The Wii and DS systems suffered from extensive hacking and unauthorised mods, which allowed people to create their own apps and, alternatively, download and use ROMS of games for free. The homebrew scene was one aspect, though accompanying piracy was a substantial problem that impacted software sales and has been the source of litigation efforts from Nintendo around the world.
To date the 3DS and Wii U have remained relatively secure, with potential workarounds on the portable struggling to make progress and Nintendo remaining active in shutting down any security weakness through regular system updates. The Wii U, at more than 18 months old, has also been largely unaffected, though YouTube channel MrBean35000vr claims to have streamed and now uploaded footage of it utilising a browser-based exploit to modify and change code in Mario Kart 8, and to also tweak fonts in the main Wii U operating system.
Beginning with claims that they're fully in control of a Wii U, the Mario Kart 8 demonstrations involve mixing up music files to play quickly from the beginning and fall to silence; we're then shown track names getting changed. After that the fonts on the Wii U system menu and the WaraWara Plaza are changed.
At the close of the video the hackers claim that as well as being in the early stages, they will not release their exploit in any way to support piracy, also promising an opposition to 'cheaters' — it is emphasized that it simply wants to work towards producing and releasing "custom tracks, custom songs, you name it"; that, of course, can also be debated on moral grounds.
It looks like legitimate footage, though if accurate still raises questions, as the account in use does not seem to have a Nintendo Network ID and it's unclear which version of the system firmware is installed. If it is the latest system version, we suspect Nintendo may target this apparent browser-based exploit in future updates. It is anyone's guess whether this is a legitimate move towards a homebrew scene such as that seen on the Wii.
You can see the demonstration for yourselves below. As always, we invite discussion and debate on the topic, but please focus solely on the example in this article and observe our Community Rules. Please also note that there is some bad language in this video.
Thanks to DespyCL for the tip.