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Those enterprising folks at Game Cube Linux (GC Linux) claim to have developed a proof of concept version of Linux running natively on the best-selling Nintendo Wii games console.

The software exploits the Twilight Hack, a quirk in some versions of the Zelda game that lets external software to be loaded without performing hardware modifications. The hack fools the system into loading code from an SD memory card.

Nintendo has always been cagey about giving third parties access to the core of its machines and has made life difficult for homebrew developers. But increased homebrew activity around the Wii might herald a change. A software development kit (SDK) for Wii's Opera browser surfaced last year and Nintendo itself has hinted at plans to allow third party content later in 2008.

This will bring Nintendo more in line with its rivals. Both Sony with PS3 using Yellow Dog Linux and Microsoft with its Xbox allow third party developers to build software add ons, albeit with restrictions.®

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