A group of hardware modifiers famous for creating a chip that allowed people to play pirated Wii games is now claiming to have created a similar device for the Wii U.
In an announcement on its official website, the Wiikey group - named for the chip it developed for the Wii - said: "Yes it's true. We have now completely reversed the WiiU drive authentification, disk encryption, file system, and everything else needed for this next generation K3y. Stay tuned for updates!"
The group claims to have developed an emulator called WiikeÜ which allows Wii U games to be played directly from a USB device, bypassing the console's copyright protection.
However, the group has not posted any evidence of the WiikeÜ being developed. No pictures or design documents are currently available on the Wiikey website.
Nintendo, also, has not seen any evidence of foul-play on the Wii U. In a statement made to Eurogamer, the company said: "Nintendo is aware that a hacking group claims to have compromised Wii U security. However, we have no reports of illegal Wii U games nor unauthorised applications playable on the system while in Wii U mode.
"Nintendo continuously monitors all threats to its products' security and will use technology and will take the necessary legal steps to prevent the facilitation of piracy."
Richard Leadbetter of video production company Digital Foundry also spoke to Eurogamer, explaining that Nintendo could combat the WiikeÜ by updating the Wii U's firmware:
"This looks like a variation on the optical drive emulators that appeared first on Xbox 360 - where the drive firmware was easily decrypted - and then latterly on PS3, which was much more of an effort to reverse-engineer.
"In theory, the firmware on the drive can be rewritten with a new, secured version via a Wii U system update and thus nullify the device, but the question is how the Wiikey team reverse-engineered the system in the first place. Unless Nintendo re-secures whatever exploit was used, the pirates could issue a system update for their own hardware and the piracy will continue with barely a pause."
IBTimes UK has contacted both Nintendo and the Wiikey group for comment.