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Nintendo Acknowledges Wii Update Bricking

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 34 comments

Nintendo has acknowledged the "bricking" caused by the 4.2 update.

Yesterday we reported that the latest firmware update (4.2) for the Nintendo Wii addressed an issue that prevents hackers from installing and launching a special "channel" for unauthorized applications. Although the company accomplished its mission, an unintended side effect apparently "bricked" legitimate consoles. Gamers who began the process of downloading and installing the update were thus locked in a frozen state that cannot be corrected by rebooting.

Today Nintendo has announced that it is aware of the situation, but noted that the reported symptoms usually occur with modified consoles. However, the company also acknowledged that consumers with unmodified consoles are also having the same problem. Unfortunately, it's not a simple fix, and forces Wii owners to call the support hot-line to schedule a repair.

"If you're experiencing problems with your Wii console after downloading Wii System Menu 4.2, and you believe your system has not been modified, please give us a call," the company said. "If we find that you have a normal system and the update caused your system to not work, we'll repair it at no charge." Hopefully that means for every affected Wii console, and not just the ones still under warranty.

Edge Online is also reporting that the problem isn't limited to American consoles: the vicious firmware update has affected legit Wii consoles in the UK. However for those in America who now have a "bricked" console, simply call 1-800-255-3700 from 6 AM to 7 PM Pacific time, seven days a week. Hopefully Nintendo will hook you up with a fix that doesn't require shipping charges and whatnot.

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Top Comments
  • 12 Hide
    mrface , October 2, 2009 6:48 PM
    this is ridiculous
  • 10 Hide
    itadakimasu , October 2, 2009 7:09 PM
    What a debaccle....

    This can't be as bad as xbox'es rings of death ratio though... I know people who have been through 4-5 xbox 360 consoles.
Other Comments
  • 5 Hide
    ssalim , October 2, 2009 6:47 PM
    Stupid Nintendo. Didn't go through Q&A dept first?
  • Display all 34 comments.
  • 12 Hide
    mrface , October 2, 2009 6:48 PM
    this is ridiculous
  • 8 Hide
    nitto555rchallenger , October 2, 2009 6:49 PM
    Great Mario, I guess everyone takes one for the team Homebrew.
  • 10 Hide
    itadakimasu , October 2, 2009 7:09 PM
    What a debaccle....

    This can't be as bad as xbox'es rings of death ratio though... I know people who have been through 4-5 xbox 360 consoles.
  • 4 Hide
    Supertrek32 , October 2, 2009 7:24 PM
    itadakimasuWhat a debaccle....This can't be as bad as xbox'es rings of death ratio though... I know people who have been through 4-5 xbox 360 consoles.

    4 here....

    It's both better and worse. Better that it didn't effect as many people, worse in that.... how was this update released in the first place? They would have found this issue with even minimal testing, whereas RRoD takes at least 10 months to appear.
  • -1 Hide
    rooket , October 2, 2009 7:47 PM
    I've only been through one xbox360. I don't know what you guys do with your hardware. Although my cousin games all day every day and he has been through 5, must mean some people don't have anything going on during the day besides playing xbox.

    I would also say that by now the new jaspers have this issue resolved. I'm thinking about picking one up.

    Also thinking about putting my wii in the trash, just so that nobody else has to deal with the amount of time the thing has wasted on me on trying to figure out how to get it to run newer games. It is satan's little white box. And why Wii is the top selling console of this generation entirely baffles me. The graphics aren't good, most times only first party titles are any good on it (and Nintendo is lazy about making more titles, look how pathetic 2009 is..they only care about stuffing their bank account with billions of $)

    Imo Nintendo is #3 dead last even though they are #1 in sales.
  • 2 Hide
    hallic7 , October 2, 2009 7:49 PM
    Now my Grandma is going to complain!! Damn it!!
  • 1 Hide
    hellwig , October 2, 2009 7:50 PM
    Previously my Wii only asked me if I wanted to update when I moved it to a new wireless network. However on Sunday when I turn the console on it asks me if I want to update my menu interface, rather aggressive for Nintendo. Luckily the update didn't brick my console, I feel sorry for those who's console were bricked.
  • 7 Hide
    itadakimasu , October 2, 2009 7:57 PM
    hey now.... don't forget about the playstation 2, it's still a top contender in sales !
  • 0 Hide
    nottheking , October 2, 2009 8:04 PM
    Wasn't there a case a few years back where another Wii firmware update caused bricking for some consoles, too? This reminds me of that, though at that time, the thing was so new that there was no Homebrew Channel.

    And of course, it's not like this will stop it anyway. It was Nintendo that was stupid enough to the Wii version of Twilight Princess almost virus-like free reign over the console's inner space, just so it could write a save game. The smart thing would've just been a tightly "trapped"/"sandboxed" emulated copy of the GameCube memory card space, which would've never allowed it to happen in the first place.

    I wonder when Nintendo will actually give up on this. I doubt it'll be soon: they've shown a penchant, like many Japanese companies, that in spite of their outer appearances, their inside opinions and methods change VERY slowly. Case-in-point would be their stubborn holding to the ROM cartridge as the format of choice for the Nintendo64, in an era when a pick for CD-ROM would've likely meant no Playstation 2.
  • 1 Hide
    alabasterboy , October 2, 2009 8:05 PM
    Installed 4.2 without issue
  • -3 Hide
    dman3k , October 2, 2009 8:06 PM
    X360 owners rejoice.
  • 1 Hide
    nottheking , October 2, 2009 8:12 PM
    Wasn't there a case a few years back where another Wii firmware update caused bricking for some consoles, too? This reminds me of that, though at that time, the thing was so new that there was no Homebrew Channel.

    And of course, it's not like this will stop it anyway. It was Nintendo that was stupid enough to the Wii version of Twilight Princess almost virus-like free reign over the console's inner space, just so it could write a save game. The smart thing would've just been a tightly "trapped"/"sandboxed" emulated copy of the GameCube memory card space, which would've never allowed it to happen in the first place.

    I wonder when Nintendo will actually give up on this. I doubt it'll be soon: they've shown a penchant, like many Japanese companies, that in spite of their outer appearances, their inside opinions and methods change VERY slowly. Case-in-point would be their stubborn holding to the ROM cartridge as the format of choice for the Nintendo64, in an era when a pick for CD-ROM would've likely meant no Playstation 2.

    rooketThe graphics aren't good, most times only first party titles are any good on it

    A lot can be said similar for the PS3 and Xbox 360. The PS3's only major exclusive that's NOT from them is what, MGS4? And for the Xbox 360, the top three titles are all published by Microsoft... Soon to be joined by a 4th once Halo 3 ODST climbs up there; it's already passed 2 million with a couple weeks' sales.

    And BOTH have utterly ancient graphics hardware compared to what you've got on the PC. Each have the equivalent of at most 48 stream processors compared to what, 1,440-1,600 for a new card? The 360 typically can't do true 720p+AA while the PS3 can't do HDR+AA, both things that PC gamers have been enjoying for years, the former since around the time the FIRST Xbox came out.

    Perhaps some people buy a console NOT for its graphical power? Since at any given point, a console's gonna have weaker graphics than a PC. It appears that after several generations of trying, (and failing every bit as much as Sony and Microsoft) Nintendo decided to stop trying to fight on that front.
  • 2 Hide
    steiner666 , October 2, 2009 8:15 PM
    i hope the person who stole my wii d/ls this update and gets it bricked, cause it was modded so they'll be shit out of luck.

    sometimes i think about buying a new wii, but i think i'd rather just wait for Dolphin to be perfected and then play wii games w/ higher resolutions on my pc.... yeah, that sounds better.
  • 1 Hide
    rooket , October 2, 2009 9:24 PM
    Nottheking, nintendo just doesn't want to step up to the plate and spend resources on newer technologies so they cna maximize profits. They never have been that concerned about the consumer besides how much money he is willing to dish out. Remember back in NES days, every game was $50-$60 each and the console itself was always the same price. They got sued eventually near the end of that console's lifespan due to their way of monopolizing the price on the console (which is kind of amazing to me because realistically one could go out and buy a Sega 8bit console at the time, maybe even a 16bit one) Well then the SNES came along and prices were still far up. The only reason why Nintendo is so giving when you send in a console these days for repair is not because they care so much about their customer it is because they have 2 large competitors and want to make it appear that they are treating their customer better than the other two in order to gain more sales which equates to more profits. If nintendo really cared a lot about the consumer they wouldn't be doing as above, blocking all homebrew and they also would have kept prices on games and hardware low as well as putting out a great deal more first party software. I mean, Nintendo has billions of dollars. They can afford to hire another full development team to crank out more games. But they don't because their business model is based around maximizing the profits down to the penny. But on the business side that is a good idea, just nobody can tell me that Nintendo is 100% on the side of the consumer. Especially not with inferior outdated and overpriced hardware.
  • 1 Hide
    nottheking , October 2, 2009 10:36 PM
    rooketThey never have been that concerned about the consumer besides how much money he is willing to dish out.

    The same can really be said of anyone... Nonetheless, it's very true for Nintendo, as with any large corporation.

    rooketRemember back in NES days, every game was $50-$60 each and the console itself was always the same price.

    Yes, I do remember that. The console price-fixing was definitely unfair on their part, though the game prices were partly due to their choice of media; ROM chips were very expensive, and for the most part, Nintendo kept prices up by mandating larger game sizes as ROM chip prices fell; so we went from 128KB for the original SMB, to where almost all games were 512KB near the end of the console's life.

    That itself was in blatant disregard for their own developers, who as a result had to pay more to get ROM chips, and minimize their own profits. Nintendo did continued it because they blamed poor Famicom Disk System game sales on piracy, which they believed ROM carts solved.

    rooketthey have 2 large competitors and want to make it appear that they are treating their customer better than the other two in order to gain more sales which equates to more profits.

    That's also what Sony and Microsoft do; they'd rather not fix at all and pocket the difference, so all three will deny a problem if they think they can get away with it. As I recall, Microsoft at first was making public denials that there might've been hardware issues behind a lot of the Xbox 360's complaints, including against the RROD. If memory serves, at first they largely just blamed people not treating the consoles right, anywhere from keeping it inside of an entertainment center to not running enough air conditioning in colder climates.

    As for the Homebrew issue, I already speculated that it's a result of Nintendo's very poor capability to change their interior thinking. Of course, while Sony seems to be mildly receptive to others writing third-party software for their console, I recall that Microsoft largely forbids it, using their control over Xbox Live to enforce it. (likewise, they've mentioned repeatedly that user-made content will never appear fully, such as when it came up for Unreal Tournament III)

    rooketnobody can tell me that Nintendo is 100% on the side of the consumer.

    I never said anything about this. They most certainly don't care. No one really does. My only real surprise is that Nintendo actually publicly admitted that some "clean" consoles were bricked. Of course, I knew they still didn't do it because they cared; they just thought that they wouldn't be able to get away with it. (usually companies always assume they can get away with things... And almost always they don't)
  • 0 Hide
    cabose369 , October 3, 2009 12:47 AM
    supertrek324 here....It's both better and worse. Better that it didn't effect as many people, worse in that.... how was this update released in the first place? They would have found this issue with even minimal testing, whereas RRoD takes at least 10 months to appear.


    After 2 years with my Elite I have never had an RROD!
  • 1 Hide
    anamaniac , October 3, 2009 6:31 AM
    itadakimasuhey now.... don't forget about the playstation 2, it's still a top contender in sales !

    The PS2 is possibly my favorite console.
    That thing is fucking bulletproof.
    PS2 falls quite hardly from a raised point, I quickly take the disc out to check it, I put the disc back in, and continue were I left off. What other console can you continue to play the game after removing and reincerting the disc without restarting?
    This thing has taken a masisve beating through the years, and for a while ran covered in a blanket with no airflow, overheating to hell and back, yet still %100 playable. My dog used to sleep on the damn thing (haven't a clue why).

    Overall reason why the PS2 slim beats all?
    You can't destroy the damned thing unless you actually try. Even then, good luck.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , October 3, 2009 1:36 PM
    People, be VERY careful! A couple of updates ago, mine did the same thing. It froze, I had to send it in. My console is not modified at all. They were unable to fix it and had to send me a different console, which meant ALL my game history was gone. Keep in mind, if you have any Wi-fi games, you are unable to backup your saved game data and will lose this (ie - Animal Crossing). Good luck!
  • -3 Hide
    CChick , October 3, 2009 2:43 PM
    notthekingWasn't there a case a few years back where another Wii firmware update caused bricking for some consoles, too? This reminds me of that, though at that time, the thing was so new that there was no Homebrew Channel.And of course, it's not like this will stop it anyway. It was Nintendo that was stupid enough to the Wii version of Twilight Princess almost virus-like free reign over the console's inner space, just so it could write a save game. The smart thing would've just been a tightly "trapped"/"sandboxed" emulated copy of the GameCube memory card space, which would've never allowed it to happen in the first place.I wonder when Nintendo will actually give up on this. I doubt it'll be soon: they've shown a penchant, like many Japanese companies, that in spite of their outer appearances, their inside opinions and methods change VERY slowly. Case-in-point would be their stubborn holding to the ROM cartridge as the format of choice for the Nintendo64, in an era when a pick for CD-ROM would've likely meant no Playstation 2.A lot can be said similar for the PS3 and Xbox 360. The PS3's only major exclusive that's NOT from them is what, MGS4? And for the Xbox 360, the top three titles are all published by Microsoft... Soon to be joined by a 4th once Halo 3 ODST climbs up there; it's already passed 2 million with a couple weeks' sales.And BOTH have utterly ancient graphics hardware compared to what you've got on the PC. Each have the equivalent of at most 48 stream processors compared to what, 1,440-1,600 for a new card? The 360 typically can't do true 720p+AA while the PS3 can't do HDR+AA, both things that PC gamers have been enjoying for years, the former since around the time the FIRST Xbox came out.Perhaps some people buy a console NOT for its graphical power? Since at any given point, a console's gonna have weaker graphics than a PC. It appears that after several generations of trying, (and failing every bit as much as Sony and Microsoft) Nintendo decided to stop trying to fight on that front.


    that means you dont know jack shit about 360/ps3

    and you know what you should do when you dont know shit about something? shut up.
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