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Nintendo suffers massive leak of Wii source code, N64 tech demos, and more

Part of the biggest leak in Nintendo history

We're not going to get into too much detail on this, as obviously this has only come about due to some bad actors. This is more of an announcement of what happened, rather than a breakdown of everything discovered.

Nintendo has been hit with multiple leaks of legacy content in the past few weeks, most of which was related to the Pokemon series. That trend continues today with yet another massive leak of data, which appears to be stolen directly from a company that worked with Nintendo.

Inside info points to the servers of BroadOn being hacked, and then source code was stolen. Nintendo worked with BroadOn back in the day on both Wii hardware and software. With the breech of BroadOn's servers, the hackers gained access to the Wii source code, datasheets, block diagram, and Verilog files for all components of the hardware. Along with that, a number of N64 tech demos have been discovered as well.

There's no doubt Nintendo and BroadOn are going to go about this legally, as this is a clear-cut case of someone stealing information. We will not be sharing any of the leaked content here, as once again, this was stolen.

Thanks to Andreslop24 for the heads up.

Categories: Top Stories, Consoles
Tags: wii, n64

Comments

Top Rated Comment

As I posted elsewhere:

Emulators are lucky to be considered legal due to how they are developed, but even still it would be very easy for that to change if part of the development process involved less legal methods, and using illegally gained materials would absolutely put any emulator developer in hot water with Nintendo, so no rational developer would want to use these for that.

The Dolphin team has already distanced themselves from this leak. Don't get your hopes up in terms of this affecting emulation in any way.

marl0
Sun May 03 20 03:10pm
Rating: 2

I have to wonder just how bad this really is for Nintendo. The Wii hardware is already two generations old, and they're not selling it anymore, so it feels like the actual damage to the company here would be minimal.

It’s not bad other than the PR. It sounds worse than it is.

What may come from this is better emulators, specifically N64 emulators, as it contains some source code of the compiling engines which have been difficult to emulate.

But even then that scene has died down a lot. So there’s a good chance absolutely nothing will come of this.

nuckles87
Sun May 03 20 03:26pm
Rating: 2

So far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing terrible about this. If anything, it’s good for game history preservation. I wonder if the Wii source code leak is going to lead to any developments in the home brew community...

Using the code is illegal, so sensible developers will know it's not worth the risk.

I mean, a lot of homebrew applications can be legally dubious. I’m not exactly talking about indie developers who are actively making legit games for modern consoles. There’s more to homebrew development then that.

This is pretty awesome, can't wait to see what the community does with this code

As I posted elsewhere:

Emulators are lucky to be considered legal due to how they are developed, but even still it would be very easy for that to change if part of the development process involved less legal methods, and using illegally gained materials would absolutely put any emulator developer in hot water with Nintendo, so no rational developer would want to use these for that.

The Dolphin team has already distanced themselves from this leak. Don't get your hopes up in terms of this affecting emulation in any way.

this is of course what they are going to say, but it wouldnt shock me if they still look at it for ideas

Perhaps emulation coders could still look it over to better understand system architecture without actually using any of Nintendo's code?

I like my emulation, so I'd prefer that they just steer clear and avoid it so that the legal status of emulation stays green. The genie is already out of the bottle in a lot of ways, so emulation isn't going anywhere regardless, but it would be annoying to have to start obtaining the emulators themselves and their updates through more dubious means.

Mon May 04 20 03:43am
Rating: 1 (Updated 1 time)

If it is found out that they saw the code before attempting reverse engineering, they would still be using illegally obtained methods to do so so it still wouldn't be in the clear.

I saw people online mention having a third party read the code, understand it, and then describe how it works in an abstract specification, but I don't know how useful that would be for an emulator which is already compatible for most games. Unless they are doing specifications for very precise optimizations of small parts of the emulator/system which may be more risky legally, since certain behaviors which may be beneficial from this information may only be possibly known from this information, though I honestly would have no idea. I am not an expert on anything emulation, there are probably people who know far more elsewhere where, I am just basing this off of the general consensus I have seen online and historical context.

enthropy
Sun May 03 20 09:51pm
Rating: 2

When Atari used acid on a 10NES chip...

But yeah, Nintendo, as we all know, will hit hard down on anyone who steals their stuff. And it's their right to do so since it's their property. I still find it baffeling how people call Nintendo "evil" for taking care of their own property.

I know right. Imagine, your favorite game gets a fan made thing and Nintendo takes it down. You call them evil for taking a property that they own down?

As for this, obviously Nintendo will do something about it. Though I don't know why though now that the Wii no longer sells.

It doesn't matter if the Wii sells or not, it's stil their properrty and that property got stolen.

These days people want to download everything for free and just not care about the creators and owners.. But don't understand it aint that easy.

Look! I'm deadly curious about all these leaks and ave already looked a bit into them... It's out on the interwebs and will stay there as long as the interwebs exists. All nice ad dandy, but it is still not my property. And if it was I wouldn't let everyone else go just grab it after all the work. I could! Up to me =)

Wikipedia has a very very interesting passage on this

The courts found that reverse engineering the 10NES using a copy of its source code obtained from the Copyright Office infringed Nintendo's copyright by creating unauthorized intermediate copies of the code not protected under fair use, which requires the original copy to be authorized. However, the appeals court disagreed with the district court, which had declared reverse engineering itself to be copyright infringement, by clearly stating that, "untainted by [a] purloined copy", "Atari did not violate Nintendo's copyright by deprocessing computer chips in Atari's rightful possession." In particular, the Federal Circuit reasoned that since it was necessary to understand the chip, Atari's initial attempts to decipher the 10NES by chemically stripping the device, microscopically examining it and hand copying the binary object code to learn how it operates were all fair use.[1]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_Games_Corp._v._Nintendo_of_America_Inc.

What hurt Atari was not the direct analysis of the chip itself, it was committing fraud to gain source code.

They just copied the code rather than using their own, which was pretty silly of them =) What odd times.

In order to make their own code they would need to understand how Nintendo's code worked in the first place.

Yeah, but they apparently copied the entire code, with it's flaws/mistakes... And got busted for it.

For some reason I misinterpreted your comment as you calling them lazy for not using their own code, I realize now what you meant and yes, that makes a lot more sense than what I read.

enthropy
Wed May 06 20 02:43pm
Rating: 1

I was very tired yesterday. When I am deadly tired I can't speak any language at all... =D

But yeah. They never made their own code, just copied Nintendo's with the small mistakes in the code...So it was damn obvious.

ridleysaria
Sun May 03 20 06:51pm
Rating: 2

Criminal activity isn’t good but I don’t think this is really a big deal. It’s not like Nintendo was doing anything meaningful with that legacy content anyway.

hinph
Sun May 03 20 07:08pm
Rating: 1

Right? I'm sitting here willing to fork over good money to play some GameCube and Wii games on Switch in HD and handheld mode. Where is my F-Zero GX, Nintendo? Only silence...

ridleysaria
Sun May 03 20 07:15pm
Rating: 2

The Xenoblade Remaster is at least a start.

I hope no one here ever has their personal leaked. Sure, Nintendo is a company but I doubt it would be amusing to have your data from 10 years ago out in the wild Internet..

Kinda wanna see what these N64 tech demos are. I love seeing the transformation on games beta to finish, especially games like Zelda OoT which could have been a cometly diffrent game

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