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Home of the Delta Kings

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5 Reasons To Hack Your Nintendo Wii In 2024

The original Nintendo Wii model launched in 2006. Credit for the image to Nintendo Of America.

Recently, I bought a used Nintendo Wii at an extremely cheap price of $18 and had one goal in mind – Homebrewing it. To “Homebrew” a console is to modify, or “softmod”, a Wii using techniques created by the Wii community that can enhance the console’s capabilities. This modification can give access to many possibilities such as console emulation, custom themes, or my personal favorite, online service. 

The process is incredibly easy and anyone looking to enhance a retro console should consider picking one up.


  1. Highly Affordable If You Homebrew Yourself

Nearly 18 years ago, the Nintendo Wii was released. The gaming console sold over 101.63 million units according to IGN, outselling both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in its generation. 

Originally, the Wii retailed for $250 at launch. Nowadays, it’s easy to find an unmodded console with controllers for as low as $20, while modded versions can go for as high as $100. It is much easier to spend around $30 for the Wii and SD card rather than paying for someone else’s at the price of a current generation console. Just buying a Wii without even modding it can be an amazing deal for retro console collectors.


  1. The Wii is one of the easiest consoles to mod

Most gaming systems require changing the internals of the hardware such as the PlayStation 3, however, the process of homebrewing a Wii is fairly simple and short if you have all the supplies ready on hand. All you need is a Wii, PC, or Laptop to get the Homebrew software from, and an SD card. During the eight minutes I spent modifying mine, I had fun while also being worried about bricking the console. A brick can occur if all the steps are not followed, this is a reason to avoid Youtube tutorials and instead use an easy-to-find official Homebrew guide.


  1. Online Play Revived

In May of 2014, Nintendo shut down all online functionality for the DS and Wii. The only thing that could be accessed was the Wii shop channel which only allowed you to install previously purchased games, and that was only until 2019 when they ceased functionality for that as well. Similarly, the 3DS eShop was shut down in March of 2023, closing off the installation of those games. Despite that, custom servers are hosted by Homebrew users that allow you to play online by simply changing the DNS code in your Wii’s internet settings. Games that are double the fun with multiplayer such as Mario Kart Wii would now be playable again. I myself have played online and have seen plenty of other players using the same online servers.


  1. Modded games have never been more fun

With the large list of all 2,559 officially released games on the Wii, Homebrew is capable of modding each and every one. One of my favorite modded games that I have been able to experience myself is Project M EX Remix. PMEX Remix is a modded version of Super Smash Bros. Brawl that hugely increases the number of playable characters from 39 to 130. This mod aims to include every single Super Smash Bros. Ultimate fighter including the Newcomers and DLCs as well as custom modded fighters. Some of the most unique custom characters include Sandbag, Waluigi, Metal Sonic, and Blaiziken. All the fighters are well-balanced and enjoyable for a community-made game. This is just one example out of the hundreds of games that have a dedicated modding community.

The design of the Homebrew Channel when installed on the console. Credit – Team Twitzers


  1. Emulate Other Consoles With Ease

While the original white Wii is capable of running Gamecube games without mods, later consoles such as the Black version of the Wii and Wii Mini were not so lucky. Through Homebrew, a popular app called Nintendont can be installed alongside that allows Gamecube emulation on these later consoles. This means it’s possible to play Super Mario Galaxy and then switch to Super Mario Sunshine in less than a minute. The Gamecube is not the only system that can be emulated on the Wii. Retro games from consoles like the SNES, NES, and even the Nintendo 64 can all be played.


Closing Thoughts

Simply put, The Nintendo Wii is a must-have not just for retro video game collectors but also for people looking to mod their first console. I highly recommend modding a Wii if you have one. Homebrew unlocks nearly an unlimited number of opportunities that current consoles such as the Nintendo Switch are just not capable of doing at the moment.

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