Wii U copy protection hacked, claims modding group

Update: Nintendo says it is "aware" of hacking claims, but has "no reports" of Wii U games being played from USB media.

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Update: Nintendo has said it is aware of the claims of the modding group, but that it has no reports of its hardware being circumvented to play pirated games.

"Nintendo is aware that a hacking group claims to have compromised Wii U security," a Nintendo spokesperson said to GameSpot. "However, we have no reports of illegal Wii U games nor unauthorized 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."

Original Story: A group of hackers claim they are now able to circumvent the Wii U's copy protection, and that it is now possible to play pirated Wii U software from USB media.

The team purports that it has "completely reversed the Wii U drive authentication, disk encryption, file system, and everything else needed for this next generation key."

The protection-circumventing device is dubbed an "optical drive emulator," and the hacker group claims it can play Wii U and Wii games from USB media, is compatible with all current Wii U models and regions, uses an "embedded Linux system," and does not require soldering.

It is currently unknown if Nintendo will be able to disable the device with a firmware update or in subsequent model revisions. Nintendo updated the original Wii hardware multiple times over its lifespan to deter similar hacks.

Previous exploits for the Wii involved modifying the machine's DVD drive, and the group claiming it has managed to break the Wii U's protection is also responsible for one of the most popular drive chips for the original Wii.

GameSpot has contacted Nintendo for comment.

Discussion

679 comments
Kemonojin
Kemonojin

Nintendo will handle pirates with the plank soon enough.

jonnywolf
jonnywolf

Bottom line is that these games are available to anyone who owns a computer, for free. So it isn't stealing. I appreciate that some of these companies make games that I like, but it's their responsibility to figure out how to monetize their product, not mine. The Internets been around a good while now and they've had time to learn how to be profitable in this environment. It's their own choice to continue to sell a product that can be distributed freely. Nobody owes them any special treatment.

Just as well, they have every right to use whatever kind of DRM they think will benefit them. But it's still on them to make sure their choices are intelligent so that they do benefit them, instead hurting sales further. What I DO think is wrong though is trying to push laws like SOPA through some old ignorant politicians. They're intentionally trying to destroy peoples ability to freely share information on a large scale and make the world an objectively worse place for the vast majority of people, just so that they can keep their currant business model profitable. I think THAT is immoral.

I pirate lots of games, and I buy lots of games. Whatever suits me at the moment. I think its great to buy games and support the developers, but I also think that it's immature to judge people that don't.

Thunderbear24
Thunderbear24

I start complaining about people who copy games, and now I get texst here from other people saying that I should buy them. Err, HELLO ? Can you read? I never said that I copy games. Im the one whos complaining about the pirates. People like to blog without even reading what I said.

racerxgundam
racerxgundam

Nintendo should encourage piracy at this point, maybe that helps push their recent brick.

aMichaelm
aMichaelm

I really wish people would give up on stopping piracy. It's annoying and no amtter what, it will never stop. It's just irritating to hear the bitching of developers.

Silinel
Silinel

I've got a challenge. 

If anyone involved in the production of a PC game rated 8.0 or above (MetaCritic) responds to this post with a photo of their game (print out from Google Images is fine), proof of their identity, and proof of their involvement with said game (developer credits will suffice), I will buy that game tomorrow and post proof of doing so. $50 limit, just so we aren't getting too crazy.

From Steam to boot, so I can't even refund it.

Get this money, and teach this pirate a lesson.

siquall77
siquall77

Silinel, you're really a dumbass. If you pirate games, then do it, but please, really, don't even try to justify yourself with these pathetic ""arguments"", just STFU like most of the pirates do.

"Why in the world would someone voluntarily put themselves in a position to potentially be disappointed,"

Oh sorry, you're just a kid, mea culpa.

If we were in the 90'S, yeah, i wouldn' say anything, we didn't have internet, and didn't have lot of ways to know if a game would be good or not before trying it (except with old magazine like console +... ), but now ? YOU'RE SERIOUS ????

Actually, if you want to know more about a game, you can watch tons of trailers/previews/news/gameplay on anything you want with youtube and co, you even got lots of demo, if after all that, you can't decide if you will like the game or not, you must be really, really dumb.

Your feeling = Less than 0, noob.

You should be banned for trying to defend piracy with pathetic arguments like these ones.


If only you could say "it's because it's hard to find these games where i live" or "they're not commercialized anymore" "I want to try before buying it" (lol...), but saying you do it because the risk are low, just no.


 

DiamondDM13
DiamondDM13

I wonder how is it that people actually take the time to try and hack the security in the systems...

But anyway, why hack the Wii U? It has no games...

Kakeb Kab
Kakeb Kab

Would be fun to see the comments if some newspaper like New York Time was posting the same kind of news : "3 dead bodies found in a basement. It seems they were raped before they were killed. What about you ? Would you rape your victim before or after killing it ?"

FojMohsin
FojMohsin

Maybe it's time to buy a Wii U now. :D

Xyllix
Xyllix

All you stupid fucks still arguing with @silinel should learn that Piracy =/= Theft


Thunderbear24
Thunderbear24

Hackers, ones and for all just F off and stop destroying the gaming industry just because your all a buch of cheapskates who don't want to buy games.

Silinel
Silinel

@Thunderbear24 


The anti-pirate comment you're referring to was directed towards me. Your record is clean.

Silinel
Silinel

@siquall77 


I'm honestly having a hard time seeing what you're even trying to argue for/against, starting at "Why in the world..." and ending at "Less than 0, noob." I see words, and they make something similar to sentences, but I'm at a loss to find much coherence in them.

I'll try to respond to what I think you're attempting to say, however.

Pardon if I came off as such, but I do not seek to justify anything about piracy. I primarily only sought to explain why I personally feel no guilt, shame, or restraint in pirating.

In all honesty, until piracy is directly linked with the deaths of newborn babies and Labradoodles, I'll sail the Interwebs with my pirate hat on tight, proud and loud.

If you prefer to buy your games, and feel a sense of satisfaction and pleasure in supporting the industry, more power to you. But as I've said before, I feel as silly paying for most games as I would paying for bottled water, when a drinking fountain is right next to it.


Thunderbear24
Thunderbear24

@FojMohsin There going cheap in Asda, but because there going cheap its all sold out at the moment.

GERMANY21
GERMANY21

@FojMohsin  Yes since we know WiiU is not an always-online nextgen at least ... 

Silinel
Silinel

@FojMohsin 


I'll tell you right now, as soon as the 3DS gets reliable flashcarts that can play 3DS roms, I will be all over it. The new Pokemon looks wonderful.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

@Xyllix As opposed to paying for the game the creator still receives less money for their hard work.

spammehardo
spammehardo

@Silinel When you copy someones intellectual property it's still considered stealing.

Silinel
Silinel

@Thunderbear24 


No no, we're a bunch of people that simply don't give the number of damns necessary to feel warm and fuzzy about spending any substantial amount of money on video games.

In other words, I'm cheap because piracy enables me to be. Not because I have to be.

santinegrete
santinegrete

@Silinel 

Just support what you found worth if you can. Some people that pirate the games does so because they love to play, but have more important things to pay, like their children education, or their own food. In some places of the planet people love to play games, but when two games are at the same price as a bike or worth half a salary, you just get around priorities. But don't feel smart or a fan for doing, ever.

Saketume
Saketume

@Toysoldier34

Assuming they would have payed for it if they couldn't get it for free.

If they give me free cake at work I eat it.

That doesn't mean I'd buy a cake if there wasn't any at work. 

On the plus side if the cake at work was really really good chances are I go out and buy one next time there's a birthday party.

kohle36
kohle36

@spammehardo @Silinel No, it's considered copyright infringement, or alternatively, academic dishonesty. The legal definition of theft (like every other crime in our legal system) requires both actus reus and mens rea, which refer to an existential act and a state of mind, respectively.

In order to commit 'theft' you have to remove someone's property (the 'act') with the intention of depriving them of their use of it (the state of mind). Making a copy of document, file, or other media does not fulfill either legal requirement of the definition - it is not theft. 

You may 'consider' it stealing but know that your opinion is a) a personal alignment of morality with no legal substance or validity and b) the 'consideration' of copyright infringement as theft is the direct result of a PR misinformation campaign launched by the recording and film industries in response to file sharing.

Intellectual Property law in and of itself is a completely separate area of law altogether, not to mention a very recent, contested and evolving system which is not universally accepted or approached in the same manner across different legal systems.

Silinel
Silinel

It's illegal, but it's not stealing just because I didn't pay for it.

Feel free to outline why I'm wrong though, I don't claim to be a paralegal. I just like free games.

Either way, I sleep just as easy at night.

Thunderbear24
Thunderbear24

@Silinel@Thunderbear24 If you dont like how much they cost, then tough, you can't play. That is how much they cost if you like it or not. This does not give people the right to steal a product for free when everyone else is paying for it. If its to expensive, then people shouldn't buy, and then the company will have to sell the product for less to stay in busines. If not, then they become bankrupt. Thats how it should go. Please dont adjustify an action to me that is illegal.

Thunderbear24
Thunderbear24

@Silinel@Thunderbear24If you dont want to speand a lot of money on expensive computer games, I guess don't buy them and stop playing them, because you cant expect to have them for free. This is how much they cost if you like it or not.

96augment
96augment

@Silinel @Thunderbear24 But shouldn't you buy some games if you feel that they deserve the money? That's what most pirates do ( at least that's what they say they do). They pirate a game to try it out. 

santinegrete
santinegrete

@Silinel @santinegrete 

It's your decision, think that another number in the chart that could be your purchase will put a next game you liked it closer to start actual development. You can be savvy, but you are because I'm sure you can face this: nothing makes itself from thin air or fall from a tree.

Silinel
Silinel

@santinegrete @Silinel 

I'd call it being savvy more so than being smart.

Also, I have to pay for something to be an admirer of it? Aww man, and I thought I liked Far Cry 3. 

I guess I didn't.

jonnywolf
jonnywolf

@Saketume 

Wait, but what if you WERE going to buy cake, but than you got the free cake at work? is that stealing cake?  

I think that's something to consider.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

@Saketume While it is true if a game sells 500,000 copies and has 100,000 copies it is asinine to think that were the game unpiratable that the game would sell 600,000 copies instead. Though it is also foolish to believe that not one of them would have paid for the game as a last resort, even if at a discount.

People pirate games for many reasons. Many people pirate games because it is the only way they are able to get the game especially in smaller and less developed countries. Some pirate because they can over paying for it to save some money. Others can't afford the game and may pirate it right away and finish the game, but had it not been available illegally they would have bought the game at discount had it not been finished prior.There are many reasons people do it some more notable than others, and some more likely to yield a profit under the right conditions.

96augment
96augment

@Yondaro @Silinel @Thunderbear24 Yes, I am cheap. Is that really a bad thing? I just don't agree with that. I think if you play a game, you should (at least) rent it. Pirating (to me) feels like stealing. 

Yondaro
Yondaro

@Silinel @96augment @Thunderbear24 Wow man, you're cheap. You weren't lying about that at all. But I do myself, pirate games. 


I purchase the few I believe deserve it, (Xenoblade: Chronicles for Wii, Professor Layton games on DS, etc) But I do pirate some games without buying. Cause some devs just don't deserve money. Like game freak and Pokemon. I've never paid for one and don't plan on it. But I will continue to play them.

96augment
96augment

@Thunderbear24 @Silinel I'm just saying what I've heard on the forums for years. That pirates "try" games before they buy them. I will never know how many pirates (if any) actually buy games. 

It doesn't mean I believe in piracy or how they justify it. And I don't pirate. I just wait a really long while so that the games are cheap enough to buy. 

Thunderbear24
Thunderbear24

@96augment I dont understand, is anyone really reading what im saying, or cant they accutally read at all. Where have I said that I play copied game. Really, where?

Thunderbear24
Thunderbear24

@96augment @Silinel @Thunderbear24 Maybe, but it doesn't work like that does it? You know what people are like, as most of them would end up keeping them as a copy. Do you reeally think everyone is so honest to just play for a bit, and then buy latter if they like it. If you do that yourself then fair enough because its not so bad. But face it, to many people wouldn't do the same.

96augment
96augment

@Saketume  At least you pay for some of the games. That's better than nothing. 

96augment
96augment

@Silinel @Thunderbear24 To me, that's just wrong. If you really enjoyed a game, you should pay for it. You could pirate it to try it out. But you should still pay for it  (if it's worth the 60 or 40 dollars). You buy games for the multiplayer? I'm different. I care more about the singleplayer games. 

Saketume
Saketume

@96augment

I pay for a fraction of games I play but I'd pay for even fewer games if I couldn't pirate to try. 

Most games I pirate I only play for an hour.

Silinel
Silinel

@santinegrete 

Let me put it better.

I generally pirate games with excellent single player, but multiplayer not worth bothering with. (Mass Effect 3, Far Cry 3, Max Payne 3, Portal 1 and 2)

I generally purchase games with excellent muliplayer, with single player not worth bothering with more than you have to. (Borderlands 2, Dead Island, Left 4 Dead 2)

I generally purchase game with excellent single player, as well as excellent multiplayer. (Can't think of one made recently.)


santinegrete
santinegrete

@Silinel @96augment @Thunderbear24  I'll just say what came to my mind first when I readed this  from you: The only games I eventually pay for are those that are all about the online multiplayer (primarily because you generally cant play online multiplayer in pirated games),

"please kill yourself, that standard is what is creating shitty MP and SP packages". Just a thought.

Silinel
Silinel

@96augment @Silinel @Thunderbear24 


The only games I eventually pay for are those that are all about the online multiplayer (primarily because you generally cant play online multiplayer in pirated games), and indie games from the Humble Bundles, which are so darn cheap that you might as well throw a couple of bucks to the developers.

And even with the most recent online multiplayer games I've bought:


Left 4 Dead 2: Steam Summer Sale ($5)

Borderlands 2: Bought a nVdia voucher for the game from eBay ($25)

Dead Island: Paid $8 on eBay for a Steam activation code


And so on.

Thunderbear24
Thunderbear24

@Mugzippit @Silinel @Thunderbear24 Me, what on earth are you talking about? I always buy my games from somewhere called a shop ! I don't copy, I never chip consoles, and I dont hack. Why dont you think before you talk.