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Nintendo Blocks Homebrew Installation

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the see-how-long-that-lasts dept.

Nintendo 251

ElementC writes "Sometime yesterday Nintendo uploaded the latest Wii system update. This update quietly patches a few bugs that allowed the installation of both homebrew and warez apps. Currently installed apps such as the Homebrew Channel and the video DVD library, DVDX, are reportedly not affected. Those not installing this update are blocked out of the Wii Shop channel and in the future may be blocked out of certain games. Team Twiizers cracked the last update within about eight hours. They're already on the case. Readers familiar with the architecture of the Wii will find the list of currently discovered changes interesting."

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Wii cracking (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25498793)

Wiis and Macs are for F.A.G.G.O.T.S.

Re:Wii cracking (-1, Redundant)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499851)

Fearful Anonymous Guys Gradually Outing Themselves Sexually?

Homebrew Wii-ns again (4, Insightful)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25498849)

If there's anything we have learned from the homebrews on the PSP, it's that people involved in firmware cracking are a resourceful bunch, always a step ahead of the big companies running around with a trowel and mortar to plug the leaks in the dam. Expect your favorite Wii homebrew to be restored to business as usual within a day or two.

Re:Homebrew Wii-ns again (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#25498935)

As a remorseless pedant I feel obliged to observe that by outsmarting the manufacturer after the new firmware comes out, the hackers are surely one or more steps behind the big companies. When the homebrew community anticipates upcoming fixes and pre-emptively beats them, then I'll concede that they are indeed one step ahead.

Re:Homebrew Wii-ns again (5, Insightful)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499091)

Ahh but what if they had anticipated the fix, pre-emptively beat them, and then feigned ignorance for a few days to make the companies think that they had outsmarted the hackers.

Only to find out that they themselves were victims of a double-cross, but the real joke is that it wasn't even a cross since the hackers were employees that were posing as hackers to lull the homebrew community into installing their code. The result is that the homebrew community has been slowly installing pieces of a much more vast program conceived in the secret vaults underneat the Washington Monument. The true nature of these fixes won't be known until the third high tide past the winter solstice when the tidal forces on the wii controllers motion sensors will signal the code to execute.

There is more, but you will

Re:Homebrew Wii-ns again (5, Funny)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499141)

You know too much.

Re:Homebrew Wii-ns again (5, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499165)

There is more, but you will

...press "Submit" prematurely, leaving the entire /crowd in the agony of suspense?

Well played, well played.

Re:Homebrew Wii-ns again (1)

zoomosis (169771) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499689)

I suspect Candlejack kidnapp

Re:Homebrew Wii-ns again (0)

RasputinAXP (12807) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499893)

Oh man I can't believe you said candlejack that's hil

Re:Homebrew Wii-ns again (3, Funny)

Kozz (7764) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499425)

Are you by chance Sicilian?

Re:Homebrew Wii-ns again (4, Insightful)

Shade of Pyrrhus (992978) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499637)

A Sicilian? On Slashdot? Inconceivable!

Re:Homebrew Wii-ns again (5, Funny)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499749)

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:Homebrew Wii-ns again (4, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499769)

Oh, yes, that's exactly what I would hope they would do. A hacking team that had Sony's PSP fixes continuosly outfoxed ahead of time would completely change the game and perhaps encourage manufacturers to let us tinker.

Uhm.... (4, Informative)

Moryath (553296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25500037)

That's essentially what happens.

The PSP hackers (Dark Alex in particular) pretty much know every trick Sony has in their arsenal. The only unknown is which particular bit Sony is going to try in each time (what the particular decompression keys will be for example). Making a new PSP custom firmware for these guys is really pretty straightforward; they unpack the firmware, doublecheck their CFW code against the new code, doublecheck any newly-appearing functions, and release the patched version that pretty much patches the same bullcrap stuff that's just been in each official firmware release since 2.00.

It's the companies that are reacting - they "patch" for the repairs the "hackers" have made to restore proper function to their Defective-By-Design products. With this latest bit, I fully expect we're going to start to see PSP-style custom firmware installations for the Wii that begin to open the platform up more fully and allow it greater flexibility to be used to its fullest capability.

Re:Uhm.... (2)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#25500219)

That certainly explains a lot about the marvellous state of the PSP homebrew scene.

Re:Homebrew Wii-ns again (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499889)

Actually, hang on, isn't that the plot of MGS4?

Re:Homebrew Wii-ns again (5, Interesting)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 5 years ago | (#25500235)

When the homebrew community anticipates upcoming fixes and pre-emptively beats them, then I'll concede that they are indeed one step ahead.

That's pretty much what happened. We've been sitting on more exploits for ages, and it took us two hours to make one work after the update. Expect public release in, oh, a day or so.

We're several steps ahead. Their code is too buggy.

Can't win, just go with it (3, Interesting)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#25498871)

8 hours is significant because I believe for that update, Nintendo had something like a three or four month development, testing, release schedule. This is of course not out of the norm for an update that will affect millions of people, but I can't imagine how much money was put into "fixing" the homebrew problem only for it to be cracked again in hours.

Re:Can't win, just go with it (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499193)

8 hours is significant because I believe for that update, Nintendo had something like a three or four month development, testing, release schedule.

It was actually a half year cycle. Nintendo released IOS37, and it got a few months of production testing. Then Nintendo released IOS30 and IOS31 with the signing bug fix backported from IOS37, and it also got a few months of production testing. Now we're seeing the signing bug fix in every IOS major version.

Re:Can't win, just go with it (1)

bigpaperbag (1105581) | more than 5 years ago | (#25500357)

That's silly, the "only for it to be cracked again in hours" is inaccurate, the 8 hours must be taken as an extensive of the time spent on the update as whole. You can't crack something that doesn't exist, so x hours/months/years was spent on the update + 8 hours extra to enable homebrew, its not like they remade the entire update from scratch just to enable homebrew. You give an uncredited amount of intelligence to a group of people who are merely enhancing/cracking/destroying (pick your favorite) other people's work.

Wiimote (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25498923)

Stick that wiimote in your assholes, faggot WEE owners!

You should have got a Playstation 3, the TRUE winner :P

Re:Wiimote (-1, Flamebait)

richy freeway (623503) | more than 5 years ago | (#25498989)

Yeah, cos the homebrew PS3 scene is really rocking at the moment.

PS3? Of course it runs Linux. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499063)

Yeah, cos the homebrew PS3 scene is really rocking at the moment.

Was that sarcasm or not? Of course the PS3 runs Linux.

Re:PS3? Of course it runs Linux. (1, Insightful)

richy freeway (623503) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499295)

That's not homebrew though is it? That's a feature built into the console (if you install linux).

Define "linux" real fast (0)

Moryath (553296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25500465)

A flavor of "linux" that doesn't have proper access to the RAM and the video board isn't really "linux."

Give me REAL linux, that can natively run the linux port of XBMC and can run Wine, and we'll talk.

Re:Wiimote (2, Insightful)

RaceProUK (1137575) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499029)

Yes, as Sony will soon update their firmware to allow community developed apps to be sold... Wait, I'm thinking of Microsoft.

Re:Wiimote (2, Funny)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499549)

Stick that wiimote in your assholes, faggot WEE owners!

You should have got a Playstation 3, the TRUE winner :P

What's the point of the anal wiimote installation? To simulate the expense of buying one? Looking for a lil sympathy?

Very educational (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25498965)

Nintendo is doing the world a favor by working they're damnedest to hurt their less favorable users (who have still paid some money for their Wii) and giving hackers this excellent challenge in seeing what they have to do to make things tick the way they like again.

Eventually everything that can be done will have already been done and breaking the box will take less and less time.

Any actual changes to the Wii Shop Channel? (4, Insightful)

glindsey (73730) | more than 5 years ago | (#25498971)

Did the update actually do anything to the Wii Shop Channel (other than making it inaccessible without the update)? Or was that simply a ruse to get everybody to apply an update that is really designed for a totally different purpose?

Re:Any actual changes to the Wii Shop Channel? (1)

qoncept (599709) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499065)

What's the difference? Either they made the change to block homebrew and waited till there were other changes or just pushed it by itself. Either way, you've got AID-- er, no more homebrew software, at least temporarily.

Re:Any actual changes to the Wii Shop Channel? (5, Informative)

Goose42 (88624) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499095)

It renamed Wii Points to Nintendo Points, and added clearer warnings about what controllers you have to own in order to play a game before you purchase the game.

Re:Any actual changes to the Wii Shop Channel? (0, Redundant)

kirbysuperstar (1198939) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499215)

They also finally got around to removing the GC Controller logo from Mega Man 9's page. Only a month after being released, too.

Re:Any actual changes to the Wii Shop Channel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25499219)

Blocking the shop channel for people with customised firmware seems like the dumbest possible move. Aren't these the people they want to encourage to buy things?

Re:Any actual changes to the Wii Shop Channel? (5, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499265)

Did the update actually do anything to the Wii Shop Channel (other than making it inaccessible without the update)? Or was that simply a ruse to get everybody to apply an update that is really designed for a totally different purpose?

Many systems that work with an online service have a policy that you must have the latest version and if you don't it'll be upgraded first, even those where there's no such ulterior motive to be found. I think it's mostly a case of ease of testing and support, rather than test a huge range of versions all they need to know is that build 23425 of the client works with build 5435 of the server. If someone calls support and have a problem with the service, everything is where you'd expect things to be in the latest version. Of course to them it's not a downside that things like homebrew are blocked either, but I don't think it's the main reason.

Upgrade the Internet channel flash player already (3, Interesting)

Jabbrwokk (1015725) | more than 5 years ago | (#25500569)

I agree it's good to have everyone running the same update for service and support purposes, but this update really doesn't seem to do anything important.

Instead of wasting time developing an update to block a handful of people from hacking their Wiis, why doesn't Nintendo put their time and development cycles into upgrading the freaking Internet channel flash player already. It's over a year and a half out of date and more and more flash videos are unplayable on the Wii as websites upgrade to the newest version. At least Youtube still works (mostly).

I know I can just go use my computer, but it's fun to watch Internet videos on my couch (and streaming TV shows) instead of having everyone huddle around the computer monitor.

Remember when... (5, Insightful)

SirCowMan (1309199) | more than 5 years ago | (#25498985)

I saw the update message on the Wii this morning, lame. Unauthorized software? Remember the time when software updates added functionality and/or fixed bugs? Rather than trying to limit your use of your own hardware (or is it leased now?) and protect the suppliers own revenue streams. While I haven't (yet) played around with the homebrew channel, and probably won't for a couple months (newborn due shortly!), I'm skipping this 'update' out of disgust.

Re:Remember when... (4, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499725)

if you want to think about it in terms of limiting the use of the hardware, then they're not doing anything of the sort. The only thing you get out of these fixes are online play and the ability to use their online store, both of which are value added services which require effort on the part of Nintendo to run and maintain. You're welcome to do whatever you want with the hardware, but if you don't use their firmware, you don't get to use their other services. In this case, it seems perfectly reasonable to me.

We should be complaining about the other locked down hardware that we get, like cell phones, where we're paying for the service and the hardware and get to use neither like we'd like. The Wii could be used almost to its fullest potential without installing a single update, but you can't say that about the iphone.

Re:Remember when... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499837)

You can't have quality control, and leave bugs unpatched.

I'd like to see your response if MS decided to leave an exploit unpatched.

Re:Remember when... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25500041)

You can't have quality control, and leave bugs unpatched.

But you can make a sandbox for amateurs to play in. That's the approach Sony took with PS3 Other OS Installer, Microsoft took with XNA Creators Club, and Apple took with iPhone SDK.

Re:Remember when... (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25500323)

Fine, patch *bugs*. Patch all the *bugs* you want.

Meanwhile, leave my ability to run open-source software (like the Wii port of Quake or a better, less stripped-down web browser) alone.

Re:Remember when... (2, Informative)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 5 years ago | (#25500429)

They patched *bugs*. Which we happened to use to run homebrew.

There has never been a way of running homebrew except via bugs.

Re:Remember when... (4, Insightful)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499945)

I don't see it as limiting the use of your own hardware.

It's limiting the use of your modified hardware with Nintendo's servers and software. Just because you have the ability to take hardware out of spec does not mean the original manufacturer *has* to continue to interact with your modded hardware.

If the homebrew and various activities of questionable legality offer more value to you than Nintendo's services why even bother with Nintendo updates? Unless you want to eat your cake and have it too by expecting Nintendo to do the extra work necessary to make sure their services play nicely with your out of spec hardware and, more importantly, that your out of spec hardware plays nicely with their services.

Now if the Wii, or any console, was touted as a general purpose computer, restricting its use would be dirty pool. Though when you purchase a console, you know you are buying a device made for a specific purpose. Perhaps you can change it to do other things, but it is rather silly and selfish to expect the manufacturer to welcome this now foreign hardware with open arms.

For some extra disclosure, I run a cycloDS setup on my DS Lite. I got tired of having GBA carts protrude from the case. Not having to carry all the carts along (using roms made from my own carts only) is a big bonus. Now if there came a along a patch that would break compatibility with the cycloDS, I wouldn't install it, unless whatever the patch was for was worth giving up the flash carts OR purchasing a new DS to run the new firmware and whatever game or feature that needed the patch. I am totally aware of the fact that while the DS has the capability to be more of a general purpose platform that is not the way Nintendo intended it to be used and that in using such a way that it is not Nintendo's responsibility to keep their goods compatible with my modified system.

Re:Remember when... (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#25500473)

Remember the time when software updates added functionality and/or fixed bugs?

There wasn't some mythical time when updates only added functionality and fixed bugs. Besides, this update does include minor changes, such as renaming Wii Points to Nintendo Points since the DSi will be using the same currency. They had to make that change anyway, and they blocked homebrew piracy in the process. It's not a big deal.

Account blocking? (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 5 years ago | (#25498987)

I don't have a Wii, some I'm not sure how it works (but I was considering getting one for the boy ... ok... any myself .. for Xmas) so I was wondering:

Do they block accounts with "hacked" consoles, or do they just keep you off until you update?

Sometime back I bought a used Xbox. It was able to get on live so assumedly was unmodified, but it appears that now it's actually hacked in a way that XBL can't detect. However, after going through the "it's modified and thus blocked FOREVER" issues with MS, I'm always worried it'll eventually get knocked offline. I'd rather not buy a wii and suffer the same issues, so what's Nintendo's practice in this area?

Re:Account blocking? (1)

krakelohm (830589) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499097)

I have had the Homebrew channel loaded for a few months and have yet to have any problems getting online or being blocked by Nintendo.

Re:Account blocking? (1)

cpt.hugenstein (1025183) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499155)

Dont worry, Online play is soo painfully awkward that you will not do it anyways. Nintendoes practice is they make you share console codes to exchange messages. For some games that is not enough so some games have a game code that you have to share. There are websites devoted to exchange of codes. It is more painfull than trying to activate windows over the telephone.

Re:Account blocking? (3, Interesting)

harrkev (623093) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499189)

Honesty, why bother? I have not seen any Wii homebrew stuff compelling enough to risk bricking my Wii. I am not an expert on this, but here is my take: you can add the following applications:

* Pirated stuff (WiiWare, virtual console, Wii game copies). I am not into piracy at all. I believe in paying for the stuff that I use. Not interested

* Mame. This is interesting. Still "borderline" piracy, but I can at least understand this. Still, I am not that much into old games when there are so many good new ones out.

* DVD Player. Wow, I can avoid spending $30 on a dedicated DVD player, AND get more wear and tear on the DVD drive motor. Plus, with the Wii fan running, dust accumulation on the heat sinks will be accelerated. The risk of bricking is just a bonus.

I have not really heard of any "must-have" homebrew games for the Wii.

Now, hacking a DS does seem cool. Some people have made some nice DS music synthesis software. Then again, I am still waiting for the DS-10 to be released. That is on my "must buy" list to sit beside my Korg Kaossilator.

Re:Account blocking? (5, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499307)

DVD Player. Wow, I can avoid spending $30 on a dedicated DVD player, AND get more wear and tear on the DVD drive motor.

I think the draw of playing DVD-Video and DivX video on the Wii was supposed to be the fact that a DVD player takes shelf space (especially in Japan and other locales with overpriced real estate), and you need an extra set of five cables going into your switch box.

Re:Account blocking? (1)

Dan East (318230) | more than 5 years ago | (#25500145)

Streaming DivX over WiFi is basically the holy grail for a media center - and I'm quite curious if the homebrew can do that. I have a Phillips DVD player from Wal-Mart that was $55 that plays pretty much anything, including DivX straight off a USB drive. However, the downside is having to copy the file off my server onto a USB drive (4-5 minutes at USB 2.0), then physically move the media from one place to another.

Re:Account blocking? (1, Funny)

AceofSpades19 (1107875) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499405)

Honesty, why bother? I have not seen any Wii homebrew stuff compelling enough to risk bricking my Wii. I am not an expert on this, but here is my take: you can add the following applications:

* Pirated stuff (WiiWare, virtual console, Wii game copies). I am not into piracy at all. I believe in paying for the stuff that I use. Not interested

So if you use the homebrew firmware on the Wii, you can raid ships on the high seas? Let me be the first to say "Arrr".

Sid Meier's Pirates! (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499649)

So if you use the homebrew firmware on the Wii, you can raid ships on the high seas?

Exactly. If you crack your Wii for homebrew and install an NES emulator, you can play an infringing copy of the NES version of Sid Meier's Pirates! (1991) [wikipedia.org] . Just make sure to use Twilight Hack to install the DVD driver and the Homebrew Channel before you put on the new IOS.

Re:Account blocking? (1)

tha_toadman (1266560) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499745)

I have not really heard of any "must-have" homebrew games for the Wii.

Then try out "World of Goo" and we'll see if you change your mind on that.

Re:Account blocking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25500099)

Then try out "World of Goo" and we'll see if you change your mind on that.

That's a WiiWare game, not a homebrew one. As in, you don't need to risk bricking the Wii or do convoluted tricks involving savegames to play it.

Re:Account blocking? (1)

MChisholm (1115123) | more than 5 years ago | (#25500183)

He said homebrew, not WiiWare

Re:Account blocking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25500021)

There are a fair amount of homebrew apps out there, you should check the complete list:

http://wiibrew.org/wiki/List_of_homebrew_applications [wiibrew.org]

Re:Account blocking? (1)

esocid (946821) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499205)

I've never heard of anyone getting their account blocked. My roommate hard modded his wii and we even played mario kart online a month before it's US release. It was never an issue with updates, although you needed to update your firmware to keep certain games working.
I can't speak about the homebrew software mod issue cause he didn't do it.

Homebrew channel - worth it? (4, Insightful)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499049)

Serious question, is it really worth installing the Homebrew channel if you don't plan to do any development and don't have any intention of buying a classic controller?

I took a look at what was offered about 2 months ago and nothing that was developed really made me want to rush out and install the channel. Don't get me wrong, people are doing great things, but I just ended up saying "meh" and went about playing Super Mario Galaxy.

If I want emulators I can get that on the PSP now and the control system is better suited for the task. If I want DVD playback, then I already have a great Philips box which does DivX too.

So ... is there something absolutely fantastic which I'm missing out on?

Re:Homebrew channel - worth it? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499107)

You say you have a Wii for Super Mario Galaxy, a modded PSP for classic single-player games, and a DVD/DivX player for movies. What do you have for multiplayer indie games that don't benefit from a separate view per player?

Re:Homebrew channel - worth it? (0, Flamebait)

Deadguy2322 (761832) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499491)

Tepples, you fucking twat. Nobody cares about your shitty little joke of a game. Fuck off.

Re:Homebrew channel - worth it? (3, Funny)

krakelohm (830589) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499569)

Damn, who pissed in your Cheerios?

Re:Homebrew channel - worth it? (3, Informative)

Theoboley (1226542) | more than 5 years ago | (#25500135)

That was me. I did it.

I installed the HBC for one reason (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499319)

I like Wii Quake. The Wiimote is a near-perfect way to play the game on my humongous living room TV screen.

Re:Homebrew channel - worth it? (1)

AndyBusch (160585) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499403)

The biggest reason is that the programs written for a console have a console controller in mind. They don't expect you to have easy access to a keyboard. Even PC apps that have native joystick support don't usually have ready access to save states or other menu functions from the controller.

You get some of that via the PSP, but the TV and multiplayer from a TV console is a little easier, too.

Re:Homebrew channel - worth it? (1)

AndyBusch (160585) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499471)

Meant to post this in reply to the person talking about TV-out from PCs, but mis-pasted after signing in. Ah well.

PC multiplayer - worth it? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499571)

Even PC apps that have native joystick support don't usually have ready access to save states or other menu functions from the controller.

Complain to their publishers and tell them why you've voted with your dollars.

But imagine a game for Windows or Linux that can be configured to bind MenuUp, MenuDown, MenuLeft, MenuRight, Start, and Back to a USB game controller. It also allows up to two-player cooperative or four-player competitive play on one PC with one monitor. Would you consider trying and possibly buying a copy of such a game, or would you reject it outright because "console-style games are for consoles"?

Re:Homebrew channel - worth it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25499427)

The ability to pirate games just like the thousands of freeloaders who say they're modding their Wii for "homebrew" when they actually mean "to download and play games for free because they're cheap-ass pricks". You're probably missing out on that.

Re:Homebrew channel - worth it? (4, Interesting)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 5 years ago | (#25500411)

Is format shifting a form of piracy? I bought a whole ton of nintendo and super nintendo games and I still own them. If I could rip the roms from them what is wrong with using the homebrew to play those roms via an emulator?

Re:Homebrew channel - worth it? (2, Funny)

arotenbe (1203922) | more than 5 years ago | (#25500123)

So ... is there something absolutely fantastic which I'm missing out on?

Well, you can install Ocarina and spam infinite blue shells in MarioKart Wii wifi...

Re:Homebrew channel - worth it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25500175)

Homebrew channel works with all controllers. I've used my game cube, and my Wii controller. Sure, I could do everything Emulation wise on my PSP, but the ability to play on my 42 inch tv with multiple friends is far better to me.

At this point, why? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499053)

As of the fourth quarter of 2008, most PCs have an SDTV output, HDTVs have a VGA and HDMI input, and Bluetooth dongles let the PC use Wii controllers. So what's the big draw of Wii homebrew?

Re:At this point, why? (1)

qoncept (599709) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499191)

That all makes sense until you try it. I thought I was all slick playing movies and NES emulators over the network on my small PC that had RCA out back in the day. But it just sucked. My modded Xbox with the same movies and emulators was 100% better a few years later.

Re:At this point, why? (1)

pla (258480) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499483)

That all makes sense until you try it

True, the previous gen of ED/HDTVs with supposedly PC-compatible input connectors tended to fail miserably at actually dealing with signals from any actual PC (on my old TV, I could barely get 720p over component to work, and it would scale it down to only take up about half the screen). That no longer holds true, however. Most newer TVs have VGA, DVI, or HDMI connectors that really do work like they should.

Re:At this point, why? (1)

sdsucks (1161899) | more than 5 years ago | (#25500579)

... and now, a few years later again, the PC is vastly superior for the purpose.

Xbox lacks CPU power and RAM for many things (Such as playing many HD formats, also playing many MAME games).

Modded xboxes were very cool, but I prefer my mythtv box by a long shot.

Re:At this point, why? (2, Insightful)

TheCycoONE (913189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499283)

Your comment suggests there may not be any utilitarian reason to hack the Wii, and there may not be much; but the question suggests you don't understand hackers and hacker culture very well. More often than not, it's not to gain any utilitarian advantage, but for the pure fun of doing something unintended or frowned upon by the original manufacture of the device. It's the same reason numerous universities have traditions where (particularly engineering) students place objects in unusual places.

Re:At this point, why? (1)

rmadmin (532701) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499289)

To quote a Billie Piper song "Because we want to".

Re:At this point, why? (1)

jassa (1092003) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499321)

I'm sure other people more up to date on the state of Wii homebrew can suggest more things, but the first things that come to my mind are imported games. I live in Australia and many games (especially Nintendo and Capcom titles) take weeks, if not months longer to reach here after their US release. A lot of gamers want to support the publishers but not have to wait for ages to play those games. It's also worth noting that until recently it was also a lot cheaper to import than to pay local prices for video games. Unfortunately, for some reason our dollar has become a lot weaker since the US economic crisis began, so importing is no longer the cheaper option.

TV system doesn't match; rating systems (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499439)

I live in Australia and many games (especially Nintendo and Capcom titles) take weeks, if not months longer to reach here after their US release.

I can think of two reasons:

For one thing, game consoles are typically used with large displays called "TVs". TVs in New Zealand and Australia run slower than North American TVs. A lot of games' physics are based on a time quantum based on that of the TV's vertical retrace, and developers need to retune the physics, retest all the levels to compensate for this.

Some video games include depictions of violence or sex that the community deems unsuitable for small children. The standards and practices differ from country to country, and rating boards in each country classify each game based on local standards. It takes time to remove depictions that would result in a refusal to classify a game.

Re:TV system doesn't match; rating systems (2, Interesting)

jassa (1092003) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499625)

Yet somehow other publishers manage to overcome these issues and have near-simultaneous worldwide releases! Amazing!

Most televisions in Australia and New Zealand support both NTSC and PAL signals, and HD televisions (which are becoming more and more common) use 720p/1080i/1080p which are standard HD resolutions worldwide.

As for classification problems, the removal of content for reclassification purposes is not nearly as common as you might believe. Maybe one in a hundred games actually have to be edited after the initial classification submission.

Re:TV system doesn't match; rating systems (3, Informative)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499771)

Every TV since the rise of consoles, pretty much, has been capable of running NTSC signals, or even PAL signals using a 60Hz refresh rate.

You'd be hard pressed to find a TV that had ports on it for attaching a console that couldn't flip between different systems at will based on the input signal.

The distribution rights tend to be the thing that really slows down the release of games, videos and music in a region - it's almost never a technical problem any more.

Re:TV system doesn't match; rating systems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25500141)

You'd be hard pressed to find a TV that had ports on it for attaching a console that couldn't flip between different systems at will based on the input signal.

Ummm, every single American NTSC TV I've ever owned or used has displayed the following faults when fed a PAL signal:

  - Vertical Hold issues. Can be corrected by either using PAL-60, or adjusting the vertical hold.
  - Black and white signal. All the TVs do this. Not a single one will show any colour, even if this is the only fault.
  - Corrupt signal. Signal quality is drastically reduced, appears to have snow.
  - Display issues. Keystone is off, aspect ratio is off, displays bowing.

And I'm not talking a small amount of TV's here. I'm talking over 100+ TVs across dozens of manufacturers, styles, and SKUs. All have ports for attaching consoles (ie: A composite input).

At least here, you'd be hard pressed to find a TV that supports PAL, SECAM, or even NTSC-50 in any format at all.

That all being said, ever since consoles started to take discs and computers had hard drives, I haven't heard much of games being tied to refresh rates.

Re:TV system doesn't match; rating systems (3, Interesting)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 5 years ago | (#25500503)

I was talking about in Europe, Aus and any other region of the world where NTSC isn't the primary TV system.

Every single European TV I have seen that has RCA ports on it since the mid 90s or earlier has been able to function with at least PAL and NTSC signals. More modern ones can handle anything you can throw at them.

I have a wide selection of Region 1 and Region 2 DVDs and an unlocked DVD player and I've never come across a TV that I can't play those US DVDs on (and the DVD player doesn't change the disc to PAL, it outputs in NTSC when a region 1 disc is played).

Maybe US TVs are all NTSC only, but here in Europe, they are all multi format.

Re:TV system doesn't match; rating systems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25500313)

dude it's a nintendo (and modern tv's tend to support several standards)

I wouldn't need homebrew if (1)

cpt.hugenstein (1025183) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499347)

1) They released earthbound for vc (I mean come on already) 2) They released other games for vc. A stream of 1 or 2 medeocre games a week is not going to cut it. 3) Kill all the lawyers (or laws.. I guess) so that licencing issues werent a problem.

Modchips are affected too (1)

jassa (1092003) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499383)

This update also renders modchips useless - though luckily it doesn't seem to brick the consoles (not those with Wiikey chips anyway). Unfortunately the modchip community isn't as active as the homebrew community, so those with modchips might have to wait longer before being able to update their consoles again.

Re:Modchips are affected too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25499995)

Sucks for those using modchips to play imports. Giant "HA HA!" and finger for those using modchips to play "backups" **coughcoughfreeloadingpiratescough**.

Blocking owners? (2, Insightful)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499521)

Those not installing this update are blocked out of the Wii Shop channel and in the future may be blocked out of certain games.

Uh, so let's say Jimmy purchases a Wii, takes it home with his new game and tries to play but it won't let him because the Wii has yet to be updated.

Are you saying that now Wii owners are required to have Internet access in order to update the console to let them play games?

Re:Blocking owners? (3, Informative)

krakelohm (830589) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499609)

I believe games that require an update will come with the update on the game DVD as well. Mario Galaxy was this way.

Re:Blocking owners? (1)

lrbays (1208996) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499629)

If a game requires an update to run, the update is included on the game disc. So, you can install the update without an internet connection, but still, you have to update to be able to run the game.

Re:Blocking owners? (3, Interesting)

jassa (1092003) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499873)

Interesting fact: Although the game discs force you to update, the games themselves often don't actually require the update. I don't endorse game piracy, but I did investigate the piracy scene while waiting for Smash Bros. Brawl to be released in Australia and was surprised to discover the pirated version had the update stripped out of the iso, and could still be played with no problems.

Apparently this was also true for every other game that had previously come bundled with an update.

Re:Blocking owners? (1)

acvh (120205) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499659)

doubtful. if a new game requires new firmware it will most likely include it on the game disk.

Re:Blocking owners? (1)

CrackerJackz (152930) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499723)

Much like the PSP; the games that 'require' a certain version ship with the update on the disk. Super Smash Brothers prompted me to update (which it did from the disk) before it would run.

Jimmy will be fine :)

Re:Blocking owners? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25499729)

no, games like Metroid Prime 3, which did require an upgrade, come with the upgrade. If you have the internet, it is probably already updated, if not, then it is availible offline.

Re:Blocking owners? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499933)

No, they'll just start including the update on disks. Initally Blu-Ray required an internet connection for firmware updates, but now it went to the saner method of using the movie disk to upgrade the firmware.

For the record, home appliance systems shouldn't need a damn firmware upgrade at all. I predict bad things will come of this.
Specifically New Firmware that brakes the player, glitches on older movies.
Maybe even a vector of attack from people with malicious intent.

Nice Update (1, Insightful)

mmalove (919245) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499621)

So the motion sensor control is still whacked, but now at least I can bask in the warm fuzzy feeling of DRM creeping over nintendo hardware.

Oh wait, no - I don't own a wii. And probably never will - if this is how they respect their customers.

When will they update Flash and Opera? (3, Insightful)

edmicman (830206) | more than 5 years ago | (#25499705)

When will they update their Flash player? I paid 5 bucks to have big screen streaming web p-, er, videos, and all that seems to work is YouTube. WTF?

Why Do Companies Do This? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25499817)

Why would I want to buy a product where the manufacturer is combative and actively works to prevent me from using the product in the way I wish to use it?

sad... (2, Interesting)

motang (1266566) | more than 5 years ago | (#25500017)

I had to take off all my homebrew apps just to do the update...it's a cat and mouse game.

Failed (1)

riceboy50 (631755) | more than 5 years ago | (#25500377)

I don't have anything custom installed on my Wii and the update failed for me.
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