Ask Yourself One Thing

The Nintendo Wii is the most successful console out there. It was the best-selling product in the holiday season of 2009, surpassing both competing consoles - the PS3 and Xbox 360 - with it's unlimited line of family-friendly games and motion sensing capabilities. And even with the record-breaking sales the Wii console has received, people are still finding ways to download free games without stepping foot at a retail store. You can find plenty of homebrew games on the web, torrents and other sites dedicated to providing free online games. The question you have to answer yourself though is are these sites legitimate?

danger signCredit: Dan Candea

The Dangers

When visiting a free Wii game site, you have to keep in mind the dangers that could arise. If it's totally free and allows for user uploads, you have to be careful of malicious software and also be mindful of any viruses that could be present. And if you're at a so-called free Wii game site that requires you to pay an initial fee for an unlimited amount of games, you're most likely being scammed. There are other, safer ways to play free games on your Wii without needing to pay a fee (besides, that would negate the whole "free" term entirely). And if you've modded your Wii for homebrew games, you'll need to look out for Nintendo updates that could possibly "brick" your console which would be a waste of time and money you probably didn't even have if you're searching for free Wii game sites.

An Expensive Hobby

So it's all a very tricky thing when trying to save money on your video game hobby. Of course, it's possible to find legitimate up-loaders on torrent sites and then create a relationship with those people to better ensure safer downloads. But you also have to be aware of legal issues and copyright violations that can get you in trouble. Some companies are willing to pay the extra costs of legal fees to make sure people downloading copyrighted content are held accountable. Alternatively, some feel it'd be a bigger money, and time, waster to pursue that too much. Plus it can sometimes be difficult to have a legitimate case against a BitTorrent server as they can be in countries with varying copyrighted laws.

Not Fair to Developers

Piracy also becomes an issue because it can be harmful to smaller developers trying to get their businesses on the right track. In 2010, Gaijin Entertainment, the creators of Bit.Trip revealed that 70% of their games were stolen as a result of piracy. This was announced as part of a lawsuit Nintendo filed against NXPGAME who supplied R4 chips to DS owners so they could play pirated games. Piracy can snuff out developers who could potentially produce the next biggest hit, yet we would never know it if they were run out of business because of illegal activities.

Don't Build a House with your Wii

The Wii Console is a great machine to play family-friendly video games on, but if you've fell victim to viruses that have rendered it incapable of performing its function, than there's really no fun to be had. There are ways you can prevent bricking your Wii console if you've already soft-modded your system, but it's probably better not to do any of that to avoid all that I've written in this article.


image by Dan Candea/stock.xchng