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Wii Update 4.2 Tries (and Fails) To Block Homebrew

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the broke-and-fixed dept.

Nintendo 520

marcansoft writes "On September 28, Nintendo released a Wii update, titled 4.2. This update was targeted squarely at homebrew, performing sweeping changes throughout the system. It hardly achieved that goal, though, because just two days later a new version of the HackMii installer was released that brings full homebrew capabilities back to all Wii consoles, including unmodified consoles running 4.2. However, as part of their attempt to annoy homebrew users, Nintendo updated the lowest level updateable component of the Wii software stack: boot2 (part of the system bootloader chain). Homebrew users have been using BootMii to patch boot2 in order to gain low level system access and recovery functions (running Linux natively, fixing bricks, etc). The update hasn't hindered this, as users can simply reinstall BootMii after updating (it is compatible with the update). But there's a much bigger problem: Nintendo's boot2 update code is buggy." Read on for more details."Boot2 had never been updated in retail consoles until now. During BootMii's development, its authors noticed that Nintendo's code had critical bugs and could sometimes permanently brick a console by writing incorrect or unchecked data to flash memory, so they decided to write their own, much safer flashing code. Now, Nintendo has pushed a boot2 update to all Wii users, and the results are what was expected: users are reporting bricks after installing 4.2 on unmodified consoles. Nintendo is currently attempting to censor posts and remove references to homebrew. It is worth noting that the new boot2 does not attempt to block anything or offer any additional protection or functionality. Its sole purpose is to simply replace current versions which may or may not have been modified with BootMii. Another interesting tidbit is that Nintendo is not believed to have any method to repair this kind of brick at a factory, short of replacing the entire motherboard."

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520 comments

Why is that legal? (5, Insightful)

Tei (520358) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603415)

You have buy a machine, not a license. If you want to open it, and mod it on any way you want. Is just a tiny mountain of chips and transistors. You could break it in pieces and use it to fix your refrigerator. Any law that let the creator of the machine perpetuate this locking trough anti-user changes sould get a fine, and any law that help then do that, sould be reverted, and the legislators of these laws be kicked in the ass with a boot.

Re:Why is that legal? (4, Insightful)

Techmeology (1426095) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603445)

It's legal because the same people who invented the DMCA invented other laws too.

Re:Why is that legal? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29603721)

MightyMartian [slashdot.org] did my ass last night, bitch!

Re:Why is that legal? (1)

eiapoce (1049910) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604005)

It's legal because the same people who invented the DMCA invented other laws too.

Until they push these insanities to the point that they get a revolution from the bottom.

Re:Why is that legal? (5, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603473)

First, we should kick out the laws that fine the CONSUMER for daring to mess around with his own legally-bought electronics.

Re:Why is that legal? (0)

backbyter (896397) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603631)

You'll rethink that when your neighbor takes out all of your non-wired electronics, or your house burns also after the neighbor amps up his toaster.

Re:Why is that legal? (2, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603709)

You can already sue if your house gets blown up because of your neighbor. But modding Wii consoles harms nobody.

Re:Why is that legal? (5, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603835)

But modding Wii consoles harms nobody.

That's what they said about Skynet.

Re:Why is that legal? (1)

LtGordon (1421725) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604149)

Well clearly one of these things is a serious crime against property and deserves punishment. For the other, you'll have to find yourself new neighbors.

Re:Why is that legal? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29603507)

You have buy a machine, not a license. If you want to open it, and mod it on any way you want. Is just a tiny mountain of chips and transistors. You could break it in pieces and use it to fix your refrigerator. Any law that let the creator of the machine perpetuate this locking trough anti-user changes sould get a fine, and any law that help then do that, sould be reverted, and the legislators of these laws be kicked in the ass with a boot.

Because traditionally they make consoles at a loss. Would you prefer to pay $500 for a hackable Wii? It may seem like they are just spoiling fun but if they couldn't make money off games the Wii itself would never exist. Expecting non-hack users to foot the bill for the hackables isn't fair as well since some one has to pay to develop and manufacture them. Either you will or your neighbor or there won't be anymore Wii's. Ugly truth of the matter.

Re:Why is that legal? (4, Informative)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603533)

The Wii has never been sold at a loss, I don't have one & even I know that.

Re:Why is that legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29603903)

The comment was "traditionally". The Wii isn't a moneymaker it was sold more as a break even for the maker with the expectation of making the profit off games. Why is it so critical for everything to be moddable or hackable? Desktops are more powerful so I don't get the point. Most of the hacking and modding has been to either run pirate games or do silly things like turn a game box into the slowest PC on the planet. They make Wii's to sell games. Why is this evil? If they gave them away and just asked that people buy games people would still hack or mod them and think they were evil for being asked to buy games. The Wii isn't a mountain to be climbed it's low end game box with an unusual controller. For the record most other game boxes are sold at a loss the Wii was unusual that they could sell it at a price close to what they cost to make. FYI they spent a bundle on developing them so if they had to depend solely on console sales they never would have made them in the first place. No matter what you might want to think the device itself isn't a cash cow they really are in the business to sell games. Read more carefully and think it through before you call bullshit. Just because they make a few bucks per console doesn't mean it's profitable. They spend a fortune on advertising and development so those few dollars don't translate into profit and greed.

Re:Why is that legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29604143)

And you know that how?

I have never seen a profit/loss calculation of the type published on the internet that included the hiring premium paid to HR agencies that hire box-packers for the customer service centers, or a risk-adjusted compensation for all the projects that failed before the success came along.

Re:Why is that legal? (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604163)

Are your fingers broken Mr Shill?  Here, let me Google that for you.

http://www.techradar.com/news/gaming/nintendo-makes-6-per-wii-490029

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2006/09/7752.ars

Now can you please go away?

Re:Why is that legal? (1)

rvw (755107) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603561)

Because traditionally they make consoles at a loss. Would you prefer to pay $500 for a hackable Wii? It may seem like they are just spoiling fun but if they couldn't make money off games the Wii itself would never exist. Expecting non-hack users to foot the bill for the hackables isn't fair as well since some one has to pay to develop and manufacture them. Either you will or your neighbor or there won't be anymore Wii's. Ugly truth of the matter.

It seems almost like a socialist or communist (in US terms) concept. Isn't that illegal as well in the US?

Re:Why is that legal? (1)

MrMr (219533) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603779)

I think the better word for communist control of the population and rampant capitalism is probably fascism, and no, that's not illegal.

Re:Why is that legal? (1)

LtGordon (1421725) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604199)

Ever heard of ink cartridges? Printers are much cheaper than they could be because they assume they'll make the money back with expensive ink cartridge replacements. For the longest time, if you bought a new computer they would practically throw printers at you.

Re:Why is that legal? (2, Informative)

Nitage (1010087) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603625)

Traditionally console are sold at a loss. The Wii breaks with that tradition.

Re:Why is that legal? (0)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603627)

Because traditionally they make consoles at a loss. Would you prefer to pay $500 for a hackable Wii?

So what you're saying is that they lie about the price, then charge you later, in the price of games, because they know you can't get games elsewhere.

That's hardly a justification.

Re:Why is that legal? (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603863)

So what you're saying is that they lie about the price

What you would prefer that instead of seeing $200 dollars on the sticker, it should say $500 TCO? They aren't lieing about the price, they aren't lieing at all, have you ever heard anyone at Nintendo suggest you could do more with a Wii than use the software they make available?

If I can give someone x for 1 year at a cost of y, knowing that the typical user will generate y profit per year for 3 years it makes perfect sense (and is not remotely immoral) to offer to discount the product).

Re:Why is that legal? (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603991)

Look at it this way. I bought a wii for homebrew. I then bought 4 controls, 4 nunchucks, 4 classic controllers, 4 game cube controllers, etc. Then I bought some wii games that I thought were neat (zelda, mario, etc). There are new games out there that I might buy (the new metroid re-release, etc).

I also buy virtual console games before using my downloaded roms because a lot of those virtual console games have been modified to fit my TV better and I want to support nintendo.

However, if this update bricks my system, or if any future update stops home brew, then I'm done. I'm not going to buy any more nintendo games, any more VC games, etc. So by preventing me from using homebrew, they cost themselves those precious sales.

Honestly, most of the games released for the wii are crap. I bought the wii for virtual console. A lot of the games I want are not on virtual console, so I have homebrew. Take that away and you have just enough of a breaking point for me to say "Fuck it" and just build a small pc to do the same thing.

Re:Why is that legal? (5, Informative)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603775)

An AC modded +3 Insightful for spouting nonsense ? Wow, just....wow !

Nintendo has always made a profit on its raw hardware.

Re:Why is that legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29603819)

You have buy a machine, not a license. If you want to open it, and mod it on any way you want. Is just a tiny mountain of chips and transistors. You could break it in pieces and use it to fix your refrigerator. Any law that let the creator of the machine perpetuate this locking trough anti-user changes sould get a fine, and any law that help then do that, sould be reverted, and the legislators of these laws be kicked in the ass with a boot.

Because traditionally they make consoles at a loss. Would you prefer to pay $500 for a hackable Wii? It may seem like they are just spoiling fun but if they couldn't make money off games the Wii itself would never exist. Expecting non-hack users to foot the bill for the hackables isn't fair as well since some one has to pay to develop and manufacture them. Either you will or your neighbor or there won't be anymore Wii's. Ugly truth of the matter.

First, the Wii has never been sold at a loss, all companies work for profit. So your statement has no foundation in the truth. Second, which is the really important part, I would rather pay for a quality product at bit more cost than I would a crappy product at 50% off. I'm not saying they should charge us $500 for the Wii, consoles are already stupid expensive, but they should make sure it works and works right. We, as americans at least maybe other countries to, put up with some of the dumbest S***. We accept inferior product, inferior support, and just toss our hands up and go "eh its what it is" if we held consumers responsible they'd do less dumb S***, in theory.

Re:Why is that legal? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29603947)

You've overlooked a few things:

1) The Wii is not sold at a loss.

2) An awful lot of engineering design time is spent by console makers trying to lock down hardware. This time costs money, and is wasted since the hardware will inevitably be cracked.

3) Most people that buy the Wii have no idea how to hack the hardware, nor do they have an interest in learning to do so. Indulging a tiny fraction of the Wii user community that likes to tinker is NOT going to sink the entire product. In fact, if Nintendo would help them out by opening up the schematic and the firmware, they might actually sell MORE units...

Re:Why is that legal? (3, Insightful)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604097)

Whether or not you sell my an item at a loss has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that I now own that item, and am free to do whatever I want with it, so long as my use causes no direct physical harm to others. Modding a Wii does not cause any physical harm to anyone, so it should be OK. Or at least it would, if copyright/patent trolls didn't have the ear of legislatures.

If Nintendo sold Wiis at a loss (which they don't, IIRC) and discovered that everyone is now using them only for homebrew, they would jack up the price so they can remain profitable. I'm sure the other console makers would do the same.

Also why are they doing it? (4, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603553)

I'm not aware of it even being used for piracy. I have the Homebrew Channel installed and it's great fun to play a few things on, plus occasionally turn the Wii into a media player.

IIRC it can be used to play out-of-region games. Which is a GOOD thing.

What exactly do they have to gain here?

Re:Also why are they doing it? (4, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603603)

They want to enforce region locking, or they wouldn't have implemented it to start with...

Region locking hurts legitimate users, and is used to screw them out of more money... Region locking should be illegal. It does absolutely NOTHING to benefit the consumer.

Re:Also why are they doing it? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29603669)

It prevents confusion. You, as a knowledgeable consumer, don't give two shits. But different things are made different ways for different target markets. A consumer who didn't know better might buy a game with a colloquialism appropriate to one locality, which would be grossly misinterpreted in another.

Why does everyone feel software is so special that it must be put on a pedestal? Coca Cola has different flavors around the world, often due to the preferences of the local consumers. If you imported Coke from somewhere else and resold it, and it wasn't clear to the consumer what exactly they were buying, they could very well think Coke wronged them when their drink tastes a little off.

Region locking is a trade dress issue, and it *protects* the average consumer. However, you, for personal use, may still import games.

Re:Also why are they doing it? (5, Insightful)

Eraesr (1629799) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603737)

What a preposterous comparison. If I wanted to import a crate of Coca Cola from the US, then I'm damn well able to open the bottle _and_ drink it's contents. I don't see how region locking protects the average user either. Technically speaking, there doesn't have to be a difference between a NTSC-U or PAL release. It's also a "problem" that PC games or even Nintendo DS games never had to deal with. There's no region locking on either platform. So why would it be necessary for the Wii? If Nintendo is truly worried about me putting an NTSC disc in my PAL Wii, then at most they could show a message telling me that I'm attempting to play an NTSC disc and that it may differ from a PAL release of the same game. "Do you wish to continue? Yes or No?" The only real advantages to region locking are for the producer of the product. They can put up different price points for different markets and prevent consumers from tapping into a different market (region).

Re:Also why are they doing it? (1)

adycarter (261257) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604123)

There is a difference between PAL and NSTC-U releases, its usually support for the extra languages needed for Europe, same applies to DVDs which is why frequently region 2 discs have a lot of extras removed compare to their region 1 versions, the space is needed for alternate audio/menus etc.

Re:Also why are they doing it? (4, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603769)

I grew up in Texas. There are a lot of Mexicans there. One thing that some Mexicans missed is Coke with sugar. Despite the television adds to the contrary, it corn syrup isn't indistinguishable from sugar. So I've been in markets that sold the Mexican Coke next to the American one. There was no confusion. If there was, you read the ingredients and you'd know the difference. Coke may sell different stuff in differnt places for regional taste, but they don't (and can't) sue people that resell it. But for some reason, you think doing that with software makes sense?

coke with suger (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29604053)

Regional tastes have nothing to do with it.

American sugar producers lobbied and got a protectionist tariff on sugar that increased the cost significantly which made it cheaper for all the soft drink companies to switch to corn syrup. Elsewhere in the world sugar is cheap enough that it can be used with out driving up the cost of the product prohibitively.

My sister went to Korea some years ago and the coke there also was made with sugar. It's pretty much only in the US that corn syrup is used. Heck, in South America they use sugarcane as feed stock for the ethanol plants to produce fuel for cars.

Re:Also why are they doing it? (1)

superslacker87 (998043) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604139)

Coca Cola has different flavors around the world, often due to the preferences of the local consumers. If you imported Coke from somewhere else and resold it, and it wasn't clear to the consumer what exactly they were buying, they could very well think Coke wronged them when their drink tastes a little off.

Coca Cola tastes different everywhere else in the world but America because we use High Fructose Corn Syrup instead of pure cane sugar. The taste difference between the two is so much better when real sugar is used, but this is America where capitalism rules and the bottom line is most important. The bottom line is the following: HFCS is much cheaper to create and use than cane sugar.

If you get the chance to try a sugar-based soda and its HFCS equivalent, you'll be in awe of the difference. Taste for profit. I'd rather pay a few cents more for real sugar over HFCS.

Re:Also why are they doing it? (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604183)

Really? Region locking is a *trade* issue? Region locking is a copyright issue, used by various large entertainment companies to force everyone to buy the same thing over and over and over again. It has nothing to do with trade.

Re:Also why are they doing it? (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604133)

I agree totally that region locking hurts legitimate users. However, I disagree that it should be illegal. I think it should be perfectly legal to mod/hack/whatever a way to play DVDs from another region, the manufacturer be damned. They can have all the fancy DRM they want, but I believe that breaking it should be perfectly legitimate. The DMCA disagrees with me, however. Now they can use that to extort money out of people for playing DVDs. "Pay us $LARGE_DOLLAR_AMOUNT or we'll take you to court."

Re:Also why are they doing it? (4, Informative)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603679)

I'm not aware of it even being used for piracy.

Well it is. I was at a buddies house, he had a USB HD plugged into his Wii, all kinds of games on it. Apparently the Mario Galaxy he downloaded had a few bits flipped somewhere in it's image so he played it all the way to the last few planets and then couldn't finish it. Some of the games he actually owned so... I think it's great to be able to back up games to a HD and play off them. When you share the Wii with someone and they get up to play Wii Fit every morning... and I'm working my way through Zelda. Swap swap swap.

Also he had this media center software running on the Wii, sorta like having XBMC or something. Then he uses his iPhone to change the tracks, watch movies, etc... pretty sweet.

Nintendo should just sell a media center channel and let millions of Wii owners plug HDs into those babies.

Nintendo Roms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29604121)

I'm not aware of it even being used for piracy.

There are at least 2 private torrent sites dedicated to Nintendo roms and disk images,
I should know, I am a member of both. The scene does not discriminate, we pirate for
EVERY console and device.

Re:Also why are they doing it? (1)

lyinhart (1352173) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603955)

I'm not aware of it even being used for piracy. I have the Homebrew Channel installed and it's great fun to play a few things on, plus occasionally turn the Wii into a media player.

IIRC it can be used to play out-of-region games. Which is a GOOD thing.

What exactly do they have to gain here?

Wii Disc Dumper can be used to rip ISOs, which can be run in Dolphin, the Gamecube/Wii emulator: http://www.dolphin-emu.com/faq.php?cat_id=1 [dolphin-emu.com] So that could justify Nintendo's concern about users running homebrew software, but I don't think the Wii's target audience (i.e. "casual" gamers) know about such things. And besides, it's not like there's many Wii games worth pirating. Like I actually must have that copy of Celebrity Sports Showdown [wikipedia.org].

Re:Also why are they doing it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29604025)

I do! I use a 300GB HD attached to my Wii...one reason, kids!

Kids and CD/DVDs do not mix very well! Sure you can rant and scream at them, not to mess the discs up but they will sooner or later. I patched my Wii and whenever I buy a new title, it's ripped straight to the HD and the DVD goes away in a cupboard. I know the scumbag companies want me to replace my games everytime young'un breaks the DVD, but at $40 a pop, no thanks. I bought one copy and that's all I'm gonna buy!

If you think piracy doesn't happen, take a look in the Wii section of your local torrent tracker!

Re:Also why are they doing it? (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604069)

They don't release pirated software but they do release tools that can be used to play coppied roms from a USB drive, and the main thing i've seen them used for is emulators which must require "illegal" roms for the snes/n64 games you play.

Re:Why is that legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29603575)

Why wouldn't it be. You can elect to install homebrew hacks. You can elect to install the Nintendo update. Your choice.

On another note... (5, Funny)

zlel (736107) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603597)

The Refrigeration Industrial Artists' Association has decided that you will need to pay an "iFrigement use fee" if you put any food item with an energy content of more than 1000 kCal in your fridge. Your fridge comes with a Healthy Home Edition license - I'm afraid you need to upgrade your kCal licenses for your level of consumption.

Re:On another note... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29604109)

Wouldn't that be 1 mCal?

Re:Why is that legal? (3, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603615)

Someone will have to confirm this for me, but I'm pretty sure that on the box of the original Xbox, it states that you don't technically own the hardware, but have been given a licence to operate it which can be withdrawn at any time (if you don't agree then don't open the box etc.)

If you don't like it... (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603747)

If you don't like it, then don't download and install their free firmware updates.

You can get all huffy and jump up and down on your soap box all you want. But the reality is, you bought some hardware and it needs some software to operate correctly. You can choose to play games offline only, or you can choose to plug it into the internet and collect your free updates that maintain support with Nintendo's network while at the same time attempts to prevent you from using homebrew.

If you want to do homebrew games, buy something open, like a PC. Microsoft will even give you a free C++ compiler capable of doing full DirectX programming. And those Linux guys do the same thing, but the OS is free, compiler and debugger are not crippled and it's OpenGL or SDL instead for doing homebrew.

Re:If you don't like it... (1)

thejynxed (831517) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603971)

The only problem is, that with the Wii, Nintendo has decided to make it as annoying as possible NOT to accept their updates. Basically it will pop up the annoying update screen at every opportunity - this means every time you navigate between windows, etc in the system.

It essentially harasses you until you click on 'Yes'.

I love to jizz in Rob Malda's mouth (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29603805)

imagine you willy being smacked until it bleeds

j. delanoy

I have just a few words for you fags... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29603883)

Sunlight. Try it some time.

Re:Why is that legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29604041)

No, you actually buy a machine and a license. Happy to clear up that misunderstanding.

Anyone saying what you say should get slapped in the face, for obvious ignorance.

An option that Nintendo could entertain would be to sell a console priced not only for the cost of production, but also for the cost of development and all related employee activities, including the years of the planning stages prior to development, and a normal profit margin for companies on top of that. The typically quoted "cost of production" do not cover these costs. Then they could sell it for $1000, completely license free. I would support that.

Re:Why is that legal? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604115)

Why should be illegal for someone to publish software for the Wii that modifies the Boot2 code? It seems you're arguing that it should.

DRM (2, Interesting)

Techmeology (1426095) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603435)

DRM DRM DRM DRM DRM DRM DRM.
This is to updates as DRM is to using stuff. It's all a big commercialistic manipulation attempt. People don't like to be manipulated. Thus it fails miserably. There's also that warm fuzzy feeling when the hacked version solves bugs too:D Bonus "learn your lesson" points if they have to replace the bricked consoles (which, under most consumer law, they should).

When will they learn? (4, Insightful)

Mr0bvious (968303) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603453)

It costs them a lot of money to try and stop modding etc, when they will fail every time.

Waste of time, money and reputation.

Re:When will they learn? (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603547)

Especially reputation.  Nothing like making yourself look incompetent over & over again.  I'm looking at you Sony & Nintendo.  You need to tell your shareholders, to sit down, shut up & enjoy the easy money.

Re:When will they learn? (4, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603667)

Well they dont really fail. Sure, someone finds a way around it. But it gets harder to get the homebrew working again. I updated to 4.0 before and didn't know you couldn't get all the homebrew working again. I tried to downgrade a few times, but it failed always (and I followed the guides closely). Then I just forgot about it and didn't try again.

So in that case they won. And I'm pretty computer knowledgeable person myself, it would be even worse for someone who isn't.

Re:When will they learn? (1)

Mr0bvious (968303) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604089)

It seems like your motivation was low to get it going, which leads me to suspect that they were not losing a great deal of money to your use of homebrew? If not, somewhat of a moot win.

Two words: Virtual Console (3, Interesting)

gmarsh (839707) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603953)

I'll fess up. I've got a SD card in my Wii with old NES games, and I run Homebrew Channel and FCE Ultra on my Wii.

Mind you, I own most of the games (SMB games, Mega Man games, TMNT2, etc) on NES cartridges. I do have an old NES, but I just can't be arsed to drag the thing out, wire it up to my TV and spend 10 minutes wiggling cartridges until they work. And I couldn't be arsed to buy games I already own on Virtual Console so I can play them again. Even though they're only $5/game, it's a principle thing.

But not everyone has a closet full of old video game equipment to use as lame justification. And Nintendo is probably losing a good bit of money because of kids telling their friends how to exploit the Wii and install FCE Ultra so that they don't have to buy the Virtual Console games. So, I kinda understand the whole anti-homebrew thing from that direction...

It's not about the users (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604187)

The purpose of the "DRM" stuff has nothing to do with homebrew and possibly nothing to do with copy protection. It's to make sure companies have to pay Nintendo to get their games on the machine. If you can run whatever you want, then nothing is stopping you from running commercial software that isn't giving it's cut to Nintendo. They're not trying to stop users, they're making sure they get paid for commercial titles.

Nintendo's Response (5, Informative)

Rick Richardson (87058) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603467)

Hello,

Some of you have reported problems with your Wii console after updating to the Wii System Menu 4.2. The symptoms most people are describing usually occur when the Wii has been modified. However, some of you also mention your system has never been modified.

We'd like to help get your system working properly again. If you're experiencing problems with your Wii console after downloading Wii System Menu 4.2, and you believe your system has not been modified, please give us a call. If we find that you have a normal system and the update caused your system to not work, we'll repair it at no charge.

Please call our Customer Service Department at your earliest convenience, 1-800-255-3700. We are open 6 AM to 7 PM, Pacific Time, 7 days a week.

Thank you,
NOA_Tech_Jane

Re:Nintendo's Response (1)

Capsy (1644737) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603499)

Sounds like a scheme to bust modders. Nintendo isn't very clever. Much like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

Re:Nintendo's Response (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603695)

Sounds like a scheme to get sued

There fixed that for you. Honestly, doesn't that sound like they just admitted they knew this update would damage people's systems? Can you say class action? The warning they give does warn about save games being lost, but doesn't seem clear to me about systems being completel missing Or did I miss that somewhere?

Re:Nintendo's Response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29603609)

Dear Nintendo,

    Does your definition of "modified" refer to physical modifications only or does it include any sort of software modification? It matters.

Re:Nintendo's Response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29603689)

Dear Co-Anonymous,
          Modifications to the core software and/or firmware, too. Don't be ignorant.

Re:Nintendo's Response (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603809)

Saving a game is a modification to the software. So anyone that's ever even set up a Mii has modified the Wii from it's shipping state. "Unauthorized modification" would be a separate issue.

Dear Nintendo, (5, Interesting)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603529)

Please stop making me cry.

Sincerely,
Your loyal non-modding customer.

P.S. Please spend all this time and effort addressing the cheating hackers plaguing the Mario Kart Network instead.

Re:Dear Nintendo, (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29603661)

We often look at the past with rose-tinted sunglasses.

When we were children, some of us grew up with Nintendo. The NES gave us incredible gameplay. We fell in love with the company.The SNES brought even more to the table. Many of us are also plagued by the Tetris theme, thanks to the Gameboy.

Unfortunately, the reality is much more bitter. Nintendo has done some pretty rotten things since the very first version of their system. Whether it was the 10NES lock-out chip, their censorship policies, their anti-competitive attitude (which landed them fines in the European Union in 2002 thanks to how they ran their business from 1991-1998), Nintendo has a long track-record of "doing evil". We only never realized it because, at the time, most of us were children and only cared about getting that next fun game.

Compared to the way things were then, all of this is unsurprising.

Re:Dear Nintendo, (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603861)

Well at least they're not Sony or Microsoft... :)

Compared to those two companies, Nintendo is still an angel!

Re:Dear Nintendo, (1)

Kartoffel (30238) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604099)

THIS.

Why all the effort to fight homebrew, instead of the rampant online cheating? They don't need to lock the platform down, just some freakin' checksums would be a step in the right direction.

So, as someone with the homebrew channel installed (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603531)

What's the best course of action here?

I don't have BootMii installed at present.

Re:So, as someone with the homebrew channel instal (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603579)

Stop buying Nintendo goods and services until they fix the issue. Tell them that, on the forums.

Hit them in the wallet.

Re:So, as someone with the homebrew channel instal (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603605)

That's easy, I haven't bought any for about six months anyway.

I meant, is there a way to avoid a bricking of the nintendo products I already own?

Re:So, as someone with the homebrew channel instal (3, Informative)

ragethehotey (1304253) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603623)

Just DONT accept the 4.2 update when the Wii asks if you would like to upgrade. Simple as that. Unlike the XBox 360 / PS3 they have no way to "force" you to take the update.

Re:So, as someone with the homebrew channel instal (5, Informative)

Eraesr (1629799) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603751)

Wii forces you to update as well through some (first party) games. Mario Kart or Wii Fit for instance won't run if you don't install the updates included on their discs. So if you don't stay up to date, you will lock yourself out of an increasing number of games for the platform.

Re:So, as someone with the homebrew channel instal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29603913)

depends on the game I guess, I haven't yet run any game that absolutely requires a system update past 3.2 (what I have)
all games have an update partition though that contains the latest version of the system update at the time the game was pressed
if you acquire these games from the internets, you can use a tool to delete that partition and then either burn it or run the usb loader
there is also an app called starfall that can block that update from running

Re:So, as someone with the homebrew channel instal (1)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604175)

Just buy the game, put it somewhere out of the way and download the ripped version. Or you could even rip it yourself. Little extra effort, but you get to do what you want with something you bought.

Re:So, as someone with the homebrew channel instal (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604049)

They force you if you want to use the virtual console. Buying VC games only works if you have the latest release.

Re:So, as someone with the homebrew channel instal (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604131)

I'm more worried about when they'll force me to upgrade by way of "this game requires the latest system menu update" blah blah. Will my launch date Aus/NZ Wii with Boot2v2 and the forced update mean that I will be bricked? Probably. Quite simple, this is bad. I'm just hoping that Team Twiizers or some other respectable homebrew developer(s) can release something that will sufficiently upgrade one's Boot2 to Boot2v4 so that when it comes to a forced upgrade by way of game DVD it doesn't use Nintendo's shitty upgrade code that (as said in TFA, Summary, etc) would likely brick my Wii.

I'm glad that Marcan got this on slashdot. I was reading all about this for the last 6 hours :| Had nothing else to do, why not :|

Update by choice or forced? (1)

Necroloth (1512791) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603593)

Is this update optional or once I connect ii to the net and it auto searches for updates, it won't let me carry on until it's updated?

Re:Update by choice or forced? (2, Informative)

zer0keefie (904847) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603613)

It's optional, provided you don't want to use the shop channel. So far, that's the only time I've gotten complaints from my Wii about the update.

Re:Update by choice or forced? (1)

Lectoid (891115) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604113)

The Homebrew Channel has an app for that.

There is an app or something that will update the shopping channel without updating the system. I have not ran it yet so I can't comment on how it works.

What year is this? (2, Interesting)

Waccoon (1186667) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603595)

No checksums before flashing? Really?

Even at launch I was hearing about bricking problems. Glad to see things are improving after taking in all that cash.

Wonder when companies will learn... (1)

Globally Mobile (1635415) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603761)

that no matter how hard they try to 'break' someones ability to do something, those someones will quickly circumvent that 'break' in the system, if they wish to. Makes me flash back to the days of the T-shirts with the DeCSS [wikipedia.org] code written right upon it, and all the controversy [afterdawn.com] about them. Also the tshirts [cypherspace.org] that printed [everything2.com] with the PGP [pgp.com] (probably also gpg [gnupg.org])code that were considered munitions by the US government. Makes me chuckle, makes me sad. It's a mad world, to quote Tears for Fears (though I think I adore Jules [youtube.com] version more). There are plenty of other examples, from recording a videotape to another, using analog methods (which to me seems one of the easiest and first methods to break most digital methods of 'breakage', though the quality does suffer, in many peoples opinions.)
I really don't forsee a day when people will quite hacking the 'breaks' in systems. Isn't that what they are there for in the first place? Why not spend all those research dollars into the improvement of the platform itself? Or finding new exciting artists? Etc...

Arbitrary code? (0, Troll)

CubeRootOf (849787) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603777)

Why doesn't nintendo want arbitrary code to run on its console? Its not like it has an internet connection or anything....

Oh wait it does... Well, its not like that internet connection could be abused through running arbitrary code....

Oh no, absolutely not, none of these guys would EVER do that.

Listen... if you want to run 'homebrew', just get a modded wiimote and use it with your computer, heck redirect the output to your tv if you want.

http://www.wiimotemods.com/ [wiimotemods.com]

I think they LIKE it when you mod the wiimote.

Re:Arbitrary code? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29603915)

They do. The Wii is nothing more than a tech demo to show off motion input devices.

Sitting on the fence (2, Insightful)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603821)

We (Parallel Realities) have written a bunch of games and I was recently looking into porting these onto the DS and Wii via Homebrew, because I think people would enjoy playing them (on the move in the DS's case), so I'm all for Homebrew.

What I am against though is modding your games machine just so you can download the games off the web without having to pay for them, which I think is what Nintendo is actually annoyed about.

However, getting around region locking does mean that one can play games only released in Japan (or the US if you live in Europe). In this instance I could understand a gamer's frustration and why they might download it off the web (because they can't a company willing to ship overseas).

Re:Sitting on the fence (5, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603931)

It's not just that either - I go on holiday to various places around the planet. Sometimes I go into a music or games shop whilst I'm there and buy one or two things to take home.

Why should I not be able to play them when I get home?

And yes, some games (the original Katamari Damacy, for instance) are not released in some markets and as a result are hard to get hold of, even if you've soft-modded the console to play other regions.

It often seems to me that the benefits of a global economy are reaped by companies by employing labour and sourcing materials where they like, but they try their damnedest to stop consumers doing the same.

360: Rock Solid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29603865)

Too bad the hardware team at Microsoft did such a good job with the 360 security. At least the ability to keep homebrew off it anyways, since they left enough holes for pirated discs. Yeah, there was a pretty good hole discovered recently, but unfortunately it has been blocked quite tightly on new boxes and through an update.

Sucks that pirates are still able to do what they do, when people who just want decent media player software on that thing can't get it.

They can probably recover at the repair depot (1)

sirwired (27582) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603921)

It is highly likely that they can recover the box in the repair depot. You can flash chips without removing them from the board if the board designer was thinking intelligently. In my company's HW dev labs they re-flash bricked system boards all the time; they can also do so in the factory. If we couldn't fix RMA'd sysplanars, field flashing bugs would be a complete and total disaster.

SirWired

But why DRM? (1)

dandart (1274360) | more than 4 years ago | (#29603943)

Why even bother to stop people modding their OWN consoles? Which THEY bought? If I bought a computer I can mod it as much as I want. A guitar? The same. But why does Nintendo stop at nothing to stop me changing a console? Seems a bit pointless to me. I think their time and money could be better served by making more games!

Face it, Shigsy. You're never gonna stop those modders. So let's see what else you've got up your massive sleeves.

Maximize utility, please. (1)

yamfry (1533879) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604063)

I just don't understand why a company would expend those kinds of resources to do something that provides nobody with a positive benefit. Nintendo really needs to reallocate some of the resources they're spending trying to stop people from modding their system into investing in good games. Maybe then then my Wii would serve a purpose other than dust collection.

How About Punkbuster Instead? (3, Interesting)

Kartoffel (30238) | more than 4 years ago | (#29604073)

How about some anti-cheat measures? Playing online Mario Kart is still fun, but it is less fun when there's some griefer with infinite red shells.

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