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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.





"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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