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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 @06:31AM (#32663124)

    I am disaapointed that Nintendo is doing this.

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

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

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

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Hal_Porter (817932)

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

        • Re:As a Wii Owner (Score:5, Informative)

          by ajw_h (732374) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @07:31AM (#32663318)
          But the Wii has almost never been sold at a loss.
        • by Jurily (900488)

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

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

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

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

          Nintendo is a

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

          by wisdom_brewing (557753) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @09:16AM (#32663940) Homepage

          Games consoles are sold at a loss...

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

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

        • by icsx (1107185)
          Others sell their consoles at loss currently but Nintendo has been selling Wii's with profit from the start of it's release.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by theeddie55 (982783)

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

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

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by duguk (589689)

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

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

          That's an even less-informed comparison. Sony PS3 was sold as OtherOS as a feature. Homebrew Channel is certainly not!

          This is more like Sony upgrading the firmware on the PSP and making it so you needed a 'magic battery' to downgrade again (for whatever reason you might have)... Oh wait, no, they actually DID do that.

      • by loufoque (1400831)

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

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

        • It is not, when you are using a standard tv or when it is the only device you have. Besides, is not that you download hdtv movies all the time anyway.

          • by loufoque (1400831)

            No need to download 720p+ movies to see the difference between analog and digital output.

            • Well that's just plain false. If you are comparing a specific analogue signal to a specific digital one then sure, it's valid, but to say there is an inherent difference (presumably in quality) between analogue and digital is false. Comparing the Wii's component output to the PS3's or 360's HDMI would certainly put the PS3 or 360 ahead, but in general it is possible to get just as good a signal from analogue as digital if you are using the right standard - VGA for example. VGA is capable of the same depth o

    • by databyss (586137)

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

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

      • Re:As a Wii Owner (Score:5, Informative)

        by bzzzt (313005) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:29AM (#32663618)

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

        • But both those options cost money. Homebrew would be free, therefore the better solution as long as it's not leading to active piracy. Why spend when you don't have to?
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Mister Whirly (964219)
            I just sent in my Wii for repair that is 3 years old that I bought used from someone else - Nintendo paid shipping both ways and did not charge me a penny.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Moryath (553296)

              Funny. Nintendo charged me an arm and a leg to repair a Wii that was dying with a KNOWN engineering flaw (their fucking faulty heatsink that caused the video hardware to develop flicker pixels everywhere) when it was just 1 year, 3 months old.

              And then I had to get 4 people deep into their support line a year later, when their "system update" caused the thing to not properly find my local wireless network. Turns out something they had "upgraded" in their code had broken compatibility with my router's configu

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

      by daid303 (843777) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @07:22AM (#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 marsu_k (701360)

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

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

        • by daid303 (843777)

          Because they didn't fix the issue, they tried to work around it. Replacing IOS with stubs is of little use if you still have the exploits in place to install on top of those.

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

        by canajin56 (660655) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:50AM (#32663732)
        No, the first step to installing the pirate stuff isn't the homebrew channel. The first step is buying a Wii. Nintendo should eliminate that step first. This is just insane. Only a few years ago it was utterly unimaginable that hardware makers would try their best to lock users out of their own systems. When Nintendo tried with the NES they were bitchslapped so hard in court. Now it's got the weight of law behind it, it's a high crime to run software on your own hardware, and perfectly acceptable to push updates with the sole purpose of bricking consoles that have "unauthorized" content. Fuck you, Nintendo. It's not unauthorized. I authorized it. Where's the part where I can choose not to authorize Nintendo to violently update my system? That's right, they are mandatory, aren't they. You can decline to install, sure (though the EULA actually says you cannot, that Nintendo can install updates without permission), if you don't mind never playing any new games ever again.
        • by ookaze (227977)

          No, the first step to installing the pirate stuff isn't the homebrew channel. The first step is buying a Wii. Nintendo should eliminate that step first. This is just insane.

          You're insane indeed. So the solution to piracy is to never sell anything that could be pirated? It's so stupid it's not even funny, if you wanted to be funny.

          Only a few years ago it was utterly unimaginable that hardware makers would try their best to lock users out of their own systems.

          Except Nintendo isn't trying to lock users out of their systems, they're trying to lock pirates out. Nintendo is not stupid enough to let pirates have an easy way. People that choose that way have accepted to do it the hard way anyway.
          People that like homebrew won't be really impaired, and the true pirates won't be impaired either. The ones that will

      • Not only that. Thing is, there are people actually DEVELOPING GAMES for the wii! Can you imagine that?

        Ever tried to get the wii sdk? The official one? They won't let you. And if they do, it will cost you a buck and you gotta be a "already known and well-established game developer".

        With this attitude, the only people they attract is the big fish. Wonder why the xbox indie and the iphone are doing so well?

  • by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @06:34AM (#32663132) Homepage

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

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

  • The Wii is dead. Long live the Nintendo Wii!!
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by d0a0b (447907)

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

      some scenery [teknoconsolas.es]

      • by daid303 (843777)

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

        • by Flipao (903929)
          It's a good thing he publishes the source code then. But yeah, using that type of software will void your warranty and (insert FUD statement here).
          • by Canazza (1428553) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @07:41AM (#32663360)

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

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

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

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

  • easy solution (Score:3, Informative)

    by Verunks (1000826) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @06:49AM (#32663194)
    just don't update, I'm still using 3.3 or 3.4(can't remember) and I can play all offline and online(yeah all two of them) games without any problem.
    here on slashdot many people criticized sony for removing otheros, but nintendo is trying to do the same with every update and they aren't giving anything valuable in return, at least sony usually adds new functionality with each ps3 update, I can't speak for microsoft since I don't have a 360, but I think they are adding new features like sony
    • Re:easy solution (Score:5, Informative)

      by DarkOx (621550) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @07:01AM (#32663224) Journal

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

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

    • by duguk (589689)

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

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

      • by toriver (11308)

        Well, PS3s prior to the Slim, i.e. only the first couple of SKUs. Since the PS3 mostly took off after the launch of the Slim, it could be said the PS3 was also NOT sold with that as a feature. Also, the ability was NOT in the PS3 at the start but was added as a firmware update even though there was a stated intent from the very beginning due to the success of the PS2 Linux support.

    • Re:easy solution (Score:5, Informative)

      by Eraesr (1629799) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @07:04AM (#32663244) Homepage
      You're kidding right? You're wrong on so many points. First of all, if you don't update you lose access to the Shopping Channel. I also wouldn't be surprised if future first party titles carried the update as well. Also, Nintendo isn't removing any features at all. At least, not features they put in there themselves in the first place. Sony's Other OS functionality was functionality they put in there themselves, something that could arguably have been used to promote the system. It may have been a reason for people to buy the system. With these updates, Nintendo isn't removing any features they put in there themselves or which were used to promote the system. They are completely different things.

      As for adding new functionality, Nintendo has been adding new functionality to the Wii from time to time as well (dare I say more than Sony has done with PS3). This update is the first anti-piracy-only Wii update that doesn't add new functionality (or fix other problems).
      • yea, you lose the shopping channel.... until you run the "add the shopping channel hack" lol Seriously, the WII is the most hackable console in history. You can have the ENTIRE WII library on a single, relatively small external hard drive and run all the games off it.
        • by duguk (589689)

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

          Not quite, average Wii game is around 2GB (after scrubbing), and Wikipedia says there's at least 1145 games; I make that about, possibly more than 2TB. That's not a small external HDD. That's a fairly big external hard drive. Still, you're right; having the games on HDD, the homebrew channel, and the options on the Wii is much more open than most other consoles of the same generation. (Yes, you're right; but I love pedanticism)

      • by DeadCatX2 (950953)

        1) You don't lose access to the shopping channel. You can still download and install all the updates *except* the System Menu.

        2) Future first party titles? Homebrew game launching apps will check for a missing IOS and install it for you, without the System Menu update.

        3) New functionality? Please explain to me what "new functionality" Nintendo has added to the Wii. The SD Card shortcut menu? Rearranging the order of channels on the System Menu? Updates to the Shop Channel?

        None of that is compelling, e

      • by geekoid (135745)

        Ah, so you want to break the agreement AND have all the advantages of keeping to your agreement.

        Boo -fing - hoo.

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

        by bushing (20804) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @04:31PM (#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: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

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

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

        by Teckla (630646) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:06AM (#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 Minwee (522556)

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

          Don't worry, with the new XBox 360 Slim Microsoft has made some simple hardware improvements to make sure that the RROD will never happen again.

          And if removing the red LED doesn't help improve reliability, I don't know what will.

          • by SQLGuru (980662)

            We've seen that before. Unrecoverable Application Error vs General Protection Fault. You'll never get a UAE again if we change the name to GPF.

            You'll never get a red ring of death if we change it to the evil eye of Xbox.

      • by grumbel (592662)

        Microsoft is actually the least oppressive console maker this generation.

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

    • Not really (Score:3, Interesting)

      by LordVader717 (888547)

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

  • by Robotron23 (832528) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @07:02AM (#32663238) Homepage

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

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

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

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

    • by daid303 (843777) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @07:16AM (#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]

  • by ifrag (984323) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @07:12AM (#32663270)

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

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

  • Dear Nintendo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MadJo (674225) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @07:17AM (#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?

    • by couchslug (175151)

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

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

      Short version: "Tough shit."

    • by Exitar (809068)

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

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

      It’s the reason for all the “it’s so simple to use” advertisements. It’s the reason for Clippy. It’s the reason Windows is so cumbersome to use. It’s the reason Gnome and OS X limit the functionality and freedom. It’s half the r

    • by elrous0 (869638) *

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

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

    • by DeadCatX2 (950953) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @10:05AM (#32664528) Journal

      When you bought your Wii, you were actually buying a license to use Nintendo's hardware. You agreed to this license when you first powered the device on.

      From the EULA [nintendo.com]

      Chapter II: Unauthorized Software, Services, or Devices or Unlicensed Accessories

                  Your Wii Console and the Wii Network Service are not designed for use with unauthorized software, services, or devices or non-licensed accessories, and you may not use any of these with your Wii Console or the Wii Network Service. Such use may be illegal, voids any warranty, and is a breach of this agreement. Such use may also lead to injury to you or others or cause performance issues or damage to your Wii Console or the Wii Network Service. We (and our licensees and distributors) are not responsible for damage or loss caused by unauthorized software, services or devices or non-licensed accessories. We may take steps to disable or delete any unauthorized software, services or device installed in your Wii Console, for example, by detecting and disabling them through the Wii Network Service and/or game software. If we detect unauthorized software, services, or devices, your access to the Wii Network Service may be disabled and/or the Wii Console or games may be unplayable.

      Chapter III: Updates/Changes

                  You understand that the Wii Console specifications and the Wii Network Service are constantly evolving and that we may update or change your Wii Console or the Wii Network Service in whole or in part, without notice to you. Such updates may be required for you to play new Wii games or continue to access the Wii Network Service. We may also upgrade, change, or terminate the Content or game software or may discontinue offering Products without notice to you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @07:18AM (#32663292)

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

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

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

  • by SetupWeasel (54062) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @07:35AM (#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.

    • by courtarro (786894) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:20AM (#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 Hadlock (143607)

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

  • by mykos (1627575) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:02AM (#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)
    • by kellyb9 (954229)

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

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

  • Just get a Wode (Score:5, Informative)

    by The_Marone (610210) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:52AM (#32663756)
    If you're that worried about losing the ability to load games from an external hard drive, just buy a Wode. It fully emulates the Wii's optical drive and is oblivious to any updates Nintendo does to the console. That's what I use and it's amazing, it even rips your discs to the hard drive for you. My kids haven't had to touch a game DVD in months. WODE [wodejukebox.com]
  • by Rich Klein (699591) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @09:13AM (#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)?

  • The Eternal Battle (Score:4, Informative)

    by scurker (1381139) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @09:59AM (#32664456)

    It's amusing to me the back and forth between Nintendo and homebrew, and homebrew just about always tends to come ahead in the end. Every time an exploit is patched, a work around is usually available in the next few days.

    The sad part of the story is that Homebrew was never about piracy, but about giving the ability for people to play around with the Wii architecture. In the beginning some of the Homebrew developers even offered to help patch/expose certain exploits [hackmii.com] only to be completely snubbed by Nintendo. Now the developers don't even really care about disabling piracy given Nintendo's smug attitude.

    • by marcansoft (727665) <hector@@@marcansoft...com> on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @10:37AM (#32664856) Homepage

      Smug and clueless. Consider the following timeline: On October 23rd, 2008, they released their first "real" update (attempting to block exploits). Shortly after that, homebrew was available again, of course. However, softmod piracy was blocked because at the time homebrew did not provide full system control (i.e. BootMii), and we did not publicly disclose the exploit that we used to install the Homebrew Channel. Then someone released a separate exploit for other reasons (to install DVDX which we had neglected to make available at the time), and the pirates latched on to it as their "gateway" into the system.

      Then they went through two updates and 7 months, trying to patch the holes that we used to install homebrew, never once attempting to patch the hole that was the root of all softmod piracy on the Wii at that stage. Then we released BootMii on May 13th, 2009 which gives the user full control (for WiiLinux, NAND backup and restore functionality, etc.) and therefore can be used to launch softmod tools. Nonetheless, I'd say the vast majority of pirates kept using the old hole. Nintendo kept trying to block our homebrew exploits and ignored that one silly hole that the pirates so love.

      Now they've finally fixed the hole so loved by Wii pirates. After 20 months.

      Of course, then there's the way that they're currently deleting The Homebrew Channel: by hardcoding our channel ID. They did that last time. We changed our ID to JODI, a reference to Jodi Daugherty, "Nintendo of America's senior director of anti-piracy" who ignored, then cyberstalked and harassed bushing when he tried to report a sensitive bug. Now the Wii System Menu contains code to delete "JODI". We'll just switch to another ID.

  • I've often wondered how well the Wii would would if it was never connected to the internet. My Wii seems to download updates quite often and while it can be annoying I don't care since I don't have anything the least bit controversial on it.

    However, one of the target markets for the Wii is older people who wouldn't necessarily be "gamers". It isn't hard to imagine a situation where some older people might buy one either for themselves or for entertaining younger people in their homes, and those people d

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