3DS hacked within a day of launch

Pirated DS games playable via R4; 3DS games secure for now

Nintendo's new handheld the 3DS has already been hacked to play pirated games.

While a method to play bootlegged 3DS titles has yet to emerge, crackers had copied DS titles running on the device within 24 hours of its Japanese launch on Saturday.

This was achieved with the notorious R4 flashcart, and the modification of a 'whitelist' found in the 3DS firmware which dictated the software and cartridges it could run.

At present, this whitelist purportedly must be manually hacked by any user attempting to run copied software on their RDS. Observed the R4i group responsible for the hack, "Expect Nintendo to release a firmware update to block the R4 cards once again."

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Latest comments (10)

Martin Mathers Copywriter/Journalist 11 years ago
Kind of thought this was going to happen - after all, if the 3DS runs DS software, it's almost certainly going to run DS cart imitators once hackers get their hands on the kit and update whatever firmware they use. Then again, this is a DS problem and not a 3DS problem (yet); pirates haven't managed to successfully crack DSi stuff either, or not to the extent that the games are everywhere at least, so I imagine 3DS stuff will be safe for a while yet.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Martin Mathers on 28th February 2011 12:43pm

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Alex Winton Website Administrator 11 years ago
Nintendo can't really control anything concerning DS piracy at this point. The horse has long, long since bolted. I don't think they'll be too worried about this (if they were, I'd imagine they'd have gone for slightly stronger security than a simple whitelist).

The real mark of the 3DS' strength against piracy will be whether pirates can get 3DS software running on it. I expect it will happen eventually - but then Nintendo also holds a trump card in firmware updates, where they didn't before. It won't stop piracy, just as it didn't on the Wii or PSP - but it will at least give them SOME opportunity to fight back - and they'll definitely catch some people out, which is better than not catching any at all.
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Michael Armer Studying Games Development National Diploma Level 3, Lancaster and Morecambe College11 years ago
still seems odd that there is no dsi hack yet. nintendo should have done what ever they did for the dsi for the 3ds
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Show all comments (10)
Sam Brown Lead Audio Programmer, TT Games11 years ago
Ah, but for the hackers to take an interest, Nintendo would have to make the DSi run Linux, then take it away again.
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Stephen McCarthy Studying Games Technology, Kingston University11 years ago
@Michael Armer
they got a hack for the dsi but they yet to get it to work with the dsi cam, it only runs it with out the cam.

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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game11 years ago
Not to much of a (new) issue whilst it is just DS games, in that most of the people interested in a 3DS at this stage probably already have a DS or DSi, if they wanted to use an R4 card for DS games, they could use their old hardware. In terms of DS stuff, it's a "horse has bolted scenerio". I just hope the security for the actual 3DS games is stronger.
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Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor 11 years ago
Isn't there an argument to suggest that posting news like this raises the profile of and therefore aides piracy? I know that this doesn't really apply on sites like this but most of the mainstream game sites are posting about it as well. This is particularly the case when the "hacking" is such a non-event.
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Tom Keresztes Programmer 11 years ago
So the 3DS is not broken, yet.
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game11 years ago
@Tom, give it a week;)
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Cynthia Williams Studying Game Production, Collins College11 years ago
Can't wait to see the fun results to this, wonder how'll they will deal with it. With fun, I'm sure they'll fix it it before it hits the USA.
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