The two brothers who hacked Mario Kart 8 are at it again, this time setting their sights on the original Wii console. The goal is to add online multiplayer to a number of Wii games. You can never get enough of that when it comes to Nintendo games!
MrBean35000vr (or "Bean" for short) and Chadderz, as they go online, detail their latest modding project at length in the video up top. While the mod is obviously designed for Wiis tricked out with homebrew software, they actually demonstrate the online multiplayer using New Super Mario Bros. Wii on one Wii and another Wii U console.
Using a Wii U to communicate with its predecessor? Now that's pretty cool. Unfortunately, given what the two brothers told me about how much tougher it's been to hack into the Wii U in comparison to its predecessor, I'm not sure that part will end up working out so well for others.
Bean and Chadderz say that they have managed to synchronise data across two separate Wii versions of Super Mario Bros. with few problems on a local network, save for some longer-than-normal load times. Playing together on a local network is an important qualifier, though. While they said that there's "practically no latency" when playing on a single network, there are bigger issues with lag when trying to play together on different networks. Since the mod is still in its early stages, it doesn't sound like they have spent as much time trying to figure that part out yet.
So far, the brothers have managed to get online multiplayer working for New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Mario Kart Wii, which lost its official online support earlier this year. The duo acknowledge that while it works for adding online functionality to games with local multiplayer, the mod can't retroactively add multiplayer features to single-player games. So don't get your hopes up for a Legend of Zelda MMO using Skyward Sword as a jumping off point.
They plan to "open source" the project sometime in the future so more homebrew Wii hackers can start to play around with it too. I dunno about you, but I would certainly be interested in some Project M-style projects for Mario Kart Wii since Nintendo has all but cut the cord on the thing.