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Chaos Computer Club Congress presenter hacks the Wii

Interesting to read a report (opens in new tab)from the 24th Chaos Computer Club Congress (opens in new tab) - which was held in Germany between Christmas and the New Year - about a presenter claiming to have hacked (opens in new tab)the Nintendo Wii.

If true, then it's a major step forward for the Wii console, which is reportedly one of the most protected games console systems going. And when you realise that Wii games are a serious hot seller, you begin to understand why, as the development appears to have opened the gate (if you'll pardon the pun) to pirated Wii software.

Looking closely at the video (opens in new tab)from the CCC Congress, it looks like the presenter - who remains nameless - has managed to hack the Wii's operating system environment to run simple Linux applications.

After discussing this with a man who knows, it seems that is all that is needed - in theory at least - to run third-party and home-brew applications on the Wii.

The GameCube, of course, has been seriously hacked for some time, with the result that market stalls are now selling `backup' games software for as little as a fiver, together with instructions on how to modify your machine quite easily.

On the Wii, my pal says it's not so simple, as there's a chipset called Hollywood (opens in new tab) that will only allow the Wii-specific features of the games console to run when an authenticated Wii game is loaded.

And it's this chipset that the Chaos presenter appears to have by-passed.

Allegedly. Some newswire reports (opens in new tab) say that nothing has been released to the community at large, and, because of this, there is a possibility that the `hack' is nothing more than a hoax.

That having been said, the developer forums are abuzzing with the prospect of creating and running homebew software on the Wii.

Hmmm - unless I'm much mistaken, I suspect that Nintendo has a potentially serious profit problem on its hands. You may even say that it has a `Wii' problem.

Sorry - couldn't resist that one...