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.