Reverse Engineering Wii Channels Idea

Discussion in 'Wii - Hacking' started by AwesomeMarioFan, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. AwesomeMarioFan
    OP

    AwesomeMarioFan RiiConnect24 Dev

    Member
    162
    27
    Jun 21, 2013
    United States
    Hi,

    I have been hacking my Wii for a while now (Around 3 years, probably like everyone else here), and I was wondering something.
    Recently, Nintendo shut down the Weather and News Channels, along with a few others.
    When going to the Weather Channel, it displays a goodbye message from Nintendo.
    Using the Homebrew Channel, I was wondering if there was a way to change the IP the Weather Channel looks for data on, to possibly bring it back.
    Before everyone posts "No", I would also like a small explanation. I know this would probably be useless, but I was just wondering if it was possible, as I always thought the Weather Channel was a pretty cool utility, and it is used in games like Animal Crossing to control things.

    Thanks,
    ~ AwesomeMarioFan
     
    Magnus87 likes this.
  2. smealum

    smealum growing up sucks.

    Member
    634
    2,017
    May 1, 2006
    United States
    SF
    I have no wii hacking experience per se so anyone correct me if I'm wrong, but I feel pretty confident when I say that yes it would probably be possible but that it's unlikely anyone will go through the trouble of doing it, especially now that the server is down.
    Basically, there are two approaches to doing something like this : either you analyze the data exchanged between the client and the server, or you analyze the client's code to figure out what it asks how and how the server is supposed to respond (and of course you can/sometimes have to mix up both methods to get better results). Now the thing is, in certain cases that first approach isn't possible, for instance because the communication is encrypted or in our case because the server is down. That means we have to default to the second approach, which involves taking the channel apart, figuring out how its communication code works and implementing a server "emulator". Needless to say this kind of work is rather time consuming and requires a somewhat specific set of skills, which is why I doubt anyone will want to go through with it given the limited payoff.
    Now it's not impossible that there are dumps of client-server communications floating around from early investigations into the wii; it's also possible that the channel uses a well-known and easily "emulatable" protocol (could be HTTP for all i know, and encryption use seems doubtful), which would potentially make REing the thing much easier.

    so short answer : yes most likely possible, no there probably isn't going to be anyone who wants to do it.
     
  3. AwesomeMarioFan
    OP

    AwesomeMarioFan RiiConnect24 Dev

    Member
    162
    27
    Jun 21, 2013
    United States
    Hey,
    Thanks for the reply! I expected as much, nobody will probably want to do it but I figured I'd ask, since no one else seemed to.
    Here is some more information on how the Weather Channel exchanges data with the Wii (Only link I could find talking about it): http://mozy.org/wii/#news_weather

    Thanks Again,
    ~ AwesomeMarioFan
     
  4. smealum

    smealum growing up sucks.

    Member
    634
    2,017
    May 1, 2006
    United States
    SF
    That's interesting. He does mention trying to modify the data being transferred from the server to the wii and, well, it looks like that's the main thing standing in the way of a server emulator. He also mentions failing though; it seems to me though that he only tried looking at the data being transferred and not the code used to validate the data versus the header. It seems to me that by looking at the weather/news channel's code and maybe using an emulator like dolphin to debug it'd probably be possible to get somewhere, assuming you had a dump of the normal exchange between the channel and the server.
     
  5. Magnus87

    Magnus87 GBAtemp Regular

    Member
    211
    80
    Apr 28, 2013
    Argentina
    I like the idea. I dont wont to delete channels
     
  6. AwesomeMarioFan
    OP

    AwesomeMarioFan RiiConnect24 Dev

    Member
    162
    27
    Jun 21, 2013
    United States
    Hmm, I tried searching around and couldn't even find stuff about the Weather Channel. If anyone has one of these dumps that would be great. I will keep searching however, if I find anything interesting I will be sure to post it here.

    ~ AwesomeMarioFan
     
  7. AwesomeMarioFan
    OP

    AwesomeMarioFan RiiConnect24 Dev

    Member
    162
    27
    Jun 21, 2013
    United States
    Same, when I heard about the channels being deleted, I was sad. However I see the reason behind them removing the channels, since they weren't used much anymore.

    I was just surprised that there are people making alternate multiplayer game servers and not one for replicating the weather channel.

    ~ AwesomeMarioFan
     
  8. Magnus87

    Magnus87 GBAtemp Regular

    Member
    211
    80
    Apr 28, 2013
    Argentina
    Not only Weather channel

    for example
    Why not use News Channel as an RSS reader?
     
    xcrimsonstormx likes this.
  9. AwesomeMarioFan
    OP

    AwesomeMarioFan RiiConnect24 Dev

    Member
    162
    27
    Jun 21, 2013
    United States
    Yeah that would be an awesome idea!
    The problem would be however, if we do somehow get the dumps of the data transferred and somehow work this out,
    we would have to write up the news stories.
    I think however that this should have been done from the start of the News Channel.

    ~ AwesomeMarioFan
     
  10. DinohScene

    DinohScene Dino for Hire

    Member
    GBAtemp Patron
    DinohScene is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    15,513
    11,885
    Oct 11, 2011
    Antarctica
    В небо
    I admit that I hardly played around with those channels but I like the weather channel.
    It was nice to see how hot/cold it was where in the world.
     
  11. winmaster

    winmaster Weird Kid Who Still Plays Pokemon

    Newcomer
    44
    10
    Jul 7, 2011
    United States
    Here
    Instead of trying to reverse engineer WiiConnect24, why not try to get some dev somewhere to build a completely new News/Weather/Everybody Votes/Check Mii Out Channel. It would probably be easier to start from scratch than to try and reverse engineer the broken versions that Nintendo supplies.
     
    jonthedit likes this.
  12. techboy

    techboy GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Member
    1,720
    21
    Mar 15, 2009
    United States
    Pennsylvania
    I have copies of the bin files that the weather and news channels used to download if anyone wants them. June 21st, USA versions.
     
  13. AwesomeMarioFan
    OP

    AwesomeMarioFan RiiConnect24 Dev

    Member
    162
    27
    Jun 21, 2013
    United States
    Hey,
    If you wanted to send me them that would be great! Maybe we could find out something new.
    Regarding the new channels idea, that might end up being better/easier since it would just be new channels.

    ~ AwesomeMarioFan
     
  14. OriginalHamster

    OriginalHamster UStealthy

    Member
    3,381
    641
    Nov 2, 2008
    Cote d'Ivoire
    I think it wuold be possible for weather channel, but I understand that Asociated Press give special content to News Channel, who would provide the headlines, photos, map location if itsn't AP?
     
  15. AwesomeMarioFan
    OP

    AwesomeMarioFan RiiConnect24 Dev

    Member
    162
    27
    Jun 21, 2013
    United States
    Now that I think about it, I believe some things did come from the Asociated Press.