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Nintendo Wii Hack Opens Door To Homebrew Games

Discussion in 'Nintendo Wii Hardware' started by laderer5, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. laderer5

    laderer5 Wii > Xbox360 +PS3

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    Nintendo Wii Hack Opens Door To Homebrew Games

    Security researchers have hacked into a Nintendo Wii game console to run their own code in a move that makes it far easier to develop homebrew games for the popular gaming device.

    Up to now developers have only been able to write homebrew games for the Gamecude, not the Wii. That meant these homebrew games could be run on a Wii console (because of backward compatibility) but failed to provide Wii hardware support (so no use of the motion-sensitive Wii remote control) and only limited access to system resources.



    During a presentation at the 24th Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin last week, hackers Michael Steil and Felix Domke demonstrated their own code running on the console and making use of its system resources. The duo were able to pull off the hack after they extracted the keys for signing Wii code, a feat that would not have been possible if Nintendo had used an encrypted drive.

    The brief demo took place at the end of a longer presentation on Deconstructing Xbox 360 Security during the annual hacker conference. Most of the presentation talked about the security architecture of the XBox 360 and the possibility of running Linux on the device but it was the Wii hack that really caught the attention.

    The hack advances the possibility of running homebrew code with access to full system resources on the device, not just programs that Nintendo has sanctioned. Such games might be developed to run from a DVD drive, at least in theory. No such games are available as yet and Nintendo may respond by attempting to revoke compromised encryption keys. However history shows such countermeasures are likely to ultimately prove futile. ®

    [MEDIA]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5YB1Mmx7E4&eurl=http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/12/31/nintendo_wii_hack/[/MEDIA]

    Source:
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/12/31/nintendo_wii_hack/
     
  2. ciper

    ciper

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    You did beat me to it. Good Game :)
    Edit: I wanted to give further clarification to the other forum members.

    According to my understanding of the Wii's internals and the explanation given in this video it should be possible to run "any" code on an unmodified Wii with no modchip installed. In other words a full soft mod giving you more functionality than a mod chip. We should eventually see boot loader discs similar to the "Crazy Taxi" discs that were so popular for PS2. It will also become possible to store multiple Wii/Gamecube games on a single disc.

    This soft mod is only a tool. How others choose to use it is up to them. In a perfect world it would lead to everyone buying a Wii to download and play games that community members have made. In the real world it may lead to more piracy.

    As laderer5 said Nintendo can try to stop this but it will ultimately be pointless. Any revoked keys could easily be replaced with little effort. They cannot block the "mod" with future hardware revisions because they have to retain backwards compatibility with current systems. If you can build a small electronics kit and have an above average ability to write code you should be able to recreate the key extraction.

    To make a long story short this is essentially the Wii equivalent to DeCSS :):)
     
    #2 ciper, Jan 1, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2008
  3. Link_of_Hyrule

    Link_of_Hyrule Unofficial WiiChat Helper

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    Sounds great to me I'm hoping very soon for a Linux and DVD Channel that you can just pop onto an sd card and copy over to your Wii!
     
  4. laderer5

    laderer5 Wii > Xbox360 +PS3

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    Remember not to do that this moment cause they could possibly block your wii when nintendo makes an update.us
     
  5. CstylesX

    CstylesX Cstyles

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    Hey I'm not exactly sure what Homebrew does. Everyone seems to be so excited over this new Wii development, I was just wondering if someone could tell me what the benefits of Homebrew is?
     
  6. Link_of_Hyrule

    Link_of_Hyrule Unofficial WiiChat Helper

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    actually thats not true because you dont actually modify your wii with a mod chip and its using legit encryption keys its unlikely nintendo could detect it let alone an update would block your wii from what i can tell because all wii games use these keys it would be very hard for them to change with an update because it would cause your games not to work plus its not hurting nintendo they aren't losing money from it and its perfectly legal to make and distribute homebrew as long as its all your own code and you don't sell it
     
  7. laderer5

    laderer5 Wii > Xbox360 +PS3

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    Pretty much you can do this:
    1)Download Homebrew Program
    2)Download any games you want that are hosted (including Gamecube games and wii games)
    3) Save them to wii or sd card
    4) Play them all without anything.
     
  8. Link_of_Hyrule

    Link_of_Hyrule Unofficial WiiChat Helper

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    theres no possible way that you can put a ngc or wii game on a sd card but I would be real sad if it did happen that they got a hack to play pirated games I know you can already do it with a modchip but if you could do it with out one it would be pretty bad for Nintendo I'm sure there are safe guards in place to prevent that but pirates will get past anything eventually
     
  9. ciper

    ciper

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    Nintendo was short sighted by only having 512mb internal memory. Combine that with them preventing virtual console games from running on the SD card and it basically forces us to turn to home brew solutions. Ill be one of the first to download the application that lets me save and run virtual console games from the sd card.

    Many gamecube games are less than 1gb and I currently use a 2gb card in my Wii. What stops someone from writing a loader to boot the game from the SD card?

    You can already copy and boot games from the PS2 hard drive and the PSP's storage so why would this be so impossible in the Wii?

    BTW http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Run-on_sentence

    Homebrew is a fancy name meaning "write our own software" to run on the Wii. A good example of homebrew would be someone writing a NES emulator to run on the Wii. Right now you can download a disc that has a Nintendo emulator with games that runs in gamecube mode but you need a modchip to run it. Here are two examples - an N64 emulator that can run on the Wii in Gamecube mode http://www.tehskeen.com/forums/showthread.php?p=23749 and a copy of Wolfenstien that was ported http://www.tehskeen.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=5960
     
    #9 ciper, Jan 2, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2008
  10. d_k

    d_k Blahhh

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    DANG
    i thought that there was a hack
    that made a wii open a door
    i guess ill have to keep hoping
     
  11. ciper

    ciper

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    I'm not trying to direct people to other forums but if you want to read more in depth information on the subject there is an interview with the person from the youtube video here http://www.tehskeen.com/forums/showthread.php?p=23646&posted=1#post23646
    A quote " The immediate next goal is getting something like SDLoad working so that I can stop killing plastic trees -- after that, it'd be neat to have, say, a Linux Channel. :)"

    Realize they only got this working thirty minutes before the presentation! That is why the demo was so rough and also why more of the information hasnt been released yet
     
    #11 ciper, Jan 2, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2008

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