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Wii Update 3.3 Defeats Twilight Hack, Freeloader

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the wii-wii-wii-all-the-way-home dept.

Hardware Hacking 125

Richter X writes "The newest update to the Nintendo Wii's Menu, version 3.3, contains code specifically designed to find and kill the popular Twilight Hack used by homebrewers to play unauthorized code on the Wii. The update also prevents the Freeloader software used to play imported games on the Wii. However, it does not seem to affect the Homebrew Channel in Wiis that already have it installed. The updated code is currently being researched in order to find what code has been changed. So far it has been confirmed that Nintendo included specific instructions to target the Twilight Hack. Work is also being done to update the Twilight Hack in order to bypass this new code."

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125 comments

Countdown (4, Insightful)

LameAssTheMity (998266) | more than 5 years ago | (#23844165)

I wonder how long it will take to get around the newest most securest(tm) DRM EVER?!

Re:Countdown (4, Informative)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#23844545)

They've already found the bugs in the new code (which actually specificly looks for the TP hack save, rather than doing something nifty like verfiying saves in general) which will allow them to defeat it. The details aren't public but have been announced in general steps to many of the homebrew sites.

If I weren't at work behind a filter that thinks homebrew is 'illegal software', I'd post a link to an article or two.

But you should be able to check www.wiibrew.org... if I remember the URL. Sorry, I have bookmarkitis.

Re:Countdown (4, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#23844587)

Is it a crack or a fixing of a bug/exploit? Home brew channel still works, mod chips still work, etc.

Wouldn't complaining about Nintendo fixing a known exploit be like complaining about Microsoft fixing a known hole in XP?

A known overflow/exploit is found.
Company fixes known overflow/exploit.
People outraged that you can't "crack" a box like you used to.

You know that this might have fixed someone from remotely rooting your Wii?

WTF are you smoking (2, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 5 years ago | (#23844717)

and why won't you share you stingy bastard?

A flaw in an internet-aware OS: one thing.

A flaw that requires someone to load a hacked savegame, and do something specific in a specific game?

Further, the only difference between the two being that in the second case, the "flaw" is actually the FIX for the broken and stupid nature of the OS?

Really now. I have right of first sale on my side. I bought *hardware*. If I want to load linux on it, that's my fucking business and Nintendo can go fuck themselves. The worst they can do is void my warranty and refuse to contract with me for servicing if the hardware fails.

Re:WTF are you smoking (4, Insightful)

digitrev (989335) | more than 5 years ago | (#23845191)

Look. These updates are not mandatory. My Wii currently is not connected to the internet and doing just fine. Even when it is, you have to set it up to install updates automatically. You should have known that by hacking a proprietary system that further updates would probably screw over your hack. Just be glad you didn't get bricked. Caveat emptor, my friend.

Re:WTF are you smoking (3, Insightful)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 5 years ago | (#23845653)

some of the updates are manditory, and they do have the ability to force one through a game... I had to install an update to my console the first time I played Mario Kart.

Re:WTF are you smoking (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#23845739)

I had to install an update to my console the first time I played Mario Kart.

You didn't have to play Mario Kart.

Re:WTF are you smoking (5, Insightful)

Von Helmet (727753) | more than 5 years ago | (#23846129)

Parent is correct. I agree that a person buying hardware has the right to do whatever they like with it. However, I'm not sure where people get the idea that a supplier is then obliged to support their non-standard hardware/firmware with regard to games or online services.

General guideline (2, Insightful)

StarKruzr (74642) | more than 5 years ago | (#23852561)

Control of a consumer device should belong to the end-user, not to the corporation that produced it.

Nothing in the previous OS (2, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 5 years ago | (#23846155)

would have prevented Mario Kart from running except for a little "check for OS version X" flag.

It was Nintendo's way of trying to force updates.

I call foul.

Re:Nothing in the previous OS (1)

sirmonkey (1056544) | more than 5 years ago | (#23848353)

its crap like this that really really makes me wish i could win the lottery..
why?
well to start an open source gaming console / HTPC. i've talked it over with friends to. make it play WoW. make nifty looking keyboards like my old IR keyboard. and the port some hit pc games like work over RTCW and other idtech3 games (so the hardware could be punie like Wii).. and add is a racing game (i'm sure the live for speed crew would get on board). and then toss in some random fun/silly games and you've got yourself a system to rivil the big brands.
and when people say " hell no" you say oo it can also act like a dvr (mythtv) and a full web pc, intergrate with your current at home network (print stuff, listen to music, drm or drm free) and best of all, intergrate with mp3 players and other devices with out annoying restrictions. so in theory it could cook your dinner for you ;-)

Re:Nothing in the previous OS (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 5 years ago | (#23851553)

So what's the difference to this and a budget priced PC? The PC would probably even work out cheaper (not to mention the laughable amount of money from a lotto jackpot vs. R&D for console hardware). You can even use your Wiimotes without a problem.

But the simple fact of the matter is it seems that the free open-source development philosophy doesn't really fit in well with videogames.

Re:Nothing in the previous OS (1)

sirmonkey (1056544) | more than 5 years ago | (#23851809)

you know thats very true, open source really struggles with video games, and i think it is because of the time and man power required to make it/them work. look at ioquake. its great awesome, and with some tweaking i would love to have on a wii type machine with wii mote and everything. but ioquake has taken years to get to where it is, and a big help from king carmak. you also right about the cheap pc. but thats what i mean by an open source console. baicly mini-itx 64 bit 1 ghz, 1 gig and a pci express slot with like an 7series gefore or better. and that would be like a level 2 open source game console. get it? so you could really use anything you wanted. much like a pc, only the mind set would be. EVERYTHING would have to work at less than 640x480, and have simple but deep menus. so just a mind set change really. as for the lottery, i suck at codeding so i'd like to just hire some smarties to do my bidding and help me take over the gaming world :-D and make custom systems for those that don't know how to build a pc (the majority of america and the world for that matter)

Re:Nothing in the previous OS (1)

wwalker98 (601563) | more than 5 years ago | (#23852767)

Actually, I believe that the system update forced by Mario Kart was to allow full support for the (admittedly optional) Mario Kart Channel. Also, the update in MK was not the one that broke the TP hack. In this scenario, N's intentions are not as sinister as you make it sound. From my perspective, the one redeeming feature of consoles is that they "just work." To do this, they have to control what runs on the platform. Nintendo never claimed that they were selling an open platform.

Re:WTF are you smoking (2, Insightful)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 5 years ago | (#23846461)

I had to install an update to my console the first time I played Mario Kart. You didn't have to play Mario Kart.
No, but he couldn't have returned it to the store either, since it had already been opened.

Re:WTF are you smoking (3, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#23846975)

No, but he couldn't have returned it to the store either, since it had already been opened.

Caveat emptor.

As far as I'm concerned the moment you hack your console to do homebrew or whatever else, you forfeit the expectation that purchased software released in the future will work or be compatible.

Next time rent the game before buying it. Or check on the net if there are issues with you 'homebrew' stuff before buying a title.

Plus, at least with the case of MK:Wii he can sell it easily.... MK:Wii in particular probably sell quickly... its been sold out every time I've tried getting one in the last month.

Re:WTF are you smoking (2, Insightful)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 5 years ago | (#23848177)

As far as I'm concerned the moment you hack your console to do homebrew or whatever else, you forfeit the expectation that purchased software released in the future will work or be compatible.


Oh, I agree with you fully. I haven't hacked my Wii, and I have no intention of doing so. I have an HTPC and a laptop computer for stuff like that, and have absolutely no reason to void the warranty on my console. I bought the console for specifically that reason: so I can buy games for years to come and have no worries about whether it'll work, or whether I'll have to spend hundreds of dollars every 2 years to keep it up to date. The fact that the Wii was cheaper than a new computer in the first place was just a pleasant bonus.

Re:WTF are you smoking (1)

TriezGamer (861238) | more than 5 years ago | (#23848081)

Many stores will still accept the return if it's within 7-14 days. This isn't a PC game. Generally speaking, console games aren't going to be bought, ripped, copied, and played. It's far more difficult and time consuming (at least initially), and people can accomplish the same thing through rentals anyway.

Re:WTF are you smoking (1)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 5 years ago | (#23846943)

I dont update unless a game forced me to and I noticed the same updates that we got with Mario Kart Wii with Metroid Prime 3 and Super Mario Galaxy last year

Re:WTF are you smoking (4, Insightful)

ADRA (37398) | more than 5 years ago | (#23848117)

Yeah, well, maybe I'll rip out the DVD and replace it with some super l33t faster reading one and I'll just expect it to work with all future Wii games.

Oh, that's right. The second I do something not specifically authorized by Nintendo, I'm off the support chain and left to rot. I may feel raw about it, but ultimately its my responsibility for introducing the unintended process.

Re:WTF are you smoking (1)

Dan East (318230) | more than 5 years ago | (#23852935)

My son bought Bomb Blox yesterday. Upon inserting the disc it required a system update to continue. I was a bit concerned, as we do have the Homebrew channel installed (although admittedly haven't used it since the day I installed it). After the update (which to me did not seem to actually download anything - it was much faster than normal) the homebrew channel was still installed. I haven't tried the Zelda savegame hack yet though.

Re:WTF are you smoking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23846705)

here, let me give you my memory card. i unlocked a really cool level in zelda...

Re:WTF are you smoking (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 5 years ago | (#23847093)

You are free not to run Nintendo software on it since it breaks your hacks. I don't see them doing anything wrong here. It's your box and you can do anything you want with it. They can't do anything about that unless you let them. Oh, but you want to play their games too. I guess tough for you. They are going patch vulnerabilities in their OS. Or do you think the TP hack was intentional?

Don't feel too bad, new hacks will come out quickly. I am just surprised that you are surprised that this happened.

Re:Countdown (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#23844811)

The sole addtion was to check for the specific save file used to stack smash past the code signing security in the Wii. In other words, for someone to have 'remotely rooted' you using this, they would have had to some how convinced you to install their save, load up the game, do the trick that activates the hack. Not notice the fact that the Wii crashed, not notice the scrolling black text as the exploit installs whatever...

In other words, this only protected you from things you didn't need protection from.

Re:Countdown (1)

BuckaBooBob (635108) | more than 5 years ago | (#23844631)

Well that all depends who you talk to.

Nintendo marketing:
Its uncrackable.. No-one will ever be able to bypass this new update.

Teh Community:
Depends how much Free time I have... If I didn't have to goto work or socialize.. Probably about week.. but its summer.. so it could take a month.

Re:Countdown (4, Informative)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 5 years ago | (#23847831)

It took less than 12 hours for a fully working workaround. We haven't released it yet because the code needs a bit of cleanup and half of the team wasn't around when this whole thing happened so we need to make sure we're all on the same page.

Details in hackmii.com. Short version: the detection code is buggy and can be tricked by exploiting two small bugs. No need to find a new hack, we can just "hack the antihack" and then use the same old hack.

We're cleaning up code and committing everything to our internal source repos as I write this.

Place Your Bets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23844179)

I say it'll be cracked within 1 week of release.

What about modders? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23844303)

For those of us who have a modchip (and haven't added homebrew yet) what's the deal? I'm new to this and want to add homebrew, but not sure if I need to find a copy of Zelda and install that way, or if because of my chip (D2pro9), I'm okay to install anyways. There's seems to be a lack of information for people with chips wanting to do homebrew.

Re:What about modders? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23844431)

You should write to Nintendo asking for more documentation...

Re:What about modders? (1)

sinclair44 (728189) | more than 5 years ago | (#23845957)

The update fixes the signing bug which allowed fake-signed disks to work (the signing is RSA, but there was a bug in the signature checker that allowed them to be faked). So, with the update, for example, you will not be able to install the homebrew channel with an ISO disk.

Darn it (5, Funny)

electricbern (1222632) | more than 5 years ago | (#23844423)

I knew I would regret installing this upgrade, but I can't help myself and not install an upgrade. I have an obsessive-compulsive upgrade installing disorder.

Re:Darn it (1)

Sta7ic (819090) | more than 5 years ago | (#23844459)

Compulsive patch upgrader? How many flavors of Linux are you running at home?

Re:Darn it (1)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 5 years ago | (#23844539)

Just one, but he hits "apt-get dist-upgrade" twice a day... :)

-l

Re:Darn it (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 5 years ago | (#23845247)

Just one, but he hits "apt-get dist-upgrade" twice a day... :)

I've got the sollution to that, he just have to move to Gentoo, that way he will only will have to emerge everything once every six months...

Re:Darn it (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#23845549)

I've got the sollution(sic) to that, he just have to move to Gentoo, that way he will only will have to emerge everything once every six months...
Wouldn't that make it worse? One new package get's updated and he will compulsively compile it from source.

Re:Darn it (1)

SirCowMan (1309199) | more than 5 years ago | (#23845909)

Having run Gentoo for years on a whack of systems, and being a student who has spend a few summers working away... Gentoo is more a case where you'd better 'emerge -u world' semi-regularly; old versions lose their ebuilds, circular dependencies, blocking packages.. it's a ball to wait even 4 months!

Re:Darn it (2, Funny)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#23847549)

I knew I would regret installing this upgrade, but I can't help myself and not install an upgrade. I have an obsessive-compulsive upgrade installing disorder.
What a minute, are you that guy that keeps buying those Star Wars dvds?

But the Miis! (4, Funny)

fatnickc (1259582) | more than 5 years ago | (#23844443)

But.. but.. the update includes kick-ass-awesome-super-cool functionality too, to make up for the (now comparatively insignificant) loss! I mean, who wouldn't want to move Miis from the Plaza to the Parade? Exactly.

Re:But the Miis! (1)

Missing_dc (1074809) | more than 5 years ago | (#23848363)

Dude your patches seem a little out of date, I could do that a month ago.

Re:But the Miis! (2, Funny)

fatnickc (1259582) | more than 5 years ago | (#23848457)

To quote the message that appeared on my Wii from Nintended about the update, 'This update also ads a new feature to the Mii Channel. You can now move a Mii from the Mii Plaza to the Mii Parade. To do this, ...'. I am in Europe, though, so maybe Nintendo held off giving us this one for a while in case it just blew our minds with its promptness.

Re:But the Miis! (1)

Raineer (1002750) | more than 5 years ago | (#23849083)

To quote the message that appeared on my Wii from Nintended about the update, 'This update also ads a new feature to the Mii Channel. You can now move a Mii from the Mii Plaza to the Mii Parade. To do this, ...'. I am in Europe, though, so maybe Nintendo held off giving us this one for a while in case it just blew our minds with its promptness.
I am in the US, that feature was just added for me in 3.3 as well.

Increased Usability (4, Insightful)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 5 years ago | (#23844445)

Doesn't the allowance of "unauthorized code" increase the usability of a particular device? Regardless, I'm getting pretty sick of the trend of buying a physical product and being limited in what I'm allowed to do with it.

Re:Increased Usability (1)

3t3rn4l (204282) | more than 5 years ago | (#23844637)

Not taking into account anything agreed to in the Wii "click-thru" licensing agreement, you can do anything you want to with the unit, but it just might not work after you do. I understand where you are coming from though and find it equally aggravating. I knew that I should have just stuck with my Atari 2600!

Re:Increased Usability (2, Insightful)

Christianson (1036710) | more than 5 years ago | (#23844657)

I'm no expert or insider in the game industry at all, but console manufacturers have to be aware that a portion of their current success relative to PC gaming has to do with their platform standardization, the fact that games "just work" on consoles. Upgradeable system software is already a worrisome step away from that golden standard, and homebrew and system hacks are getting back into PC-level of complexity. Which is fine, as long as people recognize any problems they might have are a result of their own messing around, and not a fault of the console manufacturer. That's pretty much what their efforts accomplish, really. Certainly they haven't been able to stamp out homebrew.

So it's not entirely unreasonable for console manufacturers to be taking this attitude. Should you be allowed to do whatever you want with your own hardware? Yes, but the hardware manufacturer has no obligation to make it easy for you.

Re:Increased Usability (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 5 years ago | (#23844839)

So it's not entirely unreasonable for console manufacturers to be taking this attitude. Should you be allowed to do whatever you want with your own hardware? Yes, but the hardware manufacturer has no obligation to make it easy for you.
Agreed, but if the new software patch adds nothing to the system other than stopping attempts to run this "malicious" code, it adds no value for the end user. If this is the case, they are actually bloating systems with unnecessary code, in order to stop a "problem" that exists in less than 1% of machines. The hardware manufacturer has no obligation to make it easy for you, but they should have no reason to make it intentionally difficult. If you brick your machine, IMO, it's your fault.

Re:Increased Usability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23845829)

No value? What are you talking about?! Now you can move your Mii from the Mii Plaza to the Mii Parade!!

Re:Increased Usability (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 5 years ago | (#23849859)

That's not a problem for them, since their EULAs probably say something to the tune of "software or hardware mod this console or exploit a bug to run unauthorized code and your warranty is void."

Re:Increased Usability (3, Insightful)

NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) | more than 5 years ago | (#23844677)

...I'm getting pretty sick of the trend of buying a physical product and being limited in what I'm allowed to do with it.
It would appear that anyone who feels that way is in a minority so small that companies making physical products don't care.

Re:Increased Usability (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#23844697)

Yes no and maybe.
If I was making an embedded system I would LOVE to have it DRMed/encrypted out the wazo. Most embedded devices should be hard to modify. It would add security to the system and make it more reliable.
I want it to be next to impossible for any type of security breach including an unauthorized person reflashing the device. That is from a device owner/developer point of view.

As an end user of more mainstream devices... Not on your life. I want to write code and add features.
Would it be great if I could get my mother a PC that has the OS in ROM and stores just datafiles on mass storage. Well yes I can see the value in it. It would be immune from viruses, Trojans, and other flavors of malware.
Would I want it? Nope.
So like many things in life the answer depends on your point of view.
Is it cool that I can re flash my motherboards bios? Yes. Is it just a little scary to know that I can brick a motherboard???

Re:Increased Usability (1)

Missing_dc (1074809) | more than 5 years ago | (#23848409)

If I was making an embedded system I would LOVE to have it DRMed/encrypted out the wazo. Most embedded devices should be hard to modify. It would add security to the system and make it more reliable.
I want it to be next to impossible for any type of security breach including an unauthorized person reflashing the device. That is from a device owner/developer point of view.

As an end user of more mainstream devices... Not on your life. I want to write code and add features.
Would it be great if I could get my mother a PC that has the OS in ROM and stores just datafiles on mass storage. Well yes I can see the value in it. It would be immune from viruses, Trojans, and other flavors of malware.
Would I want it? Nope.
So like many things in life the answer depends on your point of view.
Is it cool that I can re flash my motherboards bios? Yes. Is it just a little scary to know that I can brick a motherboard???


I found it terribly amusing that you just describe my perception of the PSP vs the Wii (the PSP being the modifiable, parent co. does not give a fuck device.)

PSP firmware cat-and-mouse (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#23848541)

I found it terribly amusing that you just describe my perception of the PSP vs the Wii (the PSP being the modifiable, parent co. does not give a fuck device.)
If Sony Computer Entertainment doesn't give a secks about people modifying their PSP systems, then what was the cat and mouse game through PSP firmware versions 1.51 through 3.51 supposed to represent?

Re:Increased Usability (2, Insightful)

SwordsmanLuke (1083699) | more than 5 years ago | (#23844779)

I understand (and agree with) your frustration. The reason for this (WRT video game consoles, anyway) is that unlocked hardware is one of the things that contributed to the fall of Atari back in the early 80s. In particular, the Atari 2600 had no barriers preventing people from writing their own cartridges for it. At first, this was a good thing, as it increased the overall value of the 2600. Later in life, however, Atari had managed to piss off many of it's best developers, who then spun off to create Activision. At the same time, plenty of shovelware companies were dumping everything they could onto the market. The result: if you wanted good games, you bought Activision titles. If you wanted cheap games, you bought the shovelware. Atari's own games weren't moving and since the market for new *consoles* was already pretty well saturated (the current upgrade treadmill of console development hadn't been invented yet), the bottom fell out of Atari's profits.

Of course, shortly thereafter, the NES showed up - and one of it's main features was a hardware lock which prevented unauthorized software from running on it*. This has been the standard ever since.



*This is, incidentally why you get the annoying gray screen when you try to play dirty NES carts - the contacts aren't making a good enough connection to transmit the unlock code.

Re:Increased Usability (4, Funny)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 5 years ago | (#23846427)

*This is, incidentally why you get the annoying gray screen when you try to play dirty NES carts - the contacts aren't making a good enough connection to transmit the unlock code.
Ah yes, the dreaded NES flashing blue screen of death. Just lift pin 4 from the 10NES chip and ground it. That effectively neuters the hardware lock. Shh. Don't tell Nintendo. They might get mad. ;-)

Re:Increased Usability (1)

tooler (36824) | more than 5 years ago | (#23852575)

Do you have a reference on a website I could read about this? Just curious.

Re:Increased Usability (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 5 years ago | (#23849879)

On the other hand, Tengen's unauthorized Tetris is regarded to be better than Nintendo's own Tetris.

Re:Increased Usability (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 5 years ago | (#23845061)

I'm getting pretty sick of the trend of buying a physical product and being limited in what I'm allowed to do with it.

I'm sorry, but you can do anything you want to with the Wii. It just might not work as advertised afterwards. Just like how you can modify your car any way you want, but you might not be able to take it on public roads afterwards. If the update was somehow forced, than I would understand, but as it is the upgrade is optional and even warns you that it will break certain savegames.

Re:Increased Usability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23845137)

Just a note for your interest - you don't HAVE to update your wii. we havent for half a year because our wireless doesn't work with it for some reason.

Re:Increased Usability (1)

fyrewulff (702920) | more than 5 years ago | (#23852679)

Does it do the setup properly (ie, delete all connections, set up new connection), but doesn't go anywhere afterwards?

Have you tried changing the channel your router is using?

Re:Increased Usability (1)

Von Helmet (727753) | more than 5 years ago | (#23846193)

As I've said elsewhere, you can do whatever the hell you want with the hardware, but you might not necessarily be able to expect Nintendo or other publishers to release games that will run on your non-standard hardware.

CAR ANALOGY: If you buy a car and put square wheels on it, for whatever inane reason, then you don't get to bitch when it doesn't work too well on the roads.

Re:Increased Usability (1)

wilsoniya (902930) | more than 5 years ago | (#23847405)

Doesn't the allowance of "unauthorized code" increase the usability of a particular device? Regardless, I'm getting pretty sick of the trend of buying a physical product and being limited in what I'm allowed to do with it.

Couldn't agree more. Awesome gadgets are awesome not because of advertised factory features, but because of the potential they have to do new things.

I doubt Nintendo (or Sony/MS) intends people to view their hardware as a 'gadget'. Consoles are the vehicles used by console makers to sell (paid) *licensed* software. If the Wii were sold as a 'gadget', there would likely be a bunch of FOSS software out there diluting the market for those who would publish the licensed stuff. From there licenses lose their value and Nintendo loses their meal ticket.

Re:Increased Usability (1)

Gideon Fubar (833343) | more than 5 years ago | (#23848693)

On the other hand, Nintendo's licensed SDKs are an order of magnitude cheaper than Sony/MS SDKs.

It is, at least, possible to write garage games for the wii/ds without taking out a second mortgage.

Re:Increased Usability (1)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 5 years ago | (#23851867)

Nintendo isn't going to give you the SDK unless you're worthy of getting it, in their eyes.

It's not a money issue, it's a "becoming a licensed developer" issue.

Re:Increased Usability (1)

Gideon Fubar (833343) | more than 5 years ago | (#23851959)

Honestly, from what I've seen, the problem is on the other end. There's no problem becoming a developer, the trick is getting them to approve titles for release on the platform, but that really isn't that unique.

Yes, i imagine they do favor some developers over others, but that's the nature of the game. Of course they're going to think more of you if you have a proven track record.

I suggest looking here [warioworld.com] to get started though.

Yes, you will have to contact them in order to get any real information, but i was surprised at exactly how cheap their development hardware is compared to their competitors.

Disclaimer: I only moonlight as a games developer, it's not my occupation.

Roll Your Own!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23848539)

Doesn't the allowance of "unauthorized code" increase the usability of a particular device? Regardless, I'm getting pretty sick of the trend of buying a physical product and being limited in what I'm allowed to do with it.


When you go out and create and release your own gaming console, then let everyone do whatever they want on it... Nintendo is going to be REALLY sorry!

You go, girlfriend!

How long until systems on the shelves have it? (1)

RockMFR (1022315) | more than 5 years ago | (#23844471)

What's the sort of timespan between when an update like this gets pushed out and when it shows up in systems on store shelves? 3 months? 6 months? I still don't have a Wii, and I'd really like to take advantage of the Twilight hack.

Re:How long until systems on the shelves have it? (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 5 years ago | (#23844603)

I've seen patches forced by games, though... specifically, when I bought and played Mario Kart Wii, it pushed an update to my console, saying it couldn't play without the current version of the software.

There's no reason they can't keep doing that in order to push newer updates on people.

I'm not really worried about it... *shrugs* maybe I'm in the minority here, but I'd rather have something that just works, rather than try to hack at it. I have a laptop for playing things like MAME, and said laptop has an HDMI output to my TV, so it can carry higher resolution than the Wii. Throw in a Logitech gamepad, and you're doing just as well as playing them on the Wii.

Wii Menu (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#23848449)

I've seen patches forced by games, though... specifically, when I bought and played Mario Kart Wii, it pushed an update to my console, saying it couldn't play without the current version of the software.

The Wii has a dual-CPU arrangement much like that of the PlayStation 2: an overclocked GameCube CPU (Broadway) and an ARM9 I/O processor (Starlet). I/O to the USB ports, SD slot, Bluetooth chip, Wi-Fi chip, and built-in NAND flash run through Starlet. Each Wii program depends on a particular version of Wii IOS, the kernel that runs on Starlet. System updates from game discs contain the version of Wii IOS, and you have to perform an IOS update if the IOS version used by the game isn't already installed on your Wii console.

IOS updates do not change the homebrew compatibility of your Wii console because a version of IOS is only loaded when a Wii program requests it. The signature verification bug was fixed in newer IOS, but older versions of Wii Menu still depended on an old IOS susceptible to Trucha signing. Only an update to Wii Menu, like this update, can block homebrew because 1. it depends on a newer IOS that blocks Trucha signing, and 2. it has the code to delete broken Zelda saves.

sources: Starlet [wiibrew.org] , IOS [wiibrew.org] , and IOS Questions and Answers [wiibrew.org] .

I have a laptop for playing things like MAME, and said laptop has an HDMI output to my TV

Yes, you are in the minority. Most households that I visit don't have a laptop, nor do they have a PC within 13 feet (4 m) of a TV. I wish your situation weren't the minority, as independent video game developers would finally have a market for multiplayer party games.

, so it can carry higher resolution than the Wii.

Most arcade games run in a "standard resolution" (usually 240p or 288p) raster format, which is smaller than the 480p supported by Wii.

Fuck NoE (2, Interesting)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#23844527)

Yeah, disable the Freeloader. Can't have Europeans get games for 33% cheaper and months earlier, can you? Everyone, bend over!

I recall something about the developer promising updated Freeloader versions for free if your version gets obsoleted by the Firmware, anyone know if that's true?

Re:Fuck NoE (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#23844625)

I don't like their stance against unauthorized code running on their machines needing to be blocked. But I do understand the economics behind the region locking. It's hard to get your product out there, if you can't promise a distributor that they'll have exclusive rights to distribute in a region.

No, it's not the ideal situation, but the reality is, even a 'giant' like Nintendo doesn't have the resources to do all their own distribution/publishing of their products. If you think the Wii/WiiFit shortages are bad now, think how crappy they would be if you had to rely on just Nintendo's resources for production and distribution.

That being said, if I recall correctly, the software based region unlocker that can be run via the Homebrew Channel was still working (at least that was what I was reading before coming into work.)

Re:Fuck NoE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23844723)

even a 'giant' like Nintendo doesn't have the resources to do all their own distribution/publishing of their products.

Odd that TPB can distribute so much with relatively few resources. Maybe Nintendo could use them?

Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23844847)

It's odd that we can't take them to the WTO for price discrimination and region-locking like you can for all other non-digital products.

Re:Fuck NoE (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 5 years ago | (#23845869)

Why not just wait the couple extra months? It's not like you need to play that newest game right now, you know. As for it being cheaper, that's just a by-product of different economies.

But I'll agree that often they make us wait for months for little reason. Just add the PAL 60 mode already and ship it! That is, if you're going to put it in there in the first place! Otherwise, there's no excuse. Well, except for Nintendo titles, as Nintendo tends to translate their games into 4 more languages just to satisfy the dumbasses who refuse to learn English like everyone else.

Can you believe the French complaining about the absence of French voice acting in Shenmue (Dreamcast)? The arrogance!

The real issue, though, is when they either botch the European version or don't release it at all. Then, being able to import is great.

Sonny Bono owns you (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#23848569)

Why not just wait the couple extra months?
Months? Try 95 years. Because that's how long Mother (Earthbound prequel) for NES and Kuru Kuru Kururin for Game Boy Advance are delayed in North America.

Piracy (5, Interesting)

Gogo0 (877020) | more than 5 years ago | (#23844917)

Mind that this *likely* has less to do with homebrew and more to do with the ability to pirate virtual console titles, which is trivial to do at this point.

That said, there is some cool stuff being done with the virtual console files (wads). You can inject normal roms into the wad file and play games that nintendo hasnt yet released (or never will) on the virtual console. That said, its a lot easier to simply play the roms in an emulator on the homebrew channel...

Personally, I dont condone the VC piracy, but nintendo wont allow me to purchase and play Dracula X: Rondo of Blood on the VC (because i have a USA wii and the game was only released on the JPN VC), so i 'had' (yes, i can live without it) to grab the wad, region-free it, and install it on my USA wii to play.

Lastly, there are already workarounds that have been found, though not yet released. Apparently this fix against the twilight hack was so specific in its implementation it will only break this *exact* exploit. It still isnt a good idea to update you wii right now, but this is more interesting a development (that this was the primary reason for the patch) than a show-stopper.

Re:Piracy (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 5 years ago | (#23845927)

That's not all. If you're a European, Nintendo really screwed you over in the first year by offering the games in the same slower 50 Hz mode as back in the days. Inexcusable. They've had other goof-ups as well, like giving us the German version of Super Metroid. What the hell?

Re:Piracy (1)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 5 years ago | (#23847883)

This has nothing to do with Virtual Console piracy, because this doesn't stop Virtual Console piracy at all (it all still works), because said piracy didn't exist three months ago when this update was compiled. System updates get a *lot* of testing.

No, they specifically targeted this at the Twilight Hack (i.e. homebrew), interestingly enough. Well, this and the fakesign exploit, but we expected them to fix the latter since that would shut down Datel's Freeloader (and because it was a huge bug). We certainly didn't expect them to patch the Twilight Hack though.

Re:Piracy (1)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 5 years ago | (#23848903)

The Twilight Hack was how pirated WADs got on there in the first place. Once the system is compromised in to running any and all code, it's trivial to upload WADs. You can't block VC titles and not block homebrew with the current implementation of the two.

Re:Piracy (1)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 5 years ago | (#23851413)

That is not true. You can't block VC piracy without blocking the Homebrew Channel (at least not easily) because they're both unsigned channels. But you certainly can block those channels without blocking the root homebrew boot method (Twilight Hack). Furthermore, this patch did nothing to pirates because it doesn't affect existing installed channels, including the Homebrew Channel. Anyone who pirates VC likely already has it installed, so he can still pirate anything he wants. At most, this might be an attempt to stop everything from working on new or unhacked Wiis.

Besides, they ought to know better. The people doing the hacking to enable homebrew do not support piracy. However, if they don't actually target piracy specifically, it's just going to keep coming back via homebrew booting methods. If they break VC piracy we're not going to go fix it.

By the way, WAD is just a container format. You could upload channels in tar.gz format if you felt like it and wrote an installer that accepted that format. Idiots in these "scene" (read: warez) forums have somehow perpetrated the notion that piracy/channels are all about WADs. They were begging us for a WAD packer, even though one is not needed to make channels and that, if needed, it's about four lines of code anyway. The Wii itself does not store channels in WAD or any other format. WAD just happens to be the format that Nintendo created to distribute updates via game discs.

(This has nothing to do with Doom WADs, by the way. Nintendo WADs are just a simple packaging format that concatenates a bunch of pieces together and adds a header with the lengths.)

Too busy playing to care (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23845233)

Am I the only person here who doesn't really care about this? I mean, let's ignore pirated games and actually playing (gasp!) the games released for the console. In terms of homebrew games, the Wiimote has had fairly fully-featured modules on most major operating systems for quite some time, so one could, in theory, write games on said operating systems using the Wii's most notable feature (inventive accelerometer-based controls with IR tracking). With far more processing power and storage space, too, and a much wider distribution for...

Oh, wait, I forgot, I'm doing it wrong again. I forgot that the sole use of any video game console is to endlessly play Chrono Trigger on an on-console emulator l33tly hacked on it until the next emulator-console is released. Silly me.

Re:Too busy playing to care (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 5 years ago | (#23846951)

The point is that we can play games on the console which are often as good or better than the new games being released. It's much more convenient for me to load ROMs on an SD card and play on the Wii than to load the same onto my computer to play.

The use of the game console shouldn't be limited by what the manufacturer wants, it should be limited by what *the user* wants to do with it. Anything less is an artificial handicap on what the machine is capable of.

Re:Too busy playing to care (0, Troll)

Megane (129182) | more than 5 years ago | (#23848735)

...and it's much more convenient for me to load ROMs onto a hacked Xbox or PSP since they have a storage device larger than 2gigs and a way to load them other than by swapping cards around all the time.

Monitor size (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#23848507)

In terms of homebrew games, the Wiimote has had fairly fully-featured modules on most major operating systems for quite some time, so one could, in theory, write games on said operating systems using the Wii's most notable feature (inventive accelerometer-based controls with IR tracking).
You need room to swing a remote. Most PCs, even those with Bluetooth receivers, are connected to a monitor smaller than 19 inches diagonal. A lot of PCs have no SDTV output; others are placed in a room other than the room with the TV. Wii consoles, on the other hand, are connected to much larger monitors that allow more than one player to have room to swing the remote and still see the screen.

Nintendo owns my Wii... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23845299)

I keep hearing from people that Nintendo can do as they wish because it's their console. Isn't it my console to do what I see fit with, since I bought it and own every single transistor in that machine?

Re:Nintendo owns my Wii... (1)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 5 years ago | (#23849149)

As everyone else has said, you're allowed to do whatever you want to your machine, you're just not allowed to expect that updates or new official software will work/play nicely with what you've done.

To use an old meme, I can use my dvd drive as a cup holder if I want to, no one is going to stop me, but if I do I won't be guaranteed by the manufacturer that I can use it as a DVD drive afterwards.

Nintendo supports the Wii as they sold it or have modified it themselves, they can't and won't support what you've done to it, and they're perfectly within their rights to try give you the option of improving it or even required improvements to the OS in order to play new games.

Yes they should have fixed the stack smashing issue instead of just trying to block a the specific TP hack as that would have been an improvement to the security of the code, but that's really neither here nor there.

Going about homebrew all wrong... (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#23845641)

Homebrewers need to start hacking the server side first. By setting up their own servers, they can filter out problems like this, and still maintain the networking capabilities of their devices.

Re:Going about homebrew all wrong... (1)

bushing (20804) | more than 5 years ago | (#23848675)

Homebrewers need to start hacking the server side first. By setting up their own servers, they can filter out problems like this, and still maintain the networking capabilities of their devices.
Setting up the servers is easy. Redirecting the Wiis to point to them is harder, but still doable. The hard part is creating safely-patched updates to push down the pipe, because there is absolutely no recovery mechanism on a Wii.

Re:Going about homebrew all wrong... (1)

grendel03 (926696) | more than 5 years ago | (#23851237)

The m33 firmware for PSP has been able to do this for a while. Or at least it was that way last time I used it.

At least it's not bricked... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23845877)

Normally I'm against companies attempting to limit what I do with my hardware, but here I don't really see the problem. It's not like Nintendo completely bricked my Wii when I used the Twilight Hack after updating.

And to the "they force the patches in the games" people, quit your bitching. You don't have to download the patch. You are welcome to use your hardware as you please, now your bitching that you can't use a piece of software on an unsupported platform.

If it means that much to you get a second one to just play on. Unless you really think Nintendo is obligated to support our hacks. I don't think they are, in fact, I'm overjoyed that I don't now have a completely useless bricked piece of hardware since i updated.

Who would install the update... (2, Insightful)

kevind23 (1296253) | more than 5 years ago | (#23848285)

...when right in the update notice text Nintendo says it will destroy "invalid" save files, referring indirectly to the TP chainloader?

whats it REALLY stopping? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23852969)

i completely agree with nintendo's right to block any and all hacks with newer firmware if they can.

what i have a hard time understanding here however is, why would they care? for that matter why would any console maker care if their system gets hacked by the user who paid them money for it. it doesnt belong to the company anymore it belongs to the user. if the user wants to run something other than the games that were designed for it then thats his right, just as its anyones right to use a chair to sit down on or to stand on and reach something higher up, not an intended purpose but its useful and does the job well and no one is complaining.
i dont get why nintendo would spend money counteracting this sort of thing when they could just use the same money to develop more games or maybe an sdk for people who are more interested in the system and its other technical capabilities.
counteracting piracy of games is the only thing i can see but thats not exactly what i seem to see going on here. at least not pirated wii games anyways...
really i find it a waste of money on nintendo's part but more power to them for employing more people just for the sake of playing the game! :)
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