What’s Brewing in the Wii Homebrew Channel?

The Wii Homebrew Channel is a freeware Wii homebrew games loader. The channel was created to offer an easy way of running unofficial software on the Wii console. After installing this freeware, it appears as a standard Wii channel on the Wii Menu. Once launched a list of applications found on an SD card is displayed. Users are able to select an application to launch with a GameCube controller or the Wii remote.

The Homebrew Channel likewise accepts application uploads through a USB Gecko or TCP/IP (over WiFi or Ethernet) that allows quick application testing during development. At first launch of the the HB Channel will check for updates and will enable the user to automatically download them if they choose to do so.

Installing the Wii Homebrew requires the use of software exploits, since Nintendo designed the Wii game console to prevent the use of unauthorized software. One of installing the channel on a Wii is by using a bug in the signature verification of discs and a modchip. Another way of installing this channel is by using an exploit in the game “The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. “Dubbed the “Twilight Hack” this exploit was developed by Team Twiizers, it is a specially crafted game save copied from an SD card. Wii’s Firmware version 4.0 has entirely disabled this hack. However the Twilight Hack currently runs on all Wii System Software versions except for version 4.0. Nintendo announced that as of December 2008, Wii updates will no longer remove the Homebrew Channel if it is already there.

The Wii HB Channel is compatible with many different types of controller including the Wii Remote, the Nunchuck plus Wii Remote, the Classic Controller and the Les Paul Guitar Controller. The channel has its own browser that can download applications to do a variety of things. Other applications can also be downloaded from the official hackmii Website. Many Web sites have been reported to be selling the free software in violation of the copyright claim of Team Twiizers. Some of these sites have been stopped but there are still others who are trying to peddle this freeware.

The site of the Wii Homebrew Channel is promoted as a channel for launching homebrew games and applications without running the Twilight Hack first. The menu it shows is a list of applications stored and organized on an SD card, which is easily customizable to look just the way the user wants it to look. Homebrew apps will run via TCP or USB Gecko.