Skip to main content

Nintendo Wii source code, design files acquired by hackers, leaked online

Nintendo has again fallen victim to hackers, as the source code and design files for its best-selling console, the Nintendo Wii, have been leaked online.

Over the last few weeks, multiple leaks related to old Nintendo systems have surfaced on online forum 4chan, according to ResetEra member Atheerios. The leaks, however, were leading up to what he considered “the biggest of them all,” which is the full source code, design files, documentation, and everything else that was used to create the Wii.

The servers of BroadOn, the company that Nintendo hired to develop most of the Wii’s hardware and software, was apparently hacked to obtain the files, according to Atheerios. Included in the leak were the datasheets, block diagram, and Verilog files for all of the Wii’s components, which reveals how every single piece of the console was made.

Other things that have been leaked in the past few weeks include debug builds and source codes for Pokémon Blue and Yellow, Spaceworld ’99 demos, an official GameBoy emulator, and source code for the Wii’s predecessors, the Nintendo 64 and GameCube.

Atheerios also posted a video that showed a demo ROM used to test the Nintendo 64.

N64 Leaked Demo "Mirror House Cornflakes" - Full Gameplay

With the consoles involved in the leak being the older ones, it is unlikely that players will be affected. However, the Wii source code and design files will likely prove to be interesting for people who would like to know how Nintendo’s most popular console works.

Nintendo security breaches

Nintendo recently confirmed that the sensitive information of about 160,000 Nintendo Network ID accounts have been compromised since the start of April.

An investigation was launched after several players reported suspicious logins and fraudulent transactions. Nintendo found that hackers may have accessed the personal data of the breached accounts, with registered credit cards and PayPal accounts possibly used at the My Nintendo Store or Nintendo eShop.

This hacking activity hits closer to home for players, especially after Nintendo suggested everyone to enable two-factor authentication as protection against such attacks, compared to the Nintendo Wii source code leaks. However, Nintendo will need to improve its security, or else it will be a matter of time before hackers deal massive damage.

Editors' Recommendations

Aaron Mamiit
Aaron received a NES and a copy of Super Mario Bros. for Christmas when he was 4 years old, and he has been fascinated with…
Kirby 64 is Nintendo Switch Online’s next N64 addition
Kirby 64 screenshot with Adeline, Kirby, Waddle Dee, King Dee Dee Dee and Ribbon looking at a crystal.

Nintendo is giving fans of Kirby's latest 3D adventure, Kirby and the Forgotten Land, the chance to go back in time and experience his first time taking a third-dimensional adventure. The next Nintendo 64 title hitting Nintendo Switch Online's Expansion Pack membership is Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, and it's coming May 20.

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards - Nintendo 64 - Nintendo Switch Online

Read more
The best GameCube games of all time
Samus in Metroid Prime.

The GameCube is one of Nintendo's most underrated systems. When discussing Nintendo, the GameCube is often overlooked, except when Super Smash Bros. Melee is brought up. This system, now celebrating its 20th anniversary, has left a lasting impact on how some of us view gaming. With the introduction of amazing games such as Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and Animal Crossing, the GameCube is one system that a lot of us hold close to our hearts.

In honor of this great system, we decided to go through some of the best games offered on the platform. In our opinion, it has one of the best game libraries of any console -- ever. We've included classics as well as hidden gems that maybe you've forgotten about.

Read more
Nintendo’s eShop closures are a necessary, but messy move
A Nintendo Wii U gamepad flat on a table.

Nintendo last week announced its intentions to shut down the Wii U and 3DS eShops, the systems' digital storefronts, in March 2023. This decision was disappointing for hardcore fans who stuck with Nintendo during that rocky era and extremely worrying as many of the games available on the platforms won't be preserved.
More significant Wii U games and a handful of 3DS titles were ported to Switch, but many titles are still stuck on those systems and can’t be ported. Once the digital storefront shutdowns, digital-only titles will be gone forever, and physical copies of these titles will get more expensive and harder to experience. Fans and game preservationists have not been pleased by this decision, with the Video Game History Foundation giving the most candid response.
Following this announcement, Digital Trends spoke to an industry analyst and game preservationists to get a better idea of what exactly caused Nintendo to shut down these stores and to learn how it could do a better job at preserving its legacy.
Why is Nintendo shutting down the 3DS and Wii eShops?
Officially, Nintendo’s FAQ on the eShop closures says “this is part of the natural life cycle for any product line as it becomes less used by consumers over time." The answer doesn’t get into specifics and might confuse those still playing games on the system or fans of games only available on Wii U or 3DS. Omdia Principal Analyst Matthew Bailey explains Nintendo’s user base argument in more detail, highlighting the massive gap between the number of people playing the Switch as opposed to the Wii U.
“While Omdia expects the number of Switch consoles in active use to exceed 90 million on a global basis this year, the Wii U’s global active installed base will drop under one million in 2022,” he explains. “Even when you include the more enduring 3DS family of consoles into the equation, the Switch still comfortably accounts for over 90% of Nintendo’s total active console install base.”
If one is going off just the numbers, it’s sensible that Nintendo would want to focus on the majority of its players. Bailey admits that “Switch users are already reaping the benefits of Nintendo’s singular first-party development focus on one platform.” Still, one might argue that Nintendo should just let the eShops remain up even if it isn’t actively updating or maintaining them.

Unfortunately, Nintendo doesn’t see that as possible due to cost and security issues. Game Over Thrity, a Twitter user with over 20 years of experience working on IT projects and infrastructure, shed some light on what might have influenced Nintendo’s decision-making in a thread.
“As these systems age, they require patches, security, special contracts, updates, and personnel that know how they were built (and maintained),” his Twitter thread explains. “As time goes on, there are security holes, servers, code, infrastructure, etc., that can’t be brought up to modern standards. It becomes a constant struggle between maintaining legacy systems, paying people to do so, and trying to keep up with global regulations. It’s not cheap by any means. They can’t just ‘leave the lights on’ and stop supporting them. What if someone hacked the payment processor?”
With every passing year, the Wii U and 3DS eShops likely became more expensive to maintain and an increased security risk for the video game publisher. Instead of investing the time and resources into pleasing a smaller amount of players, the easier option is to turn everything off entirely. While he isn’t affiliated with Nintendo, Game Over Thirty’s assessment aligns with what we’ve heard from Nintendo and Omdia.
"The Wii U’s global active installed base will drop under one million in 2022."

Read more