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Wii Hacked for Better Homebrew Games

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the playing-with-your-own-toys dept.

Wii 196

arbourp writes to mention that hackers Michael Steil and Felix Domke have demonstrated a way to hack the Wii that makes running homebrew code much easier. "The hack advances the possibility of running homebrew code with access to full system resources on the device, not just programs that Nintendo has sanctioned. Such games might be developed to run from a DVD drive, at least in theory. No such games are available as yet and Nintendo may respond by attempting to revoke compromised encryption keys. However history shows such countermeasures are likely to ultimately prove futile."

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Star wars entry point (3, Interesting)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21868740)

Just to point out they use Star wars as an entry point, however on its own the game is wicked and you can use your wii-mote as god intended :)

Re:Star wars entry point (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21868858)

and you can use your wii-mote as god intended

You do know that Steve Jobs has nothing to do with Nintendo, right?

Re:Star wars entry point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21868990)

They got the keys through a physical hack which allowed a homebrew Gamecube program get access to regions of memory that it normally couldn't. My understanding is that the Lego Star Wars screen was just a placeholder and didn't have anything to do with the hack. I'm guessing that they just copied it rather than generating their own custom disc channel icon and screen.

Re:Star wars entry point (3, Funny)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869332)

you can use your wii-mote as god intended

To play Sudoku in the snow?

hint hint (5, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 6 years ago | (#21868750)

Wii Hacked for Better Homebrew Games

And the majority of these homebrew games look like retail games, except they're free.

Re:hint hint (5, Insightful)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 6 years ago | (#21868832)

Wii Hacked for Better Homebrew Games

And the majority of these homebrew games look like retail games, except they're free.
It's true that homebrew stuff invariably winds up getting used for software piracy... Even when it's not native software for the console, a popular use of a cracked console is for emulation - that is, playing games Nintendo would rather you buy through the Shop Channel instead of playing via the ROMs we've all had on our computers for the last ten years...

Still, some people really are interested in real homebrew... Either learning to write it, or just using it...

Re:hint hint (4, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21868888)

I would love to be able to use my Wii as a media server. If they would just add support to the photo channel to play H.264 videos, and support a usb hard drive or smb share, then I would be set. I don't really need a fancy interface. I just want to be able to play videos on my wii. Even without a hard disc, I would accept only using SD cards for watching videos from, if only I could play h.264 encoded videos.

Re:hint hint (5, Informative)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869072)

I'm sure you're aware but I would recommend buying an Xbox and install Xbox Media Center on it. It can do everything you want plus more (hard drive built in opens many opportunities), and they're really cheap right now. I run an Xbox at home and use it as my media center, great stuff.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XBMC [wikipedia.org]
http://www.xboxmediacenter.com/ [xboxmediacenter.com]

Re:hint hint (2, Informative)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869132)

I love the XBMC, but for H.264 I really wouldn't recommend it. It can play it in theory, but in practice most encodes are going to give pretty choppy, or totally lagged, playback.

Re:hint hint (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869258)

Yeah, I would agree with you on that. But that really makes me wonder if the Wii could handle h.264 if the original Xbox can not reliably? Don't want to start any kind of console war with this question, more just curious. I guess time will tell.

Re:hint hint (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869538)

If my iPod Nano can handle h.264, then why not the Wii? I don't see why the XBox would have a problem with either for that matter.

Re:hint hint (2, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869628)

The Nano has a chip that accelerates (or, more probably, completely does) decoding of H.264. I don't know if the Wii has a chip to do that or not. If the Wii has the requisite chip, then as long as you stay within the chip's specs it would have no problem. If it doesn't or your video doesn't fit the specs (bitrate too high, for example) it's be on the CPU. My guess is that the CPU couldn't play full screen video (My PowerBook G4 1.67 had trouble playing back anything above 640x480 H.264, so I wouldn't think the Wii would be able to well). Now you could play lower resolution stuff and stretch it up to size with the graphics chip, but that wouldn't be the same thing.

The CPU in a Nano (or most any iPod) would fall flat on it's face trying to decode most any video format (except perhaps RLE) at it's native resolution.

Re:hint hint (1)

gallwapa (909389) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869860)

I've got a P4 2.6ghz/533fsb w/1gig of RAM and it chokes on 720p h.264 :(

Re:hint hint (3, Informative)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870090)

I've got a P4 2.6ghz/533fsb w/1gig of RAM and it chokes on 720p h.264 :(

Try digging up a copy of the CoreAVC codec (assuming you're running Windows). My 2GHz AthlonXP went from stuttering on 720p H.264 files to playing them perfectly smoothly (~80-85% proc) with CoreAVC.

Re:hint hint (1)

assassinator42 (844848) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869268)

The Wii wouldn't do much if any better. If you want to play HD H.264 on a console, get a 360. Or I think the PS3 should work as well.

Re:hint hint (2, Informative)

meatspray (59961) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869714)

PS3 + TVersity (tversity.com) makes a fantastic media server.

Re:hint hint (3, Interesting)

Calmiche (531074) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869698)

Which is why the XBMC Team is porting the software to Linux. It's actually quite a good ways along now. It doesn't have a final release scheduled for anytime in the near future, but the beta versions are VERY impressive. I know several people who are using it as a stable home media server and are using 1080p videos (Albeit with multi-core Intel systems with hardcore hardware.)

It's being designed with Ubuntu in mind and already has very good hardware support.

They are working on a direct port right now and as soon as they have that stable, they are going to start adding features like time shifting, video recording, etc...

Re:hint hint (1, Insightful)

Calmiche (531074) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869802)

Woops. Sorry... Forgot what I was going to originally post.

The Wii isn't much more powerful than an original Xbox, and in some ways is less powerful. There is no chance that it will be able to play high definition any better than an Apple TV can. (Meaning it CAN, but it's not pretty or fast. Anything with lots of colors or moving objects will bring the system to it's knees.)

Nah, a nice Linux box with good hardware is the wave of the future, as far as high definition personal home media distribution servers are concerned. (Don't get me started on the joke of Windows Vista's media center PC's.)

Re:hint hint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21870194)

Seeing as how the Wii only outputs in 480p, the high definition decoding performance is irrelevant.

Re:hint hint (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869084)

I'd like it if you could play streaming audio on the Wii.

It would be great to pull up sky.fm or di.fm and listen to that on your home stereo.

Re:hint hint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21869110)

Radio shack has a plug for 2 bucks that allows you to go from a Speaker port on your laptop/computer to left and right audio on your stereo. It's a LOT cheaper than buying a Wii or XBox.

Re:hint hint (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869166)

Yeah, thanks, AC. I've got many of those - and I've been using them since Test Drive 3. (The first game I played with a sound card.) You couldn't always buy those ubiquitous self-powered speakers.

I have a Wii next to my stereo, already hooked up to the stereo. It would be nice if the web browser I have on that Wii would work like the one I have downstairs with the computers. I don't want to run wire all over the house.

Re:hint hint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21869880)

Just get a MiniMac! That's what I have right next to my Wii, the colors even match!

Re:hint hint (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869664)

I was working on Wii Media Server of sorts that would use the browser and flash plugin to let you play mp3 files hosted from an apache server on your Wii. I was originally working on it for the purpose of streaming video to the Wii, but it also supported Audio. It ended up working quite well from what I remember. The reason I stopped working on it was because the video quality was quite terrible.

Re:hint hint (1)

Malevolyn (776946) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870288)

You can. I wrote custom web-based software to stream MP3s from my machine downstairs to my Wii using a simple little Flash player. Specifically, the one from the Audio Player plugin for Wordpress. You can do the same with FLV videos, too.

Re:hint hint (1)

izakage (808061) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869282)

It might be worth it to set up a webserver on your local machine and encode your videos to the flv format. I use this to stream anime to my TV-set (I have poor taste in shows). Then navigate to your webserver using the Wii's browser and you're pretty much set. The target resolution should be around 640x480 if you're on a 4:3 screen, It's something like 1000x500 (weird, yes) if you're on a widescreen set. I found no buffering problems at any conceivable bitrate on my 4:3 set. However, transcoding takes awhile and is a bit of a pain, so I don't use it often. Might be worth a shot, though.

Re:hint hint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21870364)

Actually, there is a flavor of Gamecube Linux called the 'Mplayer MFE' or 'mini-frontend'. Pretty much you generate a disc image with your videos, burn it onto a disc, pop it in and you can watch them (selecting the video you want from a simple interface controlled with your controller). Or you can burn the MFE to a disc and swap it with another DVD after boot. It works quite well, I used it sometimes myself. It's worked on all I've tried it with, only downside is that currently you can't switch audio tracks on an MKV video file, so you'd be stuck with whatever default is, though you can turn on any subs you want if the file has them.

Re:hint hint (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869116)

Oh, so THATS why the big bad ESA has gone RIAA on all my favorite rom sites...

Re:hint hint (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869856)

"It's true that homebrew stuff invariably winds up getting used for software piracy."

Yeah like Nintendo needs to worry about software piracy, since they only have the top selling console for the past year, having outsold both PS3 and Xbox360 consoles by factors of 2:1 [next-gen.biz] , and they're the only console maker that actually makes a profit from the consoles [wikipedia.org] , $49 for every console sold in the US.

So no matter how much software someone pirated Nintendo still made $49 off that Wii bought in the US.

Re:hint hint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21870302)

Um, piracy is already possible, so this news about Wii homebrew isn't going to really change anything as far as piracy goes. If anything it may make Wii modchips a bit more legitimate as you'll need one to run Wii homebrew.

Also, I think the chances of revoking the encryption keys is unlikely, as these are used by all retail games to date. It might be possible to change the keys and still keep compatibility with older games, but no doubt it would be a hacky, pain in the ass thing to have to do. :) Besides, as I said above, the encryption has nothing to do with piracy as you don't need to be able to decrypt the game to burn it onto a DVD and run it with a modchip. If anything they will make it harder to install modchips (and in fact it is more difficult to install modchips in current revisions of the Wii's hardware).

Re:hint hint (2, Informative)

pilot1 (610480) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869598)

And the majority of these homebrew games look like retail games, except they're free.
Actually, the Wii has been hacked to allow pirated games for about a year (it was presented at the previous CCC). This new hack will eventually allow people to run unsigned code, whereas the previous hack did not. Basically all the old hack did was provide a way to trick the Wii into thinking that burned DVDs were originals (current modchips sit between the DVD drive and the motherboard to intercept the "is this DVD real?" signal), but the content on the DVD still needed to be digitally signed by Nintendo.

Re:hint hint (2, Interesting)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870128)

All I want is the thing to ignore the region on the disc so import games work.

HMm (1, Funny)

moogied (1175879) | more than 6 years ago | (#21868758)

Does this mean that lorena bobbit runs nintendo now? With all this "Wii Hacking"...

tl;dr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21868760)

They extracted the keys that it uses to sign games. No, they don't tell you how to do it.

found the signing key (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21868852)

If they are using 'public key' technology, then there is no reason to have the signing key in a wii device, only a verification key, which is not useful for signing. Anyone have details? (There aren't any in the video I saw.)

Re:found the signing key (1)

Storlek (860226) | more than 6 years ago | (#21868984)

My guess is, the Wii has to sign the keys itself for downloaded channels, so they got it from there. I don't know though, this article was really sketchy and I'm fairly suspicious of it.

Re:tl;dr (2, Interesting)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869396)

No they told you exatly how they did it.

The keys are stored in protected memory. This memory is not accessable under normal conditions, as the gatekeeper chip disallows access to this. When the Wii is used in GC mode, this chip is disabled, but so is addressing to the upper regions of memory, so you still can't address it properly. BUT if you use a small peice of metal and join some of the address bus lines, in order to address higher addresses, these keys can be recovered.

Watch the video, very interesting.

Wii and homebrew (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#21868804)

Considering how many of the games on this console are minigames, there is the very real possibility that some of the homebrew stuff could end up being as good as the regular games. Bad news for Nintendo, good news for Wii gamers.

Re:Wii and homebrew (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21868936)

Maybe not bad news for Nintendo.

Game consoles have never interested me, but I'd get one if it was hackable enough to run my own programs with full access to all the interesting bits of the hardware.

I suppose once I owned a game console, then I'd probably end up with a game or two. So maybe not bad news for Nintendo.

Re:Wii and homebrew (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869536)

Then get yourself a Nintendo DS (140) and R4DS(50). That how God's intended portable gaming should be: you can download and play rips of official games - including ones not released in your region; you can download and play homebrew games; you can play MP3s and DPGs (DS's version of MPEG1 video).

More games, cheaper than Wii, easy to buy (compared to Wii in US) and best of all - it's portable ^_^

Re:Wii and homebrew (2, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21868938)

I don't really think it's that bad for Nintendo. Since they actually make money from the console, and this would just add an extra selling point, it would just mean more profit for Nintendo.

Re:Wii and homebrew (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869004)

That's a good point. Sony and Microsoft lose money on consoles that are never used to play purchased games.

Re:Wii and homebrew (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869114)

Yeah, but they would also stand to lose a helluva lot in game licensing too. Selling a few more consoles at this point really doesn't mean much to them (since they're already selling them as fast as they can make them). But having small developers suddenly able to bypass their licensing fees could cost them real $.

Re:Wii and homebrew (1)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870382)

But most homebrew are for areas that Nintendo either has no or very little interest in developing such as emulators (sure the VC is great, except games are released at a snails pace and only 4 import games yet) and media such as DVD playback along with more media support or even running Linux on it. Most homebrew titles also (for the DS) don't have the quality of retail games, nor enough replay value to pay $20-50 for.

Re:Wii and homebrew (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869164)

how exactly is this bad news for Nintendo?

Re:Wii and homebrew (1)

pinchhazard (728983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869508)

As others have said: How exactly would that be bad for Nintendo? There's no such thing as bad publicity. More important than wringing every penny out of software licensing for the Wii is the public's perception of Nintendo. Nintendo has gone from being a distant 3rd during the previous console generation, to having the most popular of the current generation systems. Success with the Wii will carry over to their next system.

Re:Wii and homebrew (1)

Torvaun (1040898) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869758)

No such thing as bad publicity? You think Sony didn't suffer from reports of rootkits or exploding batteries? You think Geek Squad enjoys the news of their agents rooting around in their customers hard drives? How about Verizon not knowing the difference between .002 dollars and .002 cents?

Bad publicity is quite real, and is becoming more so all the time.

Re:Wii and homebrew (1, Interesting)

acidrain69 (632468) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869572)

I don't really see it as bad for Nintendo. The PS1 was easily hackable, and it did extremely well. The PS2, not quite as hackable early on, but with the release of HDAdvance and the Mr Brown code exploit, it became easier to hack than the PS1. Don't forget about swap magic. The PS2 has done so well that Sony is continuing to sell and support them. The XBox was another relatively easily hacked machines, with early plugin chips, later solder chips and soft-modding. It also has done extremely well (although Microsoft did take a big loss, but that's their fault for selling at a loss; they still did well enough to move on to the 360).

N64? Hard to pirate, didn't do very well. The only real exception to this is Sega's Dreamcast, which was very easy to pirate/run homebrew, but the failure on that machine had more to do with Sega's marketting issues, game library, and previous failures with the Saturn and Genesis 32x and CD systems. Sega was in trouble long before Dreamcast rips.

The Wii is already popular with the older and casual gamer crowd, and that population usually wouldn't go through the hoops involved in a hardware or even software mod. I only see this as a win for Nintendo, despite the fact that they will try to squash it.

Re:Wii and homebrew (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870038)

The wii has had modchips for a ages. Nintendo has though basically squashed it for the time being, because they made it so hard to mod that few will bother (d2ckey requires to you solder about 20 lines directly onto surface mounted chips - not something I'd recommend anyone without a hell of a lot of experience to attempt).

Re:Wii and homebrew (1)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870062)

It's only Bad News if Nintendo doesn't do something productive with the lone developers.

If someone from the homebrew scene can actually make a game worth playing (a big if), that person should be able to go legal - without going broke.

I couldn't think of anything better for the console market than a Windows-style revolution (eg, any jackass with a compiler can produce a game). Maybe start off with a digital download service for the initial release and, if the title is successful there or the developer wants to, release a boxed product. Maybe even bypass the retail box entirely and go for a shareware-style model?

Maybe such a distribution system already exists? The last console I bought was a PS2, so... yeah.... I'm sorta out of the loop on this one.

Oh, yeah, 99% of the people interested in this just want to play pirated crap.... they couldn't give a goddamn about homebrew games. We all know. Don't deny it. You aren't Larry Craig, I'm not a cop, and this isn't an airport bathroom. :)

Smart Thinking (5, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21868816)

I love the way they did, it shows good ingenuity. If you watch the video, they explain that they can get into GameCube compatibility mode (what is used for GC style home brew) but that the ATI chip acts as a gateway to the extended RAM and other new neat stuff (SD card slot, BlueTooth, etc.).

By physically tying address lines on the memory chips, they could circumvent the address lock and read areas of memory they shouldn't be able to. Through this, they dumped the RAM though the controller ports (using them as serial ports) and were able to pick through it and start decoding it to find things like the signature that let them break out.

Very neat. I love reading about this kind of stuff.

It will be very interesting to see what people do with this. I never really heard about any interesting XBox homebrew, just running Linux and XBMC type stuff. Ditto with the 'cube. But the Wii should prove interesting.

Re:Smart Thinking (1)

oboreruhito (925965) | more than 6 years ago | (#21868860)

I never really heard about any interesting XBox homebrew, just running Linux and XBMC type stuff. Ditto with the 'cube. But the Wii should prove interesting.

Yeah, now we can get XBMC with motion-sensitive remote control!

Re:Smart Thinking (1)

adwarf (1002867) | more than 6 years ago | (#21868926)

Nintendo usually seems fine with homebrew. The DS & Gameboy have active homebrew communities and Nintendo doesn't say aything about them as long as no one talks about copying games. I assume they won't mind homebrew or do anything about homebrew on the Wii unless the hack makes it easy to copy games.

Re:Smart Thinking (1)

BagOBones (574735) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870028)

O they do try to stop it.. Every revision of the DS has had changes to make it harder to alter.. However the moders have found ways around every change so far.

Re:Smart Thinking (4, Interesting)

edwdig (47888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870218)

Nintendo hasn't done much to stop DS stuff. The first hack of the DS worked by putting a pass through device into the DS slot. You'd then insert a regular game into that pass through. It would let the regular game card start the boot process and load the main executable, then when the DS asked the card what memory address execution should start at, the pass through device would intercept it and specify an address in the GBA slot memory space. You'd write your homebrew to run off GBA flash carts.

One DS firmware update modified the boot code to reject startup memory addresses that weren't in main memory.

The only other change Nintendo did with an affect on homebrew was to make it so the firmware could only be modified if you shorted a jumper. But that wasn't an attempt to prevent homebrew, that was just preventing bad code from bricking the DS.

Re:Smart Thinking (1)

bmartin (1181965) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869308)

I'll be looking forward to running Linux on my Wii... to get around paying $5 for Opera!!! Sheesh, I have a laptop; I'm not going to pay $5 to browse the web with a Wiimote when I can do it w/ a keyboard and mouse.

GCC was ported to the PowerPC ISA long ago, so I don't see why it wouldn't be possible. What impressed me was that someone got Linux to run on the cell processor in the PS3.

Re:Smart Thinking (1)

mpeg4codec (581587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869554)

Emulators remain very popular Xbox homebrew applications. It is usually nicer than playing on a PC since the game is shown on a television and controlled with a real controller. Even though the Xbox controller isn't identical to whatever system you're trying to emulate, it beats the pants off using a PC keyboard.

Re:Smart Thinking (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870074)

Even though the Xbox controller isn't identical to whatever system you're trying to emulate, it beats the pants off using a PC keyboard.

Not really, the 360 controller is a PITA for digital controls. The keyboard is much more accurate than any gamepad for digital controls, in part because you operate it palms-down like an arcade stick.

Re:Smart Thinking (1)

mpeg4codec (581587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870314)

I don't have a 360; I've only used homebrew on the original Xbox. While it's true the D-pad on the normal Xbox controller isn't as nice as the one on a Super Famicom controller, being able to control the action buttons with my thumb is what makes it for me. I grew up with home systems and hardly ever hit the arcade, so my video game controlling skills are all in my thumbs. Perhaps it's different for you due to a background in arcade rather than consoles.

I'm waiting for the reverse engineer of GH3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21868850)

So I can add my own songs and such. *THAT* would be homebrew on a new level... I guess you would need nintendo's SDK... dunno what else - as long as you had a modchip - no problem (hopefully)

Re:I'm waiting for the reverse engineer of GH3 (1)

satoshi1 (794000) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869080)

It can already be done with Guitar Hero 2 on the PS2. My brother has an entire ISO of GH2 filled with custom songs. It's really kinda neat.

Re:I'm waiting for the reverse engineer of GH3 (1)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869196)

I wonder how you might pull this off with the wii version... I might have to investigate...

Re:I'm waiting for the reverse engineer of GH3 (1)

NothingMore (943591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870146)

Screw the new songs, fixing the dolby pro logic track should be at the top of the agenda.

Pressed Disk (1)

dunezone (899268) | more than 6 years ago | (#21868904)

Doesn't this mean someone can produce a pressed disk that the Wii thinks is the real deal and all the disk does is unlock the system so we can "possibly" run software off memory sticks, external disk, or swap the disk itself?

I understand they can revoke the encryption key with an update but if certain games only had one key, wouldn't revoking the key break the older games? And couldn't they just dump the memory again to find the new key?

From what Ive read so far on this hack. It seems it can be as easy as the Dreamcast hacks that didn't require modifying the hardware.

Personally I just want a homebrew emulator so I don't have to pay the ridiculous prices for the Virtual Console games.

Re:Pressed Disk (2, Informative)

Sangui (1128165) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869522)

They can't revoke the encryption key because it's a hardware thing. And no, you still need a Drive chip like a Wiikey or a D2Ckey before you can run this, unless they end up doing something like Swap Magic. The Dreamcast was pretty much shipped with Debug mode on, which is why you could just burn a cd and it would run. If you chip your Wii, which you'll need to do anyway, you can just use the one for the GC. It's got every game for the SNES, NES, and a few other old systems. Gotta use the GC controller though.

I can help! (0, Offtopic)

maclizard (1029814) | more than 6 years ago | (#21868906)

if anyone out there decides to start developing for Wii, i would love to be involved. my game development skills are minimal, but my innovation and determination are not.

Re:I can help! (0, Offtopic)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869590)

Coattail Captain rides again!

Re:I can help! (1)

maclizard (1029814) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870318)

Thanks for being a jerk. (It makes me look better)

Re:I can help! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21870026)

You and every other wannabe game developer out there. People who think they're "innovative" are a dime a dozen. You can't walk down the street in NY or LA without tripping over them every few feet. If you're truly "determined", you'll build up your skills before you expect anyone to waste time on you.

USB. (4, Funny)

headkase (533448) | more than 6 years ago | (#21868908)

The most useful thing that could be done with this is to allow emulation of discs from a USB harddrive. That way I could put my originals away for protection. Yeah, that's it.

Re:USB. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21868964)

mount -o loop image.iso mountpoint

Re:USB. (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869006)

The most useful thing that could be done with this is to allow emulation of discs from a USB harddrive. That way I could put my originals away for protection.

And eliminate whatever load time there was before. A friend has the software that allows this on a PS2 with hard drive and it's great; load time is hardly noticeable.

Re:USB. (0)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869404)

However, If you've used a Wii, you'd notice that load time isn't that much of a problem. At least not as much as it was on the PS2. I think that it's entirely possible to make a game with no loading on the Wii. Same with the Gamecube. If there is loading, it's because the publisher is too stupid, or doesn't care. If Metriod on the GC can get away with no load times, as well as Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii, I would think that most games could get away with no load times. The only game I have for the Wii that has a loading time is Super Swing Golf. I think they could do the entire game without loading screens, if only they took the time to bother.

Re:USB. (4, Insightful)

rkanodia (211354) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869456)

Metroid just tricks you into thinking there are no load times. Ever wonder why sometimes a door opens instantly, and sometimes it takes 15 seconds?

Re:USB. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21869652)

You mean the lifts in Mass Effect don't really take a minute to go up one deck?

Re:USB. (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870236)

Yes, I believe that's what the OP was getting at.. he said the developers just didn't put the effort into seamless loading.

Re:USB. (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869406)

HDAdvance, most likely...I have the same thing with a 160 gig in my PS2. Fantastic investment.

Re:USB. (1)

sykopomp (1133507) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869342)

Agreed. But there's so much more to do with Wii this hack than piracy. Homebrew would allow you to watch regular DVDs with your Wii, watch videos off a hard drive, and do all sorts of neat things with the console. Just imagine the possibilities.. I have to agree though, the hard drive thing is probably the biggest feature I want. It bothers me that nintendo hasn't bothered adding support for one.

Botnet? (1, Informative)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869112)

Ah, so you'll be able to run unsigned code on your Wii, which is connected to the internet 24 hours a day.

I can't wait for my Wii to get compromised. Awesome.

(Yes, I have a firewall, which - statistically speaking - is better than yours.)

Why a console? Why not your own breed? (0, Troll)

MindPrison (864299) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869146)

Many times I've been thinking - why is it so important to break the latest console to work with your "insert-homebrew-here"? Is it because it's some hardware that most have been importing in to your homes? is it because of the "scene" or is it because you "can"?. Technically you can do ANYTHING with your pc - if anything is what you want to do. Heck...I've even been contemplating creating my own "emulation-scene hardware incorporating processors of every arcade console of the past just to make the ultimate-console ever, do you know why I didn't? Because I realized that may not be what you (or I) want. When you have broken the system security to release your own homebrew - then what? Challenge over? Are you feeding the masses what they want? really - what do YOU want to do with this console? Now realize this my friend - why not create your OWN hardware with your OWN challenges? Difficult? Nintendo bigger? better development of what? You CAN do this - you just have to be focuses on what excactly WHAT you want to do or what you want to achieve. I remember back in the days when I where hacking hardware such as the "Arcade hardware" like "return of the Jedi" or "Super Punch Out III" hardware from Nintendo....yes we're talking arcade-machine hardware here... to do what I wanted, for what audience then, eh? Myself - the elf! ;) Point is - whatever you end up doing - make sure you use that time you got - wisely - otherwise you're technically just wasting your time doing it!

Re:Why a console? Why not your own breed? (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869190)

Technically you can do ANYTHING with your pc - if anything is what you want to do.

I can't use a Wii controller on my PC.

Well at least without a soldering iron.

Re:Why a console? Why not your own breed? (4, Informative)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869330)

Wha? The Wii controller is a standard Bluetooth device. This page [wikihow.com] is just one of many that provides links to drivers, and details on how to install them, for using the Wiimote on either Windows or Linux.

Re:Why a console? Why not your own breed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21870164)

I can't use a Wii controller on my PC.
Uh. I can. It's a standard bluetooth device.

I even took it one step further and hooked up the S-video port on one of my formerly headless boxes to the TV, and hooked up a couple of cheapo (but decent) speakers. When friends come over, I show off by firing up Rhythmbox with the Wiimote on the TV.

Re:Why a console? Why not your own breed? (5, Interesting)

Yosho (135835) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869214)

That post really needed some more to be organized into coherent paragraphs, but I'll answer anyway...

is it because of the "scene" or is it because you "can"?

Yes, it's because they can. They enjoy the challenge.

When you have broken the system security to release your own homebrew - then what? Challenge over?

Yep, and then you move on to a new challenge. In reality, though, breaking the system security is just one of the first steps to making homebrew software; there are still many challenges left.

Now realize this my friend - why not create your OWN hardware with your OWN challenges?

Because that's a different kind of challenge, and not as fun to some people. Why don't you forge your own plate armor? Or learn a new language? Or study Tai Chi? Those are all challenges, but they're different and appeal to different types of people. Some people -- the people who are working on this kind of project, in fact -- think that breaking a system's security and making homebrew software is much more fun than making their own hardware.

Point is - whatever you end up doing - make sure you use that time you got - wisely - otherwise you're technically just wasting your time doing it!

If you spent your time having fun, is it really wasted?

Re:Why a console? Why not your own breed? (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869446)

I've fiddled with the GBA and I'm looking into the DS. I haven't done any of the home consoles. I've done stuff on my Mac and on PCs for years and years and years, from native to Java. I've even fiddled with TI calculators.

It's just a different experience. There is no challenge in making a Mario style game on the PC. On a system that is more constrained (like a handheld) there is challenge. There are other attributes as well. I can take a game I make for the DS with me easily, where my Mac is a little heavier. The DS has a great touchscreen, which my computer doesn't. I have a tablet, but it's not the same.

Then there is just the style. On a PC you either write the frame buffer, use a library, or use OpenGL type stuff to display sprites. The DS and GBA (and others) have this in hardware. You put the X co-ord in one memory address, the Y in another, a few other little things and it displays it for you. You want a tile background? Just put tile numbers in this magic area of memory, your tiles here, and it will take care of that for you, scrolling too.

It is a very different challenge

I'd like to make hardware too, but I don't know enough. Even if I did, I know there is no way I can make something as advanced as a GBA or a DS any time in the next decade.

Re:Why a console? Why not your own breed? (1)

MindPrison (864299) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869722)

[b]if you spent your time having fun, is it really wasted?[/b] no! But I bet you already knew the answer to that one - seriously.

Re:Why a console? Why not your own breed? (2, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869302)

Many times I've been thinking - why is it so important to break the latest console to work with your "insert-homebrew-here"? Is it because it's some hardware that most have been importing in to your homes? is it because of the "scene" or is it because you "can"?.

I don't know. Did Edmund Hillary climb Everest because he thought there was prime real estate up there?

Re:Why a console? Why not your own breed? (3, Interesting)

Ben174 (853174) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869848)

One of the things that make consoles so attractive is that they are standardized hardware that so many people have in their homes. Development can be targeted for this specific hardware - to take advantages of its unique features.

Wired LAN (1)

turtledawn (149719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869162)

All I want is a wired LAN adapter that works. I accidentally bought one of the third-party adapters (curse you Best Buy- stocking a knockoff clone in trademark-infringing packaging immediately adjacent to the real Nintendo gear), which worked pretty well for the ten minutes it took to download the update that killed my online access. :-(

Re:Wired LAN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21870208)

you can buy wireless routers for less than the cost of a wired LAN adapter for the Wii.

Why does it matter that much? (1)

Programmerman (1166739) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869168)

Given that all the controllers are bluetooth, couldn't one just develop the games for the computer and use the Wii-mote that way? Reduces the need for on-system homebrew, especially with the fairly easy ability to hook computers up to TVs. Actually, you don't even need a Wii, just a Wii-mote.

Re:Why does it matter that much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21869494)

Yes, I have been using a Wiimote on my computer for quite some time now (longer than I have had my Wii, I got the remote to play with at launch). The drivers out there for use with it are great. I would certainly rather use it for homebrew on a computer than homebrew on a Wii, which is likely to be far more complicated.

Not Steil and Domke (3, Informative)

kju (327) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869226)

The hack was NOT presented by Steil and Domke. It was only presented at the end of their talk about xbox360 security at the CCC Congress. But the actual hack was presented by another person which name i don't know.

why bother? Just buy a PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21869630)

personally, i wonder why people won't spend their time on some worthy OS project but instead invest time on an owned platform

go fiqure

Re:why bother? Just buy a PC (0, Troll)

whoop (194) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870010)

Why do people bother with OS projects when they could invest their time in something useful like curing cancer?

Re:why bother? Just buy a PC (2, Insightful)

Necreia (954727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870056)

DRM and Copy Protection Schemes are cancer.

Re:why bother? Just buy a PC (1)

stastuffis (632932) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870254)

Why do people bother with OS projects when they could invest their time in something useful like curing cancer?

I don't know if that makes much sense. Let's see through a hypothetical interview.*

Interviewer: So Mr. X, you are the creator of the hugely successful homebrew application GenericApp.

Creator: Yes, I am.

Interviewer: Well, many of your critics have said that your efforts could have been better spent in an effort to cure cancer.

Creator: Um...

* DISCLAIMER: Such interviews would not actually occur. A more realistic incident would be a forum thread littered with people complaining about the functionality, the interface, getting it to work as they want it, and of course, the con side telling said idiots to do something themselves.

Re:why bother? Just buy a PC (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870274)

I dunno, maybe they aren't doctors?

Meh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21870070)

So what!?!? I admit that sounds ~kinda~ cool, but of course they're going to be working on cracking a Wii. Just wait till I get Ubuntu running on my microwave! Then you will all have something to be impressed with!!!

what kind of games can you play??? (1)

listen_to_blogs (1210278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870162)

So does the hack let us play **any** game on Wii? listen_to_slashdot [blogbard.com]
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