Nintendo Wii

About the Nintendo Wii

The Nintendo Wii was Nintendo's 2nd highest selling video game console of all time (at the time of this writing, Sept 2021), with Nintendo selling a whopping 101.63 million Wii consoles, with their highest selling console being the Nintendo DS. The Nintendo Wii was Nintendo's console entry into the 7th video game generation, which consisted of:

  • Nintendo Wii

  • Microsoft Xbox 360

  • Sony PlayStation 3

7th Video Game Generation Synopsis:

The 7th video game generation was quite interesting. During this generation, all 3 consoles finally had built-in online connectivity, and had robust online support, including:

  • Server services for games

    • Nintendo WiFi Connection

    • Microsoft Xbox Live

    • PlayStation Network

  • Social networking services

    • Nintendo Friend Code system for chat and friends for online gameplay

    • PSN Chat, friends, and trophy achievements

    • Microsoft Xbox Live for chatting, friends, and achievements

All 3 consoles had web browsers and online stores, in order to purchase digital games, applications, DLC, and other items. The online stores were:

  • Nintendo Wii Shop Channel

  • PlayStation Store

  • Xbox Live Marketplace

All 3 consoles also had support for mass storage devices to handle save game data, files, and to store downloaded games/apps.

  • Nintendo Wii

    • 512MB NAND chip for internal storage

    • Support for external SD cards

  • Xbox 360

    • Limited Internal flash memory for newer Xboxen 360s

    • External/internal HDD

      • Proprietary External HDDs for fat models

      • Standard-ish internal laptop harddrives for slim models

  • PS3

    • Internal SATA HDD

The OSes for all 3 consoles were quite complex now, in order to handle online gaming/services, file managment, and other features.

All of the consoles had support for high display resolutions

Furthermore, all 3 consoles had wireless controller support.

  • Nintendo Wii

    • 4 wired ports for GameCube controllers

    • Wireless "Wiimotes"

      • Built-in speakers for sound

      • IR beam

        • Sends position information to a Wii sensor bar

        • Allows users to point the Wiimote to the sensor bar (near the TV screen) to use like a mouse to click items and navigate menus

      • Motion controls

        • Unique to the Wii

        • Allows for unique gameplay movement, such as

          • Slicing motions for Lightsaber attacks in Lego Star Wars Trilogy

          • Steering wheel rotations for driving games such as Mario Kart Wii

      • Bluetooth-based connection

        • For Sending data for button presses and speaker data

      • Expansion Port

        • Used for connecting other accessories, such as

          • Wii Nunchuk

            • Adds an analog stick to the Wiimote

          • Wii Motion Plus adapter (with expansion passthru port)

            • Allows for more complex motion for some games

            • Expansion passthru port for other hardware addons

  • Xbox 360

    • Wireless Xbox 360 gamepads

    • Proprietary wireless protocol

  • PS3

    • DualShock 3 controllers

    • Bluetooth-based connection

Nintendo Wii Specs and info:

As far as specs, the Nintendo Wii has modest but powerful specs. Below are the specs for the original model of Wii, with all of the hardware

    • CPU

      • IBM PowerPC CPU ("Broadway")

      • 729 MHz

    • GPU

      • ATI graphics GPU ("Hollywood")

      • 243 MHz

      • NEC ARM9 chip embedded inside

        • "Starlet"

        • 243 MHz

        • Handles Wii IO / security

    • Storage

      • 512 MB Internal Flash Memory (NAND)

      • External SD/SDHC

    • RAM

      • 88 MB Main Memory

          • 24 MB "internal" 1T-SRAM

          • 64 MB "external" GDDR3 SDRAM

    • Storage Media

      • Mini DVDs

        • GameCube games (backwards-compatibility)

        • ~1.8GB

      • Wii DVDs

        • 4.7GB or 8.5GB for single/dual-layer discs

    • Connectivity

      • Wi-Fi 802.11b/g

          • Mitsumi DWM-W004

      • Bluetooth

        • For Wiimotes etc.

    • Power Brick jack

    • Inputs

      • 2x GCN Memory Card ports (backwards compatibility)

      • 2x USB 2.0

      • 4x GameCube controller ports

      • IR Sensor bar port

    • Display

      • Nintendo Wii AV out port

      • 480i or 480p (Composite or Component)

      • 4:3 and 16:9 screen resolutions

Nintendo Wii Homebrew Scene:

The Nintendo Wii has a pretty vibrant Homebrew scene, for running unsigned code on the system. Using a system exploit, a user can
install both BootMii and the Homebrew Channel to the Wii as softmod.

BootMii runs on the console after boot0 and boot1 are booted (which initialize the console), but before the normal boot2 is run (before the system IOSes are loaded and the NAND filesystem is read).

BootMii features:

  • Launch the System Menu

  • Load the Homebrew Channel

  • Load an arbitrary elf executable file on the SD Card

  • Backup/restore the system NAND

  • Extract the Wii's unique system security keys

    • For decryption/encryption of the NAND

  • Can even run if the system is bricked

    • NAND restore functionality can be used to unbrick a Wii

    • With a stable, saved NAND backup from before the brick

The Homebrew Channel can be launched through either BootMii or from the System Menu, and allows the user to launch homebrew games and applications.

Useful things users can do with a softmodded Wii:

  • Run Riivolution app

    • Patches retail disc games with custom assets from the SD card on-the-fly

      • Textures

      • Audio

      • Levels

      • Memory patches (cheat codes with Ocarina engine)

      • Game translations

  • Run Auto Wiimmfi Patcher

    • Patches retail disc games to connect to Wiimmfi

      • A Nintendo WFC replacement service

      • GameSpy servers (which were used by Nintendo WFC for online gaming) shut down in 2014

      • Wiimmfi allows many compatible games to get back online via the reverse-engineered and resurrected alternative servers on Wiimmfi

        • Such as Mario Kart Wii

        • Super Smash Bros. Brawl

        • Etc.

  • Install and launch CTGP-R through Riivolution app

    • Custom distribution of hundreds of custom Mario Kart Wii tracks

    • Tracks can also be played online through Wiimmfi

  • Many other things!

Below are some utilities and game modifications for the Nintendo Wii