Wii System Menu

The Wii System Menu (also called Wii Menu or System Menu) is the graphical interface of the Wii console. Here, users can launch their disc based games using the disc channel, manage and launch installed channels, manage save data, change the system settings and/or use the Wii Message Board.

There are four different regional versions of the Wii Menu, indicated by the letter after the version number displayed in the system settings:

America (U) Europe (E)
Used on American Wii consoles. Used on European, Australian, Asian, and South African Wii consoles.
Japan (J) Korea (K)
Used on Japanese and Taiwanese Wii consoles. Used on Korean Wii consoles.

Unused Content

Channel time limits

This feature of the System Menu and IOS is fully functional but was never used on any official title. It could have been used for downloadable game demos but for some reason it wasn't.

It can be activated by setting byte 0x268 of a title's ticket to 0x01. The time limit is read from the following 4 bytes.

If activated, the System menu will display the remaining time at the bottom of the channel's banner. If the time limit is over, you will automatically return to the System Menu, but instead of the usual animation for returning, you will face a black screen saying the time limit for this channel is over. After this, when viewing the channel's banner, the "Start" button will be greyed out and there will be a message saying the license for this channel expired.

The system saves the time that was spent in the channel (although it's unknown where it does), rendering uninstalling and reinstalling it useless. In fact, IOS will prevent installing a title where the license is already expired. The only way to be able to install the title again would be increasing or disabling the time limit.

It is also worth noting that the Wii Shop Channel JavaScript code mentions titles with time limits as "subscription" and "rental" titles, likely alluding to this.

The System Menu displays the remaining time the user can spend using this channel.[Wii Menu 1]
If the remaining time is less than a minute, this text will be used.[Wii Menu 2]
The System Menu displays the text saying that the period of use for this channel has ended.[Wii Menu 3]

DVD icon in Disc Channel banner

The banner of the Disc Channel has a DVD graphic and a matching shadow and reflection, but they are set to be invisible. They are located on the left of the Wii Disc, partly off screen.

If made visible one can see that the only animations that appear to be assigned to these are the spin animation that plays after clicking on the channel thumbnail.

While earlier Wiis support DVD playback hardware wise, the System Menu does not. It should also be noted that there is a "DVD" entry in setting.txt, which may have controlled this functionality at one point due to a 2007 announcement that Nintendo was planning to create a model of the Wii that supported DVD playback; this never came to fruition.

Rip of the DVD graphic.[1]
The DVD graphic, its shadow and its reflection made visible.[Wii Menu 4]

Versions

Note: This only covers retail versions of the menu, and does not cover the Startup Disc Menu. For non-retail versions, see Wii Devkit System Menu.

  • 9/14 1.0, minus - button on 1st page - prototype, unleaked
  • 9/14 1.0, no minus button on 1st channel page - prototype, unleaked
Image of 9/14 1.0, no minus button on 1st channel page - prototype, unleaked.[2]
  • 9/14 2.0 - prototype, unleaked
  • 1.0 (first non-prototype version)
  • 2.0 (notably added SD Card support as well as "lump" on channel list)
  • 2.1
  • 3.0 (notably added clock to channel list)
  • 3.1
  • 3.2 (last version to use a Trucha Bug-vulnerable IOS, making it highly desirable for hacking purposes for a period of time)
  • 3.3 (first version to use patched IOS)
  • 3.4
  • 3.5 (Korea only)

Differences Across Regions

Gamecube compatibility

While all regional versions of the RVL-001 model support GameCube discs, controllers and Memory Cards hardware wise, the Korean System Menu does not.

Japan, America and Europe Korea

Language and country settings

The American and European versions of the System Menu have a language setting in the settings menu. This is part of the initial setup process. The American version allows choosing between English, Spanish and French while the European version allows choosing between English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Dutch.

Aditionally, the American and European versions have an option to change the country. This is also part of the initial setup on these versions. The American version allows selecting North and South american countries while the European version allows selecting some European, African, Asian and Oceanian countries.

The Japanese and Korean versions of the System Menu do not have such options.

America and Europe Japan and Korea

Wi-Fi Simple Start

The Japanese version of the System Menu has a Simple Start option in the connection setup menu, allowing to easily connect your Wii to a Simple Start compatible router. Since such routers are exclusive to Japan, the button got removed in the other regional System Menu versions.

Japan All other versions
This screen is shown when clicking on the Simple Start button.[Wii Menu 15]
N/A

Health and Safety screen

In the American version of the System Menu, the Health and Safety screen is entirely black and white. In all other versions the attention icon is colored yellow, and the URL is colored blue. Additionally, the URL differs between regions.

Japan America Europe Korea

Sources

  1. Wii Menu 4.3E on Dolphin
  2. Wii Menu 4.3E on Dolphin
  3. Wii Menu 4.3E on Dolphin
  4. Wii Menu 4.3E on Dolphin
  5. Wii Menu 4.3E on Dolphin
  6. Wii Menu 4.3K on Dolphin
  7. Wii Menu 4.3E on Dolphin
  8. Wii Menu 4.3K on Dolphin
  9. Wii Menu 4.3E on Dolphin
  10. Wii Menu 4.3K on Dolphin
  11. Wii Menu 4.3E on Dolphin
  12. Wii Menu 4.3J on Dolphin
  13. Wii Menu 4.3J on Dolphin
  14. Wii Menu 4.3E on Dolphin
  15. Wii Menu 4.3J on Dolphin
  16. Wii Menu 4.3J on Dolphin
  17. Wii Menu 4.3U on Dolphin
  18. Wii Menu 4.3E on Dolphin
  19. Wii Menu 4.3K on Dolphin