Chances are if you’re reading this post, you own a Nintendo Wii. Nintendo sold nearly 102 million original model Nintendo Wii’s making it Nintendo’s best selling home console. If yours is anything like mine it’s likely becoming a dust collector on a shelf and barely utilized. Sure, my three-year-old gets a kick out of “Babysitter Mama”, but on the whole, the Wii is dramatically under-utilized. I recently decided to correct this problem by unlocking or “jail-breaking” the Wii. Here is our definitive guide.
What you need
- SD card (at least 1gb) recommend 8gb
- Computer with SD card reader
- Internet connection
- Nintendo Wii running firmware 4.3
*Please note this will NOT work with the Wii-mini or Wii-U.
Go to the internet settings on your Wii, select console information and locate the device MAC address.
Visit the LetterBomb website and enter the MAC address. This will allow you to download the customized exploit package. When doing this note the following:
- leave the “bundle the HackMii installer” box marked
- select the firmware version that matches yours: make note of the letter after the version. This corresponds to your region.
Format your SD card so it is FAT 32. In windows, go to Windows Explorer, right-click the SD card drive and select “format”. A dialog box will open. Ensure FAT 32 is selected and click “start”.
Note: formatting the SD card will erase all data. Make sure to back up any data you want to save prior to formatting.
Remove the SD card from your computer and insert it into the Wii. The SD slot on the Wii is behind the little door next to the disc slot. Once inserted go to the Wii system messages located at the bottom right of the main channel screen. Go to the previous day’s messages and you will then locate the LetterBomb exploit in on. Click the icon with the Wii remote by pressing the “A” button. This will install LetterBomb and HackMii. Once it is complete press 1 to continue. Next, follow the instructions on-screen.
Visit wiibrew.org to find an expansive list of applications and games that can be run from the Homebrew Channel. To add programs, download them to your pc. Once downloaded, create a folder on the SD card called “apps”. Simply copy the downloaded apps into the newly created folder. To access these apps visit the Homebrew Channel that has now been added to the Wii’s home screen.
Congratulations! You now have a jailbroken Nintendo Wii you hacker! Enjoy tinkering around as you explore the endless possibilities before you.
Top Reasons for Jailbreaking the Nintendo Wii
You can find a wide variety of emulators for the Wii. Enjoy those backup copies of the game from your youth. *Wink*
Use Nintendont to save GameCube saves to the SD card rather than using a GameCube memory card.
I never owned a GameCube. The Wii outsold the GameCube 5 to 1. If you didn’t know, the Wii can play GameCube games. I recently picked up a GameCube controller and a game and was disappointed to find out I couldn’t save without a GameCube memory card. I quickly corrected this by downloading Nintendont and running my copy of Prince of Persia The Sands of Time through this program which allows you to emulate the memory card and save to the SD card. This saved me $10 and from having to wait on playing this classic.
The Wii plays games that are on DVDs, yet it won’t play DVD movies. That being said you can download an application that adds this functionality.
Play Homebrew games
There are a lot of talented game developers out there. You can find a wide variety of Homebrew games. Two of our favorites include Wii Duck Hunt and Super Mario War.
Play region locked games
The Wii is region locked. This means you cannot play games that were released in another market. You can use Homebrew apps to get around this. Have no fear, you can import a copy of a Japanese game and enjoy it on your North American Wii.
Run Linux and turn the Wii into a fully functioning PC.
Why? Because you can!