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Nintendo Wii Games

Nintendo Penalizing Homebrew Users? 95

Posted by Soulskill
from the thanks-so-much dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Bricked your Wii? Not only will Nintendo charge you for the repair, they will now add an additional fee if they detect any homebrew software. 'Should Nintendo have to pay to repair hacked Wiis under warranty? Maybe not, but they have no (moral) right to gouge customers out of spite for having the HBC installed. This actually poses a technical dilemma for us with BootMii. As currently designed, BootMii looks for an SD card when you boot your Wii, and if it finds the card and the right file, it will execute that file. Otherwise, there's no way to tell it's installed.'"
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Nintendo Penalizing Homebrew Users?

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  • Obvious Fake (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Lord Byron II (671689)

    First of all, I don't read German, but "softwarehack" is only one line of that receipt and I doubt it has the same meaning in German and English. Even so, if they were charging additional for hacked Wii's, it would probably be an extra line item. I would expect to see a normal repair fee on the invoice *plus* a "hacked wii fee".

    Second, the email is a poor fake. It's anonymous, with typos and grammar mistakes. And what company ever refers to the possibility of their policies being illegal in a corporate memo

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by aliquis (678370)

      It's not a "hacked wii fee", it was obviously a higher repair cost since the Wii was hacked.

      RTFA and you'll notice they say that they will charge 180-210 euro for repairs on hacked Wiis even though it's not the normal fee.

      Seems like they understood it was risky legal waters as well but wanted to go that way anyway. But yes, imho it's the owners console and the owner should be free to do what the fuck he or she want to do with it. Imho it's ok to charge for a repair during the warranty period if the hack hav

      • A new wii must be less than 180 Euros. Mine cost 300 AUD.
        • by Joeyray (262122)

          Wrong. Around 250 Euros it is in Germany. Try searching for it on http://www.amazon.de/ [amazon.de] for example.

          • by drsmithy (35869)

            Wrong. Around 250 Euros it is in Germany.

            Wow, they're even cheaper in Switzerland (ca. CHF320/EUR210). That doesn't happen very often...

            Although I picked mine up duty free in London for ~155 quid (CHF260/EUR170). :)

      • Windows 7 upgrade, $50, $200 if you have firefox installed? ..

        Sorry, no deal. Won't even install it if you pay me $400 because I run firefox under linux. There ain't enough money in the WORLD!

        • by EdIII (1114411) * on Saturday April 25, 2009 @04:41AM (#27711027)

          There ain't enough money in the WORLD!

          Really? Seriously?

          A lot of people say that (and I hate MS as much as anybody), but if I was offered even the insult of $1,000,000 USD to install Windows 7 .............. I have a feeling that there will be a few machines with Windows 7 on it.

          Then I would hire a few dozen Japanese hotties with pig-tails and school girl outfits to do all of my actual work on other machines and I would just have to *suffer* through it. At least when I get pissed off at the Windows 7 machine when it starts screwing up (inevitably of course) I can have a bunch of my "employees" come in sucking lollipops to give me my "tech support".

          Ohhhhh, and I am sure some of that $$$$ will be used to buy several well placed poles in my office......

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by fuliginous (1059354)
        If you use the device outside its intended purpose and that purpose is clearly discernible then it has to be your cost. If I take my regular car rallying and the suspension breaks it is hardly reasonable for me to attempt to claim repair under warranty. The car was built for the road not 140mph down a bumpy unmetaled track. If I fit a nitrous kit to the car and it pops a cylinder good luck proving it was a build flaw and therefore a warranty claim.
        • by Applekid (993327)

          If you use the device outside its intended purpose and that purpose is clearly discernible then it has to be your cost. If I take my regular car rallying and the suspension breaks it is hardly reasonable for me to attempt to claim repair under warranty. The car was built for the road not 140mph down a bumpy unmetaled track. If I fit a nitrous kit to the car and it pops a cylinder good luck proving it was a build flaw and therefore a warranty claim.

          Your example suggests the warranty claim should be denied because the car was forced to exceed it's normal tolerances. Hhomebrew software doesn't make the Wii "run" any harder than commercial software.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Malevolyn (776946)

        Windows 7 upgrade, $50, $200 if you have firefox installed? ..

        You must not have a Wii, because it's quite a bit more complicated than that. For the sake of the community, allow me to explain:

        There are ways to run homebrew on a Wii without leaving (much) trace. The problem is that this is really inconvenient to do, so most users opt to install the Homebrew Channel. This is where Nintendo believes their justification comes in. The install method includes using a hacked save file for Twilight Princess. Th

      • It's actually not surprising that Nintendo are doing this.

        I had my Wii for less than a month and the drive died in it, so I sent it off to Nintendo and they wanted to charge me AU$150 for a new drive. Needless to say I was pissed off, it took taking them to Consumer Affairs before they'd back down and repair it under warranty.

        They claimed it was user damage, even after I explained that it had been used twice and not moved from where it was installed. It's not the first case I'd heard about Nintendo trying t

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      From a comment by the article's author:

      The email came with a bit more context (that I did not publish), which was enough for me to believe the email was genuine. Still, I didn't publish it when I received it because I couldn't be certain it was legitimate.

      I still can't be certain, of course, but the German invoice was enough for me to believe that it is true. One reason I posted this was in the hopes that others will come forward if this happens to them, so we can get further confirmation.

      Basically the home

    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @03:16AM (#27710769) Journal

      I do speak german and softwarehack is NOT a german word, it is a borrowed word and therefor means the same thing as you would expect it to. Never DOUBT. CHECK!

      Your entire argument starts to look shakey because you asumed.

      You then go on to claim that it is a seperate line. It is not, it is a wrap around of the previous line. Failure two.

      You then go on to make your final claim. The email being fake. 2 strikes, is the third a hit? We already know you leap to conclusions, so might you have struck out completly?

      The email indeed seems suspicious. The english in it is piss poor and that is coming from me. Could there be a reason? Nintendo is a japanese company, could we be dealing with an advanced case of engrish here? Maybe someone low in the hierachy whose native language is not english went outside the official channels to send this email?

      It is important to remember that many internal emails would make any language teacher cry like a britney spears fan. I have seen worse.

      The grammar itself is not enough to label the email a fake. That it came through an anonymous source, well that doesn't mean anything.

      Finally, the wording. It isn't very proffesional but I am sure we all remember the halloween documents. If Balmer can throw chairs why can't a nintendo flunky send out this email?

      So, two strikes and one questionable. I think you put to much faith in proffesionalism in individual employees. While I have no proof this email is wrong, it being stupid and badly written does not guarantee it as a fake. Really, read more leaked documents.

      • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

        by interkin3tic (1469267)

        Never DOUBT. CHECK!

        I doubt I'll take that advice.

      • Well, thanks for the insight on the "softwarehack". I was hoping a native speaker would comment on that. My argument was not that it couldn't mean the same thing, but that it was silly to assume so. In the article he starts off by saying his German is poor. Its the same as assuming "nein" (German) and "nine" (English) has the same meaning since they also look similar.

        My second claim rests on it being part of the same line. Re-read what I wrote. I think if the claim that Nintendo has a "hacked Wii fee" as th

      • by Hognoxious (631665) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @06:33AM (#27711341) Homepage Journal

        I do speak german and softwarehack is NOT a german word

        Thought so, it's nowhere near long enough.

    • My softwarehack is full of eels.

    • by rolfwind (528248)

      First of all, I don't read German, but "softwarehack" is only one line of that receipt and I doubt it has the same meaning in German and English.

      The entire line is:
      "Ausschluss der Gewaehrleistung durch die Art des Defektes Modifizierung an der Internen Software vorgehnommen Softwarehack."

      or in other words, the warranty is voided because of the attempt of a defective modification of the internal software ie a software hack.

      And yes, softwarehack means the exact same thing. From looking at the cost, it seems

      • You would be better off to zap the hell out of the device with high voltage and return it as totally not working if you have non standard software by the sound of things.

    • by Malevolyn (776946)
      Even if Nintendo did start charging for hacked Wiis, it doesn't matter. Any reasonably experienced Wii hacker/hack user will have Preloader installed, which will allow you to recover from a brick without having to bother with Nintendo (maybe just a partial brick, but it's better than nothing).
  • by lordofthechia (598872) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @02:27AM (#27710605)

    Doesn't Europe have the equivalent of the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act [wikipedia.org]?

    • by lordofthechia (598872) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @02:44AM (#27710653)

      For the uninformed (mods, looking at you), among other things, the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act (unless I've mixed up Supreme Court Cases) puts the burden on the manufacturer to prove that an aftermarket part or enhancement caused the defect for which the product needs to be serviced.

      The homebrew channel would fall under this and since it is easy to remove be no cause for voiding a warranty (like Ford refusing an engine repair because you installed an aftermarket radio...).

      • No... (Score:4, Informative)

        by msauve (701917) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @07:36AM (#27711581)
        the M-M Warranty act says essentially 2 things:

        1) Warranties must be written in clear language. ("Full and conspicuous disclosure of terms and conditions")

        2) Manufacturer's may not, as a condition of the warranty, require the purchase of name brand parts, unless they can demonstrate that such parts are necessary for proper operation. ("No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumer's using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade, or corporate name;...")

        A manufacturer can, as long as they spell it out clearly, void a warranty if unauthorized modifications are made to a product. An auto manufacturer could provide an engine warranty which is void if you hang fuzzy dice from the mirror, but they can't require you to use their brand of fuzzy dice. The MM Act does not put "the burden on the manufacturer to prove that an aftermarket part or enhancement caused the defect."

        Feel free to read it [cornell.edu].
        • by xenocide2 (231786)

          My question is, how specific does one have to get? Fuzzy dice, or anything hanging from a mirror? DVD player channel, or any software encapsulated as a channel? Homebrew Channel doesn't provide anything (legal) that directly competes with existing channels.

          • as a condition of the warranty, Nintendo can certainly require that the user run only Nintendo provided, unmodified, operating system software, since that is an "article or service provided without charge" during the warranty period.

            I believe that would preclude running any homebrew stuff. Doesn't installing the Homebrew Channel involve breaking the chain of trust by installing a modified IOS?
            • by xenocide2 (231786)

              Nope. Well, it may in the future require replaying old IOS's if they start blocking it. The install method I've seen is to basically exploit Zelda and write the new channel to system memory.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Lord Byron II (671689)

      I don't know why the parent is modded offtopic. Hopefully, those of you with mod points will fix this.

      The warranty act is very interesting; I didn't know about it until now. According to Wikipedia: "Warrantors cannot require that only branded parts be used with the product in order to retain the warranty. This is commonly referred to as the 'tie-in sales' provisions, and is frequently mentioned in the context of third-party computer parts, such as memory and hard drives."

      I would read this to also include br

      • installing unauthorized software shouldn't void the warranty (unless, of course, the software is what caused the malfunction).

        So can Apple be made to do warranty repairs on jailbroken iphones?

        • by int69h (60728)

          If they can't prove jail breaking the phone is what broke it, then yes.

          • by maxume (22995)

            As a practical matter, it is the other way around (because the costs to battle Apple are roughly on par with the costs to not battle them i.e., a new iPhone), and a user can't actually prove that the jailbreak didn't break the phone.

        • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          It is my understanding that if it can be shown that what you did, did not cause the failure(directly or indirectly, I'm not sure), then the warranty should be honored. (Like someone else said, installing a third party radio should not invalidate the warranty on the engine, unless they could show that it somehow did)

          So a jailbroken phone that had the filesystem fucked up because of an app that wasn't Apple approved, then probably not since it(the app) caused the direct failure. (Breaking it, not so much(unle

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        > I don't know why the parent is modded offtopic.

        Because US law doesn't apply in Germany.

        • by mustafap (452510)
          >Because *this particular* US law doesn't apply in Germany. There, fixed that for you :o)
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Gnavpot (708731)

            Because *this particular* US law doesn't apply in Germany. There, fixed that for you :o)

            The question was:
            "Doesn't Europe have the equivalent of the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act [wikipedia.org]?"

            The person who asked was obviously very well aware that the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act does not apply in Europe. He asked if we don't have some European law with the same effect.

            And for this you think he should be modded off topic?

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward
              You're assuming people read the posts they're moderating. Possibly even read them carefully. Sux 2BU N00b.
    • by aliquis (678370)

      I doubt we have anything in common, but for instance here in Sweden you always get warranty no matter what, but then the companies in question can of course add longer time or even better service on top of those legal obligations.

      I doubt they could pull this shit during the legal obligatory warranty over here, unless they can prove the damage came from the hack.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Torodung (31985)

      If it is a non-warranty repair, OTOH, then perhaps we need more third party service shops to show Nintendo the error of its ways. I should hope simple competition for repair work would put an end to this sort of shenanigans.

      Otherwise, the parent poses an interesting and relevant question. Mods please click the link and *read* the page.

      (If mods are Nintendo fanboys or shills modding parent down, I hope you get burned in meta-moderation.)

      --
      Toro

  • How much do they charge when they discover the BSOD
  • by Norsefire (1494323) * on Saturday April 25, 2009 @02:37AM (#27710631) Journal
    Microsoft charging more if they discover Ubuntu on a separate partition.
    • by rolfwind (528248)

      Microsoft doesn't make or warranty most (any?) computers out there unless you consider the Zune a computer (which you can).

      This is analogous to Ford discovering you put different computer chips in the control systems to eke out a few more HP. Now, it could have been an underlying problem with the hardware to begin with, but with software controlling the hardware it's hard to argue that Nintendo is 100% in the wrong.

      • by LordKronos (470910) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @08:01AM (#27711767) Homepage

        unless you consider the Zune a computer (which you can).

        Yeah, but if you've install Ubuntu on a separate partition on your Zune:
        1) Congrats
        2) Why?

      • by jgoemat (565882)
        So if someone installs and runs Linux on their Zune, and the screen goes bad in the warranty period, should they be able to charge 90% of the value of a new Zune to repair it?
      • by karnal (22275)

        If the computer chip you placed to control the engine causes it to run too lean and puts a hole in a piston, Ford should have every right to charge you for an engine. Their equipment wouldn't have done the same damage - or it would be harder to prove that you swapping equipment (especially an ECU) didn't cause that kind of failure.

    • by Xiph1980 (944189)
      Or Microsoft charging you for havinh OpenOffice.org installed on your windows.
  • Rightly So (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cfriedt (1189527) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @03:15AM (#27710767)

    I do understand German, and this receipt says that the internal software (i.e. firmware) was modified.

    Realistically, if someone voids their warranty by modifying the firmware on a device, regardless of whether it was done directly by the user or by the homebrew software, then they should expect to pay to have that repaired.

    Why? because it takes time. Usually companies have very specific procedures for quickly re-flashing using their existing boot firmware. However, if that boot firmware is modified (i.e. the device is 'bricked') then that procedure needs to be changed. In this case, the engineer would need to 'hack' their own device to get it up to usable standards again (i.e. 'unbricked').

    In the non-wii-world (i.e. reality), people that fix things also need to be paid adequately.

    This customer should be happy that their bricked wii was even serviceable and that they weren't forced to cough up an extra 40€ to buy a brand-new Wii for 250€.

    • Re:Rightly So (Score:5, Interesting)

      by KanjiMonster (1016616) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @04:14AM (#27710941)
      Actually, in Germany you still have warranty even when modifying the device, as long as the defect wasn't caused by the modification. The problem is proving that, and doing an expert testimonial costs easily more than the repair itself. But if it proves that the defect wasn't your fault, then Nintendo has to honor the warranty *and* pay for the testimonial.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Except in this case the defect IS "My Wii won't boot", and the defect was caused by "installation of hacked/custom software onto the firmware". Fairly simple, it'd seem.
      • by cfriedt (1189527)

        I'm an expert, and it's not very hard to see if somebody has modified the firmware. This is what I do for a living, and I do a pretty good job of it according to my clients.

    • by drsmithy (35869)

      Why? because it takes time. Usually companies have very specific procedures for quickly re-flashing using their existing boot firmware. However, if that boot firmware is modified (i.e. the device is 'bricked') then that procedure needs to be changed. In this case, the engineer would need to 'hack' their own device to get it up to usable standards again (i.e. 'unbricked').

      I find it very difficult to believe that Nintendo (along with every other manufacturer of such devices) doesn't have a very straightforw

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        BIOS hacks can survive a re-flash [slashdot.org]. Therefore, since they don't know the particulars of this BIOS hack they can't guarantee their standard re-flash procedure will work correctly, assuming their standard procedure is a less-expensive software procedure rather than a more-expensive hardware procedure (remove and replace or nuke the ROM).

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by fredklein (532096)

          Um, you do realize the story you linked to involves "a BIOS level malware attack capable of surviving even a hard-disk wipe". This is very different from it surviving a BIOS wipe.

        • by cfriedt (1189527)
          A BIOS is something that exists on a PC. The article you referenced has nothing to do with this article.
      • by cfriedt (1189527)

        They do, of course, have a procedure / appliance for re-flashing using some sort of boundary-scan method (e.g. JTAG, read: slow,inconvenient), but they also have another procedure for reflashing using some sort of bootloader-assisted method (e.g. ethernet, read:fast,convenient). Every second counts.

        In any case, the real issue is whether or not it is in Nintendo's best interest to enforce their statuatory warranty. The answer is yes.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Realistically, if someone voids their warranty by modifying the firmware on a device, regardless of whether it was done directly by the user or by the homebrew software, then they should expect to pay to have that repaired.

      Why? because it takes time.

      That's where you're pathetically mistaken. It takes no more or less time for Nintendo to reload your Wii if you have the HBC installed. Here is the complete procedure they would reasonably have to follow:

      1. If possible, copy from the internal memory anything which should be saved. These items are all located in specified locations, so it's easy to ignore anything that doesn't fit this description.
      2. Load a complete system image, completely overwriting main memory. This will eradicate HBC.
      3. Re-load to the interna
      • by cfriedt (1189527)

        That's where you're pathetically mistaken.

        I'm most definitely not mistaken.

        First - you are assuming that Nintendo would prefer to use a boundary-scan method such as JTAG to flash the entire ROM (i.e. bootloader, os, and main filesystem) as opposed to single parts of it (i.e. os, main filesystem) using a faster, more sophisticated method such as ethernet. If the bootloader is not damaged, then it's significantly faster to use ethernet (which requires bootloader software) to re-flash the filesystem image. If the bootloader is damaged, then JTAG is

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dark_requiem (806308)
      I've got a few things to cover here. First of all, we're not talking about a "firmware" mod here. HBC is installed as a Wii channel. For those who are unfamiliar with the Wii's architecture, a brief overview. The Wii uses a three-stage loading system. First, it boots from Boot1, which is hard coded in ROM, can never be modified (I think it's contained in the Starlett core, but with wiibrew.org apparently having been /.'d, I can't double-check now). Boot1 then verifies the signature on Boot2, which is
  • by abigsmurf (919188) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @03:34AM (#27710823)

    The warranty states that you cannot modify the system yourself either by opening up the console or installing custom firmware. By not following these conditions you're voiding agreed conditions. It's not illegal or immoral (gotta love the irony of accusing Nintendo of that in this case), you go against the contracted conditions, the contract is void.

    If firmware has been modified they may not be able to use the utilities they have to detect faults or may not be able restore it as easily. It could take extra time and require extra effort.

    It's hard enough giving support to customers when you know the software on their systems, let alone when they've got a modification which could be doing god knows what.

    • by Renraku (518261) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @03:47AM (#27710855) Homepage

      As someone posted somewhere above, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act covers this kind of thing.

      If you brick your system due to failed modification, you're damn right Nintendo can charge you a repair fee. The fee, however, cannot be anymore than they'd normally charge to repair a firmware-dead system.

      The MMWA was created because car companies once got together and decided that if you so much as stick a decal on your car that they didn't specifically approve, your warranty was 100% null and void. It does allow for exceptions, however, like if you shot some nitrous through your engine and blew it up. That's not their problem. Refusing to cover bad workmanship that destroyed your engine because you tinted your windows isn't allowed.

      • by abigsmurf (919188) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @04:52AM (#27711067)

        Except that's not true (even if the act did apply in Germany):

        One condition of a full warranty under that act:

        "may not exclude or limit consequential damages for a breach of any written or implied warranty on the product, unless the exclusion or limitation conspicuously appears on the face of the warranty"

        And in very prominent text on the standard Nintendo Hardware warranty (their caps, not mine):

        "THIS WARRANTY SHALL NOT APPLY IF THIS PRODUCT: (a) IS USED WITH PRODUCTS NOT SOLD OR LICENSED BY NINTENDO (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NON-LICENSED GAME ENHANCEMENT AND COPIER DEVICES, ADAPTERS, AND POWER SUPPLIES); (b) IS USED FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES (INCLUDING RENTAL); (c) IS MODIFIED OR TAMPERED WITH; (d) IS DAMAGED BY NEGLIGENCE, ACCIDENT, UNREASONABLE USE, OR BY OTHER CAUSES UNRELATED TO DEFECTIVE MATERIALS OR WORKMANSHIP; OR (e) HAS HAD THE SERIAL NUMBER ALTERED, DEFACED OR REMOVED."

        That condition stands out clearly on the warranty ( http://www.nintendo.com/consumer/manuals/warrantytext_eng.jsp [nintendo.com] ) which itself is fairly short and easy to understand.

        • Except that's not true (even if the act did apply in Germany):

          Don't forget the "as limited by applicable law" clause in the warranty (there will be one somewhere). Consumer protection laws such as those being discussed limit the extent to which companies can disclaim warranty.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by TheRaven64 (641858)
          Germany, like the rest of the EU, has a notion of a statutory warranty. For electronic goods, I believe this is one year from the date of purchase. The manufacturer may not offer a warranty with a period shorter than this. If the user has damaged the device, then the warranty will not cover it, but if they have made unrelated after-market additions then even if the explicit warranty does not apply, the statutory one will.
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          One condition of a full warranty under that act:

          It doesn't matter what conditions you can slip into the warranty under the act, because the act also expressly forbids refusing warranty protection if someone uses a compatible replacement part or consumable (e.g. motor oil.)

          Trying to make a car analogy here is even more futile than usual because we're talking about software service. If you reprogram your car and it doesn't run right you might well do actual damage to your engine. If you reprogram your Wii and it doesn't work right, they reflash it and no h

          • by Stickerboy (61554)

            >It doesn't matter what conditions you can slip into the warranty under the act, because the act also expressly forbids refusing warranty protection if someone uses a compatible replacement part or consumable (e.g. motor oil.)

            Exactly, and the home-brew channel is neither a replacement part or a needed "consumable" like motor oil or gasoline. It modifies the software of the Nintendo in the same way an aftermarket chip modifies an engine computer.

            Guess what? In either case, modding your car or modding yo

        • by russotto (537200)

          The provision you quote is invalid in the United States, even though explicity stated:

          15 USC 2302 (c) No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumer's using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade, or corporate name; except that the prohibition of this subsection may be waived by the Commission if--

          I'm p

      • by Briareos (21163) *

        As someone posted somewhere above, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act covers this kind of thing.

        If you brick your system due to failed modification, you're damn right Nintendo can charge you a repair fee. The fee, however, cannot be anymore than they'd normally charge to repair a firmware-dead system.

        So a US federal law relates to a warranty case in Germany exactly how?

        np: DOOM - More Rhymin' ft. Kurious (Born Like This)

    • The warranty can say I have to give them a herd of unicorns if I fart while playing the machine, but that doesn't mean it's legal or binding.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by tacarat (696339)
      I always thought part of the fun with these kinds of modifications was that you COULD brick it. Nerd danger, yah? While the validity of the letter is in doubt, I would say that if you really want to have Nintendo fix your warranty breaking experiments, you should ask for what their repair costs are before you start, not after. At least then you'd know to save for a 2nd Wii or whatever first.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Wait a minute. You mean changing the motherboard and hard drive on my Dell system voided the warranty??? In what twisted world does that make sense? I'm guessing the water cooling system and overclocking is going to annoy them as well? They really need to post these conditions in bigger print on the box so people that don't read user agreements will know what voids warranties.

    • by cfriedt (1189527)

      Agreed!!

      A note to all of those kids at home:

      If you can't fix it yourself, then be prepared to pay for a repair service when you void the warranty on something :)

  • by rts008 (812749) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @03:42AM (#27710841) Journal

    Bricked your Wii?

    I would not take bricks to my Wii. It's too painful to even contemplate!

    Take bricks to your own Wii...out of my sight!

  • by Anita Coney (648748) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @06:53AM (#27711397) Homepage

    Anyone has the right to charge whatever price they want for any product or service they are selling. If you don't like it, don't pay it. It's as simple as that.

    Yeah, I know you'll mod me down for this, it seems to happen every time I point out an utterly obvious truth.

    • Anyone has the right to charge whatever price they want for any product or service they are selling. If you don't like it, don't pay it. It's as simple as that.

      Yeah, I know you'll mod me down for this, it seems to happen every time I point out an utterly obvious truth.

      Welcome to /., where the concepts of economics are as rarely understood, or proper;y applied, as a date.

    • I know I'll get modded down for this, but saying "Yeah, I know you'll mod me down for this," pretty much guarantees you'll get modded up.

  • This kind of sucks and all, but how the hell do you even brick your Wii installing Homebrew? Are there any actual cases of this happening or do most of the mod makers say it is possible and all that just to CYA? I mean seriously, I've done this a few times and I have to say...it's pretty well idiot proof unless I guess...your Wii gets powered off in the middle of something?

    Doing it on my XBOX back when was a little scarier but the Wii mods seem like child's play to be quite honest.

    I guess I'm just w
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dark_requiem (806308)
      Bricking a Wii with homebrew is easy. Very easy. Bricking a Wii with the Homebrew Channel, alone and unaided is, so far as I have seen, impossible. HBC doesn't brick Wiis, but it allows you to run code that potentially could. There's homebrew code designed to change your Wii's region, there's code designed to allow you to download and install specific updates and packages from Nintendo's servers, and the checking is on the user. You decide to patch your NTSC Wii with PAL updates, you could brick it. S
  • Since Nintendo cannot reasonably be expected to evaluate whether a mod is a source of problems, a repair will necessarily involve restoring the system to its stock status. It is not unreasonable for there to be an extra charge for this extra work.

The major difference between bonds and bond traders is that the bonds will eventually mature.

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