In an effort to thwart unauthorized efforts to unlock or jailbreak devices running Windows Phone 7, Microsoft took a rather unorthodox approach. Rather than sending idle threats or immediately entering into the endless loop of plugging security holes and watching new ones emerge, the company extended an olive branch to the developers behind ChevronWP7. Microsoft’s Brandon Watson reached out to the ChevronWP7 team, which recently released a Windows Phone 7 unlocking tool, and opened a line of discussion about homebrew app development. As a sign of good faith during the conversations, which could ultimately lead to some kind of homebrew support from Microsoft, ChevronWP7 has agreed to pull its unlocker tool. It seems odd that Microsoft would consider helping developers build apps with capabilities not allowed under Microsoft’s developer terms. Then again, the homebrew community will emerge and grow either way. By working with homebrew developers instead of against them, perhaps Microsoft can maintain some level of control. More →
Last week we told you about a recent update to the Nintendo Wii software that prevented users from enabling the homebrew channel on their consoles. Some people may have had an extreme reaction to the news, like the guy above, but we told you it would likely be a matter of mere days before hackers retaliated and found a way to get around Nintendo’s new patch. Low and behold, here we are on Monday and we’re back in business. The team behind homebrew reacted just as quickly as we all knew they would and counter-attacked Nintendo’s attack on their attacks. Whew. They’ve also thrown in an extra treat for would be homebrewers – SDHC support. Now all you can stuff even more games into your Wii without spending a single dime of your rent money. Sweet.
Where there’s a console, there’s a battle between manufacturers and hackers. On the one side – the hacker. Always fighting to open closed doors and enable free functionality for gamers around the world. On the other side – the manufacturer. Always trying to seal holes in an effort to thwart hackers from eating into their revenue. Today there was a small victory for the latter as Nintendo released an update that puts the squeeze on homebrew, a Wii channel that eliminates the need for the Twilight Hack and allows users to access games on an SD card that were not obtained from Nintendo. God forbid. Current homebrewers will be happy to know that the update does not seem to affect existing homebrew installations but rather prevents users from installing the homebrew channel moving forward. Of course, that’s the story today. We would be surprised if this new patch from Nintendo isn’t circumvented by the end of the weekend…
In addition to being rather elusive, the Nintendo Wii has also proven to be relatively hack proof. The little console that could has resisted most attempts at homebrew alteration, and has stymied those that have tried to rig it up to access remote discs. The long road of sorrow and failure, however, may soon be over. An enterprising hacker has figured out how to dump the Wii into a special recovery mode, allowing it to access backup discs and run homebrew code. The process is a bit unclear at the moment, but appears to involve the use of a special modified GameCube memory card. Impressed? We sure are, though we’ll have to wait until we can get our hands on the hack to pass further judgement.