ONE Wii user from France, with some clever hacking and a lot of patience, turned his Wii into a Mac OS workstation. The user then posted a video showing what the Wii-turned-Mac was capable of.
Following the ups and downs of the GameCube before it, the Wii was released in North America on November 19, 2006. It was Nintendo’s best-selling home console for many years, outselling both the PS3 and Xbox 360. The Wii was eventually dethroned by the Switch earlier in year, after a decade-long reign at the top of Nintendo’s sales figures. With over 100 million units sold and fans worldwide, the Wii left a lasting impact on the public, not just Nintendo and gaming fans.
A French programmer named Pierre Dandumont proved that the Wii was capable of running Mac OS version 9.2, which predates modern Mac systems, and demonstrated how the system was installed on the console. He posted the process of hacking and programming his Wii in a video on his personal website and on YouTube, showing some of the concessions that came with his attempt to run Mac OS on a 16-year-old console. Using the infamous Homebrew Channel on a hacked Wii console, Dandumont was able to use the channel’s capabilities to run Linux, and in turn run Mac OS 9.2 using Mac-On-Linux technology and an SD card with a Mac OS disk image. Despite being from 2000, the specs needed for Mac OS 9.2 are more than the 2006 console can handle.
When checking the system information in Mac OS 9.2, the Wii console only had 52 MB of RAM available, which is just below the memory specifications needed to run Mac OS 9.2 or its successor, Mac OS X Cheetah, with any sort of efficiency. Dandumont showed the slowness of the system by opening a browser, a music player and a game. Even a game notorious for being able to run on a wide variety of devices such as Doom couldn’t get more than a single frame per second before crashing. Suffice it to say that Mac OS 9.2 on a Wii cannot be run Doom and is unsuitable for gaming in general.
However, this is not the first time Nintendo and Apple have been mentioned in the same breath. With recent updates to iPhone, iPad and Mac devices, classic Nintendo controllers made for Nintendo Switch Online can now be used on modern Apple devices via Bluetooth or USB-C connections. Although Dandumont’s hack showed where the Wii hardware stood against an older Mac OS build, it’s both strange and fascinating that both Apple and Nintendo can connect in different ways.
MORE: 8 ways the Wii is better than the Switch (and 9 ways the Switch is best)
Sources: Gizmodo, Le Journal du Lapin