User may have ‘hacked’ Nintendo Wii U network just hours after launch

By Peter Gothard
19 Nov 2012 View Comments
wii-u

Nintendo's new games console, the Wii U, has apparently had its user network cracked within hours of the machine's retail release, and by only a regular end user who reached debug menus by accident.

A poster going by the name of Trike on gaming forum NeoGAF claims the discovery of hidden admin content while attempting to add contacts to a friends list on the Wii U, and has made public some of the findings, including a list of what appears to be unannounced games content to be released for the machine.

Further reading

"I was messing around in Miiverse [the machine's user network] trying to find out how the hell to do the initial set-up of my friends list to no avail," Trike posted on NeoGAF.

"In doing so I accidentally found the "debug" menu on Miiverse. At first I thought, "Hey, neat!" thinking it was just a legit secret or something. I can even access something with the name "prototype" that seems to be the actual prototype Miiverse in Japanese."

The poster also reports they are able to access the private messages of other users, and have the ability to delete users from the network.

The poster reported that the exploit, attainable by simply hovering over a menu close option and pushing a controller button, had been fixed within around 2 hours of the forum post being made, but a number of screen grabs, apparently backing up the claims, were made in that time and are available on NeoGAF.

The Nintendo console launched only hours ago across the US, and such an early hack - especially if the NeoGAF poster truly achieved it by mistake - could represent a serious blow for a technology launch already going up against increasing challenge from a popular mobile gaming market.

Breaches of, and subsequent malicious attacks against, Sony's PlayStation 3 network in April 2011 are said to have cost the company upwards of £106m.

Titles on the hidden Wii U menu include a "Yoshi's Land Wii U" - which looks like an unannounced title in Nintendo's popular game series, and evidence of a game in developer Konami's Metal Gear series.

The Nintendo Wii U launches in the UK on 30 November. A follow-up to Nintendo's Wii, the console features a new touchscreen controller which allows users to games content directly from the machine, bypassing the television, or to be used to provide alternative gameplay experiences to other players.

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