The Nintendo Wii has just barely hit retail stores, and already the homebrew scene is fast at work. Creating not only killer applications and homebrew games, but also developing (or at least helping develop) the worlds first Nintendo Wii mod chip(s). In this article I am going to discuss Nintendo Wii Mod Chips and give some of the features, pros and cons of the 3 different Nintendo Wii Mod Chips that have just recently been released.
The good news for Nintendo Wii gamers is that regardless of which Nintendo Wii mod chip you buy – you’ll have all the basics with each one. You will be able to play all Nintendo Wii Backup games (on DVD-R or DVD+R discs) and can use 8cm or 12cm DVD discs. You will also be able to play all Gamecube Backup games, import games as well as Gamecube Homebrew games. It really gets down to installation of the Nintendo Wii Mod chip and the features and functions, and future upgrade options of each Wii mod chip.
What is even more surprising with these new Nintendo Wii Mod chips is the prices that they’re being sold for. I remember quite clearly the days of the very first PlayStation 2 mod chips, costing in excess of $90.00 US Dollars. It seems the Wii chips have opted instead for a lower entry price, in an effort to gain a greater piece of the Homebrew / Development / Modchip market. The prices range anywhere from $44.00 to just over $50.00, depending on the chip you decide to buy.
At present, there are actually 3 different Nintendo Wii Mod chips which will hit the market and online stores within the next week or so. While many online news sources seem to focus on just 2 of the 3 mod chips, perhaps because they’re unaware that there is a third chip in the making, I’m going to cover all 3 of the mod chips in the hopes of enabling you, the gamer, to make the buying decision that’s right for you. And after reading this article, I honestly believe that your decision will be based solely on price, and perhaps the option of an upgrade (or lack of) for the Wii Mod Chips.
Wiinja Nintendo Wii Mod Chip
The Wiinja Nintendo Wii Mod chip was actually the very first Wii chip to hit the market. While many online news sources seem to disregard this chip, it is still the very first and one of the easiest mod chips to install for the Nintendo Wii. Like the other mod chips for the Wii, the Wiinja will enable you to play all Wii and Gamecube Backup games, as well as Wii Import backup games, and original import games with just a single swap. Gamecube Import and Homebrew games are fully supported. While the other mod chips promise that their modchips, in time, will have their own custom OS to enable additional features, the Wiinja chip does not make this claim. In fact, they have stated that their chip is not meant to be upgraded. Stealth mode is still built in, even into this mod chip, and whether or not the lack of an upgrade feature is a deterrent is entirely up to you, the user. Often times many modchip manufacturers claim upgrade features, but then they lack the support for the upgrades, which tend to come out very rarely, if ever at all.
WiiKey Nintendo Wii Modchip
The manufacturer hype states the following: Unlock your Nintendo Wii with the worlds first truly upgradeable Nintendo Wii Mod Chip. The WiiKey for Nintendo Wii is made by the famous xenoGC team, responsible for the xenoGC Gamecube line of mod chips, and now, with their WiiKey, Wii owners can enjoy all the benefits of a team of great developers with a truly upgradeable Nintendo Wii Mod chip. The WiiKey comes ready to use, and offers an almost wireless installation. When they say almost wireless, what this essentially means is that there are Quick Solder pads for the chip. This method enables you, the gamer, to simply position the chip in the correct place on the Mother board of the Wii, in order to then apply a little bit of solder with a soldering iron. The WiiKey chip does however also require that you solder 4 wires to the specified places on the Wii motherboard. The WiiKey mod chip was the first chip that boasted full upgradeability through DVD-R discs to which you can burn / backup the new firmware updates, put The DVD in to your Nintendo Wii, and it will run and update the chip. Once again, the WiiKey also supports loading of both Wii and Gamecube backup games and import backup games. Original import games can be played as well, with a simple, single swap methos. Gamecube Homebrew games are also supported. Whether or not this mod chip will end up with it’s own custom OS is something we’ll just have to take a wait and see approach with. However, it offers everything you want, for a VERY reasonable price.
And finally, the last Nintendo Wii mod chip (often claimed to be the very FIRST Nintendo Wii Modchip) is the only chip in this round up that actually does not require any wires at all.
CycloWiz Nintendo Wii Mod Chips
The major advatange, or selling feature of the CycloWiz Nintendo Wii mod chip is in how it’s installed. Unlike the other 2 mod chips in this round up, the CycloWiz actually does not require you to solder any wires to the Wii mainboard. In fact, much like the WiiKey, you’ll simply use Quick Solder pads which are strategically placed in the design of the CycloWiz to enable you to simply position the chip on the Nintendo Wii Mainboard, and gently put some solder onto the points. This will make the required connections, and the chip will simply be installed, with absolutely no need figure out where wires are to be soldered or whether or not you’ve got the right type of wires, etc… The CycloWiz is also a fully upgradeable modchip, with promised firmware updates for the chip from the manufacturer. Again, I want to stress that firmware updates may not at all be required and perhaps may not come for some time. I myself do however like the idea that the chip will not be outdated should some new function or requirement become the norm.
To sum it all up, all of the Nintendo Wii Mod chips boast the features below. The only exception to this is the upgrade feature which is NOT available on the Wiinja chip. Take a look at the features, and decide for yourself which Wii mod Chip is right for you.
Now it’s up to you to decide which Nintendo Wii mod Chip is right for you.