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Nintendo Businesses Hardware Hacking Software Wii Entertainment Games

Nintendo Blocks Homebrew Installation 251

ElementC writes "Sometime yesterday Nintendo uploaded the latest Wii system update. This update quietly patches a few bugs that allowed the installation of both homebrew and warez apps. Currently installed apps such as the Homebrew Channel and the video DVD library, DVDX, are reportedly not affected. Those not installing this update are blocked out of the Wii Shop channel and in the future may be blocked out of certain games. Team Twiizers cracked the last update within about eight hours. They're already on the case. Readers familiar with the architecture of the Wii will find the list of currently discovered changes interesting."
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Nintendo Blocks Homebrew Installation

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  • by Goose42 ( 88624 ) on Friday October 24, 2008 @12:15PM (#25499095) Homepage

    It renamed Wii Points to Nintendo Points, and added clearer warnings about what controllers you have to own in order to play a game before you purchase the game.

  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <> on Friday October 24, 2008 @12:20PM (#25499193) Homepage Journal

    8 hours is significant because I believe for that update, Nintendo had something like a three or four month development, testing, release schedule.

    It was actually a half year cycle. Nintendo released IOS37, and it got a few months of production testing. Then Nintendo released IOS30 and IOS31 with the signing bug fix backported from IOS37, and it also got a few months of production testing. Now we're seeing the signing bug fix in every IOS major version.

  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Friday October 24, 2008 @12:24PM (#25499265) Homepage

    Did the update actually do anything to the Wii Shop Channel (other than making it inaccessible without the update)? Or was that simply a ruse to get everybody to apply an update that is really designed for a totally different purpose?

    Many systems that work with an online service have a policy that you must have the latest version and if you don't it'll be upgraded first, even those where there's no such ulterior motive to be found. I think it's mostly a case of ease of testing and support, rather than test a huge range of versions all they need to know is that build 23425 of the client works with build 5435 of the server. If someone calls support and have a problem with the service, everything is where you'd expect things to be in the latest version. Of course to them it's not a downside that things like homebrew are blocked either, but I don't think it's the main reason.

  • Re:Account blocking? (Score:5, Informative)

    by tepples ( 727027 ) <> on Friday October 24, 2008 @12:27PM (#25499307) Homepage Journal

    DVD Player. Wow, I can avoid spending $30 on a dedicated DVD player, AND get more wear and tear on the DVD drive motor.

    I think the draw of playing DVD-Video and DivX video on the Wii was supposed to be the fact that a DVD player takes shelf space (especially in Japan and other locales with overpriced real estate), and you need an extra set of five cables going into your switch box.

  • Re:Blocking owners? (Score:4, Informative)

    by krakelohm ( 830589 ) on Friday October 24, 2008 @12:50PM (#25499609)
    I believe games that require an update will come with the update on the game DVD as well. Mario Galaxy was this way.
  • by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <joham999@ g m a> on Friday October 24, 2008 @12:59PM (#25499771)

    Every TV since the rise of consoles, pretty much, has been capable of running NTSC signals, or even PAL signals using a 60Hz refresh rate.

    You'd be hard pressed to find a TV that had ports on it for attaching a console that couldn't flip between different systems at will based on the input signal.

    The distribution rights tend to be the thing that really slows down the release of games, videos and music in a region - it's almost never a technical problem any more.

  • Uhm.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Friday October 24, 2008 @01:14PM (#25500037)

    That's essentially what happens.

    The PSP hackers (Dark Alex in particular) pretty much know every trick Sony has in their arsenal. The only unknown is which particular bit Sony is going to try in each time (what the particular decompression keys will be for example). Making a new PSP custom firmware for these guys is really pretty straightforward; they unpack the firmware, doublecheck their CFW code against the new code, doublecheck any newly-appearing functions, and release the patched version that pretty much patches the same bullcrap stuff that's just been in each official firmware release since 2.00.

    It's the companies that are reacting - they "patch" for the repairs the "hackers" have made to restore proper function to their Defective-By-Design products. With this latest bit, I fully expect we're going to start to see PSP-style custom firmware installations for the Wii that begin to open the platform up more fully and allow it greater flexibility to be used to its fullest capability.

  • by Theoboley ( 1226542 ) <theoboley&hotmail,com> on Friday October 24, 2008 @01:20PM (#25500135) Homepage
    That was me. I did it.
  • Re:Remember when... (Score:3, Informative)

    by marcansoft ( 727665 ) <{moc.tfosnacram} {ta} {rotceh}> on Friday October 24, 2008 @01:41PM (#25500429) Homepage

    They patched *bugs*. Which we happened to use to run homebrew.

    There has never been a way of running homebrew except via bugs.

  • by Carnildo ( 712617 ) on Friday October 24, 2008 @03:24PM (#25501815) Homepage Journal

    Is format shifting a form of piracy? I bought a whole ton of nintendo and super nintendo games and I still own them. If I could rip the roms from them what is wrong with using the homebrew to play those roms via an emulator?

    To the best of my knowlege, there is nothing wrong, legally or morally, with format-shifting games you already own. In order to be strictly legal, you need to do the ROM-dumping yourself rather than downloading ROM images someone else has already dumped. Running an emulator is totally legal -- this was tested in court back in the early 90s when the first console emulators came out.

  • by aywwts4 ( 610966 ) on Friday October 24, 2008 @10:20PM (#25506219)

    Twelve hours after this story was posted "from the see-how-long-that-lasts dept"..... []

    Wii Shop and IOS51 installer
    From WiiBrew
    Jump to: navigation, search

    Wii Shop and IOS51 installer is a very quick modification of PatchMii modified by Muzer that does one thing: It installs the new IOS51 and Wii Shop Channel, without installing the patches to all the other IOSes. This means that as long as you didn't update, you can now install this to use the Wii Shop Channel but keep all the benefits of not having the update.

    Anybody at all could have made this, just everyone is too busy at the moment, so I figured I would make it. It's literally modifying 4 lines of code and commenting out a bunch of stuff. Because of this I didn't bother to include the source in the package, but if anyone wants me to, I'll happily include it.

    This does not have the same effects as updating, so you get the best of both worlds.

    You can do this on any system menu version and it will work fine, keeping the system menu version you have.

    I made the program as two separate dol files, because it's easier and quicker for me that way, if this lasts a while I'll make a version that combines the two files.

    NOTE: TAKE OUT ANY GAMECUBE MEMORY CARDS/CONTROLLERS AND USB DEVICES BEFORE INSTALLING ANYTHING. The first time one person installed the IOS51, and Shop Channel. One person had a Gamecube memory card, and a wireless adapter in the Wii, and it didn't install correctly. But after taking out all Gamecube items, re-installed everything and it worked fine. Axelpaxel was the one that found that USB devices did it too.

    Instructions: Simply load one file, then the other. It does not matter in which order you load them. Use any method.

    Releases by Muzer
    Wii Shop and IOS51 installer v1: version 1
    Wii Shop and IOS51 installer v2: version 2 (This version includes a bugfix)
    Source code: Source

    Releases by tona
    This version will install both IOS51 and the Shop Channel in the same installer and will also patch the signature hash check out of IOS51 for you (fakesign bug).

  • Re:Account blocking? (Score:2, Informative)

    by master811 ( 874700 ) on Friday October 24, 2008 @10:57PM (#25506413)

    * DVD Player. Wow, I can avoid spending $30 on a dedicated DVD player, AND get more wear and tear on the DVD drive motor. Plus, with the Wii fan running, dust accumulation on the heat sinks will be accelerated. The risk of bricking is just a bonus.

    Stop with this myth about the DVD drive in the Wii getting overused if you use it as one - it is a Myth and only a myth. The DVD drive used would be exactly the same as any other DVD drive in anyother DVD player or computer. There is no reason that Nintendo would use a special drive that would fail earlier - they would just use off-the shelf drives (more or less).

Think of it! With VLSI we can pack 100 ENIACs in 1 sq. cm.!