While Nintendo deny any detection or physical proof of unauthorized applications running on their new Wii U console, the hacking group responsible for making piracy possible on the original Wii are arguing a different case. Recently the Wiikey Group, who have also released a similar product for the XBox 360, announced on their website that they have reverse engineered enough of the Wii U’s guts to allow the system to boot games from an external HDD, which is really the first stepping stone to allowing pirates to run illegal backups.
Only a few lines of code have so far been released and if Nintendo are really overly concerned about the issue it certainly doesn’t show, and nor should it. They didn’t even bother fixing the exploit in the Wii OS section of the Wii U, essentially allowing hackers the ability to play pirated material through the same exploit they already were using on the older console. The legitimate homebrew users will always be there as will the pirates, hiding behind the guise of using their consoles for homebrew App’s and other legal reasons, just waiting for a console to be compromised so they can start collecting free games. These are generally not the kind of gamers who would have forked out hundreds of dollars for new release games, and in a nutshell to equate number of downloads to lost revenue is a biased and unrepresentative statistic, but that’s cause for another debate.
Nintendo have commented on the news with the following, “Nintendo is aware that a hacking group claims to have compromised Wii U security,” the company said in a statement. “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.” If the news is right,Wii U owners should expect a major system update from Nintendo that will more than likely remove the exploit or in cases similar to the original Wii, have the potential to brick and destroy the system altogether, something the good folks at Microsoft probably should have learnt how to do a long time ago.