Wii circuitry changed to thwart modchips?

Reports are coming in from Taiwan and Germany that Nintendo has updated the Wii's motherboard with its latest shipments of the console. According to MaxConsole, one of the solder points has been removed from the altered board, shutting out quicksolder modification chips like WiiKey. Other similar tools that don't use the missing solder point should not be affected.

DigiTimes suggests that these changes to the circuit layout were made with the sole intent of preventing piracy by blocking these warranty-voiding installations. If that's the case however, why did Nintendo only take steps to block just the WiiKey, a modchip that was released only several weeks ago?

There were similar concerns in the past about Mario Kart DS updating the Nintendo DS' firmware as an anti-piracy measure, but it was quickly discovered that the handheld was only saving its WiFi settings. It seems far more likely that Nintendo has had the Wii's revised motherboard planned for months, and that locking out any modification methods was an unintended result.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.