I’m sure most Wii owners have noticed that soft familiar blue glow on the front of their consoles recently. Just like me I bet they turned on their Wii in hopes of a message from one of their buds but instead received a message from Nintendo. I knew what this message was as soon I noticed who it was from and reluctantly opened it. I was unsurprised that there was another Wii update being released and yet again this update doesn’t seem to do anything. At least I had thought.
After reading through the message from Nintendo, this seemed like one of those worthless updates that I could do without and I would just look on the internet to see what others were saying about it. I’m sure some of you do updates without second thought, well I don’t update anything right away and this includes Windows. To me it feels like you are just beta testing any possible bugs if you update right away so I like to sit back and read what problems everyone else is having and I can’t tell you how glad I am that I didn’t update my Wii today!
Once reading a few online homebrew sites, namely Wiibrew.org and TehSkeen.com, I found that Nintendo put out this update for one purpose and one purpose alone; They were out for blood. Nintendo finally puts an end to all of the homebrew and softmodding being done on the Wii. Some of this stuff may or may not make sense to you, but it basically means that Nintendo has just pimp slapped piracy and homebrew. on the Wii. Here are some of the things that this update addresses:
- Deletes most homebrew
- Homebrew Channel Removed by the System Menu
- Now uses IOS70. (No Preloader due to that)
- Wii Shop Channel updated. Use WiiSCU to update the shop channel.
- Most of the IOS’s have been updated or stubbed.
- Popular piracy cIOS locations are stubs.
- Updates your boot2 to boot2v4 (what LU64+’s have). (That means no downgrading of any IOS, and due to that, you can’t revert back to your old System Menu. So BootMii as boot2 installed is removed.)
- Bannerbomb Doesn’t work.
For those of you interested, let’s go over what these mean.
This update will remove any unauthorized channel from the Wii menu including the beloved Homebrew Channel. The Homebrew Channel is basically a menu system that allows you to organize and run your homebrew. Without this channel you would need a way to break the code of the Wii operating system in a way that you could run unauthorized code on top of it. Before the Homebrew channel this was only done through exploits found in the coding of games and it was rather tedious to run any sort of Homebrew back before this channel.
This update installs the new IOS70 which kills the use of preloaders. IOS70 is just the new operating system for the Wii and preloaders were a neat discovery that could run a different menu system just before the Wii menu system booted up. With these you could launch all sort of homebrew applications without ever actually booting up the main Wii operating system.
This move to the new IOS also ‘stubbed’ the ability to install a cIOS. A cIOS was just a custom built operating system that looked and acted almost identical to the Wii’s original one with a few major exceptions. A cIOS would allow you to do things like install pirated copies of Virtual Console, WiiWare, or even Wii Menu Channels like the Internet Channel. The cIOS also gives you the ability to connect a hard drive to your Wii and launch your games from the drive instead of inserting a disc. Another thing squashed by this new IOS is the installation of DVDx which unlocked the Wii’s ability to play DVD movies. That’s right kiddos, the Wii could play DVD movies all along and you probably didn’t even know it. In order to keep the cost of the Wii down, by not paying DVD liscencing fees, Nintendo disabled that functionality of the Wii through it’s operating system.
One more thing is the change to boot 2v4. This essentially blocks the preloaders but more specifically it blocks bootmii. Bootmii is from the creators of the Homebrew Channel and it is basically a preloader with one hell of an attitude. Bootmii would allow you to take a snapshot of your Wii’s filesystem in case you ever did something stupid and brick your Wii or update it. This thing gave you a safety net so that you could just restore your Wii file system to what it was when it was working. Well boot 2v4 keeps this sucker from launching. So there are many Wii owners out there that thought to themselves, “I’ll do the new update and if I don’t like it I can always use bootmii to revert back to the old way”. These people are now completely out of luck.
The last thing I would like to talk about is Bannerbomb. This was the easiest way to install the HomeBrew Channel on your Wii. Bannerbomb was a simple yet very effective gateway into the whole homebrew scene and I am sad to see it go. Prior to Bannerbomb you needed to have a specific game in order to perform one of the many exploits that allowed you to run homebrew code, but with this tool you could install homebrew very easily on any Wii without the need of a game at all. It was brilliant.
While Nintendo has been putting out update after update in hopes of stopping this scene, all of their attempts have been a mere inconvenience. This update really drives the message home that Nintendo will not idly stand by while this happens on one of their consoles. On a side note I personally feel the DSi was released with this in mind. Creating a DSi shop allows Nintendo to update the DSi operating system in hopes of stopping pirates. The ball is now in the court of the many homebrewers out there and I can wait to see what they come up with next.
For a list of all Homebrew applications for the Wii, please see here