It is currently possible to buy two modchips for the Nintendo Wii gaming system with another one becoming available every day now. The available modchips are called Wiinja and cyclowiz, the one that comes out soon Wiikey. All three are connected to the Wii drive and prevent that the drive reports whether an original or copied disk has been inserted into the drive. This however has the disadvantage that those chips will not defeat the region code of the games.
Wiinja, Cyclowiz and Wiikey let you play Wii and Gamecube backups from the same region and the Wiikey seems to have a good success rate to play games from other NTSC regions as well. This means that it may be possible to play Japanese games on US Wii system. It is however not likely that you can play NTSC games on a PAL system with those modchips.
While the wiinja modchip is not upgradeable the other two modchips Cyclowiz and Wiikey are. This is a big advantage for them and it is unlikely that a lot of Wii owners will buy the chip as it is not future proof due to the lack of updates.
Sure, the Wiinja is not that expensive but it should be noted that you have to replace the Wiinja chip if Nintendo decides to upgrade the firmware of the Nintendo Wii to defeat current modchips.
The Wiikey chip seems to be the best solution for gamers who like to play original games from other regions. No one has seen the chip in action yet and everything announced on the official Wiikey site should be taken with caution until some reviews are out.
Other more advanced modchips have been announced that have features gamers are waiting for. The modchip Wizard for Nintendo Wii for instance defeats regional codesso that you can play games of any region on your system regardless of region code.
This is a major factor for gamers who like to import games. Why someone would want to import games? Maybe they prefer to play games in a different language, purchase them at cheaper prices in other countries, or prefer their games to be uncensored or in their original form.
All chips are running in stealth mode which should make it impossible to detect them and use countermeasures.
Update: The Wiinja website is no longer available. We have removed the link from this article as a consequence.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.