Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Wii Liberated

Many of you know that I own a Nintendo Wii. I have not bought any new games for the past 1 year or so and the only use we made of it was to watch the BBC iPlayer OnDemand service. For those not from the UK, BBC iPlayer is the Free Video on Demand Service by the BBC which allows any UK resident to view the programs for the past week or month online.

I always wanted to add homebrew to the Wii but the earlier methods required the use of certain game titles which I did not have and I did not want to buy a game that I would not be playing. Other methods included physically tampering the hardware which I was not ready for.

Just yesterday, I learnt of the LetterBomb. It's a software hack to enable HomeBrew on the Wii without much hassle. All you need to do is visit http://please.hackmii.com/ and enter few details about your Wii which you can obtain from the Wii System Menu. The System Menu Version is on the top Right Corner on the first page of the Wii System Menu and the MAC address can be obtained from Internet>Console Information on the Second Page.

Once you have entered these information on the above link, make sure you have the Bundle the HackMii Installer for me! ticked. Now enter the captcha displayed and "Cut the Red Wire." You will be presented with a zip file for download. Save it. Once downloaded extract it to the root of your SD Card and insert it into the Wii.

Now check the messages. If you have no message today, check yesterday's messages. You should see a distinctive red envelope like the one on the please.hackmii.com website. Open it and do not panic.

The screen will go black and you will see some messages. Soon you will be presented with a disclaimer informing that the software is free and if you paid for it you have been scammed. Press 1 to continue.

The next page informs you that you can install The Homebrew Channel and BootMii. You can now select to install the Homebrew channel and the BootMii. The instructions are informitive for you to proceed.

If you have a newer Wii then most probably you would not be able to install BootMii to boot2 so install it as an IOS. IOS is not Apple's Operating System for their mobile devices. It is Nintendo's propreitary embedded operating system used in their game consoles.

Once you have finished the installation, you can either go directly to the Homebrew Channel or reboot you Wii to see the Homebrew Channel added in your channels list and open it from there.

Next step I did was to install the Homebrew Browser which can be obtained from http://www.codemii.com. Create a folder called "apps" in the root of your SD card. and extract the downloaded zip file in there such that your folder structure should be /apps/homebrew_browser. Put the SD Card back in. You should see the icon for the Homebrew Browser inside the Homebrew Channel. You can now choose any app from the list and add them to download list by pressing "+" button. Once they are downloaded and installed you can see them in the Homebrew Channel.

For now I have installed WiiMC, WiiRadio and Radiofeeds.co.uk apps.

WiiMC is a MediaPlayer that claims to play any Audio/Video format and it can play DVDs. I have not been able to play any DVD yet, but I was able to play a downloaded movie from my USB drive.

I hope this information should help any one trying to install the Homebrew Channel on their Wii to get started. I'll keep exploring and see what more I get.

References:
http://www.codemii.com
http://www.wiimc.org/about/
 http://wiibrew.org/wiki/IOS
http://wiibrew.org/wiki/Homebrew_setup#Letterbomb

PS: I will upload images that I have taken later when I get time, but you should be able to go ahead without them.