Over the last week, there has been significant media buzz over what was purported to be a massive leak of source code files and supplementary materials related to the Nintendo Wii. Stories appeared on major sites such as Nintendo Life and Kotaku, though the original source was a forum post on ResetEra referencing posts on 4chan.
Now, an IT consultant and Wii hacker named Hector Martin has come out and, in a conversation with PC Magazine, denounced the leak as “complete nonsense.”
Martin was previously involved with Team Twiizers, a homebrew group which focused on hacking the Wii. The group’s name came about from the use of a pair of tweezers as a tool to obtain private encryption keys built into the Wii. Given Martin’s involvement in the group, it stands to reason that he has a solid working knowledge of what goes on inside a Wii, and what is or is not functionally useful in the leaked files.
He’s written in some detail on Twitter the finer points of the files, their contents and their significance. Essentially, the contents of the leak could speed-up the development of homebrew, but can also “legally taint” the project if used. He’s also been none too kind to the gaming press at large.
Hi game/hax/etc media, you still suck, you don’t check your sources, stop using forum posts as primary references and actually talk to people who know what they’re talking about. Yes this means you@Kotaku@ExtremeTech@nintendolife@PCMag
and everyone else
Martin’s conclusions are that the leaks are not nearly the big deal they have been made out to be. They’re “mostly just fun” for those who have a desire to look at the thought processes of the engineers, such as features that were dropped during development. However, they are not going to be useful for anybody thinking they can create a Wii emulator.