The Wii U launched yesterday, and there's already reports of problems. A large day one update has been bricking some consoles after the system was turned off during the update. Those kind of problems are commonplace, but the Wii U reportedly succumbed to an entirely different problem for a few hours yesterday.
Trike, a member of gaming forum NeoGAF, reported yesterday that he had gained access to the debug page in Miiverse, Nintendo's social network for games. Here's the report from Trike:
I found out I could access the debug menu on Miiverse by hitting the "X" button on the gamepad while hovering over the exit button. I found an admin access list or something to that effect. I couldn't really do anything from there though. I could view different messages from a developer though. One mentioned that there would be big games coming out(announced?) on the 10th of December. A different said "POKEMON" and "SUICIDE". Sorry, bro.
I went to another link that lead me to some test messages. I thought they were real when I found them, because they were posted 20 minutes ago from the time I accessed them. I could flag them for prohibited content, spoilers, and something else that I forget.
Then I went to a different link on the debug menu and it showed three different Miiverse subforums I could access that would be coming out on December 20th. I clicked on the "games for teens, kids and blahblah" (forgot the other two, I think family games was one of them?) and it lead to some sort of dispute between Timelord celebrities Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. There were even more subforums for games specifically, including Yoshi's Island Wii U and Soul Hackers, and less specific ones like "Metal Gear Solid" and "Resident Evils". By the time I stopped posting on gaf to check for more it was fixed, and someone pointed out that Nintendo put up a tweet about a miiverse fix.
I don't know if I really could flag posts to be deleted or whatever, but I know I could not make myself an admin or delete admins. At least when I pressed the buttons nothing happened.
Such stories pop up on NeoGAF from time to time, and are quickly debunked. In this case, however, it seems that it was legitimate. Trike not only posted pictures of his time in the Miiverse debug page, but Nintendo themselves confirmed the issue in a statement to Gamesindustry International. The company said that what the user accessed was nothing more than a "mock up menu" and that access to it has now been removed.
Mock up menu or not, the supposed debug page contained a number of interesting tidbits that will fuel rumors for some time. One in particular contained a number of subforums for games that had not been listed on the Miiverse yet. Some of the titles point to unannounced games like Yoshi's Land Wii U, Donkey Kong, Metroid, and a title called Soul Hackers that might be referring to a Shin Megami Tensei game of the same name. Check it out:
It seems that Trike's accidental "hack" into the Miiverse has caused some Wii U owners to fear that Nintendo's network may be easily compromised in the future. Gamers aren't exactly confident in security anymore after hackers took down Sony's PlayStation Network for over a month.
Nintendo is still relatively new to this whole online thing, but the company has made some great strides with the Wii U. The company's services, however, are only as good as its security. We'll find out in the coming months and years if Nintendo can keep its network safe from those who would want to bring it down.[h/t: Sophos]