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Wii hacked to play backups

Wiinja modchip preview
Sat Jan 27 2007, 14:33
THE WII HAS allegedly been hacked by the 'Ninja team' who claim to be offering a modchip for sale from the 1st of February.

The device requires only 5-wires soldered to the Wii, and will play backup games of the same region as the host Wii.

News posts on Emuholic's Emuboards and GBAtemp both claim to have been in discussions with the development team and the latter site has seen the chip in action.

You can also view two videos of the chip allegedly in operation over at YouTube here and here.

Unfortunately the videos are the usual poor quality mock-ups and the fact the Wii is shown on someones bedroom wardrobe doesn't help our scepticism.

On first inspection the chip looks unlike most mods seen in consoles and appears to be some kind of 8-pin PIC (a programmable micro-controller), leading many to speculate that the device is fake. In fact PICs were often used in defeating the security implementations of the original Playstation, and it's entirely possible the team has programmed a PIC to do the same for the Wii.

The off-the-shelf availability of these very low cost devices would explain the quick-release to market of the product. See below for the finished product, which admittedly looks pretty amateurish.

alt='wiinja2'

This is an image of the solder connections needed for the device to work.

alt='wiinja1'

Another claim to credibility comes from a DNS lookup on the Wiinja website. The lookup seems to confirm the Ninja/NinjaDS team are behind the product, and these guys have been producing DS product for sometime. Obviously the sceptical among us may believe that this is just a good marketing gimmick for NinjaDS's existing products.

The www.wiinja.com site seems to be down at the moment. This could be due to excess traffic, Nintendo getting shirty, or an example of possible fakery - which as we know, is very common in the world of console hacks.

There is no further confirmation if this is real or not, but it's already up for sale at futura-online.

We certainly don't condone piracy at the INQUIRER and fully expect Nintendo to make use of the firmware update features of the Wii to circumvent the device - however, team Ninja claim that this isn't possible as the PIC operates directly with the DVD drive. That remains to be seen.

Wii ISOs are already out in the pirate domain, and it was only a matter of time before they were playable. Unfortunately we can't confirm 100% if this is the device that will enable it. Expect updates as we get them. µ

See Also
Playstation 3 launch dates now official
Tales of PSP2 and next-gen Xbox 360 surface
2006 console sales figures explored
Music, maps, missiles and milf on your Wii

 

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