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Uh oh, it looks like Nintendo's prized possession and secret ace-up-their-sleeve for the eighth gen of gaming is coming under fire. Hackers have found a way to hack the Wii U's Gamepad tablet and figured out how to get the thing to stream content from a PC.
Enthusiast site iGame Responsibly is reporting that hackers have gone and done it; during the recent hacker's conference a small group unveiled that they cracked the Wii U's Gamepad and managed to do the unthinkable and stream PC software onto the pad.
Interestingly enough, the first thing they showcased streaming from the PC was the Dolphin emulator, the notorious piece of software responsible for emulating Nintendo's Wii and GameCube. Basically, it means you can play or stream content from your PC just the same as Nvidia's Shield. Nifty, eh?
The demonstration didn't stop there and the crew also unveiled a classic from the PSX era, Final Fantasy VII.
You're probably thinking this is some kind of hoax, though, or that it's all fake and some nifty too-much-time-on-their-hands-teenagers are pulling your leg for a good 'ole “lulz”. Well, I hate to disappoint you, but it's all real. There's even a thorough and detailed walkthrough of how the hackers managed to crack the Wii U's Gamepad and pair it to a PC for thorough streaming capabilities.
They first had to take the GamePad apart, find out what the frequency was, uncover the encrypted wireless signal and then match it to software on a PC.
The talented group of individuals then had to Jerry-rig a firmware patch to the Gamepad in order to flash-dump the ROM information in order to sync up software on the PC with the Gamepad.
You can see where they spilled the guts of the Gamepad in the image below, which is probably a fascinating sight for many programmers and hardware enthusiasts out there.
Long story short, the team had to reverse engineer a method to uncover the WPA key, gain access to the Gamepad's hardware, develop firmware to talk to the PC and then allow for users to stream data from the PC to the Gamepad.
In addition to this, the reversed engineered firmware allowed the group to get the PC to talk to the Wii U and vice versa. This means that there are a ton of possibilities opened up between communicating software from your desktop to your Wii U, or potentially using your Wii U to talk and communicate information to your PC.
I imagine it'll be a short ways away before we start seeing all sorts of nifty tools made to better leverage the possibilities between connecting a Wii U and PC or a PC and Gamepad.
You can check out the complete slideshow of the breakdown of the Gamepad being cracked in a file over on Google Docs linked through iGame Responsibly.