Is the Wii U condemned to hackers?

There is an old saying: history tends to repeat itself. Using this as a basis, I’m gonna make a very superficial and personally driven analysis of the Wii U system and it’s possible flaws.

To do this, I will go back two generations, to the golden era of consoles, the sixth generation. In this generation we find the Gamecube as Nintendo’s answer to the Ps2, the Dreamcast and the Xbox. The security system found in the Gamecube is very similar to the one found on the Dreamcast: it heavily based on preventing the game medium from being copied. In this case, the Gamecube used a DVD-based format called the GOD (Gamecube Optical Disc). These discs were (and for the most part are still) unreadable by PC DVD-Drives. While I won’t get into details of how the Gamecube security works (I’ll do it another time), but I can tell you, that the Gamecube was, for the most part, the most secured console of it’s generation, it’s scene can be compared to the one we now find in the ps3: late and limited.

The problem is, by the time the Wii was released, the Gamecube was already hacked up and down, both the system itself and the proprietary Disc format it used. This, combined with the fact that the Wii was basically a Gamecube 1.5, made Wii hacking a lot easier. To have a clearer picture, imagine if sony basically made the Vita with the same exact hardware as the psp, only a bit faster, which is what the pspemu is inside of the vita and it’s why it was hacked.

To sum up: the Wii was hacked because it was too similar to the Gamecube, which was already hacked when the Wii came out.
Now, you may be asking what this has to do with the Wii U, nothing! except that this time, Nintendo has done the same thing! the Wii U uses a similar hardware than the one found on the Wii: a PowerPC CPU and an ATI GPU (it’s called AMD now btw).

You might not know this, but the Wii mode inside the Wii U is already hacked, pretty much like the pspemu inside the vita. The difference here, like I said, is that the Wii U is very similar to the Wii and the Gamecube, while the Vita hardware is different from the Psp, which could mean breaking out of the wii sandbox should be fairly easier than breaking from the pspemu sandbox. This was true for the Wii and Gamecube, specially since the Wii never emulated the Gamecube, it didn’t need to, it ran Gamecube code natively. If the same applies to the Wii U, then we might see a native Wii U hack coming right after the Wii mode hack.

 

Again, this is just a wild guess, it might turn out quite the opposite, but I just find it amusing how Nintendo keeps making the same mistakes over and over again while Sony seems to be learning from them.
Let me know your thoughts.

  1. Rowjack1993’s avatar

    someone hack the wiiu please, then i will buy it

    Reply

    1. gunblade’s avatar

      i still yet to get a wiiu saw the triler fo zelda sheeemed cool to fly bombs an poition. ant to play it with remote play….cant wait to cracked the u want to play pokemon on the wii u controler… even the new white 2 n black two…

      Reply

      1. DBG’s avatar

        I actually didn’t buy a Wii until earlier this year (good deal on a refurbished unit at that) and the first thing I did was softmod it. Just keep in mind that the Wii-U has a hypervisor that keeps the Wii mode separate/cut-off from all other system functions (much like the PSP emulation in the Vita). Nothing lasts forever (I mean hell, even the Virtual Boy has a publicly available programming rom cart), but if a hypervisor does it’s job, then you will have to find a flaw in the Wii-U itself (just like knowledge of the PS1/PS2/Xbox may have helped in cracking the Xbox 360 and PS3, but the actual faults were found in the units themselves).

        Reply

      2. deftodn’s avatar

        are you illiterate? Holly shit that is some awful stuff. I can barely tell wtf you are trying to say

        Reply

  2. Kefkiroth’s avatar

    I’d assume piracy wasn’t really a big deal with the Wii as much as the PSP. Or at least, it didn’t discourage developers and kill it in the West. That’s why Sony would focus more on protecting the Vita more than Nintendo protecting the Wii U.

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    1. Acid_Snake’s avatar

      actually, piracy was big in the wii, way bigger than the gamecube. The thing is, the Wii’s titles are mostly first party titles created by Nintendo, which means even if you pirate them, you still buy the system, so Nintendo wins no matter what. For companies like Sony that mostly rely on third party titles to sell the system, piracy is a bigger deal cause it scares away third party devs, which means less titles for the system, which means less system sales.

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      1. James’s avatar

        Companies make hardly any money on hardware sales. All the money is in software sales. Sony and Microsoft were actually losing money for each XBox and PS3 sold initially.

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        1. TV cable’s avatar

          But consider that the Wii was using older hardware when it was the zeitgeist, and required multiple controller options to be bought, and then you’ll understand how they were raking the money in regardless of piracy.

          Anyway the Wii was so popular with the mainstream that piracy wasn’t as big of a deal as with the PSP, which had a demographic that somewhat overlapped with hacking scenes.

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          1. Acid_Snake’s avatar

            exactly, since the wii had less advanced hardware, Nintendo was earning money from it, thus not giving two shits about the games. Sony and Microsoft on the other hand, like I said, make their money off games, either directly, or indirectly (more games = more people buying the system = less loss)

      2. gunblade’s avatar

        thought sony was getting into there first party tittle when the started buying cloud n game companies idk dough ….

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    2. DBG’s avatar

      You have to remember who were buying these systems and games. Even if you had a modded Wii, if you were a kid it’s very possible that Grandma would buy you the new Nintendo game she saw on TV. The PSP fanbase (from what I personally witnessed) were made up of teens/adults that weren’t afraid of modifying their units and held most of the buying power for the games themselves (also I always hated UMDs… I mean it wasn’t a bad idea, it just reminded me of being a kid and some PC CD-ROMs had hard plastic covers around them).

      Reply

  3. chingon’s avatar

    Good read, if history does repeated itself with this one, I might just get one and ease in my Wii…

    Reply

  4. Totoro’s avatar

    For some reason hacking the Wii U itself seems like a bad idea, at least until someone can find exact details on how their updates work. Like can the Wii mode be affected by Wii U system updates, if so, by hacking Wii mode, can it ultimately brick your Wii mode, or Wii U itself as a whole. Another thing, obviously hacking the Wii U will most likely take away the product of Miiverse, which in its entirety is probably the system’s key point, and online play may be completely shut off. There are always a way around an issue, but I just wonder if it the risks for this one outweigh the reward.

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    1. idontknow’s avatar

      lol security researcher doesn’t care whether they can go online with Wii U or not..

      Reply

  5. NakedFaerie’s avatar

    ALL game consoles will be hacked to play backups its just WHEN. It looks like Nintendo should’ve followed Sony and changed their security but making the WiiU backwards compatible with Wii games is kinda hard as the Wii is hacked. What they needed to do was put the security of the 3DS into the WiiU as the 3DS hasn’t been hacked so they know its secure.
    Maybe they did, maybe the WiiU has the same security as the 3DS and it wont be hacked in the near future. Maybe the went the Wii way and it’ll be hacked shortly.

    No matter what happens as soon as the world hears its been hacked there will be a flood of sales. Even if the WiiU hasn’t but the Wii mode has it’ll still sell more. Thats what Nintendo would love, lots of sales of their new console.

    The reason I dont have one is its not in the shops here yet.

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    1. wefcwef’s avatar

      exactly you made it clear

      everybody schould learn from you

      Reply

    2. Kitten’s avatar

      3DS not hacked? it takes a $20 cartridge to play all the 3DS games and homebrew you want. Im hoping Vita eventually succumbs to this too further in its life. Its too early to release something that potent as piracy killed the psp in the west

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      1. DBG’s avatar

        I think you are confusing the ability of some carts (very few though) to play DS titles via the 3DS. To date, there is no commercially available cart that is capable of playing back 3DS roms on a 3DS unit.

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  6. Jennifer’s avatar

    wait till january when things for the wii u become more hackable.

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  7. sasuke1981’s avatar

    thats a good news…if wii U will be hacked soon i’ll buy it

    Reply

  8. MarSprite’s avatar

    yeah, this is a bad thing, cause piracy keeps killing nintendos systems and they spend so much money securing them.. oh wait… the aren’t being killed by piracy, and nintendo isn’t even dumping money into securing them… hmmm who’s being smarter here? sony or nintendo?

    Reply

    1. NakedFaerie’s avatar

      My rant below is kinda like an extension of yours. putting more effort into the console and the games is better than putting all your effort into security. Thats the difference between Nintendo and $ony.

      To me it looks like Nintendo are more into it for the games and the enjoyment for everyone where $ony are just in it for the money and to lock down their console so they can make more money. They dont care for the game or the gamer they just care for the way to make more money. If this wasn’t true explain PS+ Thats just to give $ony more money from suckers.

      Reply

      1. IgnusArmagadan’s avatar

        An optional service that nets you not only free games during the duration of your subscription, but nice price cuts on other games and other free content that you keep even if your subscription runs out. Not really a scam, especially when put next to XBox Live, which charges you JUST to use online features. Imagine paying monthly just to download “free” demos…

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        1. xSpectrum’s avatar

          They have made Xbox LIVE GOLD exclusive content, demos included. They may or may not have been MP though (which would explain that), I don’t remember.

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      2. gunblade’s avatar

        well what would u expect sony ceo r mostly made up more of wealthy uppper class(think most is american)(the asian ones r into the gaming) yeah when they first started out they made good system n the ps3 was more favered on relase date then the outher consles of its gen think after the ps2 they started to not care alot about the business n more in to the profit of it… like the fact that after sony first ps3 the 60 gig they started making changes to it hardware n removing thing that was prety cool like swicthing between playing game then login into a pc…even the ps2 slim was saposed to be fo anti piracy but the thing thened to freeez n lag hard core but i want to get a fat ps2 n if i can only find a copy of final fantasy online bundle pack..(well if they worred about piracy i wish i could still find brand new old school game but sony want u to download most of them as to i dont like digital to much since u then to degrade the file faster wen making copies[like making a copy of a copy]…)

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  9. NakedFaerie’s avatar

    Piracy DOESN’T hurt sales. When the system is hacked it sells MORE.
    The Wii has been hacked for many years and its still selling and games are still getting made and sold so there is NO proof piracy hurts.
    Same for the PSP and Xbox360, PS3, Wii, DS, 3DS all of these still having games made for them and the games are still selling and most of them can run backups. Look at the DS. Its still got games getting released now and it can run backups and do you see that a problem?

    If piracy was such a problem then explain the DS. WHy are games still getting made for it even after 2 more generations of consoles are released. The DSi and 3DS are both newer than the DS and games are still getting made for the DS. I think this is proof piracy doen’t hurt and devs dont care. If they did care and piracy did hurt they would’ve stopped making DS games when the DSi came out then they would’ve changed to the 3DS when that came out as it still cant play backups and the security is great on it.

    So to end my rant piracy DOESN’T hurt and sales will only go up with or without the console hacked.

    Reply

    1. Acid_Snake’s avatar

      if you’re statement is true, then how come the vita sales dropped down when CEF was released? and how come the dreamcast didn’t do well despite the fact that it was easily hacked? or how the ps2 sold so much even though hacking it was very hard? Piracy does have its effects in consoles but it’s not a decisive thing, for the Vita, hacking the pspemu was good for people who already had it, but it wasn’t a good selling point for people that didn’t have it. For the Dreamcast, Sega was already in a bad economical state, and piracy was just the last nail sega needed to drop hardware support, rather than piracy being a godsend like you think it is. As for the Ps2, lack of easy piracy attracted more developers and great games came on that system, meaning more people bought it.

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      1. MarSprite’s avatar

        Well there hasn’t been all that much released for the vita I actually want. I have wipeout for myself which I’ve beaten, Rayman Origins for my girlfriend which she has beaten, And I already had Monster hunter freedom unite but it’s much more fun to play on the vita than the psp. oh, I also picked up retro city rampage, and I have zen pinball2 and all the tables I already owned for zen pinball.
        aside from that, I haven’t wanted any of the games they have released for the vita all that much. So yeah, if someone would release something I want to play, I’d buy it, but they haven’t lately, so sales suck, duh.

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        1. TV cable’s avatar

          I hate how you Rayman Origins is for your girlfriend only. That game is a masterpiece.

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          1. Lion_Amongst_Men’s avatar

            You could blame nihllistic for ruining a COD game xD for horrible vita sales lately!

          2. MarSprite’s avatar

            well we were playing it together, but she deleted the save and it killed my interest.

      2. oO Flowzilla Oo’s avatar

        “if you’re statement is true, then how come the vita sales dropped down when CEF was released?”

        Sales were going to drop anyways… And they’re going to continue to drop. Not many people are interested in the Vita. I personally know A LOT of people who either:

        A) bought the Vita and returned it.

        B) Didn’t even feel motivated enough to buy the Vita.

        I see a bad future for the Vita. Not much support from the devs either.

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      3. me’s avatar

        Why would CEF hurt Vita software sales? It’s not like people can pirate Vita games. The Vita is failing for some of the same reasons the PSP was a minor success at best. As for the PS2, it was not hard to hack. Swap tricks were easy although the expense of DVD writers and media made coping games expensive at first. Later, HD Loader blew the whole thing up. Luckily for Sony, the PS2 was already a huge success by then.

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      4. Sirpennywise’s avatar

        PC games have been hacked from the beginning .. yet their sales are soaring more than ever.

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        1. xSpectrum’s avatar

          Its easier to play a flashed 360 game online than a pirated PC game. Usually, not always.

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      5. n1nurt4’s avatar

        if I am correct, the dreamcast was a victim of piss-poor marketing. From what I’ve read, they waited too long to start promoting their console and before long retailers were stuck with thousands of dreamcasts nobody even knew they were selling. I can’t remember the source, but a quick google search ought to pull up a few results on the matter. Btw I don’t necessarily agree with the person above, just wanted to say something about the dreamcast.

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        1. jamesssss’s avatar

          Dreamcast marketing got badly damaged because of Sony, Sony point blank lied about PS2 features to get people to wait for it.

          Problem is people waited for it because of the PS1′s success and by the time the PS2 was released a year later and the lied to specs were known the Dreamcast was on its death bed and Sega’s hardware division with it

          This is probably one of the biggest tragedies in gaming history as Nintendo and Sega were all in it for the games and if you look most classic games are made by them. Sony and Microsoft are unfortunately in it for the money and god how I hate FPS games!!

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    2. gunblade’s avatar

      true an if u think about the piracy halep sale but if u think about piracy if actuly easyes in the last gen(ps3 xbox 360 wii. conlse becuz they were more digital freidly as to the outher system u had to make hard copy of the games as to now u can guy copy them to hard drive n storages

      Reply

  10. James’s avatar

    I think the backwards compatibility, cheap and powerful hardware, and ease to develop on makes it a good idea. It’d be much better to focus on securing the Wii U end of the security rather than changing hardware and dropping Wii support. It’d be punishing regular customers for the sake of fighting piracy, something Sony’s never done (Where’s linux on my PS3?). I like that I can play my Wii games on my WiiU and utilize my WiiMotes as controllers. For once I don’t have to dump a bunch of money buying a whole new set of controllers for my console.

    Reply

    1. gunblade’s avatar

      i always like the backward cableity of the third gen consles.( the fact to be able to play ur older game on a newer consle was alway a good thing…) wish they had a gameboy n gameboy advance extension port like the gamecube but i guess that wy there alway the gamecube ds game on the tv would be alright if possible with the wii u…

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      1. xSpectrum’s avatar

        Third gen? I didn’t think the SNES and Genesis played NES and Master System games.

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        1. gunblade’s avatar

          welll in a way the gen all off any way xbox came out around ps2 gamecube was like the third or sumthing wat nintendo sumper nintendo n64 then game cube i think.. the realese of the n64 n the playstion was the best remeber thomb raider n mario

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  11. TV cable’s avatar

    I hope it doesn’t get hacked just yet (same with the Vita). Once these consoles sell a fair bunch and are off the ground, then it’s all good, but if they get hacked around now, then most of the people that have them overlap with hacking demographics, which will be the death knell for both consoles due to piracy. 3DS might just be at the moment where it’ll be acceptable though.

    PS3 got hacked late, which didn’t hurt it too much. PSP on the other hand is the exact opposite. Fucked from the beginning. Suffered immensely from piracy. (though still ended up having an awesome library).

    Wii and DS were easily hacked, but were such mainstream hits that it didn’t matter.

    I discovered the hacking scene in my teens with the PSP in 2005, so pretty much grew up obsessed with it. I don’t want another Dreamcast on our hands, particularly with the future of the Vita and WiiU looking bleak at the moment.

    Reply

    1. stOneskull’s avatar

      one thing about the psp was the enormous difference between loading times between a disk and a back-up off the memory card. once you experienced playing one back-up you never wanted to use a disk again. and not just the loading time, but the noisiness of the disk. it really became horrible using a disk. i’m guessing this is similar to a back-up on other optical disk-based consoles as well.
      i’ve heard games running off the vita flash cards are a little bit faster than off the memory card which is interesting. i think i’ve spent more money on the vita than any console in the past.. and besides the piece of crap that is dungeon hunter alliance, i haven’t regretted the money spent yet.. (and i got half my money back for that piece of crap in a trade-in so all’s good)

      Reply

    2. gunblade’s avatar

      well usaly well there system get hacked then end up relase like a newer sythem but like an upgraded one like the slims …(xbox 360 newer models was alright since they did fix the green light).. but for new models with upgraded hardware now would be to much i can see if sony add like the apple screens to the vita n longer battery life n wifi ooh n more bult in memory(like on full ssd) but think they sticking to there vita cards fo no but the psp wen it went go had intenal storage n memory card slots so upgrade wold be alright i guesss…

      Reply

  12. Marc’s avatar

    The people who say that piracy kills a system should first think about the success of PS1, PS2, Wii, NDS and Xbox360. Maybe this will enlighten them.

    As for the PSP or Dreamcast, these systems weren’t received very well by the public from the beginning. The later hacking didn’t change anything at all. It’s rather the exact opposite. Sales of the PSP hardware went up when it was hacked… software sales just stayed the same. So no influence from hacking.

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  13. Methos’s avatar

    Most of the console owners dont mod they system and even if they do,most of them have 2 consoles for online,so they buy the games anyway!and the prices for the games are to high if they lower the price to 20-25 euro game,everybody will stay legit!but 60-50 euro its to much!

    Reply

    1. xSpectrum’s avatar

      I remember getting Bad Company 2 on my flashed Xbox. I bought all of the DLC and then bought the game after playing it. And yes, it was still $50 at the time. (Bought it used since I already had VIP)

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  14. zoraktorok’s avatar

    I see alot of back and forth about how piracy is bad and kills consoles or it is good and draws people towards the systems… I think it has to do with the ease of use for an exploit along with the demographic.

    DS – $12 for an r4 (hear there is a big stick aobut those right now) and you can play any game you want… simple put the games on the card… VERY EASY. The DS games sell like crazy because parents for the most part buy the games for their children… guys buy girls the games for presents… everyone else can copy the hell out of them, they already made their money anyway.

    Wii – For the most part the same thing although you get into a diffrent set of problems hacking it, diffrent models, Game STACKS, firmware versions… takes atleast general knowledge (less now, but a base had already been made.)

    Dreamcast – The system didn’t sell that well to begin with ( I got one 8 days after launch at an overstock outlet), but when you find games at your local flea market or see them at street vendors with absolutly no knowledge or effort to use them — sega died

    PS3 – They started WAY behind xbox, but grew with popularity in recent years but lack some serious third party console specific support. I suppose the system is doing allright, but hacking it can be a major problem… Though leaps and bounds have been made, most people just don’t have the know-how, patientce or the desire to lose COD online. YES, I know that can still be done AT TIMES, but even using ninja I only update trophys and get some content off of PStore, atleast till the ban wave comes again… too much money tied up in my psn and I have a vita. Off topic… Okay, the Ps3 is a hard one to view because Sony is dead in the water, but the ps3 side dosn’t seem to be its downfall, so I guess the piracy impact is down to a minimum.

    Xbox – The system was fairly easy to hack ( I bought one at a goodwill recently pre-hacked :-> ), but just didn’t last that many years to feel the sting from it. 360 pushed through the doors and let the console die befor it could hit the floor.

    Xbox360 – Due to its live sucess and third party support most people serious about the system have two in order to play online without fear. I guess piracy hurts thhe developers more than bring a downfall to the system much in the way gamefly or redbox does… if a game sucks you downloaded your not going to buy it to play online, or if the game isn’t online users just play through and delete (such as just keeping a gamefly rental till you beat it)

    PSP – I’m going to leave this one alone since you are reading this on THIS site, so I assume a general idea has been founded

    Vita – I disagree that eCFW hurt sales… The vita just isn’t doing well. What was the number? 4800 vita sells to 8700 psps in japan last week? I REALLY hope well for this system. Hardware, design and flexibility for a handheld console SHOULD be utilized but I just don’t think it will. Fucl<ing apple. A huge money maker in the portable world is the influence that each normal owner can have as an advertisemnt for people who would not normally purchase such items. Most people have a phone and just don't see the draw since they are not gamers. The vita isn't hacked yet and if it is, I would say a vast majority of owners would make use of the piracy side and the system would surely die… it is already being choked anyway.

    Gamecube – SUCKED (personal opinion), I guess I was too old for the little controler and most games that came out for it, but that is also why it survived after the hack. Again, most kids didn't know how to hack it. Nintendo didn't make a huge amount of money off of the system because of the core audience, but they made enough to keep going.

    PS2 – As many people who had it and as wide spread as the audience was, there would have been alot of sharing of information and helping others get "free stuff" had the easy to use hacks not came so late. As it was, most had moved on to the xbox.

    PS1 – Disc swap, heck yeah! I could do it and I bet ALOT of you could too!!! Ever try to explain it to someone else who just didn't get it? Don't get aggrivated, its just a memory of something that happened. CD-burners were pretty expensive then, cds were too… The internet was pretty new and you were not going to find many hosts for 600 meg files, besides, communitys were forming, not formed. If the internet had came 3 years earlier and burners were cheaper back then, the ps1 would have been a diffrent story in my opinion.

    Everything else is mostly irrelivent in this discussion, the 3ds is doing well, but only plays ds backups. I'm not trying to be definitive about all of this;

    MY POINT is that it really is console and method specific. I think the Wii U could be hacked tomorrow and at worst case scenario it would have a little better return in profit to nintendo than the gamecube.

    Reply

    1. Acid_Snake’s avatar

      I stopped reading the moment you said Gamecube games were not for people your age, lmao, some of the most gore, bloody and hardcore games came out of that system, for example Resident Evil 4, also Metal Gear Solid The Twin Snakes is the bloodiest Metal Gear out there, and it’s a Gamecube exclusive. CoD 1 and 2 were also released, and GTA 3 + Vice City was going to be at some point but got scratch (no idea why, but it wasn’t disc space, there was plenty of room for those games to be ported). Not to mention the fact that now-a-days more processing power means more hardcore, and guess what, the Gamecube was faster than the Ps2, to the point where it can almost fully emulate the N64 (mostly depending on the game, but it is overall better than the psp).

      Reply

      1. zoraktorok’s avatar

        I seem to have offended you :-> Fans stick to their guns I guess… if you take into account the m-rated games or simple mature themed games by numbers, the gamecube was way under the other consoles. I had a gamecube… I just never bought anything for it…. Why would I buy an inferior port of COD when I could have a better version? Saying that it was a good system because it could emulate the n64 better than the psp… I would hope a home console released just three years earlier than the psp would have a little more oomph.
        The system DID have some good games, smash brothers, RE4 and Metal Gear Solid The Twin Snakes like you said, Pikmin, zelda series…. My point is that I had the other consoles and they had more games geared towards my age catagory so my time was spent. Nothing drew me to the GC more than a few days at a time but I played the hell out of my xbox, so for me it sucked…. thats why I said personal opinion right after I made my statement.

        No hard feelings, I just like to argue :->

        Reply

  15. AyeGuy’s avatar

    I was wondering when they would start blogging about more than just sony products, but now they just have to tackle the microsoft products. I hope to see a blog about the xbox 8/270, when it comes out.

    Reply

    1. Acid_Snake’s avatar

      I’m not generally a Microsoft fan, that and the fact that I don’t have a single Xbox console makes it hard for me to make a blog about it. Remember, I mostly blog about consoles I have.

      Reply

  16. Softtm17’s avatar

    mh..I think nintendo keeps making the same mistakes over and over…(call it….mistakes..) because people can think “WII U is modifiable? Can I buy burned games? Can I download the games instead of paying them 60€?
    Yes! and people buy Wii U……at an early period the money back in the nintendo games …. at a later period only on pads and accessories…(srry 4 my bad english) hope you understand. is always so.

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  17. Diceaurora’s avatar

    The WII U is as good as hacked can’t wait

    Reply

  18. thebigc’s avatar

    I’d like to point out that the DSi and 3DS, which came after the extensively hacked and documented GBA and DS, have not been hacked. The new handheld systems have much greater security, and it seems Nintendo has learned from their Wii experience.

    The DSi has been hacked, but it was patched up so quickly that the number of people with the DSi hack are only in the hundreds (me included, yay). No further exploits or hacks have been found, or at least not any that are publicly documented.

    Reply

  19. jlo138’s avatar

    People hack the Wii because Nintendo charges people too much money for VC games, and crappy Wii games. They push out so many games so fast that are just garbage. Kart Racer, Truck Racer, any game made by Zoo, Big Rig etc. I can play all my games from an external HDD as lots of people know how to do. Laser Lenses don’t last as long as Cartridge based games. If my HDD breaks I can use the game drive. But I also can use an external LG DVD drive via USB to play burned discs if all else fails.

    WiiU: I want one hacked or not. I have a Wii already for Wii games. The WiiU games will hold upwards of 25GB right? I don’t see many people downloading those. Copying maybe, but blu ray blanks are not as cheap as DVD-r. Copying to an HDD could work but still, reading 25gb will take some time I assume.

    One would really have to look at the bigger picture here. How many people actually know how to do this? How many people that have a Wii or WiiU when it’s hacked even know its possible? And if so, how many would take the risk to do it after spending so much money? I think maybe 1-3 out of 10 people even know about hacks. Fewer would take the risk.

    That’s my opinion/ statement.

    Reply

    1. stOneskull’s avatar

      i think you’re right. i’ve even experienced people where i show them my hacked psp and offering to to do it to theirs and they refuse. a lot of people, even seeing how possible it is won’t do it. and that is an old system that doesn’t even have online gaming.
      99 people out of 100 use a console the way it was designed to be used. so i really believe piracy is a non-issue for the most part.
      only PC users would be different to the norm and even then agents like Steam create the right middle ground to encourage sales and enable security.

      Reply

  20. Drew’s avatar

    The Wii side on the Wii U hasn’t been patched. There’s reports of people able to play Wii Homebrew and backups using SmashStack on the Wii U.

    Reply

  21. HappyJoe’s avatar

    I’d argue that if you make the same mistakes you’re going to get the same results, which seems to be working for Nintendo. Maybe if Nintendo switched things up they could really get screwed, but remember, they AREN’T SONY. I don’t know what Sony has learned from hackers exactly, since they still leave vulnerabilities in the system they are frantic to keep shut. I think Nintendo probably realizes that piracy is just part of the reality of being a video game company and spends time actually coming up with innovative ideas that draw people back. Just my 2 cents as probably a nintendo fanboy.

    Reply

  22. Slimjim3k’s avatar

    The Wii-U being similar to the Wii as the Wii to the Gamecube. I like that. It implies that the Dolphin emulator can add Wii-U functionality.

    Reply

    1. Acid_Snake’s avatar

      it’s not that simple, we’re talking about emulating a system as powerful (or almost as powerful) as the ps3 and 360

      Reply

  23. celcodioc’s avatar

    The 3DS’s ARM CPU is similar to the one found in the DS. We’ve been able to run homebrew since the launch of the 3DS (in DS mode of course) because of that, but there are still no public 3DS mode exploits.

    That’s why I believe the Wii U won’t be hacked easily.

    Reply

    1. celcodioc’s avatar

      Correction: “We’ve been able to run homebrew on the 3DS since the launch of the 3DS (in DS mode of course).”

      Reply

      1. Acid_Snake’s avatar

        your statement is flawed, if it were to be true then we wouldn’t need emulation to play ps1 or n64 games on the psp cause they are all mips. One thing is to have the same exact cpu (case of the wii and gamecube), and another is having two different cpus with the same architecture (case of the psp and ps1).

        Reply

  24. Yes’s avatar

    Interesting stuff, but i wonder if this will mean a faster WiiU hack. If we take another example, the 3DS, this system is able to play DS games. If i’m not mistaken, there is DS hardware inside the 3DS hardware as well, but the 3DS isnt hacked yet.

    Reply

  25. snailcomment’s avatar

    The WiiU, like the 3ds, has closed many of the homebrew entry points that existed in previous systems. I don’t think it will be easy to hack.

    Reply

  26. Yifan Lu’s avatar

    I respectfully disagree. The wii being hacked had nothing to do with the GameCube hacks. It was a timing attack done one the key due to a flaw in how the key is checked. They found this though hardware ram sniffers and stuff. But if you’re going to extrapolate, the Vita IS similar to the psp in terms of the software (not hardware). The vita’s os does use a similar arch found on the psp and ps3.

    Reply

    1. Nope’s avatar

      IIRC, Twizzers found the exploit in the GCN version of Twilight Princess and someone was like “…I wonder if it will work… LOL IT DOES”.

      Reply

    2. Acid_Snake’s avatar

      I was not talking at all about the way it was hacked, but rather why it was easily hacked. The fact that these exploits were found is because the wii was pretty much documented before it existed (by means of the gamecube), and the propietary format was also hacked big time before the system was released. Had the disc format not being hacked, it would have taken longer to crack the system. It’s kind of the reason why sony uses a new type of media for the vita, cause the one on the psp is pretty much wide open.

      Reply

  27. ndh777’s avatar

    Nintendo isn’t really worried about hacking because its audience consists of children who are more concerned with playing the latest Mario game and have their parents buy all of their games. They aren’t concerned with how much the games cost and neither are their parents or others who buy their games. Nintendo has been very relaxed on piracy because it hasn’t been that huge of a problem. Few people know about R4 cards or about using cards to play Wii games for free and most don’t really mind buying the games. Whereas with Sony and Microsoft, it’s been a bigger problem because their audience consists of mostly adults and others who buy their games and want free or dirt cheap ways of getting the newest games. Plus, the hardware has more potential from Sony and Microsoft’s side whereas not as many people think they can do much with Nintendo’s hardware.

    Reply

    1. z3’s avatar

      R4 cards and piracy on the Wii is actually quite common (relatively speaking), even amongs the more casual gamers. Using a R4 card is quite easy, and it means that parents can buy one card and get basically every game for free for their kids.

      Reply

    2. z3’s avatar

      “A R4 card is quite easy to use” is what i ment to write :)

      Reply

      1. ndh777’s avatar

        Exactly. That’s why I say Nintendo has been so chill on piracy otherwise it’d be more difficult like it has been for those using Microsoft and Sony consoles. I remember I accidentally updated my DSi and it wouldn’t play the R4 card right but a quick couple of files later and I was back to normal. It’s a problem, but Nintendo doesn’t seem to address it much.

        Reply

  28. SifJar’s avatar

    A lot of misinformation/over-simplification going on here.

    First off, I’d like to give a brief overview of the early Wii scene; very quickly, modchips were created that allowed playing burnt games, both Wii and GC. In GC mode, this allowed homebrew on specially made discs, as the GC had less security checks etc. When the Wii entered GC mode, some RAM was restricted, so code was running on essentially a GC. However, Nintendo forgot to clear the higher parts of RAM when entering GC mode, and so the group that became known as “Team Twiizers” used a pair of tweezers to bridge between parts of RAM, giving access to the parts that should have been off limits. This meant homebrew running in GC mode could access the higher RAM and see what was left behind by the Wii side of things.

    This lead to the discovery of the Wii common key, which in turn allowed the decryption of the IOS (IOS being essentially the “firmware” of the Wii, which controlled both hardware access and also security). It was here that the infamous “Trucha Bug” was found. There are more in depth descriptions elsewhere, but essentially Nintendo used the wrong function to check the hashes of content when installing it or running a disc (strcpy instead of memcpy), which allowed people to bruteforce the hash and make IOS think that the content was signed by Nintendo.

    Using this method, a disc containing custom code could be created and “fake signed”, then booted using a modchip. This was the first custom code running on the Wii, in native Wii mode.

    It was a bit later that TT turned their attention to games to try and find a save game exploit, which they eventually did in the form of the Twilight Hack. Their Homebrew Channel installer then used the trucha bug to make the IOS think it was installing an official channel.

    Obviously there were many further developments beyond this, up to the point of the scene today, but this is how it all got started.

    The point I am making here is that it was not done by “breaking the GC sandbox”; it was a native Wii exploit all along (the Trucha Bug) that was the fatal flaw. The GC sandbox was never actually “broken” really, they just changed the part of RAM it could access.

    When it comes to the WiiU, you can be sure Nintendo have learnt from their mistakes. RAM will be cleared before entering WiiMode (this was even done on later models of the Wii when entering GC mode, after the damage was done).

    I feel we should also have a look at the situation on DSi/3DS; in both cases, custom code was running via flashcards within days of their release, in DS mode. In neither case has the sandbox ever been “broken”. There were a couple of DSi mode exploits. Nothing for the 3DS as of yet.

    I think Nintendo have been learning their lessons. The “hacks” for WiiMode on the WiiU can only run homebrew, they can’t install HBC or anything like that. The IOS in WiiMode on the WiiU are hardcoded not to allow installation of certain types of content. Some exploits have been patched. They have taken a few good measures they never did/could on the Wii itself. Think how much more protection they will have poured onto native WiiU mode.

    Wow, this was a long post. Oops. tl;dr: the GC sandbox wasn’t broken, the Wii’s security system was critically flawed. The WiiU won’t have the same flaws, and more recent Nintendo consoles have been much harder to hack (DSi & 3DS).

    Reply

  29. Davee’s avatar

    IMO, this article is pretty poor. I was hoping for a good arguement on why the Wii U will be “condemned” to hackers, but all that I could really see was: “it has the same architecture and the gamecube had same architecture as wii, therefore it should be the same”.

    Whilst history does repeat itself, people also learn from mistakes. Just because they’ve chosen another PPC CPU doesn’t equate to it being as easily hack-able; they may have heightened up the security in software.

    I think this article could of provided a bit more evidence to support it’s arguement rather than just using filler to formulate a post.

    Maybe I’m being too picky, but I preferred this site when it was consistent with high quality posts, rather than dribble.

    Reply

    1. lol’s avatar

      still salty on the leak?

      Reply

    2. Acid_Snake’s avatar

      sorry I couldn’t provide any in-depth explanation but I simply haven’t bought a Nintendo console that came after the GC, which I consider the last good console released by Nintendo, therefore my knowledge beyond that is pretty much null, and like I said, this is purely based on personal opinion, very little tech stuff.
      I hope my upcoming article about Ps1 security is better. specially since I’m personally working on discovering the extra security added on later psone models (not that it wasn’t discovered before, but there is little doc about it so I’ll have to work by myself).

      Reply

  30. About7fish’s avatar

    As far as I’m concerned, keep making these mistakes. Especially on handhelds. I don’t know how I got by without portable emulators.

    Reply

  31. garrei’s avatar

    maybe they are making these “mistakes” on purpose, why bother paying a heap of security devs their salaries when by the end of it they would have spent more money on securing the system than what they would have lost from piracy.

    Reply

  32. Sirpennywise’s avatar

    Its just like every other form of piracy, they don’t stop making or creating these things just because someone is going to hack it. Music/Movies/PC Games and Apps – the entire industry might take a hit but its still very profitable.

    Reply

  33. NORATIO’s avatar

    Hi looks like some of them already figured out how to run Homebrews on the Wii U, and this is with Emulators this time. It really makes me think of VHLB on Vita running emulators via PSP.

    That will probably give an extra boost to the Wii U again.. normally every homebrewers wait for this before buying a console. I just test this tuturial and it works fine on the Wii U.. running NES and SNES no problem :

    http://youtu.be/wcokXFR2W9E

    Reply

  34. Esude’s avatar

    Let me just make this clear! Yes more systems will be bought because of piracy, but the games will go down, since it takes a lot of money to make just one! Please don’t support piracy!! The last thing any one wants is no great games… just crappy ones! Piracy will lead to destruction for any console and the game company’s that support them!

    Reply

  35. Sambal Belacan’s avatar

    hack console was greatly sold … that how nintendo and xbox make money … but that not good for game dev

    Reply

  36. XxtheeliminatorxX’s avatar

    Nintendo does it on purpose and personally I thank them and that’s why I sold my vita and got a wii u and that’s why I’ve always loved Nintendo and never think negative about them Sony screws you over steals your money patches your hacks and ex pilots and breaks into your home and steals your information and threatens to sue you and put you in jail. Do you see Nintendo doing that? No because they care about the customer and what their console or product can do more than what they knew and so it brings their sales up more. Have I thought about piracy yes plenty of times I’ll admit it but I don’t have it on my console I have wii home brew for emulators that I have games to consoles for so I don’t have to hook up my snes an switch games every 20 mins or gba they never made TV hook up for it at least I never knew about it but still I would rather have my old games on one system instead of 10. Microsoft doesn’t like piracy but are they that aggressive ? No you can still play online but once you get found they ban you forever and its better than getting beating by the cops or FBI because Sony hired them and they have the money to due then sue you take all your money and your left with nothing. Who the fuck in the right mind wants a company to do that because you copied mabey a game or to I sure as hell don’t and the funny thing is that Sony comes after you not the company’s that get their games copied which you’d think it would be the other way around because your just breaking the console codes which let’s you run your hombrew or copy the game it would hurt company not Sony or any other company I just say fuck Sony their bitches!!!! I been with their stupid company for years and all they ever do it cause mayhem and steal your shit that’s all you ever hear about them when some big news comes up and if you lost your account opp well fuck you with a bigg finger you lose all your games data and even money that’s on their.I started out with with old and new generation console buying myself starting with generation consoles from original Nintendo to ps2 bought a wii sold it bought a ps3 had it for a year sold it bought a 360 sold it bought a ps3 sold it bought another ps3 because I saw it was hacked at 3.55 cfw kreamw hacked it myself put the emulators on it and copied my games onto my hard drive and copied some of my friends games not stealing sold it bought another ps3 sold that finally bought another wii for 50$ on Craigslist which was a huge steal put home brew on it with all the emulators of games I have haven’t sold and never will had a android tablet and recent ally bought a vita said fuck you Sony!! And bought a wii u because Nintendo has always been the best every time but what we don’t realize ever since wifi came out for consoles we’ve Been fucked because we get shorted games and have to buy dlc and basically pay 100$ not even know it being blindsided and firmware updates to make the console “Better” when in fact we get fucked every time and we just have to deal with. What happened to the days where we had full game no doc no firmware updates bricking are consoles internet has fucked every console from now until for ever! And I don’t give 2 shit how bad my grammar is or where my puctuations is and spelling this was only suppose to be a tiny sentence but felt the need to just let it all out and tell everyone

    Reply

    1. stOneskull’s avatar

      this site is pretty good at not being hard on people’s spelling/grammar, so don’t worry about that. there are people from all over the planet and english is not the first language of everyone. besides, it shouldn’t really matter as long as it’s understandable. it’s petty to pick on spelling and grammar rather than the idea/content of the post.

      Reply

    2. demix’s avatar

      Sony hired cops to beat people up for piracy? Dude you either are crazy stupid or trolling.Sony doesnt come to ur house because u pirate theres people that do it for them. You buy your consoles just to pirate? I have ps vita and ps3 and i buy games for them and get some for free with ps+.Cfw should be used to extend consoles functions not to pirate games.
      Microsoft isnt agressive ever heared of windows or wga? You bought a console that will support cfw let you steal but it is barely on same level as ps3 and x360.

      Reply

    3. Yes’s avatar

      Yes, i see Nintendo do things to stop piracy. Nintendo have sued people who sold modchips, and they also had some saying in making R4 DS cards illegal in Japan.

      Several of things you say about Sony here is simply not true. No one is hiring people to beat up people because they hack. Seriously? Where did you get that from? I’m not trying to sound rude, but i have to ask out of curiousity.

      Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony do many things trying to stop piracy in the way they feel is the best thing to do.

      Reply

  37. demix’s avatar

    Wii u will be hacked soon why? because games cost 60$ I do consider wii u big mistake not because of the price but because of its hardware.
    1. You got 8gb hdd or 32gb hdd if you got 8gb one youll be able to get one game on ur hdd since its software takes most of the space.

    2. Usb is 2.0 not 3.0 so lower speeds on external hdds

    3. Software is bloody slow

    4.new remote/tablet doesnt have long battery life and further you move from wii u faster it discharges.

    After finding these things out i lost any interest in wii u. Only innovative thing is pad. So what nintendo has done is catched up with ps3 and x360.

    Reply

  38. gunblade’s avatar

    well think i remeber sumthing about sony complainy about custume ps3 playing with regular consles well i always wanted to play a online shoooter with god mode on… wish conlse play only had more bugger level with like hundred of players n can see one hole stage of halo with like fulll player playing n misssion online with 5000 outher on the same server hope the new gen consles ps orisis n xbox 720 have more computer frienldy online gameplay(with game like warcraft) but yea piracy wise they conplained abit on the advantage of the hacked consles. the xbox 720 realy should jus come with like windows seven (8 actuly prety shity fo pc)n nitendo can have ios n sony linix what a would….

    Reply

  39. ue’s avatar

    I always use the DS and the wii as great examples of platforms that are possibly the most pirated of all time and still made heaps of money…

    Piracy isn’t the issue

    Reply

  40. TheSpillmonkey’s avatar

    Wololo, The Wii-u has two NANDs. The WiiU nand and a seperate chip for wiimode.

    At the moment, it is far closer to a dual-boot styled system (only one runs), than a sandbox emulation level setup.

    Also, it appears boot2 is gone, and they removed some extra space from their wii nand (as in later wii hardware).

    I got my wii-u a few days early. Posted on the /talk forums earlier when i was trying to sniff out controller packets :)
    Been messing with it every other day or so. The Wii-mode side is indeed vulnerable to some of the same attacks as the wii though. The smash attack being the easiest to pull off as it is a game-side and SD card based attack (not based off saves) though if you stick in your sd card with the attack too early it will wipe it :)

    Reply

    1. ue’s avatar

      Read the author of the post, god why do people just skip that.

      Reply

      1. TheSpillmonkey’s avatar

        Good call. I do forget that snake posts almost 1 in 4 articles here :)

        Reply

  41. RetroZelda’s avatar

    anyone else have N64 piracy with Mr. Backup Z64? zip disks and long load times… cant beat that :D

    Reply

    1. wololo’s avatar

      As mentioned in the article, this is the Wii mode of the wii U, just like we hacked the psp side of the vita.

      Reply

  42. Chaosruler’s avatar

    How do you explain DSi mode not being hacked yet?
    the DS scene is huge, the DSi is just a “faster DS” with more RAM when put to technical terms, therefore breaking the DS “sandbox” to reach DSi access should be fairly easy, don’t tell me it’s because 3DS gets all the interest, the DSi had a large amount of time in the scene before the 3DS was even released…

    I believe Nintendo is just BETTING you would approach hacking the Wii U this way and therefore increased the security to fit it

    Reply

    1. ue’s avatar

      DS mode on 3DS is hacked btw, was done in a couple of weeks of release :P

      also DSI was hacked too but it is harder due to their new security measures.

      Reply

  43. Goteki 45’s avatar

    Maybe Nintendo isn’t “learning” from their security mistakes because they’re more about utilizing a system than locking it down.

    Reply

    1. TheSpillmonkey’s avatar

      You must know little about the 3DS security :)

      Reply

  44. saeeid’s avatar

    Wii U = GC v2.0?

    Reply

    1. ChaosAgent’s avatar

      At best, you would have to say the Wii is GC 2.0. The Wii U would be Wii 2.0 (especially since it doesn’t even run GC games!). Although, since the hardware is based on the same tech (CPU architecture), I would guess that GC emulation wouldn’t be a problem (at least with GC ISOs or the virtual console). You wouldn’t be able to use a GC controller though…

      Reply

  45. Jimmy’s avatar

    People still blame piracy? The Wii was the easiest to hack out of this generation’s consoles and it still did well. Only reason the sales died down was because the Wii’s catalog catered to little kids and their parents more than actual gamers. If piracy is hurting anything, it’s PC gaming.

    Reply

    1. Meow’s avatar

      Somehow that’s true. Wait, it is true.

      Reply

  46. youkosnake’s avatar

    Wii-U’s Wii mode has already been hacked. Using literally the EXACT same exploits that were on the Wii.

    Reply

  47. 9rockky’s avatar

    Wii U mode will still protected like 3DS mode that still
    need to buy original card and correct region zone…

    Reply

  48. CJW’s avatar

    Well I think a lot of usefull and true things have been said in this post and a lot of crap has been said as well.

    One thing I don’t think has been said is that there is a pride factor here particularly with $ony and to a slightly lesser degree with Micro$oft. I just don’t feel Nintedo takes it the same way. The other issue is online. Nintendo was very slow coming to the online seen and still doesn’t have the crazy online play volume in games like Halo, COD, and Killzone have spawned on the other systems. Hacked or Modded systems often lead to cheaters (dumbos) that ruin the fun for everyone. So because M$ in particular is so vested in online and acutally charges for online play (xbox gold) they have more of a duty to protect their legit users and 3rd party developers. Hence all the waves and waves of bans and other hostile behavior twards modders.

    I have to agree with others that pirating does not seem to be hurting profits that much. Look to the DreamCast people, that system was screwed from the start because PS1 was so successful and had so many great titles up until and after ps2 came out. There were so many loyalists that even though DC had nice hardware improvements it was sort of a .5 type jump over the previous generation. People just were going to wait another year for PS2 and not blow their money on DC. Additionally so many of the good games for DC were very hard to find at retail or not released in all teritories. In the US you could get the 2K sports games and other sega releases but finding Grandia (awesome) and headhunter (great game) and other titles that weren’t Sega was very difficult. So piracy did not kill the system.

    I think Nintendo have probably put more into Wii U security than meets the eye. I agree with other on 3DS and DS analogy. 3DS has been out what now almost 2 years and no fricking flash carts or exploits. Who cares about DS mode. I have a 3DS compatible DS flash card and rarely use it. It eats too much battery power and 3DS already has a shitty battery. I find when I want to play DS title I just break out my old white DS and play on that as it is more portable, better battery life and screens more ideal for DS games.

    Other people have said this but hacking/modding is relatively small potatoes these days. I mean we likely have in the tens of thousands of people hacking on console bases that have tens of millions of installed units. So the numbers are something like 1-5%. People have also said and it is true there are far more cassual and children gamers and they just don’t have the appitude or intelligence to do this stuff, plus when Mommy buys them whatever game they want every week/month why bother.

    As for Vita others again have said this but there are several things hurting it. Lets start with not enough good content. I mean the COD game is a disgrace. They use a powerful name brand, do a bundled system xmas release and then the game absolutely sucks. Its a horrible PR move that pisses off consumers and damages the brand. AC Liberation is atleast a decent game but who the hell wants a white unit (unless its a star wars x360). Plus 2K sports is putting out NBA2k13 for PSP and not for Vita? Again great franchise that people would buy a system for but no release that really rocks for Vita. Madden for Vita…sucked, MLB TS was pretty decent but didn’t sell. So I throw this at the feat of $ony for poor marketing and not coordinating well enough with 3rd parties. The Vita is a f***ing great kit. I mean it deserves better games. Then the PSN/PSP strategy for Vita is also shit. Apple is killing people with the app store concept of fun, cheap, throw away games. $ony is out there charging $20-30 for many PSP games. $10 or more for PS1 games. Its a bad model. They really need some help on the marketing/pr side. Some of the japanese companies like $ony seem to be stubborn and prideful and that has hurt Nintendo in the past as well but they seem to get bailed out by great first party games and sales (all things mario and zelda)as well as the kiddie crowd that eats up whatever shit the 3rd parties put out that includes jumping and dancing around.

    Sorry for the long rant but I am an old gamer (42) have owned all these sytems, have hacked things since 8bit computers and have bought Castlevania SOTN and SuperMario about 4 times each so I have some knowledge of what I am talking about. $ony needs to get a better model. All PSP games should be 10-15 and all PS1 games 10 and under. They should never let a COD, Resistance, or KZ game come out that sucks and they should quit trying to make the Vita a phone/social networking compeditor and focus on console level gaming on a handheld. If I want BS throw away gaming with phone capabilities I will use my Iphone which I carry all the time anyways. They need to give us a reason to lug around a Vita and for me that would be great games like Drake, Gravity Rush, MGSHD and even Rayman was fun for a a 2D fix. Still no AAA FPS title with online play which would certainly lure in a lot of gamers. They blew the pooch with COD portable (I know they didn’t dev it but should have never pushed it with a bundle as a killer xmas title).

    I just hope they don’t kill the damned Vita because it truly is an amazing piece of hardware and deserves to not be the next PSP or DC!

    Reply

  49. Sekim777’s avatar

    I can imagine that hardware modders will use the controller to phut a N64 in it. the board should fit.

    Reply

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