News Article

Hackers Expand Wii Storage, Door Now Open To Filthy Pirates

Posted by Damien McFerran

More naughty-type goings on in the world of Wii homebrew

Although the recent ability to run Virtual Console and WiiWare games from your SD card has stopped people moaning about the previously thorny issue of internal storage space, it hasn't stopped industrious hackers taking the concept to the next level by enabling users to hook up a USB hard drive and run their retail Wii games from it. No more loading, no more discs.

However, while this neat trick is obviously going to help lazy couch potatoes that can't be bothered to get up and change discs whenever they feel like playing a different game, it also opens the door for rampant piracy. You don't actually have to own the original games to do this; all you need is the game image, and these are relatively easy to obtain online.

The catch to all this is that users will need a homebrew-enabled Wii in order to perform this dubious techno-alchemy, which will provide at least an obstacle to most Wii owners - but not those with strong morals, we would guess.

Behold! The witchcraft in action:

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User Comments (106)



TwilightV said:

It things like this that keep games like Klonoa and MadWorld from selling well. >: (



The_Fox said:

At least it seems a little trickier than doing the same thing was on the PS2. Of course, that isn't going to stop anyone determined to do it, though.



Ricardo91 said:

Like it would kill them to get off their fat asses for 2 seconds to change disks...



anthonyb said:

Wow. The only thing I appreciate about this is the customizable interface of the Wii Menu.



warioswoods said:

If only Nintendo could find a covert means of identifying and bricking pirate Wiis remotely - a task that would have been greatly simplified had they merely thought to include an eyepatch option for Miis. I'm sure they're kicking themselves.



feba said:

And this is basically exactly why manufacturers need to start building in this functionality themselves and putting DRM on the copies. If you don't, your console will be hacked to allow for it, and homebrew will not DRM files for you. Handheld platforms especially-- the PSP is dying from this. Not just because people with this have a very small step to take to piracy, but because those without it would rather wait for games to be made downloadable-- and if that day never comes, they will never buy the game.

Physical media still has an important role to play, but having to store, transport, and swap disks in this day and age is positively unneeded. If not for UMD, I would have more PSP games. If not for physical disks, I may have more Wii games, and I'd certainly play the ones I do have more often (which would look good for the Nintendo Channel, and word of mouth.)

I can digitize my movies when I want, I can digitize my music, I can digitize my photos. I could even digitize my books, if I had plenty of free time. And I do, in some cases. There are some things I buy solely because I can back them up on my laptop and have them with me; online or off, at home or away. And sure, you can bemoan the laziness of people that don't like swapping disks. I'm sure you love putting your controller down, walking across the room, bending over, pressing the eject button, opening the game's box, putting the disk back, opening the other game's box, putting the disk in, putting the first game's box back on the shelf, and then waiting for your Wii to recognize the disk, and then waiting as it loads. But that process is much longer than it needs to be. It could be as simple as going to the loader channel, pressing the game you want, and being done with it.

frankly, I'm going to look into this not for piracy, but because it's something that Nintendo (and Sony, and Microsoft) should've included in their consoles years ago, and it's insulting that in an age where we can make video games hard to distinguish from reality in terms of appearance that we cannot load games from hard drives-- something that PC gamers have been doing for decades.



GameCube said:

This will however be quite a nice solution for those games that do get released in Europe but not in the US or vice versa, like Another Code R. No more getting screwed over by NOA or NOE when they flatout refuse to release a game that is readily available in the EU or US, respectively. Maybe that'll teach them, because it is extremely frustrating for consumers (and instead of solving it they even make the problem worse by blocking stuff like the FreeLoader).



SanderEvers said:

To start: I do not use this.

Playing Wii games off HDs has some really good advantages.
1. Games load way faster.
2. You don't have to swap discs.

There are also some disadvantages:
1. It's illegal. Even if you play backups from just your own games!
2. You'll need an external HDD.
3. You won't be able to use your external HDD for something else. (This system uses it's own file system)
4. It's buggy and not compatible with many games.

Use good homebrew on your Wiis, homebrew like Bootmii, Mplayer, dosbox or one of the many game ports, and the emulators (VC is really just a new way to rip people off).



toad29 said:

Why Would People Want To be So Lazy. Just Get off Your Ass And Change Disks.



warioswoods said:

feba wrote:

. . . we cannot load games from hard drives -- something that PC gamers have been doing for decades.

And I hope you are aware of how crippling piracy is for PC gaming -- far beyond the level it has reached for home consoles. I'm not disagreeing with all your points, but I think it's simply wrong to imply that console makers have any easy solution in front of them that isn't plagued by even more piracy problems.



AVahne said:

Sigh, Just Buy the Games People! This is why Nintendo isn't isn't working on their newer games faster.



mjc0961 said:

Why is there a picture of that sissy when there should be a picture of a real pirate?



feba said:

11- There's nothing illegal about backing up your own media, or using homebrew. It breaks your warranty. That's it.

15- Piracy is crippling for PC gaming because it lacks appropriate safety measures. The same would not apply to consoles, which have far more control. Instead of a CD-Key, which can be automatically generated, a console can have its security be linked to the physical hardware it is run on (your console's serial number, or other built-in security measure), the account your console is linked to (Wii Shop account/PlayStation Network account/Xbox Live account), and require you to physically insert the disk once (or at set intervals) to insure you own it (can be faked on PCs using virtual drives).

A proper, manufacturer provided backup feature would have basically zero risk of piracy-- at least not any more than downloadable games have. Without such an official backup method, the only alternatives are ones that have ZERO DRM, and ZERO bars against sending your copies to your family, friends, and everyone on piratebay. It is pretty clear that the easy solution is to offer your own backup device that protects your software before pirates offer a backup device that puts it naked to the world.



Shiryu said:

I have one hundread Wii games (all retail, all original games, check out the list here: ) I I would love to have an official update that would enable this. This is not really new, mind, I have seen tons of great homebrews apps running on friends Wiis w/ the homebrew channels, but really, the people behind homebrew apps are not doing it to help piracy, they're doing it for the challenge and because these are features which are possible but Nintendo is not implementing them! It took them 2 years to lunch an update that would enable us to play CVC and Wiiware titles from the SD card, yet all that update does is copy the game temporarily to the internal memory and run it from there. Time to shape up, Nintendo. I love your console, but I would love it even more if I could play games from ISO and watch DVDs, video codecs and listen to MP3s (outside the photo channel 1.0, that is) without resorting to hacking. My Wii remains vanilla, btw.



Cowmansr said:

I missed what the "Excite Truck fix" was. Did someone catch what they fixed? Could you fill me in?



warioswoods said:


That's still oversimplifying. A company like Nintendo unfortunately cannot require you to be online for anything, given how many users don't even know how to hook their system up to their network -- although I do believe that will change over a few years time -- so requiring any kind of link to your online shop account isn't feasible yet. Linking it to the physical hardware id still allows for hackers to circumvent, and they'd likely find a way before long -- it took more than 2 years into the Wii's life for the above hack to come about, which isn't a terrible track record, and I'd place a bet that hackers could find their way around any hardware-id-lock if given a couple years.

It's unfortunate, but given the Wii's release date and (profitable!) price point, I don't believe that any adequate yet inexpensive solution was available to address these issues.



feba said:

24-When the hell did I say they should require people to be online?

A- If they offer a USB backup channel as a download or update, of course people will be online to download it.
B- People who are not online have certificates that allow them to play downloaded games. Again, see the lack of piracy with regards to PSN and Wii Shop games-- sure, you can pirate them with hacked stuff, but the entire point of an official backup thing is to KEEP PEOPLE FROM HAVING A REASON TO USE HACKED FIRMWARE.
C- Pirates will easily find ways to play copies. The point of an official backup channel is to minimize the number of people who have an open door to piracy-- it's impossible to stop altogether.
D- This isn't really that new, just more polished than older USB loaders. Even before that, people were playing off burned DVD backups. Again, pirates will always find a way to play copies, the best thing to do is to make it so that nobody has a legitimate reason to play non-DRM'd copies
E- Again, PC games have been doing this for decades. A homebrew developer over at HackMii created a rudimentary USB backup launcher in six hours. With the resources at their disposal, Nintendo could release an official backup channel within the week.
F- Nintendo, in fact, HAS official hard drive launchers. Do a bit of googling on the Wii stations that Nintendo has given to children's hospitals and the like-- they allow players to choose from a selection of games which are loaded off of a hard drive, instead of a disk.
G- As I have just pointed out, official backups would DETER piracy, not help it. It would cost next to nothing, and again by deterring piracy would help sales. By removing the hassle of disks, it would help sales, especially for smaller games (such as puzzle, party, and sports games). It is not only technically feasible, but rather easy, and they could even profit by selling special USB hard drives made to fit the Wii. People could be kept from copying and then selling their games by requiring the disks to be checked every few months. The only good reason not to do it is laziness, or a hatred of the playerbase.



Corbs said:

Why do you need backups? These games are readily available for download and as long as you take care of your retail titles, there's no need to worry about them not functioning. I have Turbo CDs that don't have a scuff on them and I've had them for many years. Hell, I have Atari 2600 cartridges that look like they just came out of the box.



feba said:

Corbie, it's not a matter of protecting your games so much as not having to constantly swap disks. Which, typically, the nicer you keep your games (on a shelf instead of in piles, not leaving the disks lying around) is more of a pain. Being able to put your games away and not worry about them getting scuffed up (especially if you have family or friends who are less responsible around) is just icing on the cake of reasons why this should be standard.



feba said:

Another thing it's useful for, say I want to bring my Wii with me on vacation. If I have room in my luggage for one DVD case, a USB hard drive would potentially allow me to bring all of my games with me as opposed to one. Even with a CD/DVD holder (which has a risk of scratching my disks), I then have to deal with packing and unpacking them all. And I don't have to worry about the hotel staff stealing my games; or my family damaging them, depending where I am staying. Or them being damaged in flight, or so on and so forth.



theblackdragon said:

@feba: you mentioned "the account your console is linked to (Wii Shop account/PlayStation Network account/Xbox Live account)" in your reply up there, and I thought you were talking about people being required to be online as well. no need to snap.

it would be nice if Nintendo did like the The Dark Knight DVD i got this past Xmas, where it came with a digital copy that I can use on an iPod or Zune or whatever. Nintendo could package a digital copy with their games and give you the option to upload it to an external USB drive to use in this manner. I'd use the heck out of something like that... i'm so fickle with games, I'll play for five minutes and then want to play something else for a while, and loading/keeping track of discs is a real pain sometimes, lol.



thecarnage said:

i'd like to get this, but i decided that i'd never get the homebrew channel no matter what a lot time ago... still, of course there will always be pirates... just look at the r4 and the likes...



Corbs said:

I see what you're saying feba, but my concern is that all of these piracy hacks and such are one of the main reasons these game companies are so hesitant to release these storage devices and probably one of the main reasons it took so long to get the SD card fix on the Wii. That's what bothers me the most about hackers creating ways to use outside storage means, although I certainly see the benefits of them.

@ Corbie: Is that from not playing them?

Who has time to play games? I'm too busy playing with clocks!



Haze4peace said:

The wii has been hacked to allow backup games for years now. It got hacked up to play burnt discs in less than a year on market. This just a way to easily store and play them. People will always find a way to make things easier, because they like the challenge, others like the flexibility.



AlexSays said:

Now that's just awful.

How can people like gaming and intentionally hurt it at the same time?



NeoNight said:

"It things like this that keep games like Klonoa and MadWorld from selling well. >: ("

lol, I'm sure its not the games not being as good as people think they are that's causing the poor sells. I'm sure everyone in the world knows exactly how to pirate games, don't think its too difficult to bother, and are all very tech savvy.



Viral said:

Why be a pirate in Europe when the games get so freakin' cheap after a month they come out?



Lotice-Paladin said:

It's a dirty, dirty habit these people need to get out of!

What's next? They manipulate the games we enjoy?!?

Thought I'd lighten this up but it is seriously a problem for the legit people.



The_Ink_Pit_Ox said:

Are these the people behind the so-called "Twilight Hack"? Even so, it's people like this who get systems and/or games discontinued because of the thousands of illegal copies distributed.



Starwolf_UK said:

Blimey, slowtaku finally reported it. It only took them what, a month?

3. You won't be able to use your external HDD for something else. (This system uses it's own file system)
That is why you partition the drives then you can have one partition used for Wii and the other for everything else.

I'm a user of these. Why? The improved load times. It really is noticable in games like Super Smash Bros Brawl and (to an extent) Wario Land the Shake Dimension. However, most games I own seem to have bearly noticable improvements.

The Wii is so quiet when the disc drive isn't howling, plus the disc drive is getting a lot less wear and tear. As for morals. While I find it sad DVD R manufacturers might go out of business due to pirates no longer needing to constantly burn DVDs (get what I'm saying? ^1 ) thus not buying writable media but I am really happy I can finally enjoy Super Smash Bros Brawl the way it was intended ^2 and not have to constantly swap discs.

^1 -People were pirating anyway. I admit it might open it up to more people but how do we know those people wouldn't have anyway?
^2 -Clearly the game wasn't tested with having such long load times. Take the kill 50 Yoshis co-op event. If you're playing off a disc the event is impossible to beat (or at least much harder than intended) as the Yoshis take too long to load (of course you get around this by pausing the game as they will still load in).

Are these the people behind the so-called "Twilight Hack"?
Nope. Team Twiizers have nothing to do with this. Though a former member, Marcan was quite vocal about Waninkoko (the person behind it) before leaving the scene though he was mostly vocal about the fact people overstate the skills of Waninkoko (basically all the components of USB loader were out there by other people, it takes someone to put it all together).



Third3ye said:

YARR!! I mean... oh no, this isn't good... I mean, I like paying just as much cash for an old Wii game as someone would pay for a brand spanking new PS3 or X360 game. I love having my wallet raped continuously

Well I'll be honest for a second now: NO! I have SERIOUSLY considered getting me one of these things because I can only afford a handfull of games every YEAR. And even tho I am officially for piracy (in the music industry) I still think that it's crippling the gaming industry. But I will not support that notion UNLESS Nintendo starts dropping the prices of some of their old games... then I'll stand here with you, burning the flag of Jolly Roger.



The_Fox said:

@ post 41 Third3ye:
Wait, so you'll pirate games if Nintendo doesn't lower their prices? You admit to being pro stealing in the music industry and say that high game prices are driving you to consider pirating games, but just because you can't afford something doesn't mean you're entitled to steal it. That just makes you sound spoiled and petulant.



feba said:

32 [Corbie] -- I half-agree with you. What I mean is, piracy is probably the chief concern companies have about letting people back up their games, and that's sad. HOWEVER, it's completely unfounded, and as I've pointed out, piracy would DECREASE by this if anything. Hackers will figure out how to do this whether they help or not, they might as well provide a robust feature to their legitimate users to keep them from turning to such an open platform. I mean, imagine if you had to listen to all of your CDs in an actual CD player, swapping disks, and so on. You'd be more inclined to go with the simpler solution, even if it meant crossing the law.

34- The same way that these companies can like their money, and yet hurt it by refusing to provide basic functionality. Not only not providing functionality consumers clearly crave, but leaving the door open for those that can hurt their bottom line by not giving their own solution. It's because they think they're doing the right thing, and that it's better than the alternative.

Let me be clear: I support this because it would slow piracy, not because it would assist it. I support it because consumers should get features, even if they may be exploited by the less reliable. Again, the music, movie, and book industries have no real protection against piracy. Even if this didn't have protection, which it would, it would not be the end of the industry.

On top of it STOPPING piracy by providing controlled tools, instead of driving legitimate consumers to software which would loosen the control of the console and provide an open gateway to piracy, I also believe it would help sales. I know I personally would buy more puzzle and shooter games if I could keep them on my memory stick, or SD card, or internal hard drive, or external hard drive (for various consoles). I would be more inclined to buy games that are well suited to parties and company, like fighters and racers. I would be more likely to buy games with strong online components-- and play them; the more people online, the better the word of mouth is for the community, the better the game will sell. Nobody wants an online game with nobody on.

If I thought for a second that this would do anything beyond what pirates already do, I would have reservations about it. But it doesn't, it would do less than they do, and still do a damn good job of it. And since hackers have already done it, Nintendo has nothing to lose by offering a controlled alternative, and quite a bit of consumer confidence to gain. Again, this would take them maybe a week to code and QA-- if they release it next Monday, it would be very good damage control, not to mention publicity.



Hardy83 said:

Too much effort. I'd rather buy the game. LOL... I've tried. It's too annoying.... Though I sadly admit I use emulators on the Wii, but only because NIntendo is really pissing me off with holding games back for literally NO reason other then marketing.

Not that I'm encouraging it.. Just....If Nintendo met demand instead of starve them...



theberrage said:

All you haters! Yes it's illegal, but they made the product BETTER! Nintendo should take note and build a system with these homebrew innovations.



Third3ye said:

@ post 42 The Fox:
I admit to supporting artists rather than music conglomorates. The biggest headache of any musical artist is known as the "publishing clause" where they get screwed royaly, but recieve the exact same profiling and advertisement through "piracy".

And as for nintendo: Yes, I am considering moding my Wii. Only because they have the financial situation and opportunity to drop the prices to some of their games. For example Super Mario Galaxy, Smash Bros Brawl, Zelda, etc. In the US there are opportunities for bargains but here in Norway the prices are amazingly enough the same price they were when they first released. I for one find that to be a bit dishonest. I want to be able to once in a while just buy a game on a whim. And oh yeah, I lied a little bit. There are bargains. Games like Alvin and the Chipmunks, Hooked: Real Motion Fishing, Far Cry: Vengance, Billy The WIzard (Harry Potter ripoff) and who can't forget M&M's: CART RACING! I mean this is one big middle finger directed squarely in the face of Nintendo fans and Wii owners.

I'm considering it because I want to use my Nintendo Wii for something else than a paperweight.



Third3ye said:

@ post 49 WolfRamHeart:
But aye, tis a vocation I'm interested in! To Somalia, men! Where thar be plunder...! Where ya kin find an abundance of video games on CD-R's, a myriad of cheap knockoff concoles, and don't forget: ripoff designer jeans! Yarrr!



feba said:

46- they're not innovations. Just workarounds. And there's no need to build a new system, if you meant console, the Wii can quite obviously support it.

What the homebrew developers did was good, but by no means original or creative.



Twilight_Crow said:

Well, Mexico is videogame pirates paradise, some people even pay to get the homebrew channel in their wiis, I'm very sure the installation of this new application will sell very well, they may even upload the game images to your HD for 3 dollars each. I'm not proud of this, and I would never hack my Wii (i'm a collector, I want my Nintendo consoles and games to stay as original as they can), but I can't blame them, over here videogame prices are crazy and not every game gets here officially. I'd ask you americans Would you buy, lets say, Sonic ATBN, for $75? Couse that's it's official price over here, then we can find it at the "grey" market in $60, and so you have to wait until you find a used copy for the original price USA got it, of course there is internet, but you can't blame me for wishing to just go into any GamePlanet (the videogame store with more franchises over here) and find GameStop prices and games, instead of tracking original titles and good prices in all those obscure and not very legal places I have to go, so yes I understand why piracy it's so huge over here.
A problem with changing discs? No, actually I wish I had more wii game discs to have to change.



Azgaroth said:

From your comments guys I think you are all innocent angels. I think that piracy makes those games even more accessible to larger groups of people. For example in Bulgaria Zelda The Twilight Princess officially is one sale for ~$70. One big percent of the people get $350-500 per month. How about that eh? If it takes more than 15% of your salary to buy this game would you still throw BS against piracy? I don't think so.



feba said:

53- if you'd look at the flags next to our names, you'd see that at least half of us are American, and almost all of the rest are from countries that are similarly economically well off. We're clearly referring to the situation of people in our own countries who pirate out of greed, not to people living below the poverty line or in the third world. However, if you are in such an economically disadvantaged state, why in the world would you spend an entire month's income on a video game system?



Kim_Jong-Il said:

@ Azgaroth
I fully understand where you are coming from and believe it is fair in your case, however the guy who "made" this is Spanish. (I use the term "made" loosely, as he just gets other peoples's code and makes Warez loaders out of them).

One thing people haven't realised is how much piracy hurts the Homebrew scene too. My import copy of WoG no longer works because Waninkoko pissed off Nintendo. Marcan has left the scene because he too was pissed off by Waninkoko. [Nuke] left after his source code was used to make backup loader. Flash cards do not work in the DSi because greedy bastards (and poor people, but it's not really a lost sale anyway) used them to pirate on the DS Lite. There are more losers than Nintendo...



Golgo said:

I love the way some people here are defending piracy as a democratic force for the less well-off, a way of kicking back against over-pricing, etc. Nice way to justify being thieves, guys!



Azgaroth said:

Maybe I wasn't clear enough in my previous post feba. My point was that piracy is not mortal sin or something. It has become a way of thinking. It exist and it is popular nowadays. It's like arguing about legal music and mp3's. Get over it. If you are collector or die hard fan get the original. If you are not try it and if you like it enough buy it.



Joewoof said:

Wow, I love this crowd. I'm from Thailand and game piracy is so rampant here it makes me sick. I'm studying to become a software developer myself, and it's really difficult to get by when 100% of your salary comes from 10% of people who don't pirate, and who knows how few of those actually pay for your software.

I know several Thai game developers in person, and they work extremely hard every single day for horrible salaries. It breaks my heart to see folks that spend so much time and effort working on a game only to have it pirated by the very people - Thai consumers who say that they pirate games because companies are ripping them off - who they market towards. It does not matter how cheap games are; if you choose to pirate, you will pirate regardless. It's not about expense; it's about greed on the side of the consumers. We want more for less, and if we don't give a damn about developers (and the economy) and morals, we'd seek out methods to get stuff for free, regardless.

It is the small developers - the very artists that we all should support - that get hurt way more than the big companies that many of us blame. It is the small guys that sink from piracy and often collapse before they can ever lift off (in the case of many Thai developers).

I work part time and buying legitimate Wii games costs me more than 30% of my salary. I expect that to drop to 15% when I go full time. Yes, Azgaroth, I still throw BS against piracy because it takes money out of the economic flow that funds my part time salary to begin with. I don't disagree that some of us may seem self-righteous, but don't assume that everyone will share your moral standpoint when placed in similar financial circumstances.

Besides, I don't "lose" money when I pay for a game. I "fund" developers by doing so. Although publishers get a large chunk of that money, it "encourages" them to support creative, innovative and fun games that smaller and leading developers like to make. Game developers get such a small slice of the profit anyway; we really should understand that. In any case, pirating makes everything worse.



Starwolf_UK said:

How about Blob 06 and CADUCUES Z Can you guess what they should be? The answer is, De Blob and Trauma Center Second Opinion.

My import copy of WoG no longer works because Waninkoko pissed off Nintendo.
Mainly it doesn't work becuase Nintendo don't like people buying games from the Wii Shop (that are outside of their region ^1). That and a system menu update meaning you'ld need to use new patches as the existing ones were overwritten (preloader is the main one people use nowerdays). Also if you still have it you can try the channel loader application (made by * sigh * Waninkoko, the program claims to load any channel you have on the system menu from any region).

[Nuke] left after his source code was used to make backup loader.
It is no surprise the person who has continued the Gecko OS project has not released a source code (the main new feature being that there are now Ocarina codes for Virtual Console and WiiWare games).

^1 - This is the thing I hate most about the Wii. I can easily obtain pirated copies of say, Pole's Big Adventure but this is something I don't want to do as I'd prefer to pay 500 points for it (but under the current system the only way that'll happen is if I buy a second Wii).



Kim_Jong-Il said:

@ Joe
Whoa, you are the first Thai person I ever met who hates piracy.
Anyway, if you want to be a software developer, come to Australia! Our Government actually tries to stop piracy. Plus you don't go to jail for stealing bar mats.



feba said:

57- Thinking that something is bad or good does not make it so. Saying 'oh, piracy isn't that bad' doesn't make it any better or worse, it only changes your emotions and guilt.

You could make an argument that piracy doesn't actually have an impact on sales that's worth worrying about. You could argue that piracy even helps sales. You could argue that piracy is unavoidable given the paradoxes and inconsistencies in modern copyright law. And you could make a good argument-- but you don't care about any of that. Your only thought is tat it saves you money, and that you're entitled to play games. You justify this by the fact that other people do the same thing. Hell, your comments about it not being a 'mortal sin' and it becoming a 'way of thinking' could be just as rationally applied to dog fighting. It would still be a horrible argument, and a crime.



Kim_Jong-Il said:

@ Star Wolf
Starfall wouldn't have been blocked if Waninkoko hadn't meddled. And I'd rather acquire a PC version of WoG through "other means" than trust Wanin and his hacky cIOSes. I believe that what I would be doing is legal under Australian copyright law, or maybe that's only if I'm an educational institution. Moot point anyways.

@ Feba

He works for a whole month to get less than half the pay an American gets in one week. Games there cost more than in America. I think you should give him a break, unless you'd be willing to pay $400 for a copy of Twilight Princess.



Big_A2 said:

@10. GameCube: That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Just because a game isn't released in your region doesn't mean it's okay to steal it.



Azgaroth said:

Feba - You make me think that you are not downloading movies on your computer and your mp3 player is full of music that you have payed for. If you are like that maybe there is still hope for a better world someday. Thanks for the discussion.



feba said:

62- If a copy of Twilight Princess were $400, a Wii would be $2000. As I said, you'd be a fool to spend that much if you don't have the income for it. There are also rich people out there that can afford to buy cars that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. I'd like those cars. I do not go out and steal them just because it's ridiculously far out of my price range. There are things in this world I cannot afford, it's disappointing, but c'est la vie. Likewise, there are people who are better off than I am, who still cannot afford things they would like. And there are people worse off than myself, who cannot afford things I consider trifling. Everyone can find someone with a better life, and a worse life, no matter what condition they themselves are in.



Kafei2006 said:

Sanderevers>That's not entirely true, the WBFS partition can cohabit with another partition on the same HDD, i've done it (1 Fat 32 partition and 1 WBFS partition on the same HDD. Of course this required me some technical knowledge, like to resize a partition for instance)

I've tried with SSBB, which i own, because it has horrendous load times due to its being a dual layer disc, and now it plays better than from the disc, with little to no load times, except for the first one, when you boot the game. I haven't cared to try with downloaded games, but i could and i would still buy the actual games. That's what i already do with my DS Linker. I download them even a few days before their release, i play them, i finish them on my linker, then i copy the save data back into the cartridge i've bought. It's as simple as that. I sometimes even play them in import versions, and the save data is still compatible with the european versions i buy, so i finish them long before they're released and i still buy them when they come out in my own region.

I'm the collector type, so even though i'm able to download my games, that doesn't necessarily mean i'm not going to buy them anymore. In fact i've started downloading like two years ago, and these two years were the period of my life where i've bought games most (roughly 130 games in two years, for current and past gen consoles). Pirates are not all evil you know, they're are people like me who respect game developper and use these piracy means out of convenience (faster load times, it let's you play games you want badly earlier, test them to see if they're worth it, etc).

Talking about testing them, we wouldn't need to do that if nintendo would do th same thing as their competitors and allow for downloading freaking demos !!!



AlexSays said:

From your comments guys I think you are all innocent angels.


Anyway the poor thing isn't a good excuse. "Yeah I really didn't want to steal but I'm poor"
Oh great. So you can't afford something but you decided you should have it anyway? Gaming isn't food, it's a luxury.
Does that work with other markets as well? Can I say "Nuts, I can't afford that Porsche, hey I know, I'll just steal it!"



Starwolf_UK said:

Starfall wouldn't have been blocked if Waninkoko hadn't meddled.
Starfall works as follows. It edits a few parts of the System Menu file (don't ask how the memory locations were found). To ensure it doesn't cause problems it only edits the version of the System Menu file which firmware 3.2 uses. When the Wii is updated, the System Menu file is replaced with a newer version which Starfall won't edit.

Crediar, the developer behind Starfall could see it being a constant case of cat and mouse and so developed Preloader (which uses ini files to determine the memory adresses to patch so you grab a new ini file when the menu is updated).

Waninkoko had nothing to do with it. There are things you should place the blame the on but Nintendo updating the system menu file when they update firmware isn't one of them

Unless you are refering to fakesigning (otherwise known as trucha signing) which I think preloader requires. Thing is Nintendo had to do something about fakesignig not due to piracy necessarily but since the theory is it allows unliscenced software to be produced (freeloader is proof of this). Of course hackers worked out how to patch trucha signing back in (by downgrading the fixed files to older version) which resulted in the LU64 series of Wiis which are very hard to downgrade.



Mr_64 said:

It's a crying shame as the games most likely to suffer from this aren't FIFA 2010 and Wii Sports 2, it'll be the great games that don't make the bulk of casual gamer sales. With the cost of game designing going ever more expensive, long-winded and elaborate and a global recession, this is really bad. If piracy becomes endemic on the Wii, good games will stop being released. It's a simple formula.

And no, I don't pirate films or music either.



Kelvin said:

Piracy only hurts the gaming industry...
Indeed, but on the other hand, if a bunch of guys in their bedrooms can enable a USB HD, why in the heck can't Nintendo? I don't care about backing up my games, but the extra storage space for VC/WiiWare would be handy. I've got a 50gb partition going unused on my HD I could use for it.



Ski_Deuce said:

I get tired sometimes of seeing people take one-dimensional views on this issue. Yes, piracy is illegal, and yes, it does hurt the industry, but not all the time. Considering the Wii is a current console, Nintendo and other game companies are looking to make money, so I don't think piracy is a good action on any consumer's part unless they do actually intend on backing up their owned copies of games.

However, there are many games out there now that no game company makes a dime on, because they are out of print and not on the market. People can sell the games online sure, but none of that money goes to the creators or businesses associated with the product. Would it be wrong to download those games? Doesn't all piracy do at this point is allow for appreciation for older material? On a related note, prices on older games can be considered a reason for supporting piracy. Let's say, someone keeps up with games but by a couple generations behind. They find a game they want to try and find that it costs more used than it did when it was originally released. Is it wrong to be a pirate then?

Here's another reason to consider piracy as beneficial. It expands audiences. More people get to try a product, which, if you're an artist, you care more about that than money anyway, but that's not the point. The point is that by increasing an audience for a product, there are more potential buyers. I've had personal experiences with this. I just graduated from college, and I was introduced to anime while there. I have some series that I don't have legit copies of yet, but these series that I have kept I fully intend on replacing before making any new purchases on new media (I've already started doing this). I may not have ever viewed these series otherwise. It's harder to spend money when you don't know what you're getting.

My main point here is that piracy, from a moral perspective, I think, is a complex issue. If you wanted to you could broaden the issue even more to include fangames and video game remixes. Many of those are illegal, and since the creators of those works don't own the copyright and operate without a license, you could consider downloading their works a form of piracy.



Gizmo said:

"Here's another reason to consider piracy as beneficial. It expands audiences."

Because of piracy you can also say the complete opposite, because for many people it is much easier to download something than to buy it and drop money.

@ Nintendolife: Isn't it a little bit questionably to post those news and to draw attention to the ability to play pirate games on the Wii?



Ski_Deuce said:

That is true in the sense that it could kill off a franchise or maybe even a developer. However, that doesn't make the audience smaller. I'm glad you see another side of the dice though. There are pros and cons to simply downloading content.

Here's an example where letting people download work for free has paid off financially. Radiohead's album, "In Rainbows", was offered to consumers for free (they could alternatively pay whatever amount of money they saw fit) for a few months when first released. This method bypassed record labels, and all the profits went directly to Radiohead during this period. The album generated more profit for Radiohead than their total sales for their previous album released through EMI. According to the Wikipedia article about the album, as many as 1/3 of people who downloaded the album paid nothing. Exapanded audience, more profit. When people don't have to pay, your work has a better chance of being circulated more.



xDlmaoxD said:

lol, you can hack any Wii version upto 4.0 using the BannerBomb exploit.
Only Wii versions that seems to not work fully atm are LU64 and LU65 serial Code systems.
I still need to buy a HDD



Crunc said:

The main thing that Nintendo needs to do is to get rid of the ridiculous copy protection on SAVE FILES! I want to be able to backup my save files, but 95% of games do not allow you to copy the save files. On another messages board I frequent there's a guy who had to send in his Wii for repair and it came back with its memory wiped. All his progress in all his games was lost. Did he have any backups? Of course not - he couldn't make them!

It is for that reason that I've been considering installing the homebrew channel, because there are tools available that will let you copy your save files and restore them. If they can get the HDD hack to work as well as it does on the PS2, I will definitely be doing that. I have all my PS2 games on an HDD and it's wonderful, especially for all of my DDR games, as the load times are so much faster from HDD, and yes it's convenient to be able to pick the game you want from a menu. Yes, I own all the games on the HDD - the originals are on a shelf a few feet away from the TV.



metakirbyknight said:

I give Nintendo 3 years to release an official solution, otherwise I will go to the extreme and backup my games with a proper disc reader and put it on a hard drive.



Cthuloops said:

From the looks of it I would prolly only take the ability to make custom backgrounds.



Ho11oWxxMaN said:

You know its funny, I have a friend that illegally pirates all his Nintendo DS games. He complains to me about the high prices of games, and why he would never waste his money, purchasing one. Well, I simply told him "Games are expensive because of people like you." As the first poster commented, it really does just hurt the game industry and makes it tougher on all of the honest gamers that are willing to pay for these quality titles.



JTC-Pingas said:

Wow this is sad. People need to stop being lazy and just buy the Wii games themselves.



theberrage said:

Nintendo is making money off box art, the physical box and disc and other things besides the "game" part of it. Games would be cheaper for all if they took a page from the homebrew folks. It's just more efficient. You think the gaming business is on your side? Ha! Yeah right. You should be thanking the homebrew people.



Big_A2 said:

@84. theberrage: I take back what I said earlier, THAT is the most ridiculous thing I've ever read.



Gizmo said:

@ Ski Deuce: That are all nice examples you give, but the majority of people who pirate games do this again and again, I can see this even in my circle of friends.



Joewoof said:

@60. Thanks. It's quite lonely out here you know. The majority of people in Thailand actually cannot literally comprehend the rationale to not pirate. What's funny is that people can and do afford legitimate PS3 games, simply because the BlueRay copy protection has not been cracked yet. I'm not personally in favor of copy protection that will eventually, inevitably be broken anyway, but it goes to show that money is not necessarily a factor for piracy in third-world countries.



Sean_Aaron said:

If it's kids who have no income I can't say I'm too fussed about it; that's not really lost revenue and I've been there myself (don't ask me how many games I actually purchased for my Atari 800XL when I was in high school), but once you're earning a living I don't really see an excuse.

Games are a luxury, not an entitlement; you make choices with how you spend your money. Right now there's games I'd like to have, but it would be irresponsible of me to just put them on my credit card or bank overdraft to satisfy some abstract craving when I've got loads of other games to play (I spend way too much on downloads as it is, so that's gotta change too). You won't see me out there downloading warez, though.



Muzer said:

You see, it's things like this that hurt the Wii homebrew scene. Someone spent long hours doing a really awesome hack to enable USB2.0 in homebrew, with the hope that it would be used for faster loading of (for example) movies, etc. But then pirates come along, make a few minor tweaks ( and claim it's their own work. It's just sick. It goes against all the moralsa of the homebrew community - keep it legal, don't rip people's work off, etc. It's things like this (and this) that caused marcan to leave the Wii homebrew scene. All because some people insist on not paying money for games that people worked long and hard on, and have a right to get paid for.



theberrage said:

Big A2-

Yeah! How silly of me! The box, box art, and the disc are not embedded in the price of the game! It's all free! You are right! I guess the 50 dollars you spend on the game goes only to CAPTAIN NINTENDO!



mastersworddude said:

Its sad that people works months and months on games just to have pirates come and get it for free, its just sick.



LaDaDaBa said:

Most people are overestimating the effect of piracy especially on a console like the Wii. Since this system is geared towards the casual audience more so than any other system, the vast majority of people who use it probably don't even know what the homebrew channel is or how to go about using it. Saying pirates are hurting the sales of games is ridiculous and an easy scapegoat, the people who pirate compared to the legal owners is in a very low percentage. I would be surprised if it was over 1% considering the millions of units that have been sold. You think what I'm saying is nonsense then prove me wrong with some facts/statistics to backup your accusations.

As for the whole morailty shmorality issue, some of you are acting like sharing some data is akin to going around raping or murdering.



Tyler_100 said:

Don't blame this program. It's the people that abuse it and download games that they don't own who are hurting the industry! If you don't feel like handling your game disks all the time and have some extra bucks to use. Why not? Get your wii game image and save that disk drive from use!



couggod said:

I'm agreeing with Tyler_100, just because you can use this to easily pirate games doesn't mean its a bad thing. it's like saying that owning a DVD burner makes you a pirate. Having backups of the discs you legally bought is OK.



marktheshark said:

So I automatically become a demon when I use least that's what some people think here.



Big_A2 said:

@91. theberrage: I'm not saying that the box and such are free, I'm saying that complaining about it and saying Nintendo should be thanking homebrewers is stupid.



Spaced_Out said:

What I want is a USB Disc changer that hooks onto my Wii securely and plays DVDs as well. That would be almost perfect. Add in blu-ray and a new stand, and Nintendo earns 40 bucks per $100 upgrade.



earl_wickrue said:

With all due respect, here is my rebuttal to all you "anti-piracy" wusses: Tra-la-la-la-la-LA. Strong language, but you deserved it.
Listen guys and gals, video gaming would not exist if not for the kludgers and hackers who squidged out Space War on the pdp-1 mainframe. So, you can support an industry that doesn't give a toss about you(NinTenDo) or you can do whatever you want. If I had a second wii I would have that homebrew channel so fast, because with ScummVm now Wiimote compatible, I would have more AAA titles than currently exist on the Wii in any form.



robmcp said:

94. LaDaDaBa 29 May 2009, 15:47 GMT

Most people are overestimating the effect of piracy especially on a console like the Wii. Since this system is geared towards the casual audience more so than any other system, the vast majority of people who use it probably don't even know what the homebrew channel is or how to go about using it. Saying pirates are hurting the sales of games is ridiculous and an easy scapegoat, the people who pirate compared to the legal owners is in a very low percentage. I would be surprised if it was over 1% considering the millions of units that have been sold. You think what I'm saying is nonsense then prove me wrong with some facts/statistics to backup your accusations.

As for the whole morailty shmorality issue, some of you are acting like sharing some data is akin to going around raping or murdering.

Totally Agree with this.

I have recently enabled my wii to use the USB loader (purely to use my own backups for the usual reasons). It's not a straightforward job, I work in software design and I was struggling to locate all the necessary files. Most people are now on a variety of different operating system versions and many would need to downgrade parts of their OS to even get this working.

The vast number of Wii users are casual gamers (just check the release list!!!) An absolutely tiny percentage of these people will have the skills and desire to hack their wii for piracy.

To suggest this number of people can in any way hurt nintendo or 3rd party publishers is very misguided. I think we're talking about far lower than 1% of the user base. Something like 0.000001% is more realistic.

Further to this we know Nintendo keep a close look at these sites. Sometimes they close things down, sometimes they don't. These communities expose their sloppy code and so are actually very useful to them. I can't see the big N getting their nickers in a twist about this.



Kirk said:

I tell you this now...

If Nintendo got some f'n demos out there this wouldn't be half as bad as it is.

I just want to try these games BEFORE I actually buy them and with Wii and DS there really is no other way to do this and so I know I have downloaded both Wii and DS games then played them for a few minutes and never tried them again.

Companies haven't lost my custom because of this since I wouldn't be buying 99% of these games anyway after trying them and realising I don't like them.

The unfortunate few that I do like well if the demos existed I wouldn't have to go through this route and I would be far more likely to buy them since I wouldn't have a copy on my machine in the first place as I wouldn't need it since I could just play the demo anyway.

It's not a perfect situation but I 100% believe in my case the situation would be vastly improved if Nintendo allowed demos on their machines.

I have a Xbox 360 too and have downloaded loads of demos for the machine and have had a great time, and I don't have a single copied game for that anywhere, because I'm pretty much always happy just to play the countless demos out there and if there really was a game where I wanted the full version then I would be far more likely to just go out and get it.

Buy 1 game in a while and play hundreds of free demos in the meantime; that's the kind of consumer I am and always will be and Nintendo should be catering to me too rather than putting me in a position where I don't want to have to pay to try all their crap games just to find the one I actually like that's worth the money.

Demos have not hurt Xbox 360 at all but lack of demos on Wii is a big negative imo and now I'm in the habit of downloading games it's going to be hard to break it.

Just like smoking they should have focussed on prevention in the first place rather than the cure to a problem they have created imo.

That's just my take of course.



BlueFlameBat said:

If I can get my Wii homebrew-enabled without physically modding it, I might use this to try some games I'm interested in or play some foreign ones that would never make it Stateside. I wouldn't be so tempted if Nintendo wasn't such a damn control freak about imports.



hand2097 said:

This is awesome! I see many advantages for consumers with piracy. One more good thing could be that the optical drive will last longer. (Playing from burned discs is otherwise rumoured to wear it out faster.)



StarDust4Ever said:

Basically, the same concept as the flash cart for the DS or GBA except a million times bigger - alls they need now is an action replay or gameshark style cheat system.

I do not condone piracy, but people will do this whether Nintendo ty to stop them or not. System menu 4.0 has already been cracked, using a security flaw in the SD-Card Loading menu. As expected, whenever Nintendo will plug up this security hole, the hackers will find another one.



Mabbit said:

when i read this i suddenly thought "where can i get the tools to do this?!" then i snapped out of it and thought "Cheapskates!"

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