Nintendo’s Wii U may soon be permanently modifiable to allow users to play homebrew and pirated games, after researchers today released a solution to access the console’s encryption keys.
While playing homebrew on the Wii U via its SD card slot has been possible for a number of months now, every method discovered so far has required users to trigger the exploit upon every system restart. Now, a permanent solution such as custom firmware may be possible, after hackers on the GBATemp.net forums shared their method to access the console’s one-time programmable memory (OTP).
By downloading a .ELF file uploaded by the researchers and running it on their Wii U using one of the existing homebrew launchers, users are able to receive a readout of their console’s OTP, which contains console-specific encryption and decryption keys, amongst others. While this information may seem insignificant on its own, it is proof that the kernel of the console’s operating system, the IOSU, has been accessed and modified, potentially paving the way for users to be able to run unsigned apps and games with the help of custom firmware in the future.
This publication does not endorse the use of homebrew applications and recommends users use the console as intended by the manufacturer.