Notes from inside your Wii

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The (Open) Homebrew Channel

November 22nd, 2016 by marcan · 2 Comments

Last weekend was the 10-year anniversary of the Nintendo Wii. We thought we’d dust off the blog with a little birthday present: the source code for The Homebrew Channel.

When we built HBC, we always wanted it to serve as a reference for what homebrew software should look like: good design, professional-looking, user friendly, stable, safe, and supporting features such as network connectivity. We hoped it would inspire other software to aspire to a similar level of quality. But we didn’t want it to become an instant base for quick hacks and mods and endless cheap variations, and we also didn’t think proliferation of installable “channels” on the Wii is a good idea: we still think it makes much more sense to have one entry point into the homebrew ecosystem, and then launch everything else from there (among other things, because it’s easy to brick a Wii by installing things into NAND). And, to be fair, the code is definitely not as pretty as what you get when running it.

However, the plan was always to eventually open source it. Bushing, in particular, always championed for this. This release is dedicated to him.

Keep in mind that, since this was never developed in public, you’ll probably find embarrassing things in the source code. We’ve kept it maintained over the various releases, and we’ve done some very minor cleanup to this release to bring it up to date with the latest version of the toolchain and remove “security” bits no longer relevant to an open source release, but other than that, what you see is what you get. This is the code that the millions of users of The Homebrew Channel are running on their consoles.


As a bonus, this code includes the fix for vWii aspect ratio on Wii U. The Title ID has been changed, so you can install it without clobbering your official Homebrew Channel (though telling them apart in the menu might be tricky!).

Tags: Wii

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 pbsds // Nov 23, 2016 at 11:54 am

    You guys have done a great job enabling the homebrew community to become as great as it was. I had lots of fun tinkering with the Wii in my youth. I regard the Wii as the Commodore of my generation

  • 2 JoostinOnline // Nov 23, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    I hope you guys don’t mind the forwarders I made. They were intended to be a temporary solution until you released a new title ID, but it never happened. They’re so spread out now that it would be pretty much impossible to get rid of them completely.

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