For Nintendo, the Wii gaming console has been a huge success. Same thing happened with Nintendo DS and it is still selling very well. Popular or not, these two gaming systems share one thing with rest of the consoles; there are modchips and other ways on getting them do more than the manufacturer designed them to do. In this multipart series we'll be looking into different ModChips available for Wii. This part 1 will cover the opening of the Wii console itself and the installation of the Wiinja modchip. Future parts will take a closer look on other chips that do more or less the same thing; teach your console to do new tricks.
Specifications from the manufacturer's website:
- Non Swap / Direct Boot
- Boots Own Region WII Backups Directly
- Boots Own Region Gamecube Backups Directly
- Boots Imports Gamecube Backups by SWAP
- D2B Drive Support and Improved Read Method
- Includes AudioFix
- Easy Soldering & Remove / 5 Wires
- Support DVD-R and DVD+R (Burn +R on DVDROM Booktype)
- Universal EUROPE/USA/JAPAN Wii Console Supported
- Stealth Mode
Wiinja just got updated to version 2. The initial version that we have used in this review was not compatible with the more recent Wii consoles. Nintendo/manufacturer of the Wii's DVD-drive changed the chip on the drive and it rendered the Modchip useless. This new V2 counters this change on the DVD-drive's design and is fully compatible now.
From the specs we learn that the chip enables one to play backups from both the Wii and the GameCube. Region does not matter on GC games but the Wii game has to be designed to the same region as the console in question is made for. NTSC unit accepts both the NTSC-U and NTSC-J region programs while PAL unit handles only PAL titles.
Homebrew works on the GC side. For now, there is no way to run unsigned code (code that has not been authorized by Nintendo) on Wii side, but personally I don't think that it will take too much time before we can enjoy good quality homebrew with full Wii capabilities. For us, homebrew is what makes the modchips useful, as these homegrown bits of code allows consoles to be used as webservers, mediacenters, datastorages etc. Playing game backups is illegal in many countries even when the backup originated from your own original game disk. Keep this in mind when making the decision to buy and install a modchip!
Cheapestmods, a gaming console modding tool reseller here in Finland altered the regular retail package a bit. Normally you'll receive Wiinja in a small red plastic box. Inside the box is the chip and a small folded paper with the installation schematics. In Cheapestmods package we have all the wires that we need for the installation. In my opinion, this is the way how the unit should had been pushed to the market in the first place by the makers of Wiinja.
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