Wiinja install guide
Specifications from the manufacturer's website:
Non Swap / Direct Boot
Boots Own Region WII Backups Directly
Boots Own Region Gamecube Backups Directly
Boots Imports Gamecube Backups by SWAP
D2B Drive Support and Improved Read Method
Easy Soldering & Remove / 5 Wires
Support DVD-R and DVD+R (Burn +R on DVDROM Booktype)
Universal EUROPE/USA/JAPAN Wii Console Supported
Wiinja just got updated to version 2. The initial version that we have used in this review was not compatible with the more recent Wii consoles. Nintendo/manufacturer of the Wii's DVD-drive changed the chip on the drive and it rendered the Modchip useless. This new V2 counters this change on the DVD-drive's design and is fully compatible now.
From the specs we learn that the chip enables one to play backups from both the Wii and the GameCube. Region does not matter on GC games but the Wii game has to be designed to the same region as the console in question is made for. NTSC unit accepts both the NTSC-U and NTSC-J region programs while PAL unit handles only PAL titles.
Homebrew works on the GC side. For now, there is no way to run unsigned code (code that has not been authorized by Nintendo) on Wii side, but personally I don't think that it will take too much time before we can enjoy good quality homebrew with full Wii capabilities. For us, homebrew is what makes the modchips useful, as these homegrown bits of code allows consoles to be used as webservers, mediacenters, datastorages etc. Playing game backups is illegal in many countries even when the backup originated from your own original game disk. Keep this in mind when making the decision to buy and install a modchip!
Cheapestmods, a gaming console modding tool reseller here in Finland altered the regular retail package a bit. Normally you'll receive Wiinja in a small red plastic box. Inside the box is the chip and a small folded paper with the installation schematics. In Cheapestmods package we have all the wires that we need for the installation. In my opinion, this is the way how the unit should had been pushed to the market in the first place by the makers of Wiinja.
Now that we have the console opened up, we can proceed with the actual installation of the modchip. You should have a low-wattage soldering iron with a thin tip, some solder and five wires standing by. Once again, I'll let the Youtube video do the talking...
So there you have it. Installation should be relatively easy one for anyone that has used a soldering iron before. The solder pads on the PCB (printed circuit board) of the DVD-drive are not that small and they are located relatively far apart. Just take it slow and carefully and you'll do just fine.
The chip does what it promises! This said, it is sad that the DVD-drive of the Wii is so selective that it is hard to burn working disks for it. There are many threads available on the net that discuss about the different media brands, DVD-burner models and firmware versions for them that work the best and produce the best working disks. The new V2 of the Wiinja is said to have better handling for cheaper DVD media. Currently it is hard to see how this chip that only tells the drive that the DVD-R inside is an original one, can somehow affect the way the drive handles the media. Perhaps it just instructs the drive to re-read the disk when it encounters an error? Anyway, this is something that we need to test in future parts of this series.
So the DRE (disk read error) is a common visitor when playing self-made backups. While in the GameCube the DRE booted the whole console, luckily in Wii, DRE produces a warning on-screen telling one that there was an error reading the disk. Just eject the disk from the drive and insert it again and the game will continue as normal. This until you encounter another DRE.
Easy to install
Totally transparent solution; Original games work the same, so does channels etc.
Easy to operate; Just insert the backup or GC homebrew disk and it will work.
Not region free for Wii games
So the Wiinja is one of the first, 1st generation Wii modchips. It contains many of the features that are needed to make it truly useful but at the same time it lacks some needed functions to make it future proof. Main drawback is the lack of update feature. If Nintendo manages to come up with a way to detect the chip or counter it in some way, there is no way to update the modchip to make it do its magic once more.
If you want to play backups and do not care that much for Wii homebrew, Wiinja is a good choice. Now that there are around 5-6 modchips available to choose from, Wiinja is facing tough competition but most of these other chips have the same drawbacks. Next in line to review we have a modchip called CycloWiz. It will be interesting to see what new it can bring to the table. Stay tuned for the next part in this review series in very near future!
Great Guide! It will be useful for people im sure.