Monday, December 31, 2007
The 7 Wonders of Wii Homebrew
Now that Wii homebrew is finally a possibility http://youtube.com/watch?v=H5YB1Mmx7E4
I’ve been wondering what would make the Seven Wonders of Wii Homebrew and here are my thoughts. Feel free to disagree!
The Wii is basically a Gamecube on steroids. When you boot a Cube title the Wii downgrades itself to Gamecube specs but what possibilities would we have if we could access the full Wii mode for emulators. You could even play Cube titles in Wii mode, a sort of super Gamecube mode where the framerates could be faster perhaps? Now the extra power of the Wii over the Cube could allow you to emulate more powerful machines like the Commodore Amiga and Atari ST, perhaps the Playstation (PSX).
It’s just a starting point. These wonders are building up.
2) Samba (SMB)
Samba is a network protocol. If the Wii could be Samba compatible one way or another then we could connect it to a PC or Mac network and read files from the network, store files on the network and so on. This is a key building block as the Wii has no hard disk so is limited to SD cards for storage. Add Samba and there is no limit.
3) Kai (link)
Kai enables machines of varying types to play network games. Not quite sure how this would or could work on Wii but it’s a useful bridge and could enable Wii online gaming when the Big N doesn’t take care of our needs.
4) ISO loader
Sometimes burning titles onto DVD is a pain in the butt. Loading ISO images would be handy and allow you to store titles elsewhere on networked storage or on a PC. It would be great to be able to load Gamecube and Wii titles remotely. Obviously only images of titles you actually own ;)
5) Keyboard Support
The Wii has USB already but using a USB keyboard would be a key building block. How else are you gonna do MSN style chats? Enter your Samba config by hand? Again, a key step towards a full homebrew Wii. Let’s have mouse support too!
I never used to be a huge Linux fan until I came across my Linkstation and the size of the Linux software base. And it is free! There is Gamecube Linux but Wii Linux (Wiinux, Wiix or whatever it gets called!) should turn the Wii into a full computer with it’s PowerPC processor. As long as we have Samba access to a remote hard disk then Wii Linux could boot from SD and store on a Samba share. With Linux installed the Wii could run Firefox and many other quality Linux apps.
7) Media Center
Have you seen how good XboxMediaCenter is? XBMC is, for me, the sole reason to own an original Xbox. If the Wii had homebrew like this (yes XBMC is free homebrew, not commercial software) then you could play on your TV all those Xvid TV shows you have downloaded, your MP3 collection and look at those family pics you store on your PC. Heaven.
So when will this get going? Soon I hope!