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Post by Dan @ 10:46am 01/05/13 | 17 Comments
Wiikey, a modchip manufacturer known for being the first crew to circumvent the copy-protection security of the original Nintendo Wii, claims to have done it again for the Wii U.

A product page at wiikey.com describes an optical drive emulator that can enable copied Wii U games to be played from USB storage, as the team boasts to have "completely reversed the WiiU drive authentication, disk encryption, file system, and everything else needed for this next generation K3y" (thanks Eurogamer).

Optical drive emulation involves a custom piece of hardware that is plugged into the console directly via the optical drive SATA cable, effectively replacing the console's actual disc drive with a fake that can be fed data from an attached harddrive.

The wiiKey team's description of the so-called "WiikeU" indicates that they have not cracked the Wii U in a manner that can allow a console to run unsigned code like homebrew or modified game content, only exact 1:1 copies of retail Wii U games.

Over on Eurogamer, tech guru Richard Leadbetter of Digital Foundry fame offered his thoughts on Nintendo's ability to combat this one:
"This looks like a variation on the optical drive emulators that appeared first on Xbox 360 - where the drive firmware was easily decrypted - and then latterly on PS3, which was much more of an effort to reverse-engineer," Leadbetter said.

"The fact that the comms traffic between the Wii U and the drive has been hacked so quickly is a major concern for Nintendo.

"In theory, the firmware on the drive can be rewritten with a new, secured version via a Wii U system update and thus nullify the device, but the question is how the Wiikey team reverse-engineered the system in the first place. Unless Nintendo re-secures whatever exploit was used, the pirates could issue a system update for their own hardware and the piracy will continue with barely a pause."
While piracy is the obvious use case for such a device, sellers generally attempt to legitimise it by promoting the ability to load multiple games without having to change discs, and as a backup measure in case of damaged discs.

Similar devices have been prevalent for some time on the Xbox 360, however they require users to be able to read the optical drive's key themselves. That this group appears to be able to automate that key extraction with their device is perhaps the most troubling sign for Nintendo's console security.

Of course, that all depends on whether the claims are in fact legitimate, but the group's proven experience in the console modding scene leaves little doubt.



wii umodchipmoddingcrackedpiracynintendo





Latest Comments
Spook
Posted 01:27pm 01/5/13
orly?

woudl be awesome if we could get a soft mod agian.
Rominion
Posted 01:35pm 01/5/13
Does it really matter? There has been what 8 games released on wii since launch? ... Ps4 and xbox's new info comes out soon, good bye wii u.
Raven
Posted 02:11pm 01/5/13
Complete list of games which have enticed me to go out and buy a Wii U:
  1. ...


Complete list of games worth pirating for Wii U:
  1. ...
mental
Posted 02:23pm 01/5/13
lego city would be my only reason.

I have an old wii setup for the kids, copied all of the games onto hdd so they don't scratch the discs, if I was to get a wii u this would interedt me.
The GuVna
Posted 02:27pm 01/5/13
There's games on Wii U?


damn to fast Romninion :)
fryzeegunner
Posted 06:45pm 01/5/13
Lego city undercover is the best. Love it so much. Monster hunter is brilliant and now injustice is a cool kick back fighter, not to mention mario and nintendoland. So they may only have a few games at the moment, but you wait till smash bros and zelda come a' crawling...
greazy
Posted 02:20pm 02/5/13
Lego city undercover is the best. Love it so much. Monster hunter is brilliant and now injustice is a cool kick back fighter, not to mention mario and nintendoland. So they may only have a few games at the moment, but you wait till smash bros and zelda come a' crawling...

First party games are great but I thought this time around with the Wii there were going to be more 3rd party games. I called BS and I'm still sitting. It's a bit sad because I love Smash and Zelda and will probably buy a wii U just to play them.
Hogfather
Posted 02:58pm 02/5/13
First party games are great but I thought this time around with the Wii there were going to be more 3rd party games. I called BS and I'm still sitting. It's a bit sad because I love Smash and Zelda and will probably buy a wii U just to play them.

Do you know what first party is? Lego Undercover is not a first party game.

Lego City Undercover
Sonic Racer
Monster Hunter
Tekken
Scribblenauts

These are all great games on the Wii U that I own or in the case of Lego will be buying. Lego is 2nd party, none are first party.

The Wii U is also getting a lot of attention from indies.
fpot
Posted 03:03pm 02/5/13
Deus Ex Director's Cut pls
Dan
Posted 03:08pm 02/5/13
There has been a few, but they were all commitments from publishers taking a pre-release punt. Sad to say that the initial wave of first party has now almost completely evaporated and third party support is withdrawing, and unless the install base gets a big kickstart like the 3DS did (a mega price drop at the very least), it's hard to see them coming back in any kind of significant way.

Case in point EA Sports just announced today that this year's Madden won't have a Wii U version. If we hear the same about FIFA 14, that's the moment I'll be calling time of death (FIFA 13 was even released for PlayStation 2 last year).
Spook
Posted 03:25pm 02/5/13
pretty sure the big n will be in the long haul.
Hogfather
Posted 03:27pm 02/5/13
Worst thing about my console is I bought it for the kids and all they seem to want to do is play outside with the dog ffs.
Spook
Posted 03:50pm 02/5/13
whats with kids today hoggy? sounds like its time to impose some "inside time"
Hogfather
Posted 03:51pm 02/5/13
Damn straight, I even got the foxtels hooked up and I can't get them to boost their screen time :(

I'm a failure as a parent.
Spook
Posted 03:55pm 02/5/13
channel 713 not doing it for them!?
Mosfx
Posted 04:07pm 02/5/13
I bought a 3DS when they first launch, it's only now decent games are actually being released.

My Wii was supposed to be the fun console now it's the dust console so I've passed on the Wii U even a price drop and some super awesome Zelda game wont be enough to make me buy this now. Xbox will have my money if they have backwards compatibility.
Enska
Posted 04:30pm 02/5/13
Buy them a gun hoggy, that will keep them busy!
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