- See also: System Menu/BS2
The System Menu, more commonly known as the Wii Menu, is software shipped pre-installed into every Wii as title 1-2, which allows the launching of games from an officially Nintendo certified game disc, as well as the launching of other titles marked as channels. While the System Menu detects channels and discs and displays banners, IOS is responsible for the actual launching of the channel through ES_LaunchTitle.
Contrary to what may seem true, the System Menu is not an operating system; it only runs when a game is not in use. All graphical elements when a game is open, such as the HOME Menu, are part of the game disc. However, the System Menu does have higher privileges than most titles, allowing it to do things such as updating and deleting titles.
On the vWii, the System Menu is an Ancast Image, meaning it has a format bootable by the Espresso, being encrypted and signed. For this reason, it cannot be modified on the vWii without knowing the ancast RSA key.
SD Card Menu
With the 4.0 update, SD launching was added. Unfortunately, due to the limitations of how titles are loaded by IOS, titles cannot be directly launched from the SD card. All titles have access to the SD slot, and only one processor can access the slot at a time, complicating this. Nintendo solved this by simply copying all channels to the NAND at runtime, which is why unsigned channels cannot be run this way.
The System Menu plays a major role in the startup, shutdown, and transitions between system states; upon starting up, the System Menu's main() reads the following files:
Based on the things read by main() (as well as certain flags set in memory?), the menu can take the following actions:
- Hang (unrecoverable brick!)
- Boot a disc title directly from cache.dat
- Shutdown system from GC mode
- Eject a disc, then shut down (if Eject was pressed)
- "Shutdown to idle" (Enable WC24, halt PPC)
- "Launch NAND app from WC24"
- Enter "recovery mode" (aka IRD mode)
- Display the Health / "Warning" screen, and proceed on with normal boot
On an un-modded system, it is the first thing a Wii user will see when they turn on their Wii having pressed 'A' at the Health and Safety screen.
The disc-handling actions of the System Menu are governed by a complex state machine known as BS2.
The version number can be found by clicking on the "Wii" button in the System Menu, and then choosing "Wii Settings". The version number is displayed in the top right corner of the screen. This works for all versions except for 1.0, where the version number is not visible. An X denotes that no version is available for the applicable region.
The version identifier consists of two parts: revision (version) number and the geographic region.
For example, 4.3EUR v514, denoted as "0x202, 0x20(32)" (in data) is the actual version and 2 the region EUR.
|Version||JAP||USA||PAL||KOR||Release date||IOS||Changelog||CDN Availability||CDN Post Date|
|Prelaunch||X||0||X||X||Never publicly released||Unknown||Prelaunch Development. Basically, nothing is known about Version 0 of the Prelaunch System Menu. Remnants of this menu were found in the 'Wii Startup Disc' NAND dumped by bushing. The Version 1 of Prelaunch Menu has a screen displaying "Please Insert the Wii Startup Disc..." but it's not known if Version 0 even has this message let alone the background images/colors of Version 1. Remnants of a IOS4v1 were also found in the NAND, so it is possible that's the IOS that runs Version 0.||Unavailable||Unavailable|
|Prelaunch||X||1||X||X||Most likely around and before the time of 1.0||IOS4 v3||Prelaunch Development (Does not report a version number.) System Menu has text displaying "Please Insert the Wii Startup Disc. This will set up your Wii Console." Spanish and French versions of message also listed. Contains an image of the Wii Startup Disc with an arrow pointing at an image of a Wii. (The following info may be for a different system menu) CaptainChris2018 used the prelaunch system menu in the dolphin emulator, he tried putting the Mario Kart Wii and Wii Sports iso's in the virtual drive, and they did not work, he tried a Super Smash Bros. Melee iso,(which is a Gamecube game) in the virtual drive, it did not work ever. I guess with my tests, maybe you need a special disk for it to work.||Unavailable||Unavailable|
|1.0||64||33||66||X||November 19, 2006||IOS9 v516, IOS10 v518?||"Launch-Day" menu shipped with early Wii systems, the option to change Country was added in the European version, WiiConnect24 was disabled on all versions of System Menu 1.0 and the Japanese version of this menu runs on IOS10 due to a bug in the implementation of the AOSS feature in IOS9. (This menu does not report a version number.)||Unavailable||Unavailable|
|2.0||128||97||130||X||November 19, 2006||IOS11 v10||November 19th is the release date for American Wiis. Release date for Japanese Wiis is December 2, 2006. Release date for PAL (Australia) Wiis is December 7, 2006. Release date for PAL (Europe) Wiis is December 8, 2006. Added SD support for savegames, "Country Settings", downloadable System Updates, parental controls, ability to rearrange channels.||97, 128, 130||November 18, 2006; November 30, 2006; December 5, 2006|
|2.1||X||X||162||X||January 10, 2007||IOS11 v10||PAL video fix||162||Jaunary 9, 2007|
|2.2||192||193||194||X||April 11, 2007||IOS20 v12||"Resolved connection issues that affected a small number of users who connected online through a specific Internet Service Provider and supplied router."||192, 193, 194||April 11, 2007|
|3.0||224||225||226||X||August 6, 2007||IOS30 v1039||Channels can now display data gathered by WC24 (Weather, News). Clock display. The Wii Message Board button will now flash when a message arrives. You can now rearrange the order of your Wii Friends in the address book, scroll the message text by pressing the B button on the message screen.||224, 225, 226||August 6, 2007|
|3.1||256||257||258||X||October 10, 2007||IOS30 v1040||USB Keyboard support. New version of Internet Channel and Everybody Votes Channel||256, 257, 258||October 9, 2007|
|3.2||288||289||290||X||February 25, 2008||IOS30 v1040||"This update does not affect any prominently-used features or menus; however it does provide some behind the scenes updates that will improve system performance."||288, 289, 290||February 25, 2008|
|3.3||352||353||354||326||June 17, 2008||IOS30 v2576, IOS40 v2321||First System Menu for Korean Wiis. Korean Wii released on April 26, 2008 so those Wiis were the first to get the 3.3 Menu almost 2 months before the other Wiis. First attempt at blocking Twilight Hack. Shipped with fixed versions of IOS30, BC, MIOS. Nintendo releases the Taiwan Wii on July 2, 2008. Taiwan Wiis use the Japanese System Menu so the first System Menu for the Taiwan Wiis is 3.3J.||352, 353, 354||June 13, 2008|
|3.4||384||385||386||X||November 17, 2008||IOS50 v4889||Second attempt at blocking Twilight Hack. New EULA (end user licence agreement). Supposedly has speed fixes for DVD and SD access. An enhancement was made to the Wii console's Parental Controls. USB keyboard support with the Mii Channel.||384, 385, 386||November 17, 2008|
|3.5||X||X||X||390||March 3, 2009||IOS52 v5661||First update to Korean Wii System Menu, Launches with new Shop and Region Select Channel||390||March 1, 2009|
|4.0||416||417||418||X||March 25, 2009||IOS60 v6174||SDHC support added and possibility to launch channels on an SD card. Also, an update of the Wii Shop Channel to download onto an SD card. A "transfer" button has been added in the Wii console's Data Management menu. Update to block the Twilight Hack.||416, 417, 418||March 24, 2009|
|4.1||448||449||450||454||July 3, 2009; July 15, 2009, July 30, 2009||IOS60 v6174||Fixes a problem related to the Wii MotionPlus video and the SD Card Menu.||448, 449, 450, 454||July 2, 2009; July 15, 2009, July 30, 2009|
|4.2||480||481||482||486||September 28, 2009||IOS70 v6687||Intended solely to block hacking/piracy attempts. Among the changes were a fix for Bannerbomb v1, overwriting BootMii (as boot2) with boot2v4, blacklisting the title IDs "HAXX" and "DVDX", and several preventative IOSes (222, 223, 249, 250). Region-free hacks were blocked (now fixed), and Wiis converted from the Korean region were bricked with Error 003.||480, 481, 482, 486||September 28, 2009|
|4.3||512||513||514||518||June 21, 2010||IOS80 v6943, IOS80 v6944, IOS80 v7200||Another exploit-fixing update. Among the changes were a fix for Bannerbomb v2 (visible as Error 004), deleting BootMii (as an IOS), and removing HBC. Users of 4.3 simply just switched to using LetterBomb as an exploit. 4.3 was the last System Menu version, 2 years before the Wii U came out.||512, 513, 514, 518||June 21, 2010|
|4.3-Mini||X||4609||4610||X||December 7, 2012||IOS80 v32800||A modified version of 4.3 with internet and SD settings being removed, due to the Wii Mini not having hardware for either of them. Interestingly, IOS still has drivers for internet in this version, so simply overwriting the setting saying internet is disabled using Ethernet Enabler allows Ethernet to be used.||Unavailable||Unavailable|
|vWii 1.0.0||512||513||514||X||November 18, 2012||IOS80 v7200||A version only present in the vWii. Deleted the old HBC title (00010001-af1bf516), removed access to Wii Settings, and added a few special channels. The System Menu binary is now also an ancast image.||Unknown||Unknown|
|vWii 4.0.0||544||545||546||X||September 30, 2013||IOS80 v7200||Added compatibility for Off-TV play. 4:3-only titles are no longer stretched in 16:9 mode.||Unknown||Unknown|
|vWii 5.2.0||608||609||610||X||September 29, 2014||IOS80 v7200||Adds support for the new cafe2wii, rebooting the system if it detects the enhanced WiiMode. This is responsible for the "Return to Wii Menu" button exiting to the Wii U System Menu.||Unknown||Unknown|
Please feel free to add more changelog entries. Some information was taken from Nintendo.
With the release of BootMii, the idea of booting straight to Homebrew may soon become a reality (BootMii does have an option to autoboot to the homebrew channel, but there is no way to autoboot to any other homebrew without Priiloader). In light of this, there are a couple of projects out there to create a homebrew-friendly System Menu alternative, such as WiiMU.