The wheel are turning in the Wii scene. The gc-linux team has come out of a two year hibernation and has released a proof of concept Linux build for unmodified Wii’s with the Twilight hack. Don’t expect a fancy gui, but the concept has indeed been proven. Check out the Gamecube Linux page for more details and the down.
Just last week I posted about the Wii ELF loader and early homebrew. Those early demos had no input, so weren’t of much use. Programmer extraordinaire Auby now brings us the first fully playable wii homebrew, Tetris!
1. Download the Twilight Hack, and follow these instructions to install on your SD card.
2. Download tetris.elf, and dd it to your SD card, as instructed here.
3. You’re now ready, so boot it the normal way and Tetris should load.
You may have heard the GDC buzz about some XNA Community Games trials available RIGHT NOW for all Xbox Live users. But where are they!?! You need to download the “XNA Creators Club Game Launcher” to get access. This will only be available until February 24th! After that, the launcher will no longer be available for download, but the trials will continue to function until some time next month (17 days from the time of this posting).
To get the Game Launcher, head to the Marketplace. Here is where it’s nested: Game Store | All Games | XNA Creators Club | XNA Creators Club Game Launcher. The naming is particular, since the similarly titled downloads require a Creators Club membership.
Once installed, you will have a new tab titled “XNA Creators Club” in your Games Library under My Games. Navigate to this new category, and hit Y to download games. This should take you to the XNA Creators Club Content download page. There are seven trial games available for download.
This is a very nice taste of whats to come, where independently developed games using XNA will be available for free and pay. From what I gather, publication will be contingent on some type of peer review, rather than the stringent Live Arcade requirements/verification process.
And I urge all college students to cash in on the free XNA Creators Club subscription offering I recently posted about. The free 12-month subscription has a $100 value, and will let you get games RIGHT NOW for free. You will be able to legally install any XNA software freely available on the web onto your 360. What kind of games? How about an NES emulator? No modding, and no getting banned from Xbox Live.
Remember all the hoopla about XNA and the Creators Club, which would let you build and deploy games directly to your 360 console? It sounded wonderful, but the $100 annual subscription was a gotcha for most who just wanted to tinker around. Not anymore. College students can now get a FREE 12 month subscription. Even if you’re not a developer, it may just be a free ticket to legal homebrew on the 360
Update: Since my college isn’t on the list, I followed the link to get verified. My enrollment was immediately verified, and I was emailed a link to the DreamSpark download site. From there, it was one button press and I was given an Xbox Live code to claim my 12-month Creators Club subscription. Couldn’t be any easier. I have the XNA Launcher installed (separate from the temporarily available Game Launcher which is free for all). I now have the ability to install games on my 360 directly from my computer. I plan on installing XNA Sharp NES, a NES emulator created with XNA. I will report back on how that goes. Legal 360 homebrew is here! (for the masses this time, without a $100 entry fee)
It’s stories like this that reaffirms my belief that Tetris is still the most bad ass video game ever. And nothing is more bad ass than playing Tetris on an oscilloscope. Refreshing at 100 Hz, it’s got a frame rate that trumps most games you’re used to. Tetris purists may want to look away from the video… not the most graceful Tetris moves are within. But come on, it’s on an oscilloscope!
If you think you’ve got better moves, the developer is calling you out in an open challenge. BYO oscilloscope and DIY skills.
There have been a lot of Wii hacking developments this week. The Twilight Hack was released, which is the first exploit of it’s kind. It’s a classic gamesave exploit triggering a stack buffer overflow. This essentially allows us to hijack the system and run our own code. In it’s current state, the hack isn’t much more than a proof of concept and a promising sign of things to come. Since that release, two additional demos have seen the light of day. There is an unplayable pong game (no controls), and a more classic “hello world” app complete with demo-scene graphics:
This may not be anything to write home about just yet, but the cat is officially out of the bag. It’s only a matter of time before more usable homebrew hits, along with loaders, linux, and more. You can follow along at the WiiBrew Wiki, or I will keep you posted on the major developments here.
I’m sure you are as overwhelmed as me with all the news, coverage, trailers, etc coming out of this years E3. It’s a lot to wrap your mind around, and there is a lot of crap to wade through. In all honesty though, I’m pretty overwhelmed with the quantity of quality games being shown. Here is what I deem worth checking out:
Mass Effect – Xbox 360 (November 07)
The graphics and scope alone are jaw dropping, but it’s the team on board that gives this game promise. We know they can craft a story, and Mass Effect looks like no exception.
The hacker Cpasjuste has managed to get Ubuntu Linux booting on his 360 thanks to: dvd firmware hack, Hypervisor Vulnerability, King Kong shader exploit, XeLL bootloader and linux xenon patches. The latest dashboard update has already blocked out the hypervisor vulnerability, so this will only be possibly with older dashboard versions. Regardless, this will prove useful to a handful, and hopefully help find more back doors for the rest of us. I envision a game of cat and mouse (and many banned consoles) in the near future, much like with Sony and the PSP firmware upgrades.