Boot disc enables region-free gaming on Nintendo Wii

For several reasons, many of which unacceptable to the hardcore gamer, videogame consoles have typically been region locked. Game companies have different publishing agreements according to territory, similar to DVD movies, hence the need for region locking.

Gamers who crave games outside of their local region have long found ways to modify their consoles to accept foreign software. For the Nintendo GameCube, importers didn’t have to resort to voiding their console’s warranty by installing a chip, but rather only a boot disc was required to run foreign-region games.

That boot disc technology, called FreeLoader, is now available for the Wii from CodeJunkies. Like the GameCube FreeLoader disc that came before it, the Wii FreeLoader allows any console from any region to play any game on any Wii.

The FreeLoader only supports original games, and thus cannot be used to run bootleg copies. The FreeLoader for Wii will also function for import GameCube games, working with the Wii’s backwards compatibility.

One potential problem not addressed yet is firmware updates. Many Wii games, especially big titles, feature system update software built into the disc which must be installed before playing. Installing firmware meant for another region’s hardware can have detrimental effects on one’s console.

The modding community has managed to get around debilitating firmware via patches that block the updating portion of the disc, but such an option may not be available to those attempting to run legitimate games with the FreeLoader.

Source : DailyTech