Bypass regional lockout in vWii -- is it possible?

Discussion in 'Wii U - Hacking & Backup Loaders' started by shinkodachi, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. shinkodachi
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    shinkodachi On permanent leave

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    Hey GBAtemp people,

    [Semi off-topic boring introduction, skip below if you like.]

    I'm the new guy here (for now) and I know how to use the search function! (Extra points for effort? No?) I also read most of the stickies, but still feel a bit lost so bear with me. I'm not your typical gamer, just like to play the odd Japanese import, so for that I had a DOL-001 GameCube modded with a ViperGC many years ago. (Some of the weirdest games available for the GC that's for sure). That's also pretty much as far as I know about homebrew on Nintendo consoles.

    When the Wii came out I just moved on to the PS3 and while I enjoyed many games on that platform I actually decided to put my money on a Wii U and sold my PS3. I personally find PlayStation a bit too mainstream and with the release of the PS4 the writing was on the wall for weirdos like me. All I really want is to explore those crazy Japanese games and it seems the Wii U fits that purpose the best in this generation. The thing that I liked about the PS3 was the lack of regional lockout for the games, something I had forgotten about since I used to own a GameCube. So now I have a Wii U and I'm trying to catch up on the progress of homebrew and region free on the Wii U. Here's what I've learned...

    [Here's the actual stuff I want to talk about.]

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems this is the current status of homebrew on a Wii U:

    1. Wii U mode has yet to be exploited, so currently homebrew and region free gaming is out of question.
    2. Someone is working on a Wii U modchip, but there's been very little news on its progress (WiikeU).
    3. vWii can be softmodded fairly easily, using exploits like Smash Stack. However...
    4. ...it is possible to brick vWii and there's no easy way to fix that without a ProgSkeet or similar (which I don't have).
    5. Despite the progress of softmodding vWii, region free gaming is still not possible.
    6. There's currently no Freeloader / disc swap technique for the Wii U that could be used.

    I'm comfortable with getting my hands dirty and solder stuff on the PC board if that's required. I did that to my GameCube and was very happy. There's no such option this time. So is my best bet to:

    a. Import a Wii U console from the region that I'd like to import games from
    b. Buy a used Wii on the cheap and soft/hardmod that to play imports
    or
    c. Wait for something not yet revealed to be revealed?

    I'd rather keep a single console than maintain two. There's only so many AC outlets and space under my TV anyway. I'd probably get crazy if I had to constantly sync controllers between two consoles. I'd also be a little bummed to lose the HDMI connection if I were to get a regular Wii. (Component cables are sadly not an option on my Sony BRAVIA TV which is recent and only has HDMI inputs.)

    I'm also not sure how long I'd have to wait, 30c3 didn't bring much about Wii U modding, even though it's cool the GamePad can be hacked, but that's out of the scope of what I'm trying to do. There's also the four horsemen (or whatever they call themselves) but so far it seems to be a hoax with no real proof they or anyone else has hackedd the Wii U. Of course, there's failoverfl0w (and I read the long blog about homebrew on the Wii U on their website). I 100% understand their position, that revealing the exploits needed to get unsigned code running would probably be used to play pirated games. I don't want to take a stance on that as I don't care either way, all I want is to play stuff like Illvelo on my Wii U. But since I live in PAL land, my options are limited.

    Sorry about the long post. Also, nice meeting you folks!
    ~ shin
     


  2. metroid maniac

    metroid maniac An idiot with an opinion

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    It is possible to brick the vWii, but as long as you're sensible it's extremely unlikely.
    There is a very easy way to run import Wii games on the Wii U; you can simply use a homebrew application like Gecko OS.
     
  3. MichiS97

    MichiS97 "Leftist snowflake milennial"

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    Your thoughts on the current status are correct :D
    Just one thing to point 5: I'm not sure what you mean there, you can play Wii games from other regions with an USB Loader, that's for sure. However, you can't play imported WiiU games
    Oh, and another thing, there's currently no hardware flasher like progskeet for the WiiU, so if vWii is bricked, it's bricked. But if you stick to just installing the Homebrew Channel and cIOSes to be able to use USB Loaders you should be fine if you do everything correctly.

    Well, I think you should wait for homebrew to appear, but that's just my opinion and I don't want to play any imported games as of now :D I just don't think it's worth buying another console.
     
  4. shinkodachi
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    shinkodachi On permanent leave

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    USB loaders. Meaning I need to download the ISOs of the games (or dump them) and have them run off an external USB HDD? Isn't that 1. much slower than accessing data on a disc and 2. a bit over the top just to run games from other regions?

    My ultimate goal is to just get the Milestone Shooting Collection 2 (NTSC-J) on eBay, wait 4 weeks for it to arrive in the mail from Japan, pop the disc in my Wii U and play. If there's anything that allows me to do that, I'm all ears. Give me all the links you can I'm a fast learner. :)
     
  5. metroid maniac

    metroid maniac An idiot with an opinion

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    USB loaders can run faster in some cases. But as I stated, Gecko OS runs other-region Wii games on vWii from the disc.
     
  6. MichiS97

    MichiS97 "Leftist snowflake milennial"

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    You can use Gecko OS too for Wii games. For USB Loaders: You can dump your original games onto an external HDD, and no it's not slower, quite the opposite, the loading times are shorter! And why should it be over the top? I think USB loaders are extremely convenient
     
  7. shinkodachi
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    shinkodachi On permanent leave

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    I love discs. And I'd feel more badass than real slim shady if I had ISOs on an external HDD. :D

    Didn't see that about Gecko OS. So it works for actual discs, yay! Can anyone confirm if this could work:

    1. Get Super Smash Bros Brawl retail game disc
    2. Put Gecko OS .ELF on an SD card with Smash Stack exploit
    3. In vWii mode insert SD card into Wii U, launch Brawl and trigger the exploit
    4. Gecko OS launches, swap disc to an imported Wii retail game disc
    5. Dance around the living room in awe as you never had to tamper with the vWii NAND?

    Seriously if that works I'll be very happy!
     
  8. metroid maniac

    metroid maniac An idiot with an opinion

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    Absolutely. No permanent modification is necessary to use Gecko OS.
     
  9. shinkodachi
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    shinkodachi On permanent leave

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    That's brilliant! I never thought this question would be answered this quick. I really have a lot of homework to do now that I learned about Gecko OS. Much appreciated, thank you.
     
  10. metroid maniac

    metroid maniac An idiot with an opinion

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    No problem. Gecko OS and Smash Stack should be simple enough to use without much hassle.
     
  11. shinkodachi
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    shinkodachi On permanent leave

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    Follow up to this question:

    I now have bought some Japanese Wii games and they work on my PAL Wii U with Smash Stack and Gecko OS inside vWii. But for some reason the games I play (mainly Milestone Shooting Collection 2), my Wii U stutters every 15 minutes. Sometimes this freezes the game for a split second. I tried a USA Kirby's Dream Collection disc and I still have the same problem.

    Both discs have no scratches and look fine. No problems with regular PAL discs in vWii. Is this a common issue?
     
  12. kongsnutz

    kongsnutz QuickTimeEvent

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  13. shinkodachi
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    shinkodachi On permanent leave

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    Thanks for the tip!

    I tried that, but my Japanese discs refuse to load. The USA Kirby disc works without freezing this time. Is this behaviour specific to regions or games?

    Don't know, but maybe I'll try USB loaders now as well, but is there a loader that works without HBC or permanent NAND modification?
     
  14. kongsnutz

    kongsnutz QuickTimeEvent

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    You should be able to load a usb loader with smash stack but it wont run games from a hdd without a mod. It will however run games from discs still.
     
  15. shinkodachi
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    shinkodachi On permanent leave

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    Alright, guess I'll have to bite the bullet and just get it done with. Not sure about modding vWii although it's stated to be pretty safe. We'll see how it goes :)
     
  16. Hielkenator

    Hielkenator GBAtemp Psycho!

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    It's almost as easy as modding a Wii.
    Once your done you won't believe how easy it was.
    Usb loader came a LON LONG way.
    It's basicly perfect and a mandatory thing to fully enjoy your vWii and Wii.
    USB loading is A LOT FASTER THAN READING FROM DISCS.
    USB 2.0 speeds, hello?
     
  17. shinkodachi
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    shinkodachi On permanent leave

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    I'm sure it's easy! I've done way worse stuff like hardmodding a GameCube and JTAGging... Right now I just don't have the extra money to cough up should anything go wrong and the Wii U isn't fully hacked yet, so bricking vWii might be the worst thing to happen to me. It's a possibility, I know it's not common or a big risk factor, but it's a possibility.
     
  18. kongsnutz

    kongsnutz QuickTimeEvent

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    Literally do what you have been doing but launch the hackmii installer instead and install HBC, done.

    Just get to there and loading imports is 100% easier
     
  19. joepassive

    joepassive GBAtemp Regular

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    how can you love discs?
    they are easy to scratch, so data loss is high.
    easy to brake, so data loss is high.
    ISO's from HDD in wbfs format runs ultimately faster than discs, and just better all around.
    if thats your set of mind, lets go back to records and laser discs :P
    for real tho, USB Loaders [especially WiiFlow] is the best part of vWii softmod
    also, i played games from every region from hdd, including Japan, USA and EU.
     
  20. jammybudga777

    jammybudga777 GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    try wiiflow for your usbloader as its capable of playing nearly all games (region doesnt matter) it also has plugins and covers for all games including emulators