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Print 20 comment(s) - last by afkrotch.. on May 30 at 10:21 PM

Those Wiikeys and Cyclowizes could be soon out of a job

The huge and immediate success of the Wii is attracting attention from millions of consumers – and of course, along with the market follows the nefarious types. Modchips for Wii appeared just a couple months after the console’s availability, opening up the black market for the piracy of Wii games.

In fact, the advent of modchips for Wii has actually sparked increases in demand for the console in markets where piracy runs rampant, such a China. According to a Gamasutra story, imported Wiis from the U.S. and Japan sold in Shanghai during late 2006 for near retail prices. Following the release of the modchips, the demand of Wii increased, as did its price by more than $100. Pirated Wii games are sold on the black market for approximately $1.30.

Nintendo is finally putting some effort into thwarting the viability of Wii mods, as reports from Japan indicate that the latest console hardware revisions are now much more difficult to modify with current chips.

According to a forum post on Hacken.cc, three pins used by current modchips to alter the console’s drive software and now physically cut, making modifications impossible for all but those with highly advanced skills and tools. The hardware revision has only been discovered in Wiis from Japan, though it’s reasonable to expect that anti-mod measures will soon make their way worldwide.



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ha, "mod-proof"
By NotAok on 5/30/2007 9:45:29 AM , Rating: 3
i wouldn't be surprised if these new MOD-PROOF Wii's were hacked even faster than the originals. The modders know how everything works and how to break into the console, so it's just a matter of applying it again in a slightly different scenario.

Plus, the fact that this is being promoted as being harder or impossible to hack will only further push hackers to break it.




RE: ha, "mod-proof"
By ihateu3 on 5/30/2007 10:39:28 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
i wouldn't be surprised if these new MOD-PROOF Wii's were hacked even faster than the originals. The modders know how everything works and how to break into the console


the wii doesn't need to be rehacked. Nothing has changed hardware wise. Nintendo just made it harder to solder in the chip by cutting off 3 of the legs that are normally soldered to. The link to the thread i posted earlier already has pics of modders who have used a dremel on the chip, to carve away at it until they are able to get to the traces inside. This is by far outside of my soldering skill range, but it has already been done.

quote:
I don't know about that. Pirated Gamecube games were preitty rare. If Nintendo had stuck with a silly size for the discs (such as .5 a cm smaller than a DVD or .5 cm larger) and written the data backwards (like with the cube). They would be much harder to copy.


this is a common misconception. The GC discs are not written backwards. It is still widely accepted that they are (check wiki for proof that they are not). One of the main reasons gc was not pirated much was because of a barcode on the innermost ring that is in an area inaccessible to most commercial burners. And the second reason is because gamecube was not a highly desirable system....so it was not as profitable to pirates or modchip manufacturers to target this system.

But the wii is the most desirable system out right now. It is being targeted highly in the hacking community, and i can't wait for it to run homebrew

xbox media center on the wii anyone?


RE: ha, "mod-proof"
By Samus on 5/30/2007 4:25:14 PM , Rating: 2
I've already modded one of the rev A4 consoles. They've been here since the beginning of the month, not just in Japan like this article says.

Wiinja has already updated their installation diagrams with the new revision. Basically, you need to run a few more wires or repair the traces with a graphite/lead pencil or radioshack tracepen.

It isn't really any more difficult than the initial stages of the mod. The most time-consuming part, as usual with any console (except the XBOX which was a joke to mod) is opening everything up because of all the pieces of the Wii housing and the different screws (philips/tri-star)

And, lastly, as any WiiMOD owner knows, the suckiest thing about modding a Wii is the fact that the Wii drive is VERY picky about media. So far Memorex DVD+R's have worked best for me, but half the time I get a disc read error while loading a burn.


What can a mod Wii Do?
By KMJFNIGUY on 5/30/2007 12:55:01 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like a stupid question. But why would I need a MOD Wii? What can a MOD Wii do that a store bought cannot do? Please educate me please. I have been thinking about buying a Wii, but I am not really sold yet. I need a compelling reason besides Mario Galaxy. And thats is the only reason I would get one. P.S. my PS3 sucks A$$




RE: What can a mod Wii Do?
By AraH on 5/30/2007 2:16:39 PM , Rating: 2
read the article: it can play pirated games which are $1.30 a piece...


nintendo strategi
By Anosh on 5/30/07, Rating: -1
RE: nintendo strategi
By ihateu3 on 5/30/2007 5:19:17 AM , Rating: 3
this has not been verified yet...and i am suprised that dailytech is not reporting it as a possible hoax. This has not been confirmed yet and is still a rumor. And it is also false for them to state that no current modchip would work with this setup. This is untrue, you just have to break away at the chip until you can solder to the traces....it has already been done to damaged wii's.

Follow the news at http://psx-scene.com/forums/wii-modchips/57077-rum...


RE: nintendo strategi
By ihateu3 on 5/30/2007 5:35:08 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
this has not been verified yet...and i am suprised that dailytech is not reporting it as a possible hoax. This has not been confirmed yet and is still a rumor


*edit* sorry it is CONFIRMED! But if you are a master solderer the system can still be modded...so the article is misleading by stating that "the latest console hardware revisions are now unmoddable with current chips" If you can solder to the points inside the chip, any current modchip will work.


RE: nintendo strategi
By Marcus Yam on 5/30/2007 7:09:43 AM , Rating: 4
You're right. I remember looking at the picture of the solder points and figured that someone could possibly still mod it, though it's such an undertaking that it'll basically nuke all the current "hobbyist" modchip sales. I've since updated the story slightly to reflect this detail.

I suspect that a new chip will follow, rather than "master solderers" taking over the production of modded Wiis.


RE: nintendo strategi
By mindless1 on 5/30/2007 5:30:38 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. "Most" things are hackable to an expert but the real intention is to make the skill level required to do it, beyond that of the majority of owners.


RE: nintendo strategi
By marvdmartian on 5/30/2007 9:15:44 AM , Rating: 4
And some uber-geek college kid will figure out how to McGuyver a mod to the new Wii, using nothing more than a Sharpie, a paperclip and two wads of bubblegum, in 5, 4, 3, 2........


RE: nintendo strategi
By johnsonx on 5/30/2007 8:51:50 PM , Rating: 2
definitely gonna need some duct tape too


And the cycle continues . . .
By AncientPC on 5/30/07, Rating: -1
RE: And the cycle continues . . .
By Homerboy on 5/30/2007 9:17:50 AM , Rating: 2
BR and HD are already copied all over the place. No matter what rat-trap they build somebody will try to break it. It simply a game of cat and mouse that will NEVER end.


RE: And the cycle continues . . .
By Flunk on 5/30/2007 9:25:25 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know about that. Pirated Gamecube games were preitty rare. If Nintendo had stuck with a silly size for the discs (such as .5 a cm smaller than a DVD or .5 cm larger) and written the data backwards (like with the cube). They would be much harder to copy.


RE: And the cycle continues . . .
By Homerboy on 5/30/2007 10:30:44 AM , Rating: 2
Rare? They were as common as any other console. Game was released. Game was pirated. If they stick with a non-standard size, then that means increased costs in producing a "special Nintendo only" sized disk. And a Cd/DVD drive to read it etc etc.


RE: And the cycle continues . . .
By Alexstarfire on 5/30/2007 9:37:09 AM , Rating: 2
The problem with piracy has never been with hardware modifications, though they do exist on a global scale. The problem is when people beat the software protection, like SecuROM, ScanDisk, Tages, ACC(?), etc...

They've never tried to physically stop them, though a couple have tried, from making copies. The problem with doing it physically is that it usually requires new hardware. New hardware = more expensive, not to mention that they will just find a work around on the new hardware.

Actually, in terms of anti-theft on products cartridges did the best. Sure they could be copied from, and emulated, but they could basically never be put onto another cartridge. I'm sure that's just because of the technology at the time, and would probably be copied in a heartbeat now-a-days. Gamecube probably has the best protection of all disc-based systems. To this day they still can't be copied very easily. Sure, it can be done, with great time and effort put into it. But because it takes so long it'll never become mainstream. Why they didn't do that with the Wii, I'll never know.

Trying to stop piracy is like trying to stop people form speeding. You can do all you want to to prevent it, but it's going to happen anyways. If it's going to happen anyways, then why bother trying to stop piracy at all. In the end you are just making it more expensive for the consumer, of which 95% or more of them aren't even going to try to pirate the software.


RE: And the cycle continues . . .
By wallijonn on 5/30/2007 11:51:10 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
You can do all you want to to prevent it, but it's going to happen anyways. If it's going to happen anyways, then why bother trying to stop piracy at all.


Remember the Dreamcast.

If most of the profits are made on software instead of the hardware, then it becomes most important to copy-proof the software.

Not that I am a big advocate of encryption, mind you. I still remember Max Payne (PC) encrypted discs not being able to be read on many CD-ROMs, along with my present "problem" of some of my DVDs spinning at high rates, to the point where I couldn't watch the movie due to the noise.


RE: And the cycle continues . . .
By Rugar on 5/30/2007 2:22:12 PM , Rating: 2
Cartridges may be nearly impossible for the average hacker to copy but they are by no means difficult to copy. I was stationed in Korea long, long ago when SuperNES was big. I can remember buying SuperNES cartridges that had between 8 and 60 games on them for like $2.


RE: And the cycle continues . . .
By afkrotch on 5/30/2007 10:21:09 PM , Rating: 2
Umm...Microsoft's main way to stop piracy is through hardware. Sure there's your standard software based protection, which is easily defeated, but it's all worthless if the hardware can detect that it's not an original disc.

Also piracy can be stopped. It's pretty simple. Create a diskless console. It connects online and directly to whatever site. From there you pay for a game and it'll start streaming the game down. All saves are put onto the online servers.

The console is built inside an airtight metal box, filled with some form of combustible gas. It has to explode when it reacts to oxygen/nitrogen/whatever else that is in standard air. The explosion has to be small enough that it won't escape the console and large enough that it'll destroy the internals of the console.

Also, just incase someone tries to open the console in an airtight environment with no oxygen/nitrogen/etc it'll have small booby traps within the console, to also destroy the internals of the console. I'd say a sensor to detect light and another sensor to detect distance (so it can tell when a panel is getting further apart).

Viola. No piracy.


"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

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