Hacking How can I use my old unused wii to learn embedded systems programming?


New Member
Oct 27, 2019
United States
So I have been learning embedded systems and device drivers development for embedded Linux, and my old wii is just sitting there. Somehow it presents itself as an object on which I can do projects on. What kind of projects can I do with a knowledge of embedded c programming and an old wii?


Editorial Team
Nov 21, 2005
United Kingdom
That will depend entirely upon what you want to learn.

If you wanted then plain old devkitpro/devkitppc will be like developing on a normal, albeit limited, computer without some of the benefits of typical OS APIs. You can still write all your own low level code if you wanted to. I should note finding old versions of such things can be tricky right now (whole load of drama there which I will spare us for this reply) so the usual take an old project and polish it up might be harder than you like, or might see you have to essentially port it to the modern version, however look and you can probably find.

As far as "device drivers development" goes then if someone asked me about that then while the wii has been more or less figured out at this point (or at least for all intents and purposes it has been and anything remaining is just an edge case* or piece of extraordinarily rare hardware) there is value in either optimising such things, porting them to other operating systems or maybe enhancement**. This on top of the simple recreation of work already done for your personal learning (nice to have the answers in reverse engineering there if you become terribly unstuck in something). People have various done some stuff with the nice USB gecko debug devices but if you fancied making a nice open source one people would reasonably build with a soldering iron and parts that will likely be made or at the very least available for the next 15 or so years then that would also work.

*it has been a little over a month at this point since the exploit for the gamecube port less wiis got a public exploit announced https://gbatemp.net/threads/first-wii-mini-exploit-found.547901/ but at the same time they were a late stage batch that had undesireable features for homebrew types (no gamecube ports/support, no SD card, no wifi, less video out options) so that is more likely why few paid them any real attention.

**theoretically the wii could take any number of inputs but nobody has written drivers, if you wanted then many more games could benefit from gamecube controller support, and if you wanted to get really into it then the various gamecube backwards compatibility layers could use work (three main options being Nintendo's efforts which are nice if you have discs and wish to play it as was envisioned by Nintendo, another of not so hot compatibility/stability and another that is pretty swish but owing to the author's feelings on things is limited in certain ways). In the absolute extreme as we have likely seen the last wii menu be released you could pare it back, tweak some things and create the best hacked version going there.
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