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PC game streaming on the Nintendo Wii U GamePad

by Mark Tyson on 30 December 2013, 15:26

Tags: Nintendo (TYO:7974), PC

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A hacking team has managed to enable PC graphics streaming and interactivity on the Nintendo Wii U GamePad device. A hacking duo, consisting of Pierre Bourdon and 'Shuffle2', reverse engineered the controller so games could be streamed direct from a PC – no Wii U console required.

The duo presented their findings in a lecture entitled 'Reverse engineering the Wii U Gamepad,' at the 30th Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg this weekend. On stage the streaming was demonstrated and included playing 'The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker' on an emulator on the PC, displayed and controlled on the Wii U GamePad 'tablet'.

The pair of hackers said they were motivated to hack the Wii U GamePad in order to understand how they might use it as "a remote controller for a robot or a quadricopter". In the process of understanding how it works and could be used for such feats, communicating with it and connecting to a PC were important steps along the way.

Polygon explains that Nintendo uses similar ARM chips in the Wii U console and controller as client and server. However the communications protocols used for A/V streaming, input and RPC communications are proprietary and transmitted over WPA2 Wi-Fi.

Engadget reports that the hack isn't suitable for mass consumption, such as replacing Nvidia Shield functionality, as yet. In the video below one of the developers describes the software as "an alpha". The code is aimed at other developers and the demo crashed sometimes. However the future sounds bright with further development time intended to improve the functionality and extend it from Windows users to Mac and Android fans.

Demonstration of PC graphics streaming starts around 47.30

HEXUS Forums :: 4 Comments

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Shame you can't buy another gamepad without buying a whole new wii u
And another emulator is born. Or not.
I bet that was fun to code/hack ;)

Ultimately there will be very limited used for this given how well Splashtop works on tablets/laptops for running PC games, but as a technical challenge? Well done to the team :)
There are emulators without the need of consoles maybe they noticed this recently !