What Can A Hacked Wii U Do?
Although the Wii U may have not been the commercial success that Nintendo was hoping for, their consoles can be had for a reasonable price and still have plenty of life within them years after it's been discontinued. Thanks to methods such as "jailbreaking" or "softmodding" this has added additional functionality that gamers would have never thought were possible. Fans of the console might argue that a hacked Wii U is more valuable than what was originally released upon the console's launch.
So what can a hacked Wii U do? Apart from the standard console features, it unlocks a plethora of enhancements including:
- Playing homebrew games
- Downloading and installing cheats
- Playing patched/modded copies of games
- Playing region-locked games from other counties
- Running backups of Wii and Wii U games from an SD card or hard drive
- Playing GameCube games
- Playing emulators/ROMs
This is by no means a Wii U hacking guide but rather the features that come along with hacking a Wii U. As the homebrew community is continually evolving, there consistently pushing the limits with new features that are brought to someone who owns a hacked Wii U.
If some of these features don't make sense at first, keep reading as we'll cover each of them in great detail.
Note: Hacking your Wii U voids your console warranty and could cause irreparable damage to your device. This article is an educational walkthrough of the overall features that are available if you choose to customize your Wii U firmware.
Table of Contents
1. Playing emulators/ROMs
When it comes to console emulation, it doesn't get much better than the Wii U. Sure the console itself isn't as easy to mod as lets say the original Wii but it's not overly complicated and can be done in and around an hour of your time.
The speed and accuracy of the emulators on the Wii U will vary depending on the console. It's always best to research the type of game you want to play before installing an emulator on the Wii U.
Given that the Wii U has a native HDMI port at the back of the console, it allows for pixel perfect quality on your glorious HDTV. Imagine being able to play Mario, Sonic or Contra on your couch while sitting back and relaxing.
2. Playing GameCube Games
All of the Wii U consoles are backwards compatible with original Wii games and accessories when you open the box. Having additional functionality like GameCube games will require you to hack your console. Imagine being able to play your favorite GameCube games in stunning HD!
Since the Wii U hardware is backwards compatible with the Wii, it essentially has the ability to play GameCube games locked away as a feature.
Hacking your Wii U unlocks this capability and makes the entire GameCube library of games playable on your Wii U. The console doesn't have the ability to read GameCube discs so you'll have to make sure to download the games onto your SD card in order to play them.
This functionality also works with the USB GameCube controller port accessory to use GameCube controllers on the Wii U.
3. Running backups of Wii and Wii U games from an SD card or hard drive
If you thought playing GameCube backups was a great way to make use of the Wii U hardware, you also have the opportunity to play backups of all of your favorite Wii and Wii U games right from the SD card.
Although popping you favorite copy of Mario Kart 8 might sound good idea at first. Over time, you'll end up scratching the discs that could be out of print one day. All things considered, it's much easier to be able to load your favorite games from one location rather than having to fiddle with swapping and storing discs.
4. Playing region-locked games from other counties
The term "Region Lock" refers to being able to play a game within a particular region. On most game labels, you'll notice the words NTSC or PAL written somewhere on the cover. This identifies which region you are in, NTSC being within North America and PAL being in parts of Europe.
If you wanted to play a PAL game while having a North American console, typically you wouldn't be able to and get an error message when attempting to launch the game. With a hacked Wii U however, those restrictions will be lifted. So you can safely feel free to import any game you choose.
With fan made translation patching, you might not even have to worry about language barriers, making it easy to play a game in English that was French only for example.
5. Playing patched/modded copies of games
This one might be a little out to left field for some, but the modding community for games is out there. You'll have to look online for these types of patches, but they offer some enhancements you would have never thought were possible.
Some features include, frame rate increases, gameplay enhancements, unlocking of characters, fan language translations or even redesigning the entire game from the ground up!
6. Downloading and installing cheats
Remember the infamous Game Genie that would let you have unlimited lives in Contra on the NES or unlimited P-Wing meter in Super Mario Bros 3?
Not only can you download and install cheats on the Wii U with a mod, but be able to save them right on the system hardware and turn all of your favorite cheats on or off with the flick of a switch!
7. Playing homebrew games
For those not familiar with the term homebrew, it's used to describe games and other software developed by an individual on proprietary hardware.
Basically once a programmer has a way to develop code on hardware that they typically wouldn't be able to such as the Wii U, the possibilities are endless!
Can hacked Wii U play Wii games?
A hacked Wii U can absolutely play Wii games. Load them up on your external hard drive or SD card and you'll be playing your favorite Wii games in no time.
You can also load games directly from the DVD drive if you have your games lying around.