Nintendo Brushes Off Wii U Hacker Claims

Earlier today, a group of hackers claimed they'd cracked the Wii U, but Nintendo tells Kotaku they've received "no reports" of any unauthorised use of their gaming system. The group WiiKey, previously responsible for one of the Wii's most popular mod-chips, said today that they've figured out how to create a new one for the Wii U.

"Yes, its real -- we have now completely reversed the WiiU drive authentification, disk encryption, file system, and everything else needed for this next generation K3y," the group wrote today. "Stay tuned for updates!"

This new device, which the WiiKey team is calling WiikeU, would allow users to play unauthorised or pirated copies of Wii U games on the system. Sometimes, hacks like this are designed to enable users to play homebrew games, but WiikeU specifically advertises that buyers would be able to play Wii and Wii U games. In other words, it'd let people steal software.

Whenever a big new gaming console hits store shelves, there's always a cat-and-mouse game as pirates try to figure out how to outwit hardware makers and crack their devices. If the WiiKey team has indeed reverse-engineered the Wii U, this is a major victory for the mouse.

Nintendo has come down hard on piracy over the years, fighting hard against what they believe hurt software sales for the DS and Wii. We reached out to see what they think of today's news.

"Nintendo is aware that a hacking group claims to have compromised Wii U security," the company said in a statement to Kotaku. "However, we have no reports of illegal Wii U games nor unauthorised applications playable on the system while in Wii U mode. Nintendo continuously monitors all threats to its products’ security and will use technology and will take the necessary legal steps to prevent the facilitation of piracy."

Worth noting: Nintendo has not denied that WiiKey reverse-engineered the system, just that WiiKey has used it to play illegal copies of games, so both claims seem to line up. The WiiKey group has yet to release any sort of mod chip for the Wii U.


Comments

    So they didn't hook their WiiU up to the internet while cracking it? Sounds like Nintendo didn't think of that.

    I'd like to know if this is patchable or not.

    Stuff piracy. Give me homebrew!

    Also region-free.

    RE-GION-FREE! RE-GION-FREE! RE-GION-FREE!

    so they've cracked copying the games as well? are they on dvd's for the wii-u still?

      I think from the look of the discs that it might be blu-ray.

        maybe HD-DVD 'cause no one actually has a drive for those anymore.

      I think it's a kind of a blu-ray but not, in that it's made somehow "proprietary" so they don't have to pay the licence fee.

        maybe the backwards data track like the gamecube had?

      It's also entirely plausible that they could have the games run off the external hard drive's the Wii U is able to utilise, circumventing the need for disk based media to begin with.

        are these any drives? or special drives made by nintendo?

          basically I think most external hard drives can work with the Wii U. So basically porting Wii/Wii U titles from the PC to the Wii U wouldn't be in my opinion very hard at all.

            the wiiu formats the hdd to a proprietry format though, so i don't think it's as easy as that.

              Still plausible. Early HDD loading days for the Wii used a custom WBFS format

    I wouldn't mind being able to hack my Wii u so I can play non Australian games. We have to wait so much longer, pay much more and evidently, we miss some games too. Until Nintendo of Australia fixes this, I won't feel guilty.

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