Huge Nintendo leak reveals Wii source code, dev materials

Another data breach just leaked details about the Nintendo Wii.

For the second time in recent weeks, Nintendo has had its information stolen by bad actors. This time, instead of user account details, hackers leaked thousands of files containing information about the company’s famous Wii console. Data about the 1996 Nintendo 64 was also found in the leak.

While that information is already a treasure trove for DIY hardware enthusiasts and emulation creators, it might not be everything. Some rumors suggest that the leak includes far more information that simply hasn’t come to light yet.

Falling Short on Security

It’s rare to see companies as big as Nintendo suffer data leaks of this size. It can happen—it just usually doesn’t. Just last week, Naughty Dog games was the target of a hack that revealed spoiler-filled footage from the forthcoming console title “The Last of Us Part II.”

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Fortunately, the Nintendo leak is less damaging. It appears to only contain information about decades-old consoles. As such, it doesn’t ruin the hard work of countless developers by spoiling an unreleased game.

Nonetheless, though, it is another example of Nintendo falling short on cybersecurity. At the end of April, The Burn-In reported that more than 160,000 players had their Nintendo account information stolen as a result of a hack.

The latest leak doesn’t actually include information from user accounts but rather Nintendo’s company files. The majority of the information appears to be about its Wii console, which was originally released in 2006. Most of the files were posted on the forum 4chan. As of now, it isn’t clear who is responsible for obtaining the files or who originally leaked them.

A ResetEra forum user called Atheerios described some of what the leak contains, saying, “The biggest and craziest thing in this leak is the datasheets, block diagram and Verilog files for every component.”

They add, “Verilog is a hardware description language; is used to describe circuits via code, so with this we can learn how every single piece of the Wii was made.”

Of course, those technical details are particularly interesting. People with some technical know-how could likely use them to design and build a retro Wii console from scratch. Likewise, emulators will soon start popping up across the Web.

More to the Mystery?

So far, leakers have released approximately 3GB of files to various forums across the Internet. That’s a massive amount of information, making this an unprecedented leak for Nintendo. However, many believe that there is more to the story.

Several 4chan users and commenters claim that the huge leak is only a small part of the cache of information that was stolen from Nintendo’s servers. Some have rumored that a large amount of Pokémon-related data is contained somewhere within the stolen files.

Of course, 4chan users are well-known for believing many outlandish things. Whether or not there is more to this leak remains unknown for now. Don’t be surprised if further data does show up in the coming days. Likewise, don’t be surprised if no more information comes of this leak.


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