New Ways to Void Your Warranty – DVD Bypass

When it comes to homebrew without a modchip, the Nintendo Wii is second only to the Dreamcast.  While the infamous Twilight Hack remains the only way to run unsigned code without cracking open your Wii, FlatMii offers a mod-chip free alternative that, while still voiding your warranty, might not break your console.

Modchips typically introduce new code into a systems bios, or a microprocessor to disable the console’s copy protection – allowing the user to deliver and run unsigned code from a DVD-R.  It sounds simple enough, but mod-chipping poses two risks: it can void your warrenty, and break your console.  Although mod-chips themselves might not break your console, installing them is risky business – often requiring one to solder more than a dozen wires to various parts of the motherboard.

Opening your WIi to install FlatMii will still void your warranty, but requires no soldering, no wires, and supposedly, no hassle.  The FlatMii device aims to bypass the Wii’s DVD drive, substituting data streamed via USB from your PC directly to the DVD drive’s input port on the Wii’s motherboard.

After all is said and done, running unsigned code on your Wii is as simple as plugging in a USB cable, and clicking a button on your computer.  While it’s interesting to see the workarounds offered by mod-chips, the Twilight Hack, and FlatMii, these innovations are more easliy used for running “backups” and pirate copies of commercial videogames than they are for legitimate homebrew.  Flatmii’s own demonstration video shows a Wii running two such “backups” from a PC hard drive.  Regardless if it’s eventual use, FlatMii has found a new an interesting way to bypass Nintendo’s copy-protection protocols.