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Latest DSi and Wii firmware reportedly blocking flashcarts

Nintendo updates seem designed to combat piracy, homebrew

The latest firmware updates for Nintendo's DS and Wii are reportedly preventing the function of many flashcarts and modifications designed to enable piracy and homebrew on the machines.

Officially the Nintendo DSi Menu Ver 1.4.1U update, which became available on Tuesday, is listed as "providing behind-the-scenes improvements to system performance" but many users of unsanctioned storage devices are claiming that the true intention of the update is to block the use of flashcarts.

Not all flashcarts have been affected, with the notorious R4 apparently escaping the fix, but many models have been disabled following the update.

The import, advertising and distribution of DS flashcarts was ruled to be illegal across the UK in July.

Wii homebrew users are also reporting that the Wii Menu 4.3U update has disabled some features which let them use unofficial homebrew material on the console.

The update itself warns customers that "if your Wii console includes unauthorized modifications this update may detect and remove unauthorized content causing immediate or delayed inoperability of your console" before they install it.

The reports follow hot on the heels of Sony's recent 3.42 firmware release for the PlayStation 3, which prevents the controversial Jailbreak dongle, the first device to circumvent the PS3's anti-piracy measures successfully, from working.

Updating firmware is optional, but many new software releases traditionally require the latest system software to function.

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