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New Wii Menu Update Targets Homebrew Again

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the glad-to-know-you're-still-watching dept.

Wii 258

Nintendo has tried to block homebrew during firmware updates in the past, often unsuccessfully. Now, as it rolls out version 4.3 of the Wii System Menu, stopping homebrew modifications once again seems to be its primary goal. From Nintendo's support site: "Because unauthorized channels or firmware may impair game play or the Wii console, updating to Wii Menu version 4.3 will check for and automatically remove such unauthorized files." Since it's hard to bill that as an upgrade, they vaguely add, "In addition, there are some behind the scenes enhancements that do not affect any prominently-used features or menus but will improve system performance."

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As a Wii Owner (3, Insightful)

Beowulf_Boy (239340) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663124)

I am disaapointed that Nintendo is doing this.

I quit enjoy my Wii, and have played a bit with the homebrew channel.

Re:As a Wii Owner (1)

redscare2k4 (1178243) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663234)

As of lately, I've used my Wii more as a divx player than a gaming console. I can stream divx movies via WiFi directly from mi PC harddrive in the other room to the TV. No way I'm going to downgrade to 4.3.

Also, I can't understand why Nintendo does not support other uses of the Wii. It's like if Sony would actively try to prevent the PS3 from being used to play bluerays ??

Re:As a Wii Owner (3, Informative)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663304)

It's not about homebrew it's about piracy. Games consoles are sold at a loss and the manufacturers make money out of selling games. If people can run arbitrary code on them they can also run pirated games and that means the manufacturers make a loss.

Re:As a Wii Owner (5, Informative)

ajw_h (732374) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663318)

But the Wii has almost never been sold at a loss.

Re:As a Wii Owner (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663424)

If people can run arbitrary code on them they can also run pirated games and that means the manufacturers make a loss.

No, that means a happy consumer. Unless of course they downloaded the console as well.

Re:As a Wii Owner (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663460)

A happy consumer is worth shit if you're losing money.

Re:As a Wii Owner (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32663642)

Whose fault is it for choosing a bad business model?

Re:As a Wii Owner (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32663670)

And if you're losing money, you're not competitively adapting to the market. In a true free market, companies that refuse to meet the demands of consumers should perish. I don't know where this implementation of that system gets off chiding consumers for not doing what makes businesses the most money. It is a perversion of the ideas of freedom and capitalism. They should sell a more expensive console and advertise that you can run code on it and also buy high quality games. They could even advertise its portability, versatility, and scalability. They should then call it the laptop and we will all be happy except people who want control over their upgrades. For them you make easy-upgrade laptops and things we could call personal computers. Then everyone can be happy and surely no one would be dumb enough to buy the same thing pre-bundled with DRM and DTB advertisements. Surely.

Re:As a Wii Owner (3, Insightful)

Shark (78448) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663994)

Keep in mind that the Wii (at least at launch) was the only console not selling at a loss. I don't think Nintendo looses any money when you only buy the console. They don't make as much as they'd like, obviously, but they certainly aren't loosing money.

Re:As a Wii Owner (0, Redundant)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663514)

The Wii has never been sold at a loss... To Nintendo a Wii sold for purposes of running homebrew is still a profit that they wouldn't have got otherwise.
Having a modded wii also makes playing legitimate games easier, for instance you can install USBLoaderGX and copy games to a usb drive and play from there, far more convenient than dealing with discs.

Re:As a Wii Owner (1)

IMarvinTPA (104941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663822)

It is also more toddler friendly. No more scratched disks! Also back-up those games that don't let you back them up so your perfect Mario Cart Wii 3 starred mirror cups don't suddenly go poof while you have your back turned for a second.

Why isn't there better security on the "delete" features of games? (or better hidden?) Some games make deleting a save just as easy as loading it! I'm looking at you Rabbids go home.

IMarv

Re:As a Wii Owner (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32663522)

appreciate the comment, but is the economics of the "hardware at a loss and software as the cow" decision made by the console manufacturers the concern of the consumer? Nintendo should open up their platform instead of closing it. Their market would explode if they have some killer apps on the Wii that are more than gaming.

Re:As a Wii Owner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32663610)

god forbids adult games on nintendo hardware (and for a good reason, imho)

Re:Bullshit (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663908)

It is not my responsibility to use a product only within the defined parameters of a broken business-model. If they are concerned about people using their hardware, maybe they shouldn't sell it in the first place.

The only reason they aren't a software company is that nobody would stomach buying £100+ of peripherals required for a single software title. Release the peripherals as part of a generic gaming system, and people somehow don't notice that they still only use it for a single game.

Nintendo is a software company. They make games that people really like, and tack on some third-rate hardware to allow them to get something vaguely resembling the input they want. I really wish they'd just give up and release Mario for the 360.

Re:As a Wii Owner (3, Informative)

wisdom_brewing (557753) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663940)

Games consoles are sold at a loss...

PS3 - yes
XBOX360 - yes
Wii - No...

Each console sold is profitable, that's the beauty of the Wii not competing on hardware...

Re:As a Wii Owner (1)

icsx (1107185) | more than 4 years ago | (#32664244)

Others sell their consoles at loss currently but Nintendo has been selling Wii's with profit from the start of it's release.

News flash (0)

DeadCatX2 (950953) | more than 4 years ago | (#32664306)

People will always pirate things. Hackers will always break protection schemes. Their numbers are miniscule when compared to the full customer base. System Menu 4.3 is not going to change any of this. It will fail to stop pirates and hackers. The "sold at a loss" is a red herring anyway, because by the time they are plugging security holes, many consoles have *already* been sold at a loss...and the Wii isn't sold at a loss anyway.

It really emphasizes Nintendo's priorities. On the one hand, they could pay their engineers to develop new and compelling features for the Wii so that they can entice those who might actually become paying customers. On the other hand...they can pay their engineers to repeatedly fail at stopping the pirates (who were weren't, aren't, and never will be paying customers) and hackers (most of whom actually are paying customers).

You know what's the saddest part, though? The homebrew community has actually expanded the capabilities of the Wii more since its release than Nintendo has. It can now play streaming media over WiFi and USB, and it can play DVDs (something Nintendo claimed the Wii could never do!). What has Nintendo invested their time and money into? A shortcut to the SD card menu, the ability to rearrange the order of channels on the System Menu, and updates to the built-in channels like the Wii Shop channel. And multiple failed attempts to stop homebrew.

Re:As a Wii Owner (1, Informative)

theeddie55 (982783) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663444)

It's like if Sony would actively try to prevent the PS3 from being used to play bluerays ??

That's a silly comparison, it's more akin to if sony were to remove the other OS feature from the PS3 (no, wait, they did that already)

Re:As a Wii Owner (1)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663976)

I can stream divx movies via WiFi directly from mi PC harddrive in the other room to the TV.

It's fairly silly to use a Wii for this, as it has a low-quality output.
Better use an xbox 360, a PS3, or a box you can buy for 50 bucks.

Re:As a Wii Owner (1)

databyss (586137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663290)

My Wii optical drive broke and it's out of warranty.

Homebrew is the only way I can actually use it to play my Wii games.

Re:As a Wii Owner (4, Informative)

bzzzt (313005) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663618)

Bullshit. You can send it in for repair even if it's out of warranty or even repair it yourself if you buy a new drive. (google shows a lot of sites selling parts)

Re:As a Wii Owner (1)

Crookdotter (1297179) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663696)

But both those options cost money. Homebrew would be free, therefore the better solution as long as it's not leading to active piracy. Why spend when you don't have to?

Re:As a Wii Owner (2, Interesting)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 4 years ago | (#32664222)

I just sent in my Wii for repair that is 3 years old that I bought used from someone else - Nintendo paid shipping both ways and did not charge me a penny.

Re:As a Wii Owner (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32664328)

Yeah, they probably charged the previous owner instead.

Re:As a Wii Owner (4, Insightful)

daid303 (843777) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663298)

The reason for this update is simpel. Backup loaders, the piracy on the Wii is insane. You can run games from burned disks, as well as from an USB harddrive. As every kid on the block starts to know this it will hurt sales of games (just as the R4 hurts game sales on the NDS)

Now, the homebrew scene doesn't want to have anything to do with piracy, but the homebrew channel is the first step in installing piracy stuff. So Nintendo goes to block that.

What I don't understand is that if Nintendo would just allow the homebrew channel, and only block stuff like IOS hacks, then they would stop piracy right in it's tracks. This will keep many of the good hackers at bay, as they have what they want. And will make things a lot harder for pirates.

Re:As a Wii Owner (1)

marsu_k (701360) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663374)

What I don't understand is that if Nintendo would just allow the homebrew channel, and only block stuff like IOS hacks, then they would stop piracy right in it's tracks.

I thought the previous system menu update did just that. While it did remove the homebrew channel and such, it also replaced some cIOS locations that were commonly used to play "backups" with stubs. And you can guess how long that worked.

Re:As a Wii Owner (1)

FeepingCreature (1132265) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663710)

I wouldn't have bought a DS if it wasn't for homebrew.

I believe you massively overestimate the amount of people who would go out and buy game cartridges if they couldn't pirate, especially if piracy is so very much more convenient.

Re:As a Wii Owner (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663776)

^^^This. My DS is also my eBook reader.

Re:As a Wii Owner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32663716)

Interestingly enough, Nintendo's own games still sell pretty well on the DS. Could it be that pretty much all other games are pure shovelware?

I own some 10 games for the DS and I can tell you it's really hard to find the good games between all the crap. At least half of those games is from Nintendo.

Re:As a Wii Owner (3, Interesting)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663732)

No, the first step to installing the pirate stuff isn't the homebrew channel. The first step is buying a Wii. Nintendo should eliminate that step first. This is just insane. Only a few years ago it was utterly unimaginable that hardware makers would try their best to lock users out of their own systems. When Nintendo tried with the NES they were bitchslapped so hard in court. Now it's got the weight of law behind it, it's a high crime to run software on your own hardware, and perfectly acceptable to push updates with the sole purpose of bricking consoles that have "unauthorized" content. Fuck you, Nintendo. It's not unauthorized. I authorized it. Where's the part where I can choose not to authorize Nintendo to violently update my system? That's right, they are mandatory, aren't they. You can decline to install, sure (though the EULA actually says you cannot, that Nintendo can install updates without permission), if you don't mind never playing any new games ever again.

Re:As a Wii Owner (1)

TheCRAIGGERS (909877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663928)

This is the funny part. By giving me a very good reason to never update to 4.3, they are making the ability to actually play the games I buy that much harder. And when you do that, piracy starts looking better.

Yes I know there are homebrew methods for updating the shop channel. I tried to use them when Cave Story came out because I would very much like to give Pixel some money for the game. Sadly, I couldn't get any of them to work right. Besides, those won't help much when the new Metroid comes out with a mandatory 4.3 upgrade.

So far, I've been buying the games I play off my hard disk. Nintendo's actions are starting to leave a bad taste in my mouth however.

Obligitory Simpsons (5, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663132)

Because unauthorized channels or firmware may impair game play or the Wii console, updating to Wii Menu version 4.3 will check for and automatically remove such unauthorized files. There are some behind the scenes enhancements that do not affect any prominently-used features or menus but will improve system performance.

Oh no, I said the quiet bit loud and the loud bit quiet!

Re:Obligitory Simpsons (4, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663192)

Excellent Simpsons reference.

Re:Obligitory Simpsons (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32664018)

Because unauthorized channels or firmware may impair game play or the Wii console

Actually, in the original draft it read "Because unauthorized channels or firmware may impair game play on the Wii console, and cut into our profits by not giving us our cut, updating to Wii Menu version 4.3 will check for and automatically remove such unauthorized files."

the Wii is dead (1)

secondhand_Buddah (906643) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663190)

The Wii is dead. Long live the Nintendo Wii!!

Re:the Wii is dead (2, Interesting)

d0a0b (447907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663262)

Wii may be dead but the scene isn't, even if you want to update (why would you).

some scenery [teknoconsolas.es]

Re:the Wii is dead (1)

daid303 (843777) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663278)

Just a word of warning, waninkoko is known for buggy software that does dangerous things. Only the piracy side of the 'homebrew' people endorse his work.

Re:the Wii is dead (1)

Flipao (903929) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663300)

It's a good thing he publishes the source code then. But yeah, using that type of software will void your warranty and (insert FUD statement here).

Re:the Wii is dead (3, Funny)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663360)

It's a good thing he publishes the source code then. But yeah, using that type of software will void your warranty and wreck the BIOS

It's a good thing he publishes the source code then. But yeah, using that type of software will void your warranty and overheat the system

It's a good thing he publishes the source code then. But yeah, using that type of software will void your warranty and remove the security on your WIFI hub

It's a good thing he publishes the source code then. But yeah, using that type of software will void your warranty and flag you as a terrorist

easy solution (2, Informative)

Verunks (1000826) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663194)

just don't update, I'm still using 3.3 or 3.4(can't remember) and I can play all offline and online(yeah all two of them) games without any problem.
here on slashdot many people criticized sony for removing otheros, but nintendo is trying to do the same with every update and they aren't giving anything valuable in return, at least sony usually adds new functionality with each ps3 update, I can't speak for microsoft since I don't have a 360, but I think they are adding new features like sony

Re:easy solution (5, Informative)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663224)

I agree with you to a degree but there is a moral difference between Nintendo and Sony. Nintendo never advertised running your own software as feature, and in fact from the very outset mostly insisted you can not. Sony by contrast did exactly the opposite.

Its fair to say anyone who bought a Wii did so either expecting not to be able to do home brew or knowing that the ability to do that might be interrupted in the future. You certainly can't say that about PS3 owners. Sony did a bit of Indian-giving Nintendo did not.

Re:easy solution (0, Redundant)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663316)

Sony did a bit of Indian-giving Nintendo did not.

Why do Americans say "Indian giving" for this sort of behaviour? Didn't the Europeans take the whole country away from the indigenous population, signing and then breaking many treaties in the process?

Surely it should be called "European treaty breaking"?

Re:easy solution (2, Insightful)

dylan_- (1661) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663406)

Why do Americans say "Indian giving" for this sort of behaviour? Didn't the Europeans take the whole country away from the indigenous population, signing and then breaking many treaties in the process?

I'm not an American, but I thought that's exactly what it meant: that it was like someone giving something to the Indian and then taking it back.

Have I had the whole idea backwards?

Re:easy solution (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32663742)

You indeed have it wrong. The saying comes from the fact that many natives did not have the same view of property as westerners had, so they would trade away vast tracts of land (not always the ones they laid claim to) for guns, beads, etc. When they realized what they had done (or what another tribe had done to them), they demanded their land back. The westerners picked up the "Indian giver" as a term for someone who reneges on an agreement once he realizes he has made a bad deal.

Re:easy solution (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663594)

Why do Americans say "Indian giving" for this sort of behaviour?

Because we won.

Re:easy solution (2, Informative)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663966)

Gosh, if only there were some sort of knowledgeable repository for information, sorted into easily searched pieces to allow for quickly finding [google.com] what [wiktionary.org] you [wikipedia.org] want [englishforums.com] ...

Re:easy solution (1)

duguk (589689) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663232)

nintendo is trying to do the same with every update and they aren't giving anything valuable in return, at least sony usually adds new functionality with each ps3 update, I can't speak for microsoft since I don't have a 360, but I think they are adding new features like sony

Just a little bit of difference; the Sony PS3 was sold with OtherOS as a feature. Nintendo Wii was NOT sold with the homebrew channel.

Re:easy solution (4, Informative)

Eraesr (1629799) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663244)

You're kidding right? You're wrong on so many points. First of all, if you don't update you lose access to the Shopping Channel. I also wouldn't be surprised if future first party titles carried the update as well. Also, Nintendo isn't removing any features at all. At least, not features they put in there themselves in the first place. Sony's Other OS functionality was functionality they put in there themselves, something that could arguably have been used to promote the system. It may have been a reason for people to buy the system. With these updates, Nintendo isn't removing any features they put in there themselves or which were used to promote the system. They are completely different things.

As for adding new functionality, Nintendo has been adding new functionality to the Wii from time to time as well (dare I say more than Sony has done with PS3). This update is the first anti-piracy-only Wii update that doesn't add new functionality (or fix other problems).

Re:easy solution (1)

Inconexo (1401585) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663378)

Games usually carry the update, but with homebrew you can try alternate methods for loading the games without installing the updates.

In the rest, I agree with you. I don't like Nintendo messing with homebrew, but at least, it wasn't a sold feature.

Re:easy solution (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663496)

yea, you lose the shopping channel.... until you run the "add the shopping channel hack" lol Seriously, the WII is the most hackable console in history. You can have the ENTIRE WII library on a single, relatively small external hard drive and run all the games off it.

Re:easy solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32663248)

While Nintendo is no more or less guilty than Sony or MSFT when it comes to pushing out crap updates, they do add new functionality now and again, like the ability to store Wiiware games on a SD card.

Re:easy solution (1)

jochem_m (1718280) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663744)

That's almost an apple fanboi worthy argument. Nintendo created a console with a ridiculously tiny amount of storage, that everyone said was ridiculous, and never turned out to be truly upgradable. Then, years later, they implement a stopgap measure to slightly aleviate the problem, and suddenly they're awesome :)

I have a Wii, I like my Wii, but of the three, I'd say Nintendo is up there with Sony when it comes to screwing people over.

Re:easy solution (1, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663346)

Microsoft is actually the least oppressive console maker this generation. It's easiest to get indie games onto the platform (XNA) and they haven't taken away any functionality with dashboard updates at all. In fact, they gave us the ability to use arbitrary USB storage devices, probably in expectation of the new 360 coming out; you can ostensibly use the transfer cable to continue using your Xbox 360 HDD.

Re:easy solution (1)

NoZart (961808) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663400)

yeah, if you live in america. In Austria for instance, we do not have XNA indie games. Also XNA restricts a lot what you can do (no media players, no emulators, no browsers and so on), and the no-limits-homebrew scene is only for people with certain boxes and you have to give up live.

So in that regard, actually wii is the least oppressive. Games still work online if your wii is hacked, even if you do not update. The only functionality lost by not updating is the godawful mega slow store.

Re:easy solution (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663470)

yeah, if you live in america. In Austria for instance, we do not have XNA indie games

Weird, it looks like you can create and even sell them [xna.com] , but you can't download/buy them. Is this true?

Re:easy solution (1)

NoZart (961808) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663504)

i never brought myself to pay the fee to be able to submit games.
What i somehow got that in certain instances you can even browse for the XNA stuff on xbox.com and get rejected at the checkout - maybe thats the same with submitting? You are allowed to pay the license fee but are rejected when you actually submit? That would be classical microsoft/xbox live behaviour. The Web part of xbox live is a mess.

Re:easy solution (3, Insightful)

Teckla (630646) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663442)

Microsoft is actually the least oppressive console maker this generation. It's easiest to get indie games onto the platform (XNA) and they haven't taken away any functionality...

The Xbox 360 has a > 50% failure rate. That takes away all your functionality!

Re:easy solution (1)

NoZart (961808) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663468)

mod funny or troll?

Re:easy solution (1)

Teckla (630646) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663606)

mod funny or troll?

The truth can sometimes be funny, but troll? Saying the truth is now a troll on Slashdot?

Re:easy solution (1)

NoZart (961808) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663644)

>50% failure rate is not the truth anymore. In fact this RROD situation has cleared up about two years ago. Maybe we get a new round of it with the new design, there is always hope for the MS-bashers :)

P.S.: I am in an environment with lots of 360s, and the RROD situation actually was even worse then 70%. But for the last 1,5 years, none of my peers had to send in their xboxes anymore...

Re:easy solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32664156)

I hate to burst your bubble, but my Xbox red-ringed last December. Last time I checked, 6 months 1.5 years. So yeah, it IS still an issue, despite what you and your peers have observed. Do I really have to explain that $your_experience != $everyones_experience?

Re:easy solution (2, Insightful)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 4 years ago | (#32664348)

Do I really have to explain that $your_experience != $everyones_experience?

He said he works in an environment with a lot of Xboxes, and while there used to be a lot of failures, he hasn't seen them in great numbers lately. You then counter with your anecdotal evidence of 1 failure. Please read the above quoted text again.

Re:easy solution (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663536)

Microsoft is actually the least oppressive console maker this generation.

Not quite. The Sony PS3 allows you to install a custom harddrive, has allowed USB sticks right from the very start, not just five years later, support normal USB cameras, keyboards, mice, Blutooth headsets and even USB gamepads. And they had the whole OtherOS stuff that they recently fucked up. Microsoft only really has XNA going for it and that costs you $99 a year if you want to develop for it, everything else was or still is completly closed. Even something simple as developing a third party control for the Xbox360 will cost you, as its all proprietary and locked up with encryption, on the PS3 its standard USB or Blutooth.

Not really (2, Interesting)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663426)

Nintendo are quite user-friendly in this respect. With every Update they explicitly warn you that it deletes Homebrew software and could brick your Wii. And apart from deleting the channels, they don't purposely attempt to do more damage. Microsoft OTOH don't give you any warning, brick your console, and block your account.

Don't buy consoles (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32663218)

Those are little locked down computers, by idiots, for idiots.

Re:Don't buy consoles (0, Redundant)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663446)

Say I have friends visiting my home and we end up wanting to play a video game. But either A. they don't all own a PC, instead commonly using a PC belonging to another household member, B. they didn't all bring PCs because they didn't know in advance that they were going to want to play a video game, or C. they all brought PCs but it turns out that there isn't any game that all four of us have. Now how do we play video games together? With a Wii console, we can trade discs back and forth to practice games and then play the games together on a shared screen because unlike PC game developers and some PS3/360 game developers, Wii game developers haven't yet succumbed to the mentality of requiring one system per player. A lot of you don't like split screens, but Tetris splits a screen without the issues commonly seen in first-person shooters, and Bomberman and Smash Bros. are good examples of how to share a screen without a split at all.

Re:Don't buy consoles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32663934)

You fail hard, crawl back into your hole and never come back out. plzkthx

Wii Shop affects this too (3, Informative)

Robotron23 (832528) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663238)

I updated the Wii Shop yesterday evening (I'm located in the UK) and the final part of the message ran something along the lines of "If you install this update and have third party modifications to your system, it may render your console inoperable."

The store part is not even necessary to use - one can own a Wii and never need to access it, however for those who enjoy classic games and aren't keen on PC emulation the shop is fairly useful, and a gamecube pad works well with most (all?) of the old console titles.

I was thinking about the implications for homebrew as Nintendo rolls out these updates periodically just as it prompted me to install; a lot of people fond of old games will no doubt be more inclined to use USB-compatable old-style pads on a computer using emulation software and adapted games; the software is easy to find via Google. If anything Nintendo is cutting off a subsection of trade here; but causing inconvenience for a small minority is apparently okay as long as their interface and channels are updated every so often. But one thing that homebrewers may have to do without are the independent 'Wiiware' titles that aren't as widely emulated as the console games of the past. A few of these titles are pretty good; would it be possible to mail the creators of these titles to request a release for PC and Mac?

I know of one game (World of Goo) that has had a Windows release for awhile now priced a lot cheaper than it is on the Wii shop.

Re:Wii Shop affects this too (3, Insightful)

daid303 (843777) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663286)

Ah, but homebrew can help here. The wii-shop update is just a full 4.3 update (it's the carrot on the stick for updates, every update contains a new version of wii-shop to force people to update).

However, you can update just the wii-shop with DOP-Mii: http://wiibrew.org/wiki/DOP-Mii [wiibrew.org]

Re:Wii Shop affects this too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32663808)

Do people who have homebrew on their wii really use the wii-shop?

If memory serves correctly, back before the wii was released there were talks about the kind of stuff that would be available on there being free downloadable content for the wii. I guess they got greedy. Put that together with the company being the first to actually make money on the console sales and the profit margin of game disc sales and it sounds like a pretty sweet deal.

To think I used to be a Nintendo fan. Now, their Microsoft is showing.

Oh noes! (1)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663242)

A big faceless corporation did something horrible to its consumers! I am ever so surprised!

Seriously though, that is the deal with these big companies seemingly all turning evil as of late? I mean they've never been particularly nice, and they've always been inscrutable and faceless but lately they seem to be turning more and more evil.

Re:Oh noes! (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#32664390)

Seriously though, that is the deal with these big companies seemingly all turning evil as of late? I mean they've never been particularly nice, and they've always been inscrutable and faceless but lately they seem to be turning more and more evil.

Because if it works, they continue. It's called testing the waters, and there are two groups that could reasonably push back.

1. Consumers
2. Politicians.

The consumers aren't educated enough to know what is going on. They generally call US up and ask us to hook up their TV, or tell them why the DVD isn't working. However, they ARE starting to notice as my mother recently asked me why my DVD player didn't force us to watch 10 minutes of previews before playing the movie.

The politicians are not educated enough, AND aren't on our side. So I expect no help from them. It is simply not possible to run for election in the US and not accept huge amounts of money from 'interests' for all practical purposes. Perhaps the only way you could do it is to run for congress, and lay low for 16 years until you build up seniority. You might not get the other party angry enough to boot you out by outspending you in advertisments before you become a household name.

But of course, you won't be fixing anything during that time.

Wii performance not used. (5, Funny)

ifrag (984323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663270)

"In addition, there are some behind the scenes enhancements that do not affect any prominently-used features or menus but will improve system performance."

So system performance is not a prominently used feature... At least Nintendo realizes it now.

Dear Nintendo (4, Insightful)

MadJo (674225) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663288)

I, as a WII-owner, understand the risk of installing unauthorized applications on my WII. Why not leave me, the rightful owner of the device, the choice to install said third party applications on my device?
You sold it to me, why are you trying to claim ownership over MY devices?

Re:Dear Nintendo (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663396)

You, as a Wii owner can install whatever the heck you want to your Wii. However, you cannot expect such modified Wii to work correctly for the online services (Wii shop channel, etc) provided by Nintendo. You can't also expect that updates published by Nintendo for original Wii console will work hand in hand with your unauthorized software.

That is the reason why people on Wiibrew keep telling you not to update.

Me? I just had to pay 70 Euro to unbrick my Wii (I had an extremely bad brainfart and uninstalled IOS60 hohoho... idiot) but plan to reinstall Homebrew once I get it back hehe.

Re:Dear Nintendo (2, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663408)

"You can't also expect that updates published by Nintendo for original Wii console will work hand in hand with your unauthorized software."

There is a difference between not working "hand in hand" and deliberately removing "unauthorized" software. One is called "not our responsibility" and the other is called "sabotage."

Re:Dear Nintendo (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663434)

The only vote you get is not to buy those devices.

NOTHING ELSE. Complaints don't matter, you bought the device, they got their money, and they are in business to make a profit. Unless and until consumers reject platforms that are limited in such a manner, expect more of them.

Short version: "Tough shit."

Re:Dear Nintendo (1)

Exitar (809068) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663648)

Yes Nintendo, who do you believe you are? Apple?

Re:Dear Nintendo (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32664054)

Don’t you know the “retard assumption“?
It’s the assumption that all your customers are the worst kinds of idiots possible in nature, because, and here is the kicker, they are the loudest in voicing their opinion.

It’s the reason for all the “it’s so simple to use” advertisements. It’s the reason for Clippy. It’s the reason Windows is so cumbersome to use. It’s the reason Gnome and OS X limit the functionality and freedom. It’s half the reason why everything you can buy has miles of terms and conditions. And it’s the reason for that whole KISS (“keep it simple, stupid”) anti-philosophy.

The thing is: If you finally achieved to make it “good” for the worst of your customers, nature just invents better, and LOUDER, idiots. Meanwhile everyone with half a brain now lost a whole lot of power and efficiency when using it.
Back to square one. In a worse situation.

And the worst thing is, that most companies and even open source projects never learn from this. They just keep going on and on. Until the thing makes Clippy look like writing the Monads part of a mission-critical Haskell-to-C++ JIT cross-compiler in Emacs lisp. ...while being just as hard to use for normal people. ;)

I gave up. Nowadays I just quietly sit there, drinking tea, earl grey, hot, and watch them slowly kill themselves. :)

Re:Dear Nintendo (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32664100)

Why not leave me, the rightful owner of the device, the choice to install said third party applications on my device?

Because a) they don't have to, and b) they make more money if they don't.

The homebrew community lives on.. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32663292)

Sadly for Nintendo there are already two exploits known to work on 4.3U, this one (http://wiibrew.org/wiki/Smash_Stack [wiibrew.org] ) and this one (http://wiibrew.org/wiki/Indiana_Pwns [wiibrew.org] ). Granted you have to have a copy of the game to use them but for most people that is not a problem.

The main thing they blocked are bannerbomb (http://wiibrew.org/wiki/Bannerbomb [wiibrew.org] ) the exploit used by most everyone to "softmod" a Wii which allowed you to place a file on the SD card and run it via the system menu and the hackmii installer (http://hackmii.com/2009/08/hackmii-installer-v0-3/ [hackmii.com] ) which installed the Homebrew channel and bootmii. The hackmii installer should be updated in the coming days as they've been stockpiling exploits and not releasing them to the public in case the one they currently used was ever blocked.

All that said there is no reason to update anyway if you already have homebrew. The shopping channel can always be updated with a homebrew tool and accessed on any version of the system menu. They didn't add anything new to the System menu this time around it was just aimed at removing homebrew just like the last update (4.2).

They need a legit homebrew option (1)

8086 (705094) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663296)

Everybody knows homebrew is the door for piracy. While the freedom crowd may advocate that one should be entitled to fully use the device they own, truth is that a large part of any console's cost is recovered by content, and without that cash innovation will die and/or consoles will become more expensive. Nintendo always owns a part of the Wii - they paid for it. I know it feels great to be able to play any game you ever wanted for free, but that's because it's easy to not see the food you're stealing off a video game industry worker's table and the despair of many kids who will not get to buy that new Katamari game because it's price got jacked up by ten bucks because of all the pirates. Behind that cartoon face of Mario lies an army of people: developers, marketers, testers, designers, etc that are trying to make ends meet and keep a job (by keeping a business afloat) just like the rest of us. It ain't just fun and games. Enough said.

What Nintendo needs to do is find a way to give out licenses and necessary digital signatures to small production houses and homebrew developers for nominal fees/free so that true homebrew on the Wii can be done in a legit way. How hard would it be for Nintendo to approve a few hundred true homebrew games every month? They're alienating a lot of fans this way, even if for the right reasons. And, this solution will last only the few weeks it takes Skullptura or Razor 1911 or whomever to find another backdoor.

Re:They need a legit homebrew option (4, Informative)

spathi-wa (575009) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663330)

... truth is that a large part of any console's cost is recovered by content, and without that cash innovation will die and/or consoles will become more expensive. Nintendo always owns a part of the Wii - they paid for it...

Not true, not in this case. Unlike Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo has never sold Wii consoles at a loss, not at launch and not now.

e.g. http://www.gamespot.com/news/6157690.html [gamespot.com]

Re:They need a legit homebrew option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32664166)

And even for Sony and MS, they don't own a part of my console. I paid for it and they gave it to me. The fact that they subsidized it means nothing as far as ownership goes.

For those complaining (5, Insightful)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663332)

Nintendo warns you about what they are going to do before they do it and give you the option to ignore the update. I think this is a fair compromise.

Re:For those complaining (1)

rusty (3244) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663476)

No, assuming they did the same this release as last.

1) This information is on the website, not on the update itself. The update just tells you how to abort it.
2) When you buy a new game, the update is compulsory or you can't play the game you bought.

Nintendo screwed me with this (deleting my whole TP savefile because one slot was the TP hack) and I was livid. 40 hours of my gf's gameplay gone.

Rusty.

Re:For those complaining (3, Insightful)

courtarro (786894) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663520)

This is true until they release a first-party game with the update included as a requirement. For example, Super Mario Galaxy 2 includes the 4.2 system update and requires you to update your system before you can play the game ... unless you start the game with a homebrew tool that blocks the update. Funny how the very feature they're trying to remove is capable of blocking the removal.

Homebrew users know to avoid system updates at all costs, so the only people affected by them are people who have not yet hacked their Wii. Once updated, though, those people will have a harder time installing homebrew should they choose to try it.

Re:For those complaining (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32663714)

All the more reason for people doing homebrew to actually pirate their games even if they would've rather bought them otherwise.

Re:For those complaining (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663612)

I think that the problem stems from the fact that anyone buying a Wii bought after this date, or installs the update prior to finding out about Wii homebrew, may be locked out of homebrew forever.

Are we using the same unauthorized channels? (3, Insightful)

mykos (1627575) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663422)

"Because unauthorized channels or firmware may impair game play or the Wii console"

My unauthorized channels don't impair shit. They actually make my Wii more useful (emulators, homebrew apps, etc)

Re:Are we using the same unauthorized channels? (1)

patrixx (30389) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663942)

Nintendo's not saying they *are* impending. Just that they *may* impend... Mohahahaha ;-)

Is everyone missing the obvious answer? (1)

Dogbertius (1333565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32664210)

There is still a remote chance that if you botched your soft mod, the update will brick you system. This means you get to pay for shipping both ways plus a service fee to fix the Wii. Fun times.

Why would Nintendo want to release something to put an end to homebrew? Likely because it's the first stepping stone to soft modding the Wii and playing pirated games. If they don't make an effort to reduce piracy, developers aren't going to be interested in developing games for the platform if they can't profit from it.

This effectively keeps the rookie script kiddies (soft modding is NOT hacking, unless you coded the firmware hack yourself) from soft modding the Wii, either out of concern for "bricking" the system, or just not having the know-how to do it in the first place. I really don't see a problem with wanted to make a profit from a novel commercial venture that a company has invested millions in.

Re:Are we using the same unauthorized channels? (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 4 years ago | (#32664412)

My unauthorized channels don't impair shit. They actually make my Wii more useful (emulators, homebrew apps, etc)

They are impairing Nintendo's ability to turn a profit off repackaged games that are twenty years old. As sad is it may sound, I think Nintendo execs simply assume people are pirating software when homebrew is mentioned.

I never upgraded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32663430)

I'm still at 3.1 :)
Mainly because I pirate the hell out of my Wii - I have modchip + homebrew loaders and IOS hacks.
I only pay for indie games like World of Goo (brought it twice! - once alone then with the Humble Indie Pack) - the big companies can survive without my hard earned cash:)

I think you are missing something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32663484)

IMO, Nintendo is doing this because people are pirating games. If Nintendo Wii was used ONLY for homebrew, I really doubt they would block homebrew. This wasn't going to affect their money.

But hey, lots of people are playing Mario games for free! Nintendo doesn't want that.

The real problem are with those hypocrites that say "I use to play my backups". Come on, we all here know that 90% of people that say that are lying and use homebrew to pirate games.

Neither Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft want to lose money from pirating. BUT if homebrew in consoles were used only to run custom applications, like browsers, mini-games, DivX players, etc, these companies wouldn't be affected, so they would just ignore homebrew.

Again: homebrew would be ignored if it was NEVER used to pirate (and cheating) games. Period.

Re:I think you are missing something (1)

Crookdotter (1297179) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663816)

The real problem are with those hypocrites that say "I use to play my backups". Come on, we all here know that 90% of people that say that are lying and use homebrew to pirate games.

90% of people speed on the roads. Should we punish ALL drivers for speeding? I have the homebrew channel on my wii, and I love the emulation side of it, as well as being able to use my wii via ftp to store files etc. (I know, emulation tends to use ripped ROMS as well, but honestly, all the speccy games I play via emulation I still own in the loft somewhere. I can't bear to throw them out) Homebrew just makes the thing more useful. If nintendo found a way to allow homebrew and write apps for it there would be a LOT of developers for it I'm sure, maybe even monetise the apps similar to apples model with the iphone.

But no, they punish all modders and homebrew writers who do it for the love of doing it.

I think nintendo would be suprised at the homebrew developers if they gave them an avenue to work with while trying to combat piracy. But in the end, this won't change anything. Piracy cannot be stopped, it's just the level that the company is willing to endure that changes.

The most use my wii sees these days is watching things via BBC's iplayer, which is a fantastic function. The wii could be turned into an internet TV instantly if nintendo got some companies involved like the BBC. There's life in the thing yet before a Wii 2.

85% of people are speeding on 1 road limt is t low (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663990)

If 85% of people are speeding on 1 road then the limit to low for that road.

Just get a Wode (5, Informative)

The_Marone (610210) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663756)

If you're that worried about losing the ability to load games from an external hard drive, just buy a Wode. It fully emulates the Wii's optical drive and is oblivious to any updates Nintendo does to the console. That's what I use and it's amazing, it even rips your discs to the hard drive for you. My kids haven't had to touch a game DVD in months. WODE [wodejukebox.com]

Menu 4.3 impairs functionality (4, Insightful)

Rich Klein (699591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663896)

Whether your games (IP) are pirated or not, once you get used to the speed and convenience of running them off a hard drive or SD card, why would anyone want to go back to swapping discs (that, in a household with a 3-year-old, often get lost)?

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