Hackers Stream PC Games On Wii U Gamepad

Hackers Stream PC Games On Wii U Gamepad

A group of talented hackers reverse engineer the controller/tablet, but don't expect to do it yourself anytime soon.

One of the best features of the Wii U is the ability to stream your game straight to the gamepad, freeing up the TV. Of course, the obvious limitation here is that you're stuck playing Wii U games, which doesn't boast that large of a library at the moment. Now, a team of talented hackers have reverse engineered the gamepad so it can stream PC games.

The hack was presented at this year's 30C3 hacker conference. Officially, the Wii U gamepad only works on the Wii U, so to break it free, they had to first understand how it works. The entire process is documented in their presentation (which you can find here). It's a fascinating puzzle, if you're into those things. Besides finding a way to connect to the pad in the first place, they also had to work out the non-standard protocols used for streaming the video, audio, and controller data. Suffice it to say, it was quite the piece of work.

It's currently very much in the proof-of-concept stage, but eventually they did show Final Fantasy VII running on the device. In addition, they also released their work as open source, so you can tinker with it yourself (just don't expect too much yet). Perhaps with more work and time, it might be possible to (indirectly) run upcoming powerhouses like Titanfall and Watch Dogs on a Wii U controller, albeit at a 854x480 resolution.

Source: Google Docs via I Game Responsibly

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That's straight up wizardry. I'm really impressed.
EDIT: When when I said "Wizardry" i just meant that it showed a lot of dedication. Calm down people.

Dunno if I'd call it "wizardry". :p

Nintendo's hardware is relatively simplistic in its nature, so it's mostly just a matter of figuring out how the device issues commands to the console. The Wiimote has some programs out there which allow it to work on PCs, for example. And reproducing the nature of the Wiimote for PC use was something I got to play around with as a senior project. It's actually not as complicated as you might think.

So it was really only a matter of time before someone figured out the tweaks required to make that tablet controller work for PCs.

Now if they can make the Wii U itself function as a full-fledged emulator for PC games, then I'd call them wizards.

I think Watch Dogs is going to be on Wii U anyways, so you don't need this hack to play it there. :P

Revolutionary:
That's straight up wizardry.

I wouldn't say wizardry, I'd go more with "a matter of time". The Wii U is currently the most hacked console when it comes to the current gen, and that is because Nintendo doesn't necessarily update any of their hardware and just slightly modify it, which makes it really easy to hack. I mean Nintendo's are the only ones that have emulators that work perfectly with the games and hardware. In all honesty I'm surprised it actually took a bit when it comes to the GamePad, still is cool though.

CriticKitten:
The Wiimote has some programs out there which allow it to work on PCs, for example. And reproducing the nature of the Wiimote for PC use was something I got to play around with as a senior project. It's actually not as complicated as you might think.

Agreed, the Wiimote is extremely easy to get working on a computer. The only thing you need to get it working on a PC is just a Bluetooth Dongle, which only cost about $20.

Neronium:

Revolutionary:
That's straight up wizardry.

I wouldn't say wizardry, I'd go more with "a matter of time". The Wii U is currently the most hacked console when it comes to the current gen, and that is because Nintendo doesn't necessarily update any of their hardware and just slightly modify it, which makes it really easy to hack. I mean Nintendo's are the only ones that have emulators that work perfectly with the games and hardware. In all honesty I'm surprised it actually took a bit when it comes to the GamePad, still is cool though.

CriticKitten:
The Wiimote has some programs out there which allow it to work on PCs, for example. And reproducing the nature of the Wiimote for PC use was something I got to play around with as a senior project. It's actually not as complicated as you might think.

Agreed, the Wiimote is extremely easy to get working on a computer. The only thing you need to get it working on a PC is just a Bluetooth Dongle, which only cost about $20.

I think Nintendo just stopped really giving a fuck.

I mean, shit- look at all the Pokemon [insert version here] ROM hacks that run rampant online. They just don't care anymore.

Region locking is probably the last bit of effort they do. Yet at the same time they didn't even try to curb the Homebrew app from making it onto their systems, and it's not like they really tried to stop it.

Dragonbums:

I think Nintendo just stopped really giving a fuck.

I mean, shit- look at all the Pokemon [insert version here] ROM hacks that run rampant online. They just don't care anymore.

Region locking is probably the last bit of effort they do. Yet at the same time they didn't even try to curb the Homebrew app from making it onto their systems, and it's not like they really tried to stop it.

The thing about it though is that Nintendo constantly says about how "piracy is bad" and do nothing different to try and at least prevent it. Their handhelds are solid as hell because they constantly change the actual hardware on it with each generation. The Nintendo Optical Drive is only slightly modified every generation, which is why the Wii U's Optical Drive actually can recognize and read GameCube discs, but there is another program in the software that's locking it out is all, and that's because Nintendo didn't include a way to plug in GameCube controllers. The Xbox line is somewhat similar, but they do something that's actually quite smart on their end, Xbox disc drives actually spin in the opposite direction of regular disc drives and have small checks imprinted on the discs. Of course things will always be hacked and nothing is full proof, but just giving up on it and not trying isn't really the best option.

Hell, Rom-hacks have existed for ages because it's extremely easy to modify the data on old cartridges up until the DS cartridges, which are still being figured out.

This sort of thing is probably the future, more than likely. You already kind of see it with things like netflix being on just about every digital device, but actually being able to stream media between multiple devices is probably one of the next big things. A PC may even eventually wind up being more of a hub than anything. You could play games on it directly if you wanted an actual mouse and keyboard, but other times, you may just wind up streaming its content to your laptop or tablet, or television, letting the more powerful machine handle the work, while you enjoy the end result wherever and in whatever form you want.

I'm sure this sort of functionality does exist in some form now. But I'm talking about it as like, a standard eventually. Instead of content being chained to one device you have to use in a specific way, in a specific location, you can bring the content to wherever you want it to be.

For the people interested in the tech behind that: Streamdump of the talk. The talk was really nice, although a bit heavy for me, due to the accents and me being tired after almost 3 days at the Congress...

Interesting but none the less I can't see myself ever wanting to do this since I'd rather buy the console and play it rather than rip it apart and mess with what's already good.

Also inb4 people start claiming that this is the ultimate truthful only future where we should rip apart consoles, take peoples work and make it our own because we can.

Shadow-Phoenix:

Also inb4 people start claiming that this is the ultimate truthful only future where we should rip apart consoles, take peoples work and make it our own because we can.

That's how progress is made.

I don't see any problem with it.

Full Metal Bolshevik:

Shadow-Phoenix:

Also inb4 people start claiming that this is the ultimate truthful only future where we should rip apart consoles, take peoples work and make it our own because we can.

That's how progress is made.

I don't see any problem with it.

Yes progress as deemed by a few, I'd love to see everyone in the world agree on that progress.

Also if I invented something I'd love it to be seen as what it is, not torn apart and made into something that someone else tinkered with a head start.

Shadow-Phoenix:

Full Metal Bolshevik:

Shadow-Phoenix:

Also inb4 people start claiming that this is the ultimate truthful only future where we should rip apart consoles, take peoples work and make it our own because we can.

That's how progress is made.

I don't see any problem with it.

Yes progress as deemed by a few, I'd love to see everyone in the world agree on that progress.

Also if I invented something I'd love it to be seen as what it is, not torn apart and made into something that someone else tinkered with a head start.

If you had invented something, plenty of people would be purists and "see it for what it is". There'd also be a fringe minority (these Wii U guys) who figured that they spent $300+ and are entitled to customize it as they see fit. Do you think this way about people who sew patches onto jackets, or install aftermarket parts on their cars?

Well done! I love seeing this sort of stuff, might actually make the U worth owning if you can hook it up to your PC and play some games.

DrunkOnEstus:

Shadow-Phoenix:

Full Metal Bolshevik:

That's how progress is made.

I don't see any problem with it.

Yes progress as deemed by a few, I'd love to see everyone in the world agree on that progress.

Also if I invented something I'd love it to be seen as what it is, not torn apart and made into something that someone else tinkered with a head start.

If you had invented something, plenty of people would be purists and "see it for what it is". There'd also be a fringe minority (these Wii U guys) who figured that they spent $300+ and are entitled to customize it as they see fit. Do you think this way about people who sew patches onto jackets, or install aftermarket parts on their cars?

Of course silly me, if it's for a few then it's for science and technology, if it's something else someone else doesn't want tampered then that's bad.

Sorry totally forgot Nintendo would totally be fine with this and should totally pack up and leave thanks to a few guys over in the PC realm who reckon shit should go forward their way.

No please do tell me how me once I've gotten myself a wii U that I'll be "using it wrong" once these guys have tampered enough with theirs.

Please tell me that once they've done what they wanted to do that i'll never need to buy a Nintendo device ever again because you're doing everything "for me".

Also nice of you to randomly jump to the aid of someone who never needed it in the first place, good to see you had something to discuss here in the first place.

Shadow-Phoenix:

DrunkOnEstus:

Shadow-Phoenix:

Yes progress as deemed by a few, I'd love to see everyone in the world agree on that progress.

Also if I invented something I'd love it to be seen as what it is, not torn apart and made into something that someone else tinkered with a head start.

If you had invented something, plenty of people would be purists and "see it for what it is". There'd also be a fringe minority (these Wii U guys) who figured that they spent $300+ and are entitled to customize it as they see fit. Do you think this way about people who sew patches onto jackets, or install aftermarket parts on their cars?

Of course silly me, if it's for a few then it's for science and technology, if it's something else someone else doesn't want tampered then that's bad.

Sorry totally forgot Nintendo would totally be fine with this and should totally pack up and leave thanks to a few guys over in the PC realm who reckon shit should go forward their way.

No please do tell me how me once I've gotten myself a wii U that I'll be "using it wrong" once these guys have tampered enough with theirs.

Please tell me that once they've done what they wanted to do that i'll never need to buy a Nintendo device ever again because you're doing everything "for me".

Also nice of you to randomly jump to the aid of someone who never needed it in the first place, good to see you had something to discuss here in the first place.

I have no problem with this (I'm damn happy to see it happen honesly), they're making the system worth more in my eyes. I own the U and it's a damn sad console to own. This actually makes me somewhat interested in keeping the turd.

jpoon:

I have no problem with this (I'm damn happy to see it happen honesly), they're making the system worth more in my eyes. I own the U and it's a damn sad console to own. This actually makes me somewhat interested in keeping the turd.

I'll be brutally honest in saying I don't see it as a sad console or a turd, I see it for console I'd love to own and will own soon enough, but for PC people here, they'd obviously love to tinker with anything they can get their hands on but sometimes there are times where you shouldn't tinker with things, not to be defined by a group that thinks they should and shouldn't.

I'm trying to see this as a good piece of tinkering but I can't because I know this site too well to expect discussions to be civil, if anything it will range from "why bother buying a wii U?, why consider thinking of buying one" to "no point in buying a Wii U these guys have it sorted".

Last time I checked I loved my 3DS and still do but I'd never once think to tinker with it because I know it's fine the way Nintendo designed it as.

What about Dark Souls?, why can't it be tinkered by From Software and have an Easy mode?, oh wait it can't because many argue it's "the designers intention for it to be hard" and many fans argue that too and that's just software, but do you think Nintendo intended the Wii U to be taken apart and fused with a PC to try making the Wii U something useless?.

I'd go ahead and say i don't think they wanted people to buy their console to take it apart in the first place.

Cool some people took it apart, thats neat but lets not try and start to define how one is better and we should go that way because you said so.

jpoon:

Shadow-Phoenix:

DrunkOnEstus:

If you had invented something, plenty of people would be purists and "see it for what it is". There'd also be a fringe minority (these Wii U guys) who figured that they spent $300+ and are entitled to customize it as they see fit. Do you think this way about people who sew patches onto jackets, or install aftermarket parts on their cars?

Of course silly me, if it's for a few then it's for science and technology, if it's something else someone else doesn't want tampered then that's bad.

Sorry totally forgot Nintendo would totally be fine with this and should totally pack up and leave thanks to a few guys over in the PC realm who reckon shit should go forward their way.

No please do tell me how me once I've gotten myself a wii U that I'll be "using it wrong" once these guys have tampered enough with theirs.

Please tell me that once they've done what they wanted to do that i'll never need to buy a Nintendo device ever again because you're doing everything "for me".

Also nice of you to randomly jump to the aid of someone who never needed it in the first place, good to see you had something to discuss here in the first place.

I have no problem with this (I'm damn happy to see it happen honesly), they're making the system worth more in my eyes. I own the U and it's a damn sad console to own. This actually makes me somewhat interested in keeping the turd.

Then, why did you even bother purchasing it? If you honestly needed a bunch of PC hackers to make your console worth it, why not just return the thing?

You knew what the Wii U was for when you bought it (I'm assuming since your on the Escapist and all that). In fact, the Wii U would be worth even less now because your just streaming old PC games on your gamepad. What is even the point?

This is also not mentioning the fact that it requires a bit of tampering on your part which will void your warranty should something bad happens to the console, and said feature is not even really "consumer" friendly yet.

And on that note, the Wii U is far from a turd. It ain't that much worse than the PS4 and Xbone that have a total of two games worth playing, nothing innovative in terms of playing those games, and can basically be equated to a $300-400.00 graphics update machine that tries to be a PC.

Shadow-Phoenix:
Snip

Dude, you are putting so many words in my mouth that I don't know what to make of it. I wasn't "coming to the aid" to anyone, I thought the point of a forum was for someone to make a comment, and for someone else to quote that statement and reply to it in order to facilitate a discussion. All I was doing was pointing out that there will always be people who live to void warranties and modify hardware to do things that it was never intended to do.

Just to be clear: Of course I don't think Nintendo is happy about this, that's why you void your warranty by doing shit like this. Also, I would never imply (and didn't imply) that you're using your Wii U "wrong" by not choosing to make major modifications like the one in this article. The people who do things like this are a very small minority who are happy with making things to what they shouldn't, and you aren't a bad person for not being one of them. Also, and I apologize if there was some major Poe's Law going on with my initial post, but you aren't going to make many friends by being so presumptuous and jumping down people's throats just for making a comment on a forum or having an opinion that doesn't coincide with yours.

Shadow-Phoenix:

DrunkOnEstus:

Shadow-Phoenix:

Yes progress as deemed by a few, I'd love to see everyone in the world agree on that progress.

Also if I invented something I'd love it to be seen as what it is, not torn apart and made into something that someone else tinkered with a head start.

If you had invented something, plenty of people would be purists and "see it for what it is". There'd also be a fringe minority (these Wii U guys) who figured that they spent $300+ and are entitled to customize it as they see fit. Do you think this way about people who sew patches onto jackets, or install aftermarket parts on their cars?

Of course silly me, if it's for a few then it's for science and technology, if it's something else someone else doesn't want tampered then that's bad.

Sorry totally forgot Nintendo would totally be fine with this and should totally pack up and leave thanks to a few guys over in the PC realm who reckon shit should go forward their way.

No please do tell me how me once I've gotten myself a wii U that I'll be "using it wrong" once these guys have tampered enough with theirs.

Please tell me that once they've done what they wanted to do that i'll never need to buy a Nintendo device ever again because you're doing everything "for me".

Also nice of you to randomly jump to the aid of someone who never needed it in the first place, good to see you had something to discuss here in the first place.

What is your problem? They paid for the product, they can do whatever they want with it and it's good it's that way.
Are you against projects like SSB Project M or the stuff Johnny Chung Lee did with the Wii Mote?

People that think like you are a hindrance to progress.

And this is a public forum, anyone can reply to everyone, that's the way this works.

Full Metal Bolshevik:
People that think like you are a hindrance to progress.

People that think like you are a hindrance to progress.

DrunkOnEstus:

but you aren't going to make many friends by being so presumptuous and jumping down people's throats just for making a comment on a forum or having an opinion that doesn't coincide with yours.

yet he knows nothing about me at all and goes for a straight insult?, no there's nothing civil to be had here at all, not with his kind.

I'm not against software mods at all let alone certain hardware modifications, I just don't want people on here going "oh shit johnny this is great everyone should be doing what those guys are doing because that's the future I want everyone to have" kind of logic.

I honestly don't mind what everyone on this planet does, as long as they don't come back to me to tell me how to do something they think I should be doing whether it be gaming or anything else.

 

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