I recently stumbled across a project that has been in the works for about a year now and I’ve decided to share my findings (as well as the download and instructions) with you all as I believe that it’s a solid find. We all still support older hardware with new games, homebrew, accessories, and the like. Systems like the Dreamcast and PSP have been supported even years after the fact, and now it seems like the RiiConnect 24 team wants to do the same for the Wii.
The team explains what RiiConnect24 really is, “RiiConnect24 allows the discontinued WiiConnect24 service to be used again, which kept your Wii connected to the Internet in Standby mode 24/7.” I know that doesn’t sound too thrilling on the surface, but I started to read more into it. I had to move past the blurbs and actually see what they were all about and see what the group was working toward.
On their site, they have a story of their history. The beginnings reached even further back than a year ago, taking inspiration from similar projects and really just taking it to the next level. Here is their back story for you, I believe reading it will make you feel more connected with them like I now do.
‘It all started when Nintendo shut down WiiConnect24 on June 28, 2013. A person by the name of AwesomeMarioFan decided to make a thread on a popular gaming forum named GBATemp about reverse engineering WC24 on July 6, 2013. On March 5, 2014, he made another thread about what he was able to do (which only was getting the News Channel to work). Eventually on August 6, 2015, people starting posting on the thread talking about bringing WiiConnect24 back and started planning out the project. Since GBATemp wasn’t the ideal place to plan this out, three people which are now developers of RiiConnect24 today (PokeAcer, Larsenv, and AwesomeMarioFan) made a Skype chat to talk about the project. Within a few days we had a server up and running, with the name of “CustomConnect24”. Knowing that NeoRame, a great design artist, had made Wiimmfi a logo, Poke contacted him regarding a logo. NeoRame then pointed out how “RiiConnect24” may be a better name and gave Poke a better logo. RiiConnect24 turned out to be a great name for our project because (in case you aren’t aware), it has the same pronunciation as “Reconnect”, and the goal of the project is to reconnect Wiis to a WiiConnect24 service.
After some slow progress, the team released the RiiConnect24 News Channel with the latest news on June 28, 2016, 3 years after the shutdown. Over time, we’ve rolled out more features such as having pictures and the location where the articles take place. We also added support for other languages and have the latest headlines shown on the Wii Menu, thanks to some breakthroughs that took place.
We decided to start using Discord as Skype was getting too bulky (it became utter chaos near the end of the chat’s existence) and we now have a close-knit RiiConnect24 guild with over 300 members. The server offers support for any of RiiConnect24’s services, with a helpful team of moderators, helpers, and even us devs. There’s even a bot that looks up error codes and helps you share friend codes, stopping the need of constantly asking “What’s your Friend Code?”. It also lets you add a user and PMs them your codes.
On December 3, 2016 we released Wii Mail, so now people can send messages over other Wiis. It also allows you to share data between games, sometimes without you even knowing. 16 days later, we released the RiiConnect24 Forecast Channel with the latest forecast. The project became open source on April 22, 2017. We also made Wii Mail be connected again, as was originally possible on the Nintendo service, so that users could send messages from Wii to Wii, Wii to PC, and PC to Wii.
Today, RiiConnect24 focuses on bringing more Wii Channels back and making your Wii work to its full potential again. If you set up Wiimmfi as well, you can play games online again that used Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, so we recommend you use it; some things work better with RiiConnect24, such as Mario Kart Wii gaining the ability to use Friend Challenges again.’
I wanted to have their back story as part of this investigative article because I believe it shows more than just people making something for us, the public. They clearly have thought of so many things. They’ve even brought us a discord channel that we can all share our troubleshooting, ask for answers, share friend codes automatically, and all of this to build a community where we can share and play together. This is something that Nintendo had a chance to do and dropped the ball. Then they dropped the ball again with the community of the Wii U. I’m not saying that they did not try in either instance, but just that they failed to meet those expectations. But we now have a team that cares about us in RiiConnect24.
So now, let’s take a look at what they’ve already accomplished in just one year’s time.
First off, they’ve RiiConnected the Wii Message Board. Here’s the breakdown.
‘Send mail to other people connected to RiiConnect24 through the Wii Message Board on Wii Menu. Your Wii’s blue disc light will glow when you receive a message! You can also send them Miis and pictures!’
Here’s some more information on the refreshed Wii Message Board.
‘RiiConnect24 allows you to send mail to other Wiis again, as long as both Wiis are connected to our service. Many games and apps rely on this feature to send data to other Wiis, so you can send Miis through the Mii Channel or send ghost data or friend rankings with Mario Kart Wii, for example. You can also send mail to people via email or phone, which is powered by SendGrid. Some games let you exchange data via Wii Mail, and here’s the stats for which ones are working with RiiConnect24′
The second thing that they’ve brought back to us in 2017 is the News Channel. Here’s the breakdown of the channel’s revival.
‘Stay up to date with the latest news articles sent to your Wii in a fun way. You’re able to view the locations that the news takes place using a globe, or you can see the headlines as a slideshow.’
Here’s the extended information on the innerworkings of the News Channel.
‘The News Channel works with RiiConnect24, and you can read news in 7 different languages (Japanese, English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Dutch) depending on what language your Wii’s set to. They all have the location where the article takes place in on the Globe (location data comes from Google Maps API) and has pictures associated with the article. Plus, you can view the headlines on the Wii Menu. See below to see what news sources are used for each language.’
The third and final (for now) channel to be revived is the Forecast Channel. Again, here is the basic breakdown of it.
‘Take a look at the local weather or anywhere around the world using a Globe. You’re able to view the current weather on the Wii Menu, or today or tomorrow’s weather for instance.’
And here is the extended forecast for the new Forecast Channel (see what I did there?).
‘The Forecast Channel works with RiiConnect24, and you can view the forecasts for several hundreds of cities. You can also view your local forecast on the Wii Menu. We use AccuWeather as the weather source, unlike Weathernews that Nintendo used. Some games have compatibility with the Forecast Channel, and here’s the stats for which ones are working with RiiConnect24.’
They have more channels coming soon, as they say on their site, “The RiiConnect24 team is always hard at work bringing more Wii Channels back, and other things that used WiiConnect24.”
I wanted to also give credit to all of the devs on the team. AwesomeMarioFan, Larsenv, PokeAcer, Seriel, shutterbug2000, spotlight_is_ok, and thejsa
I implore you to visit their website by clicking this link here. They have a donation page and they even have a goodies page with stuff that takes their hospitality and giving to the next level. You can scroll all of the way to the bottom to find every single social media outlet that they’re on as well and join in on the fun.
If you’re ready to go and you know that you want this right now, at this very moment, follow the link here and it has both your download and your instructions!
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