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On March 31st, Nintendo added a new version of the Wii firmware -- IOS63 -- to the Wii update servers. This version of the firmware has signature checks at launch time. This update has only been released in the US, not EU or JP. This update has been released in all regions.

Simplification for those who don't understand what's written below:

  • Until the system menu is updated to use IOS63, it will have no effect.
    • The system menu does not currently use IOS63
      • This update only includes IOS63
        • But doesn't tell the system menu to use it yet
          • So it doesn't break anything yet
            • is it clear now?

When a title (game, channel, etc) starts, it tells the system menu (using a field in the TMD) what version of the IOS it needs to run on -- to support this, the Wii stores all previous firmware versions. (For most Wiis, this will be IOS4, IOS9, IOS10, IOS11, IOS12, IOS13, IOS14, IOS15, IOS16, IOS17, IOS20, IOS21, IOS22, IOS28, IOS30, IOS31, IOS33, IOS34, IOS35, IOS36, IOS37, IOS38, IOS40, IOS41, IOS43, IOS45, IOS46, IOS48, IOS50, IOS51, IOS52, IOS53, IOS55, IOS56, IOS57, IOS58, IOS59, IOS60, IOS61, IOS62, IOS70, IOS80, IOS222, IOS223, IOS249, IOS250, IOS254, and now IOS63).

As of March 31st, no software uses IOS63 -- the System Menu currently uses IOS80. An updated System Menu will likely use the new IOS63.

What does this mean?

  • Once the system menu is updated to use IOS63, unsigned channels will break. This has been confirmed.
  • At that point, "homebrew channels" would be considered "invalid" by the system. marcman now contends that having one installed and going to an update using IOS63 will brick your Wii, giving a "The system files are corrupted" message.
    <marcman> I just performed some magic and confirmed that having the homebrew channel installed and installing an update to the system menu that uses the IOS63 will brick your wii, unless Nintendo specifically addresses this problem in a new system menu. There is a simple way of avoiding this: simply delete the channels before updating.
    For some reason, I cannot reproduce the problem. I must have been too tired that night. As it stands, current system menu running under IOS63 with a homebrew channel installed does not cause bricking. Marcman 18:10, 1 April 2022 (PDT)
  • Other versions of IOS are not affected.
  • To sum all this up, the update will NOT break anything. The latest update does not actually use IOS63, so updating will be safe until a future update is released.

Since people apparently don't know how to read, here's a larger version of the important part

  • Until the system menu is updated to use IOS63, it will have no effect.

Translation for those who still can't understand english:

This update does not break anything so far.

Q & A

Will this block my unsigned channels?

No, not yet. Not until another update is released, at which point we will have to re-evaluate.

Can we delete this update?

It might be possible to write a program to delete IOS63, but there's no point. Once an update that needs this firmware is released, either your Wii will redownload it, or will simply not work at all.

Can we patch it?

Maybe; this would take a considerable amount of effort. Firmware patches and bricking consoles go hand-in-hand, making it risky to develop patches and risky to install them.

Can we avoid it?

No, not if you ever want to update your Wii's software.

What effect will this have on a homebrew channel?

Once the system menu is updated to use IOS63, if you have any installed homebrew channels then the Wii will refuse to boot.

Is this an April Fool's joke?

Yes. Why would we not want to joke about this?