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Nintendo's Homebrew-Blocking Update Hacked 157

Posted by timothy
from the initiative-applied dept.
ElementC writes "Team Twiizers, the group behind almost all of the Wii Homebrew scene, has released an update to the Homebrew Channel (and installer) that allows for installation on a Wii with the most recent update installed. While the team still recommends against installing the Nintendo update, those who accidentally updated or purchase games that require the update are no longer left out to dry. This update to the Homebrew Channel also adds SDHC support, a feature Nintendo has not implemented in vanilla Wiis. The community has also created an app that updates just the Wii Shop Channel — allowing users to purchase Wiiware and Virtual Console games without losing their homebrew. It took the team only two days to get the fix out."
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Nintendo's Homebrew-Blocking Update Hacked

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  • Cool. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by RiffRafff (234408) on Monday October 27, 2008 @07:31AM (#25525089) Homepage

    Insert obligatory "the more you tighten your grip....etc.

  • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Monday October 27, 2008 @07:52AM (#25525193) Journal

    I feel sorry for Nintendo on this one.

    That's nice. I'm sure profitable corporations need your sympathy.

    The console is about as cheap as they get, and Nintendo put an incredible amount of research and effort into making the best games in the world. When do you folk feel a bit ethically obliged to let the company just make some money out of the good work they've done.

    Nintendo sell the console at a profit. They make money off anyone who buys one, including the homebrewers. Anyway, Nintendo don't lease you a wii under a signed contract, they sell you one in a shop. Therefore, aren't they ethically obliged (not to mention legally) to let you do with it what you wish?

    Secondly, the because its there argument. I cracked games in the past, way back in the days of C-64, All those Block executes on track 5 sector 5 etc. But I didn't distribute - I cracked it cause it was fun to do and for my own benefit - I didn't want to get in trouble, or ruin those software companies.

    My goodness, not only did you not read the article, or summary, you also failed to even read the article title. NB: Home-brew.

  • by Dan East (318230) on Monday October 27, 2008 @07:58AM (#25525237) Homepage Journal

    People don't buy $250 systems just to play homebrew. Conversely, people that already have the system will dabble in homebrew to increase the value of their hardware, and allow it to do things it couldn't otherwise (like play Monkey Island, or watch DVDs).

    If Nintendo is smart, they will put of a token fight - mainly to stay within contractual obligations with their game developing partners and keep them happy - while leaving plenty of loopholes for homebrew to exist. Best of both worlds for all involved.

  • by timmarhy (659436) on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:19AM (#25525341)
    why support these companies that support DRM?? when MS or walmart use DRM there's a /. nerd outcry, but when apple or Nintendo do it it's ok because we can crack it?? news flash retards, ALL drm is crackable because it's a broken strategy
  • by NoNeeeed (157503) <slash@paulleade r .> on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:29AM (#25525407) Homepage

    Anything that opens up the Wii platform is good news, so a hearty cheer from me.

    If Nintendo created a proper home-brew platform, making it easier and cheaper to make small games and apps, the Wii could become a killer home entertainment platform (especially if they add DVD and local storage support). Something along the lines of the iPhone/Android apps store, where you can sell cheap games and they take a small cut. Currently the selection on WiiWare is pretty limited unless you want old NES games.

    If they did that, I'd become a Wii developer overnight.

  • by FireFury03 (653718) <slashdot.nexusuk@org> on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:32AM (#25525423) Homepage

    Nintendo put an incredible amount of research and effort into making the best games in the world. When do you folk feel a bit ethically obliged to let the company just make some money out of the good work they've done.

    How does allowing me to run my own software on hardware I have purchased prevent Nintendo from making money? In fact, it makes me more likely to buy the console. At the moment I don't have a Wii - if it were possible to run Linux on it I would buy one and it would become my MythTV frontend. So they would make more money since they would have another customer. At the same time, because I would then have a Wii, I would buy games for it, so they would make more money. By preventing me using the hardware how I like, they have reduced the value of the Wii to the point where I cannot justify the cost of buying one. Forgive me for saying, but doing whatever you can to reduce the value of your product doesn't seem to be a bright marketing strategy.

  • by MrMr (219533) on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:52AM (#25525599)
    They do, however, keep honest men from temptation.
    Honest men aren't tempted by an unlocked door. Door locks are designed to convince the casual thief to rob your neighbour.
  • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Monday October 27, 2008 @09:08AM (#25525749) Journal

    They sell their product for profit?!!! The scoundrels!

    I disagree with you on this. They are well within their rights to sell the wii at a profit.

    Because, you know, most successful companies just give their stuff away.

    I believe you are mistaken.

    No, not when what you're doing with it is illegal.

    Since when is homebrew illegal?

    They are ethically obliged to do as much as possible to ensure you can't run illegal, unlicensed software on it.

    What about legal software, legally licensed from homebrewers? Or legal software which you legally wrote yourself? How are they ethically obliged to stop you running legal, licensed software?

    Just from a glance at the wiki, some of the games being made available are clones of Nintendo's own games!

    And none of Nintendo's games are clones of what has gone on before, and may well be available for free? People have been cloning ideas in computer games for years. That has nothing to do with homebrew.

    If you're going to defend homebrew do not take the stance that Nintendo should be happy and endorse it.

    If you're going to attack homebrew, don't just invent stuff about it being illegal and unethical.

  • by eagee (1308589) on Monday October 27, 2008 @09:10AM (#25525769)
    These guys are nothing short of awesome :). Only two days after the update. For those of us who couldn't possibly afford a Nintendo dev kit (or get one if we could since we're not publishers) this is the only way we're able to write games on an actual Wii. Thanks Team TWiizers!
  • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Monday October 27, 2008 @09:13AM (#25525809) Homepage Journal

    Even when they secure the path all the way from the UV-ray disc to each dot in the LCD/plasma/OLED display in 2038, all one needs to get the color of each pixel with greater than 99.999% accuracy is half a dozen US$ 100 cheap cameras

    True, analog reconversion defeats digital restrictions management on non-interactive works. But Nintendo publishes video games, which are interactive works.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 27, 2008 @09:41AM (#25526241)

    Yes, but you need an original copy of "The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess" for that. Then you just copy a save game onto a SD card. Google "wii homebrew channel", it is as easy as it gets.

    But it is wrong to say that this does not allow playing "backup" games from regular burned discs. It is still early, but there already tools (that can be run from the Homebrew Channel) that allow you to play burned games without a modchip, and the compatibility list is increasing by the day. I heard you don't even need to patch the ISO before burning it anymore.

    It is actually a pretty fierce struggle between homebrewers, hackers and pirates. Hackers open up the platform, usually for homebrewers, but then pirates step in to install WiiWare, VC games and, recently, to implement those backup loaders. And the thing is, I really don't think Nintendo gives a rats ass about homebrewers, but they have to attack wathever hackers do with their system because there is another group of people that uses those hacks to pirates games on it.

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Monday October 27, 2008 @10:00AM (#25526573) Homepage Journal

    You tell me []

    Even if that does work for movies, this article is about games. Video games have a distinct advantage over movies in the DRM department [].

  • Re:SDHC support? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by anthonyfk (1394881) on Monday October 27, 2008 @10:09AM (#25526721)
    I think the biggest reason why SDHC support is not added by default was to try and prevent ways for people to stick Wii ROMs (which are >2GB) onto SD cards and access them from that way somehow. Of course, since the HBC and any other application can now do so natively, I guess this isn't a risk anymore.
  • by doublebackslash (702979) <> on Monday October 27, 2008 @10:28AM (#25526989)
    Actually, DRM does not equate to a locked door. Here is what DRM, generally, does:

    It encrypts the content with a key (sometimes unique to an instance of the media, sometimes it is shared among a whole release) and then that key is sent to the consumer via a different channel. For example on DVD players (of both new and old) the key is embedded in the DVD player on a chip (or, so much less securely, inside a sotware player).

    This is DRM's only trick, hide the key a little bit!

    In the end in order for the user view the content it has to be decrypted. Since the user has the key (in some form) to view the content then they can use that key to remove the DRM form that content.

    I hope that you can see the DRM is not a locked door, it is more like a locked door with the key under the doormat!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 27, 2008 @10:30AM (#25527023)

    I hope that you can see the DRM is not a locked door, it is more like a locked door with the key under the doormat!

    And that changes the analogy how?

  • Re:Hooray... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by anubis7733 (1377725) on Monday October 27, 2008 @12:30PM (#25529005)
    Despite the fact that the homebrew can't do a lot of crazy things, it does allow users to replay some old games that they may not have had played years without having to repurchase them. Sometimes people just want to be able to play through A Link to the Past again without having to rebuy the game. Also there's a lot of crappy WiiWare out there that may sound interesting but absolutely suck. Homebrew is a way to try out those games without losing any money on the bad ones like Pop.
  • Re:Hooray... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by marcansoft (727665) <hector@ma r c a> on Monday October 27, 2008 @03:29PM (#25531897) Homepage

    You do need to consider that almost all of the Xbox homebrew (minus linux) was illegal to distribute in binary form due to the use of the official SDK. If we had the latest version of the Ninty SDK, I'm sure we could produce higher quality illegal homebrew in a shorter amount of time. Instead we're "stuck" with an entirely legal homebrew SDK that happens not to be as good as Nintendo's.

    Then there's also the thing where the Xbox was an entirely familiar platform. x86, DirectX, etc. Porting stuff to it was pretty damn easy. Contrast that with the Wii: an entirely new API, weird interprocessor comms, security crap running behind your back, and a completely custom graphics API. I think it's amazing that we've come as far as we have in under a year, considering everything has been done from scratch.

  • Re:Hooray... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sremick (91371) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:04PM (#25533339)

    So the point of homebrew is to constantly emulate the same games you've played for years

    Actually, the things that interest me the most about the Wii homebrew scene are:

    1) The ability to back-up certain savegames that Nintendo and the game developers think shouldn't be backed up, despite the Wii having a facility for backing up savegames.

    2) The fact that it supports SDHC, which is an embarrassing slap-in-the-face at Nintendo and maybe will shame them into providing a real update of their own to support it.

    So how do those fit into your narrow-minded version of how you see the world?

You've been Berkeley'ed!