24w ago - Following up on the previous Nintendo Wii U hacking news, today console hacker and mod-chip developer Marcan42 of fail0verflow has shared a Wii U teaser video via 0xf0f on YouTube demonstrating The Homebrew Channel below.
To quote: "We finally have a YouTube channel and we thought we'd kick things off with a little teaser:
Keep in mind that this is purely a demonstration at this stage. Depending on how things progress and what direction development takes, we may or may not release something like this in this form. Please don't ask for release dates. We'd rather spend time investigating the new system than putting together a release that may or may not end up being the Right Way to do things in the future.
Please ignore the blue blinks. The monitor kind of sucks at syncing to component video sometimes. I would've used HDMI, but the Wii U cannot output analog audio simultaneously with HDMI (at least not for the Wii U menu part), and I cannot capture HDMI audio."
On the Wii U specs, Marcan Tweeted the following: We're calling the Wii U security processor the Starbuck (vs. Starlet on Wii). And it seems to be about equally vulnerable, too.
Sorry, I'd rather not talk about how I got that yet. It doesn't involve leaks, it involves Wii U hacks
He also stated the Wii U offers a 1.24 GHz CPU with 3 PowerPC 750 type cores with the GPU clocked at GPU core at 549MHz. The Wii U does have a higher IPC meaning the processor can do more work per clock cycle so it can't be directly compared to PS3 and XBox 360.
From the video's caption: "A quick demonstration of The Homebrew Channel installing and working on a Wii U.
There is no set release date, please don't ask. This is just a demonstration. Please ignore the blue blinks. The monitor kind of sucks at syncing to component video sometimes, and I cannot capture audio from HDMI."
Hopefully this delay won't turn into another money-making venture led by Max Louarn and Paul Owen profiting off the scene as was done with the PlayStation 3 and PS3 DRM-infected dongles.
Also below is a video (via gbatemp.net/threads/devolution.338544/) of a GameCube game running on Wii U via Devolution by Tueidj. To quote: DevolUtion? Yo dawg, we put backwards compatibility in your backwards compatibility so you could run gamecube games over HDMI.
Unfortunately he shows no proof of it actually being used on the Wii U. Also in the video below he couldn't get past the "Press Start" screen.
In related Wii U news today Crediar shared a video demonstrating running Homebrew Launcher on the Wii U in Wii Mode below with a screen capture of the Wii Mode OTP keys for those interested.
Finally, from fail0verflow (via fail0verflow.com/blog/2012/8days.html) comes the following:
8 Days: 3d331b3165f9638c6cd6221702b2f736f7fcf931
From marcan42: Pro tip: 40 character hex strings are usually SHA1 hashes, not encryption keys.
Update: Another brief update from fail0verflow (via twitter.com/fail0verflow/status/281164792000045057) of a picture showing output to the Wii U's control pad with their logo and a picture of Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime with the caption:
"The Wii U is a system we can all enjoy together" - Reggie Fils-Aime (twitter.yfrog.com/gymu6fjp)
Stay tuned for more PS3 Hacks and PS3 CFW news, follow us on Twitter and be sure to drop by the PS3 Hacks and PS3 Custom Firmware Forums for the latest PlayStation 3 scene updates and homebrew releases!
Below is a Nintendo Wii U Teardown (via anandtech.com/show/6465/nintendo-wii-u-teardown) for those interested:
When Nintendo announced the Wii U there was a lot of interest in its hardware specs. The new console could very well end up the fastest kid on the block thanks to the sheer age of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. I wasn't all that interested in the Wii U, but I did want to get a look at the silicon inside so I grabbed a unit and went into teardown mode.
The Wii U is available in two versions: the basic and deluxe kits. The basic kit comes in white, while the deluxe is black. Both are glossy. The deluxe console gives you 32GB of on-board storage (eMMC NAND) vs. 8GB for the standard model. The deluxe kit also includes a stand and cradle for the Wii U tablet GamePad as well as a stand for the console itself. The two kits retail for $299.99 and $349.99, respectively.
The Wii U hardware itself looks a lot like a larger Wii. Getting inside the chassis is also quite similar. The CMOS battery door is the first thing you'll have to remove, followed by 8 more screws (a mixture of philips head and tri-wing). The bulk of these screws are behind console-colored stickers, be sure to peel them all off. With all 8 (9 including the CMOS battery door) screws removed, you can slide the left side of the Wii U away from the front of the console, and off all together. This reveals the final three tri-wing screws that you'll need to remove to get inside the chassis (the gallery of all of this is at the bottom of the article).
With all 12 screws removed, pry the top of the Wii U up and away from the body until it separates from the rest of the frame revealing the console's fairly compact internals:
The Wii U optical drive uses a custom format for game storage, but offers a very Blu-ray-like 25GB capacity per disc. Max sequential read speeds are pretty high compared to the current gen consoles at 22MB/s.
Two screws hold the front cover in place, followed by four screws that hold the optical drive in place. Be careful when removing the optical drive as there's a ribbon cable attached to the motherboard for power/data. The same goes for the front cover, although its ribbon cable is really only on light/switch duty.
With the optical drive removed, next up is removing the shielding on the top and bottom of the motherboard and the shround on top of the heatsink. Just go around the perimeter of the motherboard removing screws (you'll be able to remove all but two easily). Once you've done this, the motherboard will be able to separate from the Wii U's lower tray.
Removing the shielding itself requires carefully moving the antenna cables out of the way. As these wires are soldered to the Wii U chassis on one end, be very careful not to pull too hard otherwise you run the risk of needing to break out the soldering iron.
If you've removed all of the screws and freed the antenna wires from their guides a bit, you should be able to pull back the plastic heatsink shroud, revealing... more shielding:
With no screws left to hold it in place however, the shielding is easily dealt with (again pay close attention to the antenna wires). The same is true for the bottom of the PCB.
The two sets of antenna wires go to two independent wireless controllers: one for 802.11b/g/n WiFi, the other to a dedicated 802.11n controller to handle Miracast display streaming between the Wii U and the GamePad display. Thanks to Ryan Shrout over at PC Per for figuring this one out!
Once you've removed all shielding you're left with a pretty clean looking motherboard:
On the top side of the board you'll see the eMMC/NAND package, in this case it's a dual-die Samsung eMMC solution (there's another Toshiba NAND device on the back of the board, not for user storage):
There are four 4Gb (512MB) Hynix DDR3-1600 devices surrounding the Wii U's MCM (Multi Chip Module). Memory is shared between the CPU and GPU, and if I'm decoding the DRAM part numbers correctly it looks like these are 16-bit devices giving the Wii U a total of 12.8GB/s of peak memory bandwidth. (Corrected from earlier, I decoded the Hynix part numbers incorrectly). Our own Ryan Smith found a great reference for the original Wii so we can compare memory frequencies. It looks like the original Wii had a 32-bit wide GDDR3 memory interface running at a max datarate of 1.4GHz for a total of 5.6GB/s of bandwidth (excluding eDRAM).
That doesn't sound like a lot (it's the same amount of memory bandwidth on the Nexus 10 and iPad 3/4), but the Wii U is supposed to have a good amount of eDRAM for both the CPU and GPU to use. Also keep in mind that the Nexus 10 and iPad 3/4 have to drive much higher resolutions than the Wii U does.
The Wii U's MCM is unfortunately covered by a heatspreader, but given that I went through all of this to look at the console's silicon, I was going to look at the console's silicon.
Normally to remove an integrated heat spreader (IHS) you grab a sharp blade and go around cutting the (hopefully) glue around the perimeter of the chip. In the case of the Wii U's MCM, the blades I'd normally use were too thick. A few years ago I decided to give shaving with a double edge safety razor a try. My attempts failed poorly, but I had a stack of unused DE razor blades that were thin enough to get the IHS off.
The trick here is to apply enough pressure to the blade to cut through the glue, as simply trying to saw through the glue will take forever. There are two blobs of glue per side, but if you're trying to remove the IHS be careful not to cut through the glue and scrape any of the actual exposed silicon... like I did.
With the IHS off, we have the Wii U's MCM in all of its glory:
There are actually three components on this single package, made in at least two different microprocessor fabs. The multicore PowerPC based CPU is the smaller of the two larger chips. This die is made on IBM's 45nm SOI process. The RV7xx derived GPU is the biggest die on the package, and I'm presuming it was made on a 40nm process. I'm assuming the very tiny die in the corner is actually some off-chip memory. Both the CPU and GPU in the Wii U are supposed to have some eDRAM, although the bulk of it is likely dedicated for the GPU.
Clockwise from the top: CPU, GPU, off-chip memory?
The approximate die sizes for all components on the MCM are in the table below:
Wii U Silicon Analysis / Dimensions / Approximate Die Size
CPU / 5.2mm x 6.3mm / 32.76mm2
GPU / 12.3mm x 12.7mm / 156.21mm2
3rd die (memory?) / 1.79mm x 1.48mm / 2.65mm2
If we assume a 40nm process for the GPU, then we're looking at something a bit larger than the RV740. The Wii U does boast backwards compatibility with games made for the original Wii, which is made possible thanks to a shared ISA with the original PowerPC based Wii.
The size comparison between CPU and GPU die shouldn't be too much of a surprise. When building a dedicated gaming machine it always makes sense to throw more transistors at your GPU. The nearly 5x ratio of GPU to CPU die size here is a bit on the extreme side though. I suspect many of the current generation consoles, including the Wii U, suffered from a lack of a powerful yet affordable CPU solution that could be easily implemented.
I also took some power measurements on the Wii U. The system is powered by a 75W external power supply, but total system power consumption doesn't even hit half of that (at least with the games I tried):
Wii U Power Consumption / System Power Consumption in Watts
Standby (Power Off) / 0.22W
Wii U Menu (No Disc in Drive) / 31.2W
Wii U Menu (Disc in Drive) / 32.8W
Super Mario U / 33.0W
Netflix Playback / 28.5W
Rendering the Wii U menu actually consumes almost as much power as playing Super Mario U. Watching a movie on Netflix consumes a bit less power, my guess is a lot of the 3D blocks are power gated leaving only the CPU cores and video decode hardware active.
The Wii U ships with its own web browser based on webkit, the user agent string for the latest version of the Wii U's software is: Mozilla/5.0 (Nintendo WiiU) AppleWebKit/534.52 (KHTML, like Gecko) NX/18.104.22.168.21 NintendoBrowser/22.214.171.12494.US.
Pages load quickly and compatibility is surprisingly decent (HTML5 test: 258 + 4 bonus points). By default you control and view the browser on the GamePad, but you can also choose to display the content on your TV via the console. Scrolling is very smooth and the overall experience is way better than what you'd normally expect from a web browser on what's primarily a game console. It's not quite as good as using a modern tablet, but still usable. And where there is a browser, we will run SunSpider on it:
Following up on the Wii U Specifications with the US launch being today, NeoGAF user Trike has already uncovered what appears to be a Wii U Miiverse Debug Menu with details below.
Also of note, a Nintendo Wii U Teardown Guide is now available followed by a second Nintendo Wii U Teardown Tutorial and Geoff Keighley of GameTrailers TV has https://twitter.com/geoffkeighley/status/270037562339500033 that: The Wii U Firmware update is apparently about 5 gigs. No wonder it takes about an hour+ to download.
Additionally, the Wii U is able to run Nintendo Wii homebrew at launch (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/46348978/wiixplorer.elf) and run Wii U games Off an SD Card, as demonstrated in the videos below!
From Rodger Combs: Let me stress this: the Hackmii installer (1.0) does NOT WORK. There may eventually be a version released that does work (I've been testing different beta exploits, to no success so far), but for now, nothing that requires Hackmii, uses current kernel exploits, or uses AHBPROT will work. That includes Devolution, USB loaders, cIOS installers, and Wii linux.
Nintendo can NOT patch Stack Smash using their current architecture. While it's definitely technically possible, it'd require a lot of work on their part, and could result in SSBB being unstable for all users. Plus, they most likely already knew Stack Smash worked before this video, so this isn't going to cause it to be fixed.
Potentially upcoming Nintendo Wii U upcoming games include the following:
Dragon Quest 10
Final Fantasy 3
Metal gear solid
Super Mario WiiU
Yoshi’s Land Wii U
To quote: Well, I was messing around in Miiverse trying to find out how the hell to do the initial set-up of my friends list to no avail. In doing so I accidentally found the "debug" menu on Miiverse.
At first I thought, "Hey, neat!" thinking it was just a legit secret or something. I can even access something with the name "prototype" that seems to be the actual prototype Miiverse in Japanese.
Apparently John Lennon is still alive and is posting on the Japanese Miiverse. Most buttons that I tried don't work (Acid_Test?) so I thought, hay, maybe GAF could have fun with this or translate it. That is when I found the admin list.
At first it asked me to sign in, because my login information didn't match. Then I pressed a button and it sent me to a list of admins anyway. They had buttons in the same row as the names, and I could "regenerate password" or "Delete Admin" or something along those lines. I didn't do it it because I didn't want to risk getting my god damn Wii U banned on day 1.
What should I do with this information? Is there anyway I can contact Nintendo about this directly without going through their customer service email crap? Should I let everyone know how to do it? Am I an idiot and this is already well known somehow? I can post pics, but they are going to have to be shitty cellphone pictures. Unless The Wii U has a built in snapshot thing.
I may be able to avenge Jim Sterlings Batman review post by deleting admins, what should I do?
Secrets revealed. Summary of events from my end.
I found out I could access the debug menu on Miiverse by hitting the "X" button on the gamepad while hovering over the exit button. I found an admin access list or something to that effect. I couldn't really do anything from there though.
I could view different messages from a developer though. One mentioned that there would be big games coming out (announced?) on the 10th of December. A different said "POKEMON" and "SUICIDE". Sorry, bro.
I went to another link that lead me to some test messages. I thought they were real when I found them, because they were posted 20 minutes ago from the time I accessed them. I could flag them for prohibited content, spoilers, and something else that I forget.
Then I went to a different link on the debug menu and it showed three different Miiverse subforums I could access that would be coming out on December 20th. I clicked on the "games for teens, kids and blahblah" (forgot the other two, I think family games was one of them?) and it lead to some sort of dispute between Timelord celebrities Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt.
There were even more subforums for games specifically, including Yoshi's Island Wii U and Soul Hackers, and less specific ones like "Metal Gear Solid" and "Resident Evils". By the time I stopped posting on gaf to check for more it was fixed, and someone pointed out that Nintendo put up a tweet (twitter.com/NintendoAmerica/status/270333253729271808) about a miiverse fix.
I don't know if I really could flag posts to be deleted or whatever, but I know I could not make myself an admin or delete admins. At least when I pressed the buttons nothing happened.
http://kotaku.com/5961547/report-wii-u-cracked-open-system-memory-and-speed-revealed has cracked open Nintendo's Wii U revealing the System Memory and Speed as follows to quote:
The crew at PC Perspective raced home and opened a launch-day Wii U up on a livestream. While they didn't solve all the system's mysteries, like what its GPU is like, they did claim to ascertain how much system memory the Wii U is packing, and how fast that memory is.
According to PC Perspective's teardown, the Wii U has 2GB of DDR3 memory (provided by Samsung). User AlStrong on the Beyond 3D forums says this means the memory runs at a maximum speed of 17GB/s.
For reference, NeoGAF user Durante writes for comparison's sake:
360: 22.4 GB/s + eDRAM for framebuffer
PS3: 25.6 GB/s main memory BW + 22.4 GB/s graphics memory BW, no eDRAM
GTX 680: 192.2 GB/s
The Wii U's North American launch today (November 18, 2012) offers consumers an 8GB model for $300 and for $350 the 32GB version which includes a copy of Nintendo Land.
Finally, WiiMode Keys and shared some [url=https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ax3f0qwrr5gmoo5/ZY_mReaQhe/wiiu for those interested!
Update: Nintendo officially stated the following to http://www.computerandvideogames.com/379344/wii-u-online-hub-accidentally-hacked-on-day-one-update/ regarding the Debug Menu: “It has come to our attention that some people were able to access a mock up menu on Miiverse following the launch of Wii U in the US.”
“Please note that this was only a mock up menu and has now been removed and is not accessible.”