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Wii Nintendo Games

New Wii Menu Update Targets Homebrew Again 258

Posted by Soulskill
from the glad-to-know-you're-still-watching dept.
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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New Wii Menu Update Targets Homebrew Again

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  • As a Wii Owner (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Beowulf_Boy (239340) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @05:31AM (#32663124)

    I am disaapointed that Nintendo is doing this.

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

  • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @05:49AM (#32663192)
    Excellent Simpsons reference.
  • by daid303 (843777) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @06:16AM (#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]

  • Dear Nintendo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MadJo (674225) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @06:17AM (#32663288) Homepage Journal

    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:As a Wii Owner (Score:5, Insightful)

    by daid303 (843777) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @06:22AM (#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.

  • by SetupWeasel (54062) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @06:35AM (#32663332) Homepage

    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:easy solution (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dylan_- (1661) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @06:56AM (#32663406) Homepage

    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:Dear Nintendo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @06:57AM (#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."
  • by mykos (1627575) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @07:02AM (#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:easy solution (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Teckla (630646) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @07:06AM (#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!

  • by courtarro (786894) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @07:20AM (#32663520) Homepage

    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.

  • by Rich Klein (699591) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:13AM (#32663896) Homepage Journal

    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)?

  • Re:As a Wii Owner (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Shark (78448) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:21AM (#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:easy solution (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mister Whirly (964219) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:51AM (#32664348) Homepage

    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:As a Wii Owner (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Phisbut (761268) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:56AM (#32664416)

    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.

    And I believe you vastly underestimate the number of people who would go out and buy game cartridges if they couldn't pirate, especially if piracy is so very inconvenient.

  • You suffer from the fallacy that 80% of the eopel know the logical and safe speed for a road, as well as how the road was designed.

    There is a road near my house with a blind corner. at least 80%* of the people come around that corner over the speed limit. I know this is hardly the only place like this.

    You want to talk about flat open roads? then you might have a point.

    This is just like the 'everyone is an expert' fallacy. Just because you drive doesn't mean you know shit about proper speeds, safety, road engineering, or what's around a blind corner.

    Grow the fuck up.

    *based on 4 three day surveys.

  • Re:As a Wii Owner (Score:2, Insightful)

    by FeepingCreature (1132265) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @10:21AM (#32665440)
    And I believe you underestimate the convenience bonus of having all your games on a single cartridge. :)
  • Re:As a Wii Owner (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Volante3192 (953645) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @10:44AM (#32665750)

    ...or when it is the only device you have.

    I want my toaster to make coffee as well, and I don't want to get another piece of kit because I already have a toaster and it should do everything I want it to.

    Or you can accept the fact that sometimes hardware has limitations and you need to get another piece of kit.

  • Re:As a Wii Owner (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @10:49AM (#32665830)

    You are trying to argue that because of hardware sales Nintendo shouldn't try to guarantee game producers (remember Nintendo is one too) a profit. If producer's don't make a profit, they would be less inclined to produce for the system and that would equal less licensing.

    There also seems to be another aspect you forgot (like many here). Nintendo only has its game production. They don't have software or hardware sales that the other competing companies have that can balance out loss they suffer from selling their systems at a loss.

  • by Volante3192 (953645) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @11:03AM (#32666048)

    Homebrew's practically ignored as it is. Since the Wii came out there have been EIGHT Menu updates.

    Eight.

    Let's think about this: 3 years, 8 updates.

    With an always on connection, you'd think (if Nintendo was venemently anti-homebrew) they'd push patches out every time there was a new crack. They clearly have not. It almost seems more like token breaking: "Oh, well, we broke it now. See? We're doing our part, other publishers. We'll come back in another 5 months and break it again in an utterly trivial matter like last time."

  • Re:As a Wii Owner (Score:3, Insightful)

    by djdavetrouble (442175) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @01:23PM (#32668092) Homepage

    There also seems to be another aspect you forgot (like many here). Nintendo only has its game production. They don't have software or hardware sales that the other competing companies have that can balance out loss they suffer from selling their systems at a loss.

    For those that are not involved in the "homebrew" scene, it is fairly easy to load a hard drive up with hundreds of dvd images and run games from homebrew usb loader.
    Even for the nintendo DS, there are flash ram carts that you can put boatloads of rom images on.
    Nintendo is getting soaked. Microsoft has found a way around this by BANNING anyone from live that has mods.
    On nintendo platforms, there is no penalty. you can pirate and the main downside is you can't perform system updates as they are released (bugfixes at this point, there aren't many new features)

  • Re:easy solution (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bushing (20804) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @03:31PM (#32670254) Homepage

    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).

    They really haven't. Let's consider the timeline of updates to the Wii software since the first exploit was demonstrated. Note that there's no technical need to update the System Menu, any version of IOS (the invisible "firmware" that implements all of the interesting security features of the system), or any channel at the same time. IOS fixes can never add functionality by themselves, they can only work around some bugs in disc-based games. Any update that claims "behind the scenes updates" or "system improvements" refers to IOS updates, most of which are to patch exploits and very few of which actually impact performance, despite their claims.

    • v3.3 June 17, 2008 -- No features, added code to the System Menu to block the Twilight Hack [hackmii.com].
    • v3.4 November 17, 2008 -- Fixed anti-Twilight Hack code. Updated Parental Controls, and added USB keyboard to the Mii Channel (?). Strange attempt to block the default slot number used by a code example [hackmii.com] I released.
    • v4.0 March 25, 2009 -- Considerable update to the System Menu to add support for running channels that are stored on SD card.
    • v4.1 July 2009 -- Fixes an obscure System Menu bug. Added code to better block copy-protected saves.
    • v4.2 September 28, 2009 -- First attempt at blocking Bannerbomb [wiibrew.org].Also added code to delete the Homebrew Channel and DVDX. Added code to check to see if a console had its region altered, in some cases forcing a brick (!). Improved region-checking code for games. Forced a bootloader update (boot2v4) that didn't actually fix any bugs or exploits -- it just overwrote your bootloader "just in case" you had modified it, and caused a fair bit of collateral damage [hackmii.com] which Nintendo tried to blame on "hacking", even on virgin consoles. (There's a reason they tell you not to reflash your BIOS if you don't really need to...)
    • v4.2 June 21, 2010 -- Second attempt at blocking Bannerbomb. Deletes (again!) the Homebrew Channel and BootMii(/IOS), and patches IOS exploits used to install them.

    The only update Nintendo has done in the past 2 and a half years that has actually benefitted users was v4.0, which added the SD support (as crude as it was). All the others have just been ways to fix various exploits. They fail at using the carrot; their stick is the fact that the Shopping channel will break unless you update, and many games will force you to update before you can play them.

  • Re:easy solution (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @04:29PM (#32671116)

    The story is that most of the precontact "Indian" societies didn't have a strong sense of personal ownership. You took something as you needed it and were supposed to give it back/pass it along/trade for other things as others needed it. So the "Indian Giving" term came from the idea that "Indians" would expect things back after they had "traded" them.

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"

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