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December 1, 2012 // 5:35 am - 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 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.

How to use Devolution with backup discs

Devolution is a Gamecube loader for the Wii that allows both SD and USB loading with excellent compatibility along with audio streaming support. Many people are interested in using Devolution to play their favorite Gamecube games on their Wiis but have been frustrated by the program's inclusion of severe anti-piracy measures. While some claim to have cracked Devolution's code, a version without AP has not been publicly released. As compatibility improves, Nintendont promises to be a worthy AP-free alternative in the future. For now this leaves hardware, in the form of a modchip, as the best way forward with Devolution.

The following has been thoroughly tested and is known to be working. Other modchips may also work (many are known to be incompatible with the program's AP even when using retail discs). Please update this thread if you find another working modchip or firmware.

What's required:

  • Wii with an early drive (DMS, D2A, D2B) that can read burned DVDs
  • Wiikey v1 modchip or DIY equivalent
  • Wiikey 1.9b firmware and matching config disc (NOT 1.99BETA)
  • Devolution r128 (or earlier)
  • Devolution r197
  • Burned backup of Gamecube game

The files needed are available on the internet with a little bit of searching.

This will NOT work with:

  • Wii U
  • Wiis with D2C or newer drives
  • Devolution r200, because it uses a different verification scheme

How to verify backups:

To be able to verify burned discs with Devolution, the Wiikey must first be flashed with the older 1.9b firmware and have the region override feature turned OFF using the Wiikey config disc. Once this has been done, simply insert the backup when required for verification and Devolution r128 (or earlier) will verify the backup just like a retail disc. Repeat the process with backups of the rest of your favorite Gamecube games. This method works with either the standalone version of Devolution or by using the loader.bin with a USB loader. After all backup discs have been successfully verified, replace version r128 with r197 for the best game compatibility.

Have fun playing Gamecube games with Devolution!

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 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 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 (

Video: Wii U Teaser: The Homebrew Channel on Wii U by Fail0verflow

Video: Wii U Teaser: The Homebrew Channel on Wii U by Fail0verflow

Video: Wii U Teaser: The Homebrew Channel on Wii U by Fail0verflow

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#12 - ly420 - November 22, 2012 // 1:43 pm
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too bad I don't speak german

#11 - Bassflower - November 22, 2012 // 12:23 pm
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Ok. Here is a New Tutorial from me

#10 - niwakun - November 20, 2012 // 12:02 am
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Well until someone who can patch iOS37 in WiiU so we can install ciOS of our choice. But yeah, I think they patched iOS37 signing bug on it. But who know what will happen in the future.

#9 - azoreseuropa - November 19, 2012 // 11:47 pm
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As I said that it is only a beginning. Of course, no Wii backups yet. Anyway, I can't wait to see whats next in the near future.

#8 - Tidusnake666 - November 19, 2012 // 10:18 pm
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Why not? Put Smash Stack exploit on your SD card, load SSBB, and do what video does

No wii backups yet, but homebrew is usable.

#7 - azoreseuropa - November 19, 2012 // 10:08 pm
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Good to hear that as I already saw on the video but it doesn't mean anything. They didn't tell us how to use it just yet. I am hoping to play my old wii backup games on it because I need to sell Wii before I can buy Wii U but it is a promising to me and I will have to wait to see how it turns out to be.

#6 - Tidusnake666 - November 19, 2012 // 9:52 pm
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Those of you who have a Nintendo Wii U will be glad to hear that Homebrew is already working on the console. Not native WiiU Homebrew but Wii Homebrew.

Here's a video of Connect 4 working via Comex's Stack Smash, maybe not the route we want to go but very interesting none the less:

Nintendo have done the EXACT ERROR Sony have done - abandon buffer/stack overflow errors in the emulation mode of the previous console. I'm talking about PS Vita and PSP emu save exploits, and now this... What's in the world QA doing?

#5 - kiranmaya - November 19, 2012 // 2:28 pm
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Great info , one question , will you able to play huge city maps with uncharted 3 like graphics .. in theory how much % greater than ps3 ?

Below is another Nintendo Wii U Teardown (via as follows:


  • Heat gun or hair dryer
  • Phillips 00 Screwdriver
  • Spudger
  • Tri-wing Y1 Screwdriver
  • Tweezers

Step 1 - Nintendo Wii U Teardown

Yes, we love tearing devices apart, but the TV-shattering, Wii Remote-related accidents around the office are getting out of hand. It's time to explore alternative remote options, and what better place to start than the Wii U?

  • Red: IBM Power-based multi-core processor
  • Orange: AMD Radeon-based High Definition GPU
  • Yellow: 8 GB or 32 GB internal storage with external USB storage and external USB hard drive support
  • Green: 6.2 inch, 854 x 480 pixels LCD touch-screen with motion control and front-facing camera
  • Blue: Near-Field Communication (NFC) functionality

Step 2 - Let's check out the port side(s)!

  • Red: Disc slot
  • Orange: Sync button
  • Yellow: SD card slot
  • Green: USB 2.0 ports (4 total)
  • Blue: HDMI port
  • Purple: AV Multi Out
  • Black: Sensor Bar Connector

Step 3 - What's this? A secret coin that Mario left behind?

Sadly, it's just the CMOS battery. However, we won't judge you if you run and jump on a flagpole. Hidden screws won't keep us out; some quick sticker removal and a turn of the screwdriver free the top case.

Step 4 - We see a familiar face as the top case comes off.

There is nothing initially surprising as we get our first glimpse of the U. The optical drive and heat sink dominate the majority of the console's internal Wii-al estate, and are considerably beefier than those found in the Nintendo Wii.

Step 5 - The device is pretty simple so far, but has no shortage of screws.

There's no adhesive holding the U together, but were it not for our Magnetic Project Mat, all of these screws could get out of hand. So far we have encountered both Phillips and Tri-wing screws, nothing our 54 Bit Driver Kit can't handle. After some unscrewing, the front panel pops right off.

Step 6 - Hmmm... This optical drive feels really heavy.

It appears much larger than most optical drives, so we take it to the scales! 424.2 grams! That means that the optical drive accounts for nearly a third of the 1.5-kg device. We suspect that the large optical drive may be a by-product of the larger motherboard underneath. A case expansive enough to accommodate the motherboard leaves some extra room for a bigger optical drive.

Possible benefits to using a clunkier disc-reader could be reduced cost, quieter operation, or improved longevity over a slimmer drive.

Step 7 - Unlike other game consoles with strict space requirements, the antennas in the Wii U have a much more relaxed layout and are held in place with tape.

Nintendo obviously wasn't concerned with making the smallest box possible, so they didn't worry about rigidly packing relatively small antenna cables in designated slots as we've seen in handheld consoles such as the 3Ds and the PS Vita.

Step 8 - Next to come out are the fan and heat sink.

Nintendo designers explained that the larger fan and heat sink were necessary to handle the nearly tripled heat output from the new ICs. With the heat sink off, we get closer to the CPU and GPU, called the Wii U's multi chip module (MCM), still hidden beneath a thermal pad. Thanks to the upgraded AMD GPU, the Wii U boasts HD graphics up to 1080p. Nintendo has come a long way over the years, considering that we remember when Mario had fewer bits than our 26-bit driver kit.

Step 9 - We finally get to the motherboard.

Taking up the entire base of the console, the overall size of the device was likely designed around the motherboard. Examining the underside of the motherboard, we find three separate wireless modules. We quickly get to removing them.

Step 10 - With the wireless modules out, we get right to examining them.

  • Red: Broadcom BCM43237KMLG Wireless LAN module
  • Orange: Broadcom BCM43362KUB6 802.11n Wireless Module—the same one used in the Roku 2 XS
  • Yellow: Broadcom BCM20702 Bluetooth 4.0 module

Step 11 The shields are down!

A quick pass with a heat gun and we get our first look at the CPU and GPU, both covered in ample thermal compound.

  • Red: GPU: AMD Radeon-based High Definition GPU.
  • Orange: CPU: IBM Power-based multi-core processor.
  • Black: We believe Nintendo placed these ICs close to one another to reduce latency and power consumption.

Step 12 - IC U! The notable players on the motherboard:

  • Red: Panasonic MN864718 HDMI Controller
  • Orange: Samsung KLM8G2FE3B eMMC 8 GB NAND Flash/Memory Controller
  • Yellow: Micron 2LEI2 D9PXV [part number MT41K256M16HA-125] 4 Gb DDR3L SDRAM (4 x 4 Gb for a total of 16 Gb or 2 GB RAM)
  • Green: DRH-WUP 811309G31
  • Blue: Fairchild DC4AY
  • Purple: SMC 1224EE402
  • Black: Samsung K9K8G08U1D 4 Gb (512 MB) NAND Flash

Step 13 - Bonus Teardown Time!

Break out the champagne and fireworks, it's party time. Why stop the teardown when we have another new piece of hardware at our disposal? Wasting no time, we crack into the Wii U GamePad controller, meant to supplement or replace the original TV slayers.

A readily available Phillips #00 screwdriver grants us access to the Wii-chargeable battery. The 3.7 V, 1500 mAh rechargeable battery is only good for about 3-5 hours of gameplay, but is easily charged using the included external wall charger. Good news for those looking to extend their playtime—there's plenty of room in the battery compartment for an upgraded pack.

Step 14 - Nintendo. You're silly. Trying to hide your screws from us?

Though clever, the screws are still hiding in plain sight. A deca-plethora of hidden and recessed Tri-wing screws are inevitably no match for our trusty tools. Some of the screws are very recessed, forcing us to use the included 4 mm nut driver attachment to extend the length of our 54 Bit Driver. It works perfectly, and we are in!

Step 15 - We make the Wii U GamePad controller spill its guts.

The larger *gasp!* controller on the U is a design choice, comfortably accommodating the screen, buttons, and circuitry with room to spare. Surprisingly, Nintendo fills the controller with-earmuffs, Cupertino-empty space; apparently size does matter.

Step 16 - Shoulder button!

Ruby red slippers may get Dorothy home, but we prefer the iconic red button. From the buttons to the frame, plastic pieces abound in the Wii U's GamePad controller, making the Wii U light and *mostly* kid-proof.

Step 17 - A simple ZIF connector stands between us and the bottom button board.

The bottom button board is home to the TV control and power buttons. Despite the board housing two of the most important buttons, there are no conspicuous ICs on the bottom button board.

Step 18 - This button casing is wrapped in blue ribbon cables and switches for the ABXY button pad.

With the button casing out of the way, we get to the first of the dual analog joysticks.

Step 19 - One part, two part, red part, blue part... big part, small part, let's tear this thing apart.

We are a bit disappointed that Nintendo didn't use the extra real estate in the Wii U for some crazy speakers.

Step 20 - Button, button, who's got the button? The U doesn't... well, not anymore.

The rubber backed ABXY, D-pad, start/select, Power, TV, and Home buttons coming flying out of the Wii U. Separate button groups are good news for the button mashers among us, as each unit will be relatively quick and inexpensive to replace.

Step 21 - The Wii U loses its ability to communicate with near fields as we remove the NFC module and antenna.

What awesome functionality did this bring to the console? Well, as of launch day... none. In the future, we might see loading saved games or importing characters from cards or action figures, like in this demo. There are two prominent ICs on the NFC communications board:

  • Red: Broadcom 20792 KMLG NFC controller
  • Orange: T130 MsEu

Step 22 - Pulling out this (third) dual-antenna wireless module is starting to feel pretty routine.

  • Red: The board is powered by a Broadcom BCM4319XKUBG.

This module is likely part of a new system Nintendo and Broadcom co-designed to wirelessly stream video and data between the Wii U console and GamePad controller.

Step 23 - The GamePad's motherboard is easily displaced from the front panel case.

Step 24 - Front side of the GamePad's motherboard:

  • Red: STMicroelectronics UIC-WUP MCE GH226
  • Orange: STMicroelectronics MSA3D 01F
  • Yellow: Texas Instruments TSC 2046I Low Voltage I/O Touch Screen Controller

Step 25 - The backside of the GamePad's motherboard:

  • Red: InvenSense ITG-3280 Gyroscope
  • Orange: Micron 25Q256A 256 Mb Serial Flash
  • Yellow: DRC-WUP 811309J31 1217LU603
  • Green: Texas Instruments AIC3012 Audio Converter
  • Blue: Texas Instruments 1010007

Step 26 - Just a few more components block our path to the 6.2-inch touch screen display.

First out are the dual antennas that transfer the GamePad controller's wireless signal back to the Wii U console. The microphone and remaining speaker were previously blocked in place underneath the motherboard, but are now easily removed.

Step 27 - The big plastic pieces are getting a bit cliche as we remove yet another.

The bracket between the screen and the rest of the internals is held in place by standard Phillips #00 screws. Wii cheer for repairability!

Step 28 - In what can only be hailed as a win for repair enthusiasts, the display assembly lifts off the GamePad's front case without any resistance from adhesive.

However, it seems the LCD is fused to the digitizer. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. The display assembly is labeled as NB-F9C AE1 013.

Step 29 - Nintendo Wii U Repairability Score: 8 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair):

  • Green: No components were held in by adhesive, including the display assembly in the GamePad controller.
  • Green: Most components in both the console and GamePad controller can be replaced independently of their respective motherboards.
  • Green: The battery in the GamePad is easily accessible and replaceable.
  • Yellow: Once the Tri-wing screws have been removed from the top case, minimal prying effort is required to open.
  • yellow: Some of the screws on the GamePad controller are very recessed, requiring a longer Tri-wing bit, or in our case, a 4 mm nut driver attachment.
  • Red: The inclusion of Tri-wing screws prevents easy access to internal components.
  • Red: The GamePad controller's LCD and digitizer are fused together, increasing repair costs.

#4 - PS4 News - November 19, 2012 // 10:01 am
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Below is a Nintendo Wii U Teardown (via 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/ NintendoBrowser/

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:

SunSpider Javascript Benchmark 0.9.1 - Stock Browser

The browser is using an older version of WebKit, which is likely responsible for some of the not absolutely stellar performance here.

#3 - Tidusnake666 - November 19, 2012 // 9:03 am
Tidusnake666's Avatar
I would love to see how Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise speak about zelda and mario lol