for us, we'll still be able to run homebrew after they fix the security software. There are plenty of other bugs that we can use (most of which are not public yet, so chances are Nintendo doesn't know about them), and most do not enable VC piracy as directly as the one major bug that they "fixed".

Re:Except Nintendo is well-positioned to avoid thi (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23539921)

This is the most informative post I have ever read on Slashdot.

Re:Except Nintendo is well-positioned to avoid thi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23541577)

Oh you must be new here.

Re:And so it begins. (1)

Asmor (775910) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539545)

The Xbox (original) had a similar exploit with MechAssault, allowing you to mod the console without cracking the seal by loading a hacked save file. I believe one of the James Bond games had the same exploit.

This is still loads more effort than was required for the DC. With the Dreamcast, you burnt a disc and played it. No modding, hard or soft, neccessary; you didn't even need a boot disc after a while.

PS3 didn't goe away (4, Insightful)

DrYak (748999) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539797)

Dreamcast wasn't the only console designed to be able boot 3rd party disc out-of-the-box (although the feature was designed with karaoke discs in mind. Not homebrewer nor pirates).

PS3 is also designed to be able to boot Linux out-of-the-box. But the PS3 doesn't seem to be tanking because of it.

The first Playstation was one of the most widely pirated console. Yet, it was also one of the most successful.

After the first couple of years, emulation of the Gameboy was widely available. During the life-time of GameBoy Pocket, Light and Color. Emulation has been available in parallel, with a flourishing underground traffic of roms, yet you can't call the GameBoy "not successful".

You know, when the business model breaks down due to a large number of console sales (usually a loss) and a low number of game purchases due to them being free on P2P or usenet.
I disagree. First, few hardware maker actually sell consoles at a loss (even if they have smaller margins on the hardware compared to the software).
In the case of Dreamcast, how much of friend do you know how only bought the console (first hand from a shop) and never ran anything but burned CD-R on it ?
Everyone I know who had a Dreamcast had at least bought couple of games. Usually the same quantity as they also had cartridges for older less pirated game consoles.
It seems to me that DC piracy hasn't as much lowered games sales, as it has mainly allowed users to play that they wouldn't have bought in the first place.

What really caused the DC's downfall is a mix of not loud enough marketing (SEGA has often showed understated stats of its console, whereas most competitors used to inflate the specs), a silly price war later in the life cycle against its competitors, lots of 3rd party developers putting their project in the hold in expectation of the next playstation, and past financial disasters (the Saturn definitely tanked in the US, and only had limited success in Japan and even more limited in Europe).

The Wii is not sold at a loss. It has a lot of success in most market, out-sellling its main competitors. It's primary market is more geared toward casual and family players who aren't going to go through the hacking hassle to get the pirated software work anyway. (They usually buy on the spot the Wii and couple of fun multiplayer games Ã-la WiiSport. Then only occasionally buy additional games). It's not even in direct competition in its own market (whereas both of the competitor fight for the "hardcore player" segment).

I just can't see the Wii tanking because of this hack.
That hack will just enable creative use of the hardware by homebrewers.
And maybe enable some player to play games they weren't interested in buying in the first place.

Nonetheless, given Nintendo's past, they will probably go with great rage after all makers of such hacks, and sue them for piracy. With the net result being to so much raising sales, as mainly killing homebrew creativity.

Re:PS3 didn't goe away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23540439)

PS3 is also designed to be able to boot Linux out-of-the-box. But the PS3 doesn't seem to be tanking because of it.

The PS3 has sold approximately half as many units [nexgenwars.com] as the second-place console (Xbox 360). How badly does it have to do before you consider it to be "tanked"?

(to be fair, the reasons it's selling so poorly probably have nothing to do with whether it can run Linux or not)

Re:And so it begins. (1)

ikkonoishi (674762) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539907)

Wiis aren't sold at a loss. They have proven and efficient hardware that actually cost less at release then the console sold for if I remember correctly.

Oddly enough the captua for this post is antique

Re:And so it begins. (1)

burgundysizzle (1192593) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539993)

Except that Nintendo sells the consoles at a profit, not a loss. What you might expect instead is that 3rd party titles may dry up. But most of the reason to buy a Wii seems to be for first party titles anyway and this mod doesn't seem to allow you to actually run burnt copies of games only homebrew stuff.

Re:And so it begins. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23540035)

Nintendo never sold hardware at a loss and they'll never do that.

You're rewriting history. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23540039)

This is simply rewriting history.

The Dreamcast was already close to death by the time these hacks came out. It was a combination of Sega's insufficient capital to continue advertising the Dreamcast past the 9/9/99 launch, and a steady drumbeat from Sony about how the PS2 would be a generation ahead. Sega was simply outmatched from the start.

The Dreamcast was a great console with perhaps the most interesting lineup of games, but it was always going to be a poor cousin to the PS2.

Besides, if piracy kills consoles, the PS2 would have faded about 18 months after it came out.

Re:You're rewriting history. (1)

Sangui (1128165) | more than 5 years ago | (#23540149)

Besides, if piracy kills consoles, the PS2 would have faded about 18 months after it came out.
And it definantly wouldn't be the highest selling home console ever with 127+ million units sold.

Re:And so it begins. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23540067)

The NDS has a strong homebrew community, many devices to run commercial games without any hardware modifications, yet the console seems to still be far away from death.

Re:And so it begins. (1)

Sangui (1128165) | more than 5 years ago | (#23540109)

PSP is very easily hackable. Has a built in ISO loader. It's still alive and there's been an ISO loader since almost the beginning.

Re:And so it begins. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23540229)

And so it begins, watch as the Wii goes the way of the Dreamcast due to "no hardware mods needed" to run unsigned software.
Why, when the DS seems to be doing fine?

yums (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23539247)

just installed this and hoping ninty don't flip out about it in future. it's very useful - with a mod you can just chuck in the iso and bam, done for good, everything runs off the internal SD slot fine. makes homebrew as simple as putting it on the memory card - installed dodgy wiiware and vc releases made easier (i'd assume) to install, but i wonder if we'll see a wii/gc disc dumper that dumps to internal slot insead of gc memory card adaptor.
shame that it makes piracy easier in a way, cos just for 'legit' homebrew it's a nice tool - just sure that my online mario kart days are numbered :S

But does it run... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23539289)

...oh, wait, nevermind.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23539351)

I have had a Wii (modded with a wiiKey) since July 2007. The modchip allowed me to try out homebrew a long time ago, and I've been hooked on it ever since.

I was using old GameCube demos and code to get going, but eventually wanted to access the Wii's hardware. Even a modchip couldn't deliver that, so I got the Twilight Princess hack to work and have been having fun writing small programs that run from my SD card (front slot - thanks to everyone who figured out how to get ELF files running from there).

The best part about this Homebrew Channel is that I don't need to constantly run through the Twilight hack to get things running. I can (thanks to bushing and others), grab code over the WiFi connection.

Perhaps Nintendo will release a firmware update that will search out and destroy the new channel, but until then, write some code, have some fun, and get Linux going :)

Very polished (4, Informative)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539397)

Installed it this morning and it's very polished, looks and feels like a real Nintendo made channel. A few bits and pieces aren't fully there (no vibration when going over buttons) but it's really well done overall, and has auto-update support and loads .elfs over LAN. Also, Team Twiizers is pretty sure that it's safe currently, and they're working on a fix for bricked Wiis. They've already got a fix for semi-bricked Wiis, which is pretty cool. If you want to read up on some of the background of Wii hacking, check out their site: http://hackmii.com/ [hackmii.com]

Re:Very polished (5, Informative)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539573)

For what it's worth, fixing a bricked wii is going to require a hardware programmer and some soldering, because it's bricked and as far as we know there's no backdoor to fix it (we're *gasp* using the proper term 'brick' here). However, hopefully we'll be able to develop a firmware modification that will insert a backdoor early into the boot process to provide a way of restoring if needed, assuming your Wii isn't bricked yet. Unfortunately, with the official software, the Wii is quite prone to permanent bricking. Even something as simple as a malformed channel banner file can cause it.

For those that do not know, "semibricked" (no, we did not invent the term) means that you've installed a version of the System Menu from another region (usually by using a game from another region that contains an update, with a modchip). The results are that you cannot access the Settings menu, as the internal inconsistency means that it tries to load the wrong files and ends up at an Opera 404 screen. Surprise! The Wii Settings menus are just HTML files. This can be easily fixed by running a game with an update for the right region that's newer than the installed one. The "fixes" up on our site are just the latest versions packaged as updates inside ISO images.

Re:Very polished (1)

Drinking Bleach (975757) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539845)

I've heard that it's possible to unbrick a Wii through a hardware ROM flasher (means opening up your Wii, voiding warranties), and only if you've backed up the Wii before it was bricked (so 99.999% of bricked Wiis can't be fixed).

Re:Very polished (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 5 years ago | (#23541519)

Ah, thanks for the clarification. I honestly don't know why I've been modded +3 informative, heck I'd mod myself overrated, but I guess I just got an early post in.

By the way, I love your blog, it's so awesome with the whole "Downgrading your browser for Web 0.1 thing.

Re:Very polished (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23540957)

working on a fix for bricked Wiis
Has the definition of "bricked" changed? I thought if it was bricked you couldn't turn it on, how do you release a fix for that?

Emulation on the Wii Already Came a Long Way (2, Interesting)

Croakyvoice (986312) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539511)

Already the Nintendo Wii is home to emulators for Snes, GBA, GBC, Nintendo 64, MAME, Nes, Genesis, Master System, Game Gear and more With the homebrew channel it makes the system even better. Lets hope piracy doesnt ruin a great homebrew scene. For those interested in emulators be sure to check out Wii News http://wii-news.dcemu.co.uk/ [dcemu.co.uk]

Re:Emulation on the Wii Already Came a Long Way (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23540429)

Except emulating commercial SNES/GBA/GBC/etc games IS piracy...

Re:Emulation on the Wii Already Came a Long Way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23541177)

Unless you own the roms, then its just format shifting.

Re:Emulation on the Wii Already Came a Long Way (1)

bane2571 (1024309) | more than 5 years ago | (#23541225)

Technically, if you own the game and copy it to SD card yourself then it is format shifting, not piracy. Owning the game and downloading it is often illegal, but morally I'd consider it not piracy. Downloading games you don't own is piracy.

I'm amazed (4, Informative)

jessecurry (820286) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539595)

I'm amazed every time I see these Wii homebrew projects. As an actual DS/Wii developer I see the time that is involved setting up our official development environment and can't believe how dedicated the homebrew community is.

Re:I'm amazed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23540469)

they are smarter than you

Re:I'm amazed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23541027)

What exactly takes so long setting up the official SDK? Is it unzipping the SDK packages? Or is it running the batch file to install the registry entries? Or is cygwin just that hard to use? =P

DVD Player? (1)

AusIV (950840) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539863)

I remember reading a while back that someone had shown that a minor hardware mod enabled them to play DVDs on the Wii (in other words, the Wii hardware is capable of playing DVDs). Any chance that the Homebrew Channel would let us build a DVD player for the Wii?

Re:DVD Player? (1)

Drinking Bleach (975757) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539929)

I don't see any technical reason it wouldn't be possible, but I suppose it's up to someone to port Xine and libdvdcss2 to the Wii.

Re:DVD Player? (3, Informative)

LiENUS (207736) | more than 5 years ago | (#23539937)

From what I understand all dvd access must go through IOS which is a kernel that handles IO (for more than just the DVD drive) running on an ARM processor. The IOS normally does not allow the kind of access necessary for a DVD player. There is apparently an enable dvd video system call but it is not known exactly what it does/how it functions.

Re:DVD Player? (2, Insightful)

fyrewulff (702920) | more than 5 years ago | (#23540077)

It was probably implemented early on, but actual support dropped because the Wii can't even be DVD licensed anyway.

Re:DVD Player? (1)

LiENUS (207736) | more than 5 years ago | (#23540273)

Why wouldn't Nintendo be able to get a license for the wii to play DVDs? The platform is at least as secure as any vista pc (not that thats saying much). The hardware is certainly capable of playing DVDs. Nintendo has even expressed an interest post launch in making a Wii that could play DVDs.

Re:DVD Player? (5, Informative)

Rathus (664608) | more than 5 years ago | (#23541477)

It's not that Nintendo is worried about the platform being secure, it's that every console sold would incur a lisencing fee for DVD's Copy Protection (CSS), therefore increasing the cost of each Wii for Nintendo, and directly then for the consumer. Given this decision was made long before the Wii's success was known.

There are also people who mention the Wii's DVD drive is not meant for continious access, and that DVD playing would cause the drives to wear out faster. Why ruin a $300 system instead of a $30 DVD player?

Re:DVD Player? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23540403)

Someone reported a while back that Nintendo would add that functionality themselves. However, I think this is a bad idea. A DVD player costs less than $30 these days, and playing DVDs can wear a drive down. Why shorten the life of a $250 game system, when a $30 device that can be purchased at the grocery store could stand in?

The Wii uses DVDs to store game data, so the technical capability is certainly there.

What can I do with this? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23539933)

I am a developer and have a Wii at home. Now let's say I install the homebrew channel and the toolchain on a Linux/Windows PC, what can I do with it?

The FAQ and youtube videos show me how to install things and how to run some kind of older Nintendo emulator... nice... as a developer I would like to develop and run software. Here some specific questions:

* Which programming language can I use? I am guessing C/C++ is supported?
* Which UI library exist? Is there support for input devices, can I also output text and images?
* Which network library exist? Can I use internet/WLAN connection, can I use Berkeley sockets API?
* Are there existing example applications? Not only "hello world"... maybe something more complex?

Thanks in advance for help and documentations

Re:What can I do with this? (5, Informative)

FrangoAssado (561740) | more than 5 years ago | (#23540205)

I'm speaking here as an amateur Nintendo DS developer with some experience with DevkitPro, the "toolchain" made by some guys to run stuff on Gameboy Advance, Nintendo DS, Gamecube and recently Wii, among others. I have no direct experience with Wii developing, but I think I can help you a little...

* Which programming language can I use? I am guessing C/C++ is supported?

The "toolchain" is called "DevkitPPC" (a part of DevkitPro, which is available here [devkitpro.org] ) consists of GCC and some other utilities (many from GNU) and libraries to generate ELF executables that the Wii can run. So, basically, C and C++ are supported.

I don't know about the last version, but they're working daily on the CVS mainly with Wii updates, so expect the next version (r15) to be very nice. All this is available as a Windows installer, or you can get binaries (or the source) for Linux. I remember seeing something for OSX, but I don't know how it is nowadays.

* Which UI library exist? Is there support for input devices, can I also output text and images?

* Which network library exist? Can I use internet/WLAN connection, can I use Berkeley sockets API?

* Are there existing example applications? Not only "hello world"... maybe something more complex?

The libraries for the NDS are very low-level stuff, with very recent additions towards higher-level stuff; so I'd imagine the Wii stuff is still very low-level.

There are some Wii examples to get you started. I don't know if the main packages include them, you can grab them here [sourceforge.net] if not.

Finally, if you start developing for the Wii, expect to visit forums, dig up information on IRC and generally learn *very* low-level stuff to do anything beyond a simple "hello world".

Re:What can I do with this? (2, Informative)

Twintop (579924) | more than 5 years ago | (#23542305)

FrangoAssado summed most of the NDS development stuff up. One thing I'd like to point out that if anyone is looking in to NDS development, to check out the Programmer's Arsenal Library, PALib [palib.info] . It it a good framework that takes care of a lot of the low-level stuff and allows you to develop.

Re:What can I do with this? (1)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 5 years ago | (#23541991)

answers, in order

1. c, not sure on c++ as I just use c, c++ tends to want an os of some kind.

2. libogc contains bits for everything you like, the graphical bits are similar to opengl but not the same. There are some handy bits for creating text consoles and the like also.

3. libogc supported the gamecube bba and it's own tcp/ip stack using the sockets interface, however not sure if it has support for the wii wireless though

4. look at the gamecube examples, it's pretty much the same deal, wii has some extras but gamecube homebrew is very similar, as it's the same library bit with some extra bits enabled.

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