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, 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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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
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.

"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot
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