Nintendo has had a long and storied battle with piracy over the years, with the war reaching a fever pitch thanks to the success of the DS system. Now, the developer/publisher has notched an important victory.
As reported by TinyCartridge, last week’s 4.4.0-10U 3DS firmware update had a hidden feature in it, dressed up behind some innocent-looking “system stability” code.
In fact, the update was actually a patch to block most DS and 3DS flashcards, the primary tool of choice for people looking to upload homebrew apps and games (or pirated material) to their handheld systems:
The anti-piracy measures introduced with the firmware release are such that flashcart makers cannot simply update their device’s software to circumvent the security, as they’ve done in the past. They will need to redesign and release new hardware to combat the firmware.
Further confirmation from the forum SuperCard, a manufacturer of such digital storage, confirms that “95 percent” of SD cards and flash storage will no longer work for the 3DS. It’s a crippling blow for members of the 3DS community who use various homebrew channels and ROMs with their systems.
As one member on DS Scene points out, Nintendo is clearly getting smarter about the way they fight piracy. Most likely, official “Big N” employees are hired to join homebrew communities in order to find out which cards to ban.