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199 comments

open works better (5, Insightful)

drDugan (219551) | more than 5 years ago | (#23891483)

when will these companies get it - if done well, open systems work better in a globally connected world.

billions of monkeys typing on computers will inevitably create a small handful that can and will consistently break your closed source world.

Re:open works better (4, Insightful)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 5 years ago | (#23891683)

I'd have to say Nintendo has the entire open source world beat hands down so far as gaming is concerned.

Re:open works better (2, Interesting)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#23892447)

Fitting in with your sig the popular and good opensource games seem to come mostly in the former-commercial or clone-of-commercial flavours.

Re:open works better (3, Insightful)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 5 years ago | (#23891687)

Unfortunately, due to decades of contentious lawsuits and complaints from cranky customers, companies have been forced to lock down their hardware to make sure that there are really no variables that exist in the system that could disturb the lowest common denominator consumer. Yes, it would be nice if everything we bought was unlocked, open, hackable, and mod-able to the nth degree, but that also opens the door to the one thing that no mainstream consumer will accept - instability. The average person buying some sort of tech gizmo would run screaming for the hills if there was a sticker on the box that said "Now look, there is a *ton* of potential in your new Swankbox 32X, but occasionally it's going to go down when we try something new. You'll just have to deal with it, but we swear that when it comes back up it'll just be AWESOME!"

How bad would it be if someone hacked / modded your amazing new console / hdtv / gizmo and added a feature that made it the absolutely kick-ass, must-have item of the year... *but* there was a bit of legwork involved and a 10% chance that you could brick the unit. How many failures would it take before the bad press was enough to sink you?

The vast majority of the people out there buying stuff just want to pay, plug, and play. That means standards, simplicity, and - unfortunately - lockdown.

Re:open works better (5, Insightful)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 5 years ago | (#23891791)

I don't believe what you just said represents 2 mutually exclusive paths, things can be open and stable at the same time.

Your lowest common denominator consumer isn't going to be screwing with the system, so the fact that its open and not locked doesn't affect them, certainly it won't suddenly make their system unstable, remember most people don't hack around in these things.

The real push here is to prevent any perceived piracy risk by preventing backups from playing.

Nintendo's intentions (5, Insightful)

grantek (979387) | more than 5 years ago | (#23891933)

You know, I don't think Nintendo were really serious about "blocking homebrew on the Wii once and for all" with this update. From what I've read the system files were datestamped months ago, implying rigorous testing and a philosophy above all of not bricking any wiis even where the exploit was installed. Given that effort, I don't think they could have been stupid enough to think they were permanently closing anything. I think it's just a token effort to say they disapprove of doing things the non-Nintendo way (a fair enough position if you're proud of your product), and maintaining a healthy level of FUD about third-party code that isn't based on any official API for the wii.

Re:open works better (5, Insightful)

dissy (172727) | more than 5 years ago | (#23892273)

The vast majority of the people out there buying stuff just want to pay, plug, and play. That means standards, simplicity, and - unfortunately - lockdown.
I have to call bullshit and a half on this line of reasoning.

Lets go with a famous slashdot car analogy, that happens to fit perfectly well.

My car's hood is not locked requiring a special key that only the dealer has.
I personally however am not mechanically inclined enough to do much more than check fluids in my car. I *do* take it to a mechanic to have it worked on. I am like your wii's lowest common denominator except for cars.

Now, add lock down. A special key is required to open the hood. Only the dealers have these keys.
Suddenly, every single person that liked tinkering under the hood is screwed. They have to resort to quasi-legal methods to do with their property as they wish. Those people know better than to call the dealer expecting a replacement when they know it was them monkeying with it that broke it.

I however am not affected by this change. My car still runs, and the procedure is basically the same, other than I have to go to the original dealer and get raped by their 10x higher prices, but since my usual mechanic wont have the key, i get screwed too in a way.

Leaving the wii unlocked to modding can't possibly effect the people who will not be modding it!
It only prevents those of us who want to do with our property as we wish, from being able to do so.

Re:open works better (0, Troll)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 5 years ago | (#23892869)

That is affect, and no, you are not being a smartass because effect really doesn't work here.

Re:open works better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23892889)

The vast majority of the people out there buying stuff just want to pay, plug, and play. That means standards, simplicity, and - unfortunately - lockdown.
I have to call bullshit and a half on this line of reasoning.

Lets go with a famous slashdot car analogy, that happens to fit perfectly well.

My car's hood is not locked requiring a special key that only the dealer has.

It is if your car's an Audi A2, however.

Re:open works better (4, Insightful)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 5 years ago | (#23893199)

My car's hood is not locked requiring a special key that only the dealer has.
Because your car requires maintenance every few months that involves opening the hood. If a Wii needed a refill on magic smoke every three months, you'd have an opening in the box so that you could get to the magic smoke tank.

Re:open works better (5, Insightful)

Brigade (974884) | more than 5 years ago | (#23892311)

Wow .. you just described my absolute hatred of Apple and their philosophy.

What you have here is two distict, yet separate groups:

The idiot-proof, lowest-common-denominator, who wants things to work (and simply).
The more adventurous, possibly more knowledgeable individuals who like options.

I will NEVER purchase an iAnything. Why? Because I like to tweak, tinker, and have options. That's why I have an 8GB Nokia that uses a standard USB port to talk to any computer (and the phone says "What do you want me to be? A USB HDD? Maybe Sync with your phone software? How about a normal MP3 player?"), a Creative Zen for MP3s/Videos on the go, and a PC.

The problem with a locked-down, "Do it our way only" philosophy is it encourages laziness and contentment. How many of us got curious, or felt adventurous enough, to tinker with something technological (broken or not) just to figure out how it works (or even make it better or more suited to our needs)? Which, through trial and error, only encouraged us to venture out further and learn even more when our curiousity was piqued? If we never had the oportunity to break something or toy with the horizons on our own, we'd never be as knowledgeable in a technological fashion as we are. (Referring here to fellow /.'ers).

Re:open works better (3, Informative)

krischik (781389) | more than 5 years ago | (#23892783)

Wow .. you just described my absolute hatred of Apple and their philosophy.

I will NEVER purchase an iAnything. Why? Because I like to tweak, tinker, and have options.

With most of what you say. But there is an exception: for the iMac it's not valid. The iMac is great for tweaking and tinkering. Better then a windows PC. All you need is opening Terminal.app and take it from there.

And what most users never notice: Apple isn't actualy against it, read:

http://developer.apple.com/opensource/overview.html [apple.com]

Of couse the MacPro is ever better for tinkering - but then there is no 'i' in it's name...

Martin

Re:open works better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23893027)

you just described my absolute hatred of Apple and their philosophy.

What you have here is two distict, yet separate groups:

And because they're in a different group, you're going to hate them?

That's really rather retarded, IMO.

you just described my absolute hatred of Islam and their philosophy.
I hope you enjoy your N95 when it breaks. Long term reviews aren't so good. Still, if it works for you I guess.

Re:open works better (5, Insightful)

LS (57954) | more than 5 years ago | (#23892405)

I have no idea how this got modded insightful. Saying that opening a system makes it unstable is like saying that removed locks from the doors of a house will make it fall down. The stability of a system is correlated with its quality, not whether it is open or not.

LS

Re:open works better (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 5 years ago | (#23893283)

This is where analogies get you messed up.

Consoles are computers. Computers you don't need to buy anti-virus or anti-spyware for. Remember the things that prompted the creation of web pop-up blockers? They were a direct result of the web being an open platform.

Removing the locks from your house won't make it fall down. But it will open your house to agents who might make it impossible to live in.

Of course, this is about Nintendo getting its cut of game revenues. But they aren't in the platform business, and dealing with the problems of such a business is a reasonable motivation not to encourage average users to treat the Wii as a platform. They don't really need to make it impossible, so they don't need to take a scorched earth approach to anybody who's installed homebrew games. They just have to make life a bit inconvenient, enough that Joe Average loses interest.

Re:open works better (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23892487)

Sorry, but you sound like a marketing person. I take issue with both statement that you make:

1)"...no mainstream consumer will accept - instability"

2)"due...to lawsuits..companies have been forced to lock down their hardware"

Counter Argument:
1) They have already. Windows computers, pda's, IPods, you name it, lots of things these days need firmware upgrades or better even get obsoleted by a follow up model, that provides better stability. However, companies have given up on preparing products to stability before product release. And many consumers are willing to trade flexibility and 'cutting edge' against stability.

2) I disagree that it is lawsuits that force the lockdown or feature reduction. Usually it is some marketing person deciding how to best target consumer groups and setting features accoring to pricing. Examples: Ipods, cellphones, digital cameras (esp. powershot), gps (hello TomTom). All of these devices have a reduced feature set because there are pricier models out there that are only really differing in software, while the hardware is essentially the same. In summary the lockdown is to achieve marketer's model and price policy, not to prevent lawsuits. Disclaimers are sufficient to prevent lawsuits.

I am advocating much more open source and openness on the side of consumer product manufacturers. You are truely differentiating your products by building communities of 'nerds' who strive to squeeze out every last bit of functionality and performance out of your hardware and they can do it much better than your programmers could ever do. This will generate more interest in the products and allow for real 'cult' products without much advertising and fake hype. There are lots of examples in software, whole eco systems developed around games, programming languages, databases... Why not digital cameras, GPS's, etc? The potential is there, you just have to foster it.

Re:open works better (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23892517)

There's no reason the manufacturer couldn't just add some note saying they do not offer support once the device is unlocked and that you do so at your own risk.

So it voids the warranty, fine. Sometimes you have to void the warranty to mod a console anyway and most people are aware of this when they do it.

Why bother making it so hard for those that want to unlock it?

You know a good example of a gizmo that comes unlocked? It's called a PC. Is the warranty on a Dell computer void if I take windows off and use a Linux distro? I don't think it is. Would I expect Microsoft to offer support for my Linus machine? No. Would I expect Dell to offer support for my hardware? Yes. :P

Re:open works better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23892681)

"The average person buying some sort of tech gizmo would run screaming for the hills if there was a sticker on the box that said "Now look, there is a *ton* of potential in your new Swankbox 32X, but occasionally it's going to go down when we try something new. You'll just have to deal with it, but we swear that when it comes back up it'll just be AWESOME!""

Isn't this what the windows logo on every microsoft package/computer means? Rather than run screaming for the hills the public laps it up in droves. People want the latest and greatest they care not for stability. Stability is something they're appy to complain about whilst shelling out big dollars for NEW and SHINY!!!!

Re:open works better (2)

TechniMyoko (670009) | more than 5 years ago | (#23892815)

"Yes, it would be nice if everything we bought was unlocked, open, hackable, and mod-able to the nth degree," That would be PS3

Re:open works better (1)

IntergalacticWalrus (720648) | more than 5 years ago | (#23891743)

I'm all for open sourcing stuff, but the business model of consoles is all about having a closed platform so you can keep piracy to a minimum. And so far it's been working pretty well for them for the past 25 years or so.

Yes, there's a "small handful" that will constantly break their "closed source world[s]", which in turn requires them to spend money writing and releasing patches all the time, but between that and making their consoles as piracy-friendly as PCs are, I'm pretty sure the former choice is the most profitable one.

Re:open works better (4, Informative)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 5 years ago | (#23892971)

The interesting thing is that modchips work in a completely different way, so these fixes don't really affect them. None of the current homebrew hacks/etc have anything to do with modchips or let people use pirated disc-based games.

As for VC/WiiWare piracy, it's true that the Homebrew Channel requires the same installation methods as hacked VC/WiiWare games, and both look the same to the system (unsigned channels). However, if Nintendo released an officially signed Homebrew Channel, we wouldn't have to worry about installing unsigned code any more. Then they could fix the unsigned channel bug, therefore killing VC/WiiWare piracy, and we wouldn't have to work around the fix (thus indirectly letting the pirates use it too). Pirate VC games are rather hard to run as "homebrew", because they want to read their data as channel contents.

Re:open works better (2, Informative)

ultranova (717540) | more than 5 years ago | (#23893293)

I'm all for open sourcing stuff, but the business model of consoles is all about having a closed platform so you can keep piracy to a minimum.

It has nothing to do with piracy and everything to do with getting license fees from everyone who develops software for the console.

Re:open works better (1, Insightful)

Drinking Bleach (975757) | more than 5 years ago | (#23891809)

Sony's PlayStation 3 encourages you to run custom software on it, but it's not helping their case very much :P

Re:open works better (3, Informative)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#23892585)

No it doesn't. It has a lame 'Other OS' mode that runs in a hypervisor with no access to the graphics acceleration and only limited access to the processors.

The PS3 itself is so locked down nobody has actually managed 'homebrew' on it yet.

Re:open works better (1)

ymgve (457563) | more than 5 years ago | (#23893109)

The PS3 itself is so locked down nobody has actually managed 'homebrew' on it yet.

I would say that "nearly anything that compiles on Linux" classifies as homebrew, don't you?

Score (5, Funny)

Plazmid (1132467) | more than 5 years ago | (#23891485)

Hackers- 1 Nintendo- 0

Re:Score (5, Funny)

shird (566377) | more than 5 years ago | (#23891591)

Wouldn't it be:
Hackers: 2, Nintento: 1

Re:Score (1)

Plazmid (1132467) | more than 5 years ago | (#23891609)

No, because the hackers defeated Nintendo's defenses.

Re:Score (2, Informative)

shird (566377) | more than 5 years ago | (#23891619)

Yes - but:

Hackers defeat Zelda - 1 pt Hackers
Nintendo defends against hack - 1 pt Nintendo
Hackers defeat Nintendos defense - 1 pt Hackers

Re:Score (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23891649)

Hackers break Wii security - 1 pt Hackers
Nintendo fails to defend against hackers - 0 pt Nintendo

Re:Score (1)

metanoia3 (1255212) | more than 5 years ago | (#23891663)

Nintendo only gets a point if their defense works.

Re:Score (3, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#23891783)

The crack had to be updated, so Nintendo's patch did work against the attack (the first).

If you only count a point when Nintendo resists, than you also only count one point for all the versions of the crack.

So it's either Nintendo 1, Hackers 2 or Nintendo 0, Hackers 1.

The only thing that is apparent to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23891905)

...is why it's Saturday night and no one in this thread got invited to any parties. :P

Re:Score (1)

Drinking Bleach (975757) | more than 5 years ago | (#23891835)

They can try all they want, but no matter what... the Wii will be "broken". As long as the system exists and someone has the means to test exploits on it, there will be workarounds.

Re:Score (5, Funny)

puddnhead7 (576696) | more than 5 years ago | (#23892101)

Naw, it's,

Hackers: 10, Nintento: 01

Re:Score (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23892173)

I don't get it

Re:Score (1)

zebslash (1107957) | more than 5 years ago | (#23892263)

There are 10 kinds of people. Those who understand binary notation, and those who do not.

Re:Score (1)

I cant believe its n (1103137) | more than 5 years ago | (#23893247)

There are 10 kinds of people. Those who understand binary notation, those who do not, which gets the total up to 8. Then there is of course people similar in character to mr Johnsson from across the street. But wait, thats just 9?

Re:Score (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23892541)

No it would be Hackers 14, Nintendo 3 because the Hackers scored touchdowns and extra points and Nintendo only got a field goal.

Re:Score (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#23893009)

Given the nature of software security, I predict it will be

Nintendo - n
Hackers - n+1

For 99% of the time. In other words: Nintendo security is dead, netcraft confirms it.

wdim (2)

indi0144 (1264518) | more than 5 years ago | (#23891505)

What does this hack means? it's just a game hack or something about real life security?

Re:wdim (5, Informative)

New_Age_Reform_Act (1256010) | more than 5 years ago | (#23891511)

It allows you to run any type of code in the Wii, let's say, Linux.

Suck my cock if I write LINUX on it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23891535)

It will be like sucking a shit coated dick which I'm sure you're used to doing.

What's up M$ fan boy? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23891557)

Where did the bad jooz touch your body?

Re:wdim (1)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 5 years ago | (#23891981)

I dream of the day I can host my legal Wii games on the server and select one on startup. Wii Ware and the Virtual Console are steps in the right direction, I hope game companies keep moving ahead. They already made the "mistake" of making the Wiimotes and Wii Fit bluetooth devices, and it didn't kill their system sales, so let's continue the openness.

Re:wdim (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 5 years ago | (#23892375)

You'll never due that, due to bandwidth and space. You don't run wiiware and VC games off the server, that would be extremely expensive for Nintendo, and have huge load times. They're downloaded to your machine. You know that long annoying time of watching mario hit coins? YOu're downloading then.

In addition- why the hell would you want this? I can understand wanting a disc changer, but why would you want the games stored under someone else's control, where either a bug, a data loss, or malice by the company can make you unable to play it? Owning media is a good thing.

Re:wdim (3, Informative)

MrMage (1240674) | more than 5 years ago | (#23891569)

Well, depends on who you ask. Nintendo will tell you it's a massive threat, and while unsigned code can be, it's not likely.

The attack on the twilight hack was probably brought forth by the new found popularity for the Homebrew Channel, which brings homebrew software to the Wii using masses (Similar to PSP Custom Firmwares or Jail Broke iPhones).

Re:wdim (1)

Cley Faye (1123605) | more than 5 years ago | (#23892411)

The attack on the twilight hack was probably brought forth by the new found popularity for the Homebrew Channel, which brings homebrew software to the Wii using masses (Similar to PSP Custom Firmwares or Jail Broke iPhones).
If that was the case, the update would have done something to the homebrew channel, but when the update installed it only removed the twilight hack that was hanging here, leaving the homebrew channel alone...

FOSS RULEZ! HEIL HITLER! (0, Troll)

wlllyhill (1311313) | more than 5 years ago | (#23891585)

Linux user on Wii rejoice!

Free Palestine!

Re:FOSS RULEZ! HEIL HITLER! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23891647)

I think you forgot to click Anonymous when you were surfing slashdot from your Wii.

Re:FOSS RULEZ! HEIL HITLER! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23891661)

That's another one of those twitter sockpuppets.

Anyway, you can't check the "anonymous" box if you have "bad" or "terrible" karma because it is not available. To post as AC you need to be logged out.

Easter Egg (5, Funny)

ProdigySim (817093) | more than 5 years ago | (#23891633)

Take note of the nice easter egg they left in for Nintendo to find:

The Twilight Hack Song
---------
This was a triumph.
I'm making note here:
HACKED AGAIN.
It's hard to overstate our satisfaction.

Team Twiizers
We do what we must because we can.
For the good of all of us, except the ones who pirate.
But there's no sense crying over every quick plug.
We just keep on trying while there's still one more bug.
And the homebrew comes back, and we make a neat hack.
For the people whose Wiis want new life.

I'm not even angry.
I'm being so sincere right now.
Even though they broke the hack and patched it.
And fixed IOS30.
And broke every fake signed disc out there.
As they failed it hurt because...
They were attacking homebrew!
Now these quick hack fixes have some beautiful holes,
So we found them fast and easily met our goals.
And I'm glad we got burned.
Think of all the things we learned.
For the people whose Wiis want new life!

Go ahead and patch it.
I think I'd like to have some fun.
Maybe you'll find an undisclosed bug.
Maybe that huge one.
That was a joke, haha, fat chance!
Anyway, this homebrew's great. It's also legal to use.
Look at me still talking, when there's hacking to do.
It might take three months,
but they'll patch this one too.
I've experiments to run, there's reversing to be done.
On the people whose Wiis want new life.

And believe me the Wiis want new life!
I'm busy hacking and they want new life.
I feel FANTASTIC and they'll get new life.
While you're dying they'll still be alive.
And when you're dead they'll still have some life.
STILL ALIVE,

still alive.

Re:Easter Egg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23891815)

Jonathan Coulton would be rolling over in his grave - and he's still alive!

It's like Star Wars (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23891655)

- A New Hack
- The Big N Strikes Back
- Return of the Twilight Hack

Re:It's like Star Wars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23892301)

So you mean we'll have something like "Revenge of the Lawyers" ?

They now charge for the Internet Channel (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#23891681)

For a while, Opera was giving away their browser for Wii users. Now you have to pay if you want to access the Internet using your Wii, and Opera is your only choice. There's been some talk about Firefox on the Wii but, as far as I can tell, that's all it is: talk.

So yeah, buying a Wii (and most every other console) is just buying a pair of handcuffs.

Hopefully PCs will never ever be this locked down.

Re:They now charge for the Internet Channel (5, Funny)

EvolutionsPeak (913411) | more than 5 years ago | (#23891699)

My gf and I bought a pair of handcuffs last week and I have to say that they are much more fun than my PC.

Re:They now charge for the Internet Channel (0)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#23891761)

Thanks for taking time out from your sordid sexual experimentation to post on Slashdot about it.

Re:They now charge for the Internet Channel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23891829)

your the one with Dome in there email address LOL

Re:They now charge for the Internet Channel (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23891833)

MOD PARENT UP (seriously, my dad wrote that)

Re:Mod parent Up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23891937)

+1 Dad?

Re:They now charge for the Internet Channel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23891911)

I don't think you have a girlfriend. Enjoy your handcuffs!

Re:They now charge for the Internet Channel (2, Informative)

Assembler (151753) | more than 5 years ago | (#23892103)

My gf and I bought a pair of handcuffs last week and I have to say that they are much more fun than my PC.
... a very different form of lockdown than what Nintendo is providing

Re:They now charge for the Internet Channel (1)

GroeFaZ (850443) | more than 5 years ago | (#23892109)

Yes, but are they more fun than a Wii?

Re:They now charge for the Internet Channel (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23892199)

Yes, for multiplayer games.

Re:They now charge for the Internet Channel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23893095)

Your grandfather?
No girlfriends here, you insensitive clod!

Re:They now charge for the Internet Channel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23891747)

So yeah, buying a Wii (and most every other console) is just buying a pair of handcuffs.

Hopefully PCs will never ever be this locked down.

Well, I guess that's why they call it a gaming console.

Re:They now charge for the Internet Channel (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23891821)

I will say (and I will say it anonymously, as even the vaguest breath of this opinion is karmic suicide on Slashdot), your sense of entitlement is quite overinflated. You seem to be under the impression that anything with silicon in it must be open to hacking and supported in such a hackable state by the manufacturers . If you can't run $os_of_choice on it for God only knows what reason (you haven't run it enough on your PC?), it is not only Flawed(tm) but immoral.

Seriously. It's a game console. It's not a $250 shortcut to a PC. Why on earth do you (I mean you, specifically, apparently an ardent PC user) want a web browser on a console? You can't just use a console to play games and a PC to do work?

And if you ARE one of the elusive homebrewers who actually want to make new games for the Wii (not Yet Another Damned Emulator), you are aware that the Wiimote's had fairly stable drivers for most major operating systems for some time now? I mean, if you actually want to develop for the Wii's unique features, I can get behind that the whole way. It's just that you don't need to hack the Wii to do so.

Just my opinion. While everyone else is struggling to figure out how to play old games from their past consoles on the Wii (in addition to their PC, XBox360, PS3, etc, etc), I'm having fun playing Wii games on the Wii and doing work on my rather a bit open PC.

Re:They now charge for the Internet Channel (5, Informative)

Yosho (135835) | more than 5 years ago | (#23891893)

For a while, Opera was giving away their browser for Wii users. Now you have to pay if you want to access the Internet using your Wii, and Opera is your only choice. There's been some talk about Firefox on the Wii but, as far as I can tell, that's all it is: talk.

You realize that Nintendo and Opera have always been perfectly up front and clear about their intentions [opera.com] with this regard, right? They had announced that Opera for the Wii would be free for only a limited time before it was even released.

Re:They now charge for the Internet Channel (1)

hedleyroos (817147) | more than 5 years ago | (#23893071)

What they forgot to mention is that the Wii will be officially released in most countries AFTER that period has expired.

I did still but Opera for Wii though - I kinda like Opera Mini for my mobile, so consider that my donation.

Re:They now charge for the Internet Channel (1)

neumayr (819083) | more than 5 years ago | (#23893137)

So, even if you've downloaded Opera while it was still free, you can't use it anymore unless you upgrade to the paid-for version

Re:They now charge for the Internet Channel (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#23891997)

For a while, Opera was giving away their browser for Wii users. Now you have to pay if you want to access the Internet using your Wii, and Opera is your only choice.

And your point is... ? Nintendo and Opera made no secret about the fact that the Internet Channel was going to cost money. The reason why it was free for a time was that the browser was in public beta testing. The early testers had to put up with constant crashes, freezes, corrupted renderings, and a rather primitive user interface. But Opera used the feedback on the browser to create the superior final product. Those who had participated in the beta got to keep the browser at no cost.

So get your facts straight, eh? You made it sound like they did something evil.

Re:They now charge for the Internet Channel (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23892149)

Opera used to cost $30, or you could use an ad supported version for free, if I remember correctly.

What can you do with this hack? (1)

d_jedi (773213) | more than 5 years ago | (#23892119)

Seriously.
Because a lot of times "homebrew" is merely a code word for "illegally copied games" (oh, wait.. let's call them "backups", yeah.. that sounds much better).

If it allows you to write your own software for the Wii (is there an SDK publicly available?).. well, then we're talking and this is something to get excited about.

Re:What can you do with this hack? (5, Insightful)

cigawoot (1242378) | more than 5 years ago | (#23892251)

Seriously. Because a lot of times "homebrew" is merely a code word for "illegally copied games" (oh, wait.. let's call them "backups", yeah.. that sounds much better).

If it allows you to write your own software for the Wii (is there an SDK publicly available?).. well, then we're talking and this is something to get excited about.

1) Homebrew doesn't mean "illegally copied games."

2) There is a sort of crude SDK out there, google it.

Please, before you open your mouth understand that not all homebrewers are pirates. We pay for our VC/WiiWare games (or just choose not to use the service). We just want to do MORE then what Nintendo is willing to do, like playing out of region games (Using Gecko Region Free) or other things as people write software, such as a POP3 email client, emulators, Doom, etc.

Re:What can you do with this hack? (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#23892413)

Please, before you open your mouth understand that not all homebrewers are pirates. We pay for our VC/WiiWare games (or just choose not to use the service). We just want to do MORE then what Nintendo is willing to do, like playing out of region games (Using Gecko Region Free) or other things as people write software, such as a POP3 email client, emulators, Doom, etc.

How likely are you to buy a VC title when you've already got the ROM file and an emulator running?

Re:What can you do with this hack? (3, Insightful)

yamiyasha (1119417) | more than 5 years ago | (#23892503)

Please, before you open your mouth understand that not all homebrewers are pirates. We pay for our VC/WiiWare games (or just choose not to use the service). We just want to do MORE then what Nintendo is willing to do, like playing out of region games (Using Gecko Region Free) or other things as people write software, such as a POP3 email client, emulators, Doom, etc.

How likely are you to buy a VC title when you've already got the ROM file and an emulator running?

Same as how much I would, if I owned the original cart and the working system

Re:What can you do with this hack? (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#23892645)

Same as how much I would, if I owned the original cart and the working system

I could see buying the VC version if you owned the original cart and working system because that it a royal pain to setup.

But if you've already got the game running on the wii in emulation, why would anyone pay $5-$10 to that you can get the game running on the Wii in emulation, except to clear their conscience.

And even to clear one's conscience, if one has "500 NES" ROMS, they aren't going to drop $2500-$5000 into the VC to 'legitimize them' even if Nintendo did make them available.

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

marcansoft (727665) | more than 5 years ago | (#23893175)

Let's set thing straight. So far, homebrew on the Wii is an entirely different playfield from copied games. To play games on DVD-Rs, you need to hardware mod your drive, period.

Now, when you get to Virtual Console/WiiWare piracy, things get a little muddier. Unfortunately, if you can run homebrew, then you can effectively pirate VC games, because the terribly broken security means that you can pretty much just install them and they'll work. This might change in the future, when Nintendo fixes the problems.

Our (Team Twiizers') goal is to enable homebrew on the Wii, not piracy. We're not going to go out of our way to prevent piracy, but we also try to come up with methods of running homebrew that don't directly enable piracy. However, we can't work around the fact that, ultimately, if you can run unsigned code, then that code might be a game. We do have the advantage that pirates don't really have much of clue overall (so far), which is why we haven't seen a Wii ISO loader that can run games from an SD card yet. We sure as heck aren't going to write it, but if someone does, there's not much we can do about it.

As for homebrew, there is certainly a public, free, open source SDK available based on the GNU toolchain and an open source library to access the Wii hardware. In fact, most of the Wii's hardware is supported. Full graphics (though the API is mostly undocumented, it's all there), Wii Remote, SD card access, Gamecube pads, networking (WiFi or ethernet), USB mass storage, partial sound (no hardware acceleration yet), etc. See devkitpro [devkitpro.org] for the toolchain and wiibrew [wiibrew.org] for the community wiki.

Fatal flaw (2, Interesting)

puddnhead7 (576696) | more than 5 years ago | (#23892147)

"Only days after Nintendo shipped Wii Menu 3.3, which stopped the Twilight Hack from working, the team lead by Bushing brought out a new version of the Homebrew enabling hack for the Nintendo Wii using the Zelda Game and a hacked save game."

This tells us that the wii allows content executables to run at a root/system level of elevated privilege.

No matter what Nintento does, they have no way to remove this security hole in way that would break the massive distribution of popular older software like Zelda.

The least ineffective solution at Nintendo's disposal would be to only run external executables in an isolated virtual machine.

Even that would suffer the same flaw. If the virtual machine is sufficient to run a game like Zelda with middling level demanding 3d graphics, it can offer enough resources to run a user provided, OS alternative.

The only solution I can see would be for Nintendo to implement a hash checking method in addition to VM architecture. The most effective method being copying to local storage before running and then running a hash check independant of the game media.

I don't know much about wii hardware, but I'm guessing it doesn't have enough storage (or at least storage fast enough to be acceptable for consumer expectation) for this to work.

So, it doesn't matter what Nintendo does, the wii will forever be a hackable platform.

Hooray for the arms race! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23892385)

entea

What is the point? (2, Insightful)

Werrismys (764601) | more than 5 years ago | (#23892429)

Why do ppl insist on hacking PSP, Wii, etc? They are closed platforms. You don't lie closed - just don't buy them. Especially PSP hacking seems troublesome enough to avoid the thing altogether

Re:What is the point? (2, Interesting)

BurgEnder (698732) | more than 5 years ago | (#23892531)

Simple. Even though I know I'll get modded down for saying this - Yes, it does open the door for people to do what they want with what they purchased(running *nix/bsd, or coding your own program for the box) which I agree you should be able to do, but everyone I've ever known who has hacked their console has done it to play pirated/burned game software.

Re:What is the point? (3, Insightful)

Fross (83754) | more than 5 years ago | (#23892561)

Because people like modifying things and see what they can make them do. This is the hacker ethic.

Make your car go faster? Or run on vegetable oil perhaps? Changing your fridge into a computer cooling system? Messing with a synthesizer's innards to get some sounds it never had before? Improving an item by doing something with it the original manufacturers never considered.

For any reason from souping-up, to making it more envrionmentally friendly, to just off-the-wall crazy, hacking is about repurposing something because it suits you. It's inventing, innovation, creativity. If you can't see the point in these, then you don't understand hacking and I wonder what you're doing here.

For the Wii and PSP specifically, they are awesome platforms (and unique in their features), which inspire people. They are obviously having ideas for games, or uses for the consoles, that they are not available commercially. These homebrew guys have to work their own way in as the manufacturers have chosen to make dev kits and release methods prohibitively expensive (tens of thousands of dollars), so kudos to them for doing so. I hope they continue to use homebrew to make the next great set of applications and games.

If you want a comparison of how a manufacturer can get it right, look at what is going to happen with iPhone development over the next 6 months. With a free SDK and cheap way to distribute apps commercially, there will be a LOT of people eager to join in, and Apple will get a ton of apps and even some revenue, from doing this.

Whether the companies embrace homebrew or not, it will always be there one way or another. They should recognise it as a pool of talent and creativity and allow it the space to grow.

Re:What is the point? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23892745)

The GP2x, which is pretty much a homebrew-friendly PSP with a touch screen that runs Linux, has been selling rather well for such a niche product.

There is no alternative (2, Insightful)

quadrox (1174915) | more than 5 years ago | (#23892983)

I would love to rely on open platforms instead of closed ones. The problem is, they don't exist. Except for the PC and probably some very few mobile/other devices there are no open hardware platforms that I can chose over a closed platform, especially with consoles.

So obviously I'll take the next best closed platform and hack it. I have no choice, because these companies won't give me a choice.

The only way to make companies sell open platforms is to complain loudly and hack the current systems in order to show them that we want open platforms, or at least viable open alternatives. Just not doing anything is not going to achieve anything.

Re:What is the point? (2, Informative)

neumayr (819083) | more than 5 years ago | (#23893173)

Especially in the case of the PSP there's a lot of incentive to "fix" the firmware.
Not only do you get a lot more out of that pretty impressive hardware, it also improves its capabilities in regards to its intended purpose - games just load a lot faster from Memory Sticks than from UMD, and not having to power an optical drive improves battery life.

Only homebrew? (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 5 years ago | (#23893039)

Does this allow you to play imported or backed up games or only homebrew, I'm still not entirely sure what the point of it is?

grumble grumble grumble (1)

dodecalogue (1281666) | more than 5 years ago | (#23893047)

I believe a really good method for counteracting the lockdown efforts would be to demonstrate that by a LONG shot, the hacks are being used for homebrew, and impressive, innovative and heavily worked-on homebrew, at that. Discourage piracy/game-trading on your own, show mom and dad that you're "taking glassblowing to become the next Chihuly, no really."

Admittedly this would be a simple google-search, but can anyone present links to, let's say, 5 homebrewed titles, offering, let's say, at least 10 hours of estimated gameplay each? I'd love to know of anything on that scale being made entirely third party. However, I feel much more inclined to believe that the hacking is indeed being used just for piracy, with the occasional half-assed games/atlerations of commercial titles (LONG LINK IS LONG) and demos, and that makes me very sad.

However, I still favor an open system over the alternative.

Re:grumble grumble grumble (2, Insightful)

neumayr (819083) | more than 5 years ago | (#23893249)

You have a point, there aren't many homebrew games worth spending ten hours on. I do think there are more than five though.. But I don't think it's because all those hacks are truly intended for piracy, with homebrew just being an alibi.

Rather, I think it's for the same reason there aren't all that many opensource games that meet that requirement either. I suppose making games is a very different from making the usual kind of opensource software. It requires more immediate communication, a fixed core team, and, as far as I can tell the biggest problem, it requires artists. Programmers usually aren't very successful when creating their own artwork..
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