Famed Wii/Wii U hacker fail0verflow recently posted an update to his blog to let people know what he’s been up to lately. It’s a surprisingly good read in which he states that cheap, open-source devices like the Raspberry Pi and the Ouya negate the need for hacking home consoles. fail0verflow states that he lost motivation to continue with the rest of his Wii U hack in order to allow for homebrew on the console because of just how open other devices are, as well as the lack of enthusiasm among the homebrew community and the ever growing war against pirates.
“At the same time, there is an eternal clash between the homebrew community and those interested in pirating games. Writing homebrew software and frameworks is rather difficult – it requires new code to be written to support the hardware, which must be reverse engineered first.
Convincing a game console to load copied games is comparatively simpler, as only the bare minimum amount of code patches required to convince the game/OS to load the game from alternate storage media are required.”
According to the hacker, the Wii hacking community that so enthusiastically created the homebrew channel on the original Wii no longer seems interested in doing the same for the Wii U, or any other console for that matter. He mentions the new Xbox Durango and PS4 and how they’re “glorified PCs”, which takes some of the majesty out of hacking a closed device. He goes on to mention that the effort of maintaining such a hack once it is created is unappealing, as the threat of litigation and the constant misuse of his work from piracy all are valid reasons not to hack.
“I think we may have reached the point where homebrew on closed game consoles is no longer appealing. The effort required to develop and maintain an environment for a big, complex modern game console is huge. The cat and mouse game with the manufacturer requires ongoing effort. There is a very real threat of litigation.”
It’s interesting to see the thought process of one of the most prevalent hackers of modern console hardware and how times have changed. At its core, homebrew users and hackers have always stated their intention was to have an open device capable of functions beyond what the manufacturer allowed, such as hacks allowing the Wii to play DVDs. This functionality is certainly nice to have, but it seems the sheer amount of piracy versus those genuinely interested in homebrew has taken a toll.
“…and all anyone cares about is piracy. This is not a situation which we want to see happen again.”
So there you have it, folks. It’s unlikely we’ll see a homebrew channel for the Wii U any time soon, at least from fail0verflow.