Major Data Leak on the Internet Exposes Detailed Information for Several of Nintendo’s Past Consoles

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Nintendo has had its share of problems over the last few months. It has had ongoing supply shortages of the Nintendo Switch to U.S. retailers. That in turn led to price gouging for the sought-after consoles. Its newest version, the Nintendo Switch Lite, had a bit of a rocky start due to Joy-Con issues. Now, three of Nintendo’s other past popular consoles have experienced woes of their own.

Beginning last week, detailed information regarding Nintendo’s Wii, N64, and GameCube consoles appeared on the internet. Kotaku has reported that a swath of information was somehow leaked. Things such as detailed hardware design specs, along with potential source code for the Wii, were among them. The leaks don’t stop there, either. Other items include information relating to both the N64 and GameCube consoles. From functioning ROMs to hardware test demos, both older systems had confidential data exposed. Footage of the demos has now begun to appear on YouTube.

Altogether, there seems to be around 3 GB of data leaked. However, some have already stated this is only the tip of the iceberg of what has been taken. The leaks appear to have primarily come from the server of a developer for the Wii’s hardware and software. One user at ResetEra commented on another discerning item. It was discovered that Verilogs were among the sensitive data. These contain a plethora of proprietary information, such as “how every single piece of the Wii was made.” The full Wii operating system SDK is also included in the files leaked.

Potential Legal Action

As of yet Nintendo has not commented on this breach. Nintendo does, however, have a litigious history when it comes to their intellectual properties. In September, it brought a multi-million dollar lawsuit against RomUniverse. It had previously had similar issues with other ROM hosting sites. A breach such as this could easily lead to other legal complications down the road.

Peter Brosdahl
As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my dad, a used Atari 400, around 1982. Eventually it would end up being a lifelong passion of upgrading and modifying equipment that, of course, led into a career in IT support.

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