Nintendo's Switch piracy worries just got much worse

We're not going to get into the specifics here, as we don't want to see the Switch overrun with piracy. That said, it's still important news to report, as it certainly impacts the Switch moving forward.

A piracy device has been released for the Switch that is supposedly cannot be hacked and works with the latest Switch firmware. This device lets Switch owners load ROMs onto their Switch. This is indeed a bit of a nightmare for Nintendo, as it paves the way for pirated Switch games. Hopefully Nintendo can come up with something to squash it.

Categories: Consoles
Tags: switch


Top Rated Comment

Lets see someone try to defend this as home brew.

Well the Switch was nice while it lasted. Hopefully devs can shift their focus to the Vita 2

I've heard Sony expects to sell at least 30 of those this time around, but I am not sure if they can make it....

vita 2? lolwut . . . . .

Lets see someone try to defend this as home brew.

Let's see someone try to equate this with homebrew.

I'm not personally calling it homebrew, but some one is going to try to say that it is okay somehow...

It’s more of a hardware assisted mod. But not even needed to load the recently released custom Switch firmware. This is also a commercially sold product so by definition of homebrew this is certainly not.

Seems the initial hardware run of Switches is pretty much fully compromised now for piracy. Newer hardware batches are not has far as I know.

Btw, No one defends piracy as homebrew.

What people defend is the statement that homebrew = piracy which is untrue.

Oh of course I didn't expect anyone rational to defend piracy as home brew. But I have seen it happen before.

Mon Jun 18 18 05:38pm
Rating: 2

Thanks for not checking stuff Nvidia!

Mon Jun 18 18 05:44pm
(Updated 1 time)

The online anti-piracy system on nintendo is top notch in this generation, each cartridge has a unique ID (Unlique in the 3DS, that every copy of a single game shared an ID) so Nintendo can perma-ban anyone who tries to play online with a ilegal copy of a game, this at least will prevent them to going online and ruin the experience for everyone else.

That being said, there is already a new revision of the Switch that its supossed to patch this issues.... so only early adopters of the switch can hack it to run pirated games using this method.

Top notch? Um 3DS has easy piracy and going online with pirated games is a non-issue and there’s even a method to get around a “perma-ban”

3DS is last gen at this point.

I said in this generation, and I explicitely said it was unlike the 3DS

Well you explicitly said Unlique so I assumed that was a typo for unique rather than a typo for “unlike”.....

I think the New Switch 2 (or whatever it will be called) is out sooner than we would have thought.

Or they just patch the current SoC in a minor hardware revision do get rid of the exploit, we would probably have no idea if it happens or not until someone tries to use a hacking device and fails.

From what I understand that could be. But it could get hacked easily again like this time. A Switch 2/new console will be needed when we see more from the NextBox and PS5 anyway.

Xbox One and PS4 are going to be getting multi platform support for a while past PS5 and project Scarlet. Plus if history is any indication, Switch will get an upgrade like New 3DS, DSi, and Game Boy Color, they will be able to get at least the same if not better third party support until publisher go all in for next gen. Nintendo should be able to last fine up until 2023. By then I'd hope they go for a semi-custom SoC, and one with more power. If Nintendo produces current model Switches with updated SoCs, the current exploit will be rendered null, and unless they make some other hardware screw up, homebrew would have to be done through software only, and that can be patched out. The reason it happened so easily this time was Nintendo made zero modifications to the X1, and it had all of the features of it built in. Hackers literally just looked through NVidia's documentation to find out how to hack the thing. If the hardware is slightly revised, Hackers would have to go through Nintendo's OS, which is far more secure.

OK. That cleared some things up. But does that mean that XO/PS4 are somewhat customized? Thought they were basically off-shelf part devices mostly. So iy would be easy to make cross platform games. etc

They are semi-custom, so they are based off of off the shelf AMD chips, but they are custom built versions. Xbox One X especially had a lot of optimizations on the silicon level. Hopefully the next Nintendo system OR an upgrade to the Switch uses a semi-custom SoC built off of the Tegra architecture instead of just pulling a pre made Tegra chip, especially since that line is becoming more and more car/AI focused, and less gaming focused as X1 was.

And then the Switch 2 gets hacked....releasing a new console doesn’t really slow things down.

Anyways newer Switch batches are resistant to the current methods.

Oh already? When did that happen?

Few weeks ago. Think it was reported here but I found a reddit thread about a revision of the SoC (System on Chip).


But I believe that will only block the known exploits, there could be exploits still in the newer chipsets that hackers haven’t found yet or they might know about them but are sitting on them for a while.

Oh yeah there is code for potential revisions in the OS but I don't think Nintendo has actually produced any new SoCs with the fixes yet.

Mon Jun 18 18 05:45pm
Rating: 1

Man, it's the R4 card fiasco all over again.

Mon Jun 18 18 05:47pm
Rating: 1

Atleast it's not easy to play pirated games online. Looks like you get banned quick, if you try to connect to Nintendos online servers. I'm still supporting Homebrew, i need my local save backups and other nice features Nintendo will never offer.


Mon Jun 18 18 05:47pm
Rating: 1 (Updated 1 time)

And the worst thing is news sites reporting on this. Please don't give these criminals a podium!

I truely hope all of these Switches will be auto bricked with the next firmware update. And I do hope Nvidia / Nintendo find a way to block this in new Switch stock.

This isn’t illegal so people using this hardware/software are not “criminals”.

Newer stock is resistant already.

Piracy is illegal. They're loading roms. That's piracy.

Tue Jun 19 18 03:35am
(Updated 2 times)

Correct. But the hardware and software released isn’t illegal. Owning a gun is legal but using it to shoot someone is illegal.

Actually the action of loading ROMs isn’t even illegal. Neither is creating ROMs from the source material. Distributing ROMs is the illegal part.

That said, even though his hardware/software is legal, Nintendo are well within their right to block it. They just will struggle to prosecute users or the creators of this.

Thu Jun 21 18 01:42am
(Updated 2 times)

People using this hardware (to hack into the Switch) is a removal of a software protection. Which by itself is illegal in the EU (where I live). Selling of these devices (to hack the Switch) is also illegal. (At least here in the Netherlands, but it should count in the rest of the EU as well.. see Nintendo versus R4DS cards a few years back)

Distribution / download / use of a game you don't own is illegal. Everywhere. Distribution of a game you own (license) is illegal as well, since you actually don't own the game. You own a license to play the game. Download of the game is only legal if it's a free update from the Nintendo server, a purchase from the eShop, or DLC (purchased from the eShop).

Downloading a game you already own the card of (download from the internet) is ALSO illegal.
So ONLY making a backup of your owned gamecard is legal. HOWEVER you still need to break both the protection of the Switch AND of the gamecard. Which is illegal in the EU.

So yes. ANY use of this device is illegal.

And on a personal note: I like to add why I am 100% against ANY form of Piracy or console hacking. Third party publishers will refuse to make games for the Switch if the pirates will just steal / pirate the games. This is what happened to the DS, 3DS and Wii. (Wii U had other problems)
Also I work as a software developer (not games) and I like being paid for my work. And this is only possible if people buy the software. I can imagine developers at Nintendo & other studios feeling the same about this.

Piracy is so worth it just so I can play mods and do stuff Nintendo won't let us do!

So you will not support developers who are working incredibly hard to create games so you can play mods? Piracy isn't homebrew, piracy is the obtaining of software through illegal methods (ie not paying for games properly). Modding isn't necessarily pirating. But even if that is your reason, its still harmful to the developers.

You're right; Homebrew =/= Piracy

There's certainly no Homebrew app that let's me dump ISOs so I can upload that ISO to the Internet and another Homebrew app that loads ISOs and doesn't care whether you got it from the Internet or not

oh wait

Once we got the mods, we also open the door for piracy... and online cheating. We cannot choose one

My point was: Piracy is not the same exact thing as modding. Piracy doesn't allow you to mod games. What allows you to mod games is what allows you to pirate. And honestly, a few people modding games is not worth anyone cheating online or pirating games, because that hurts everyone else.

Fri Jun 22 18 08:22am
(Updated 1 time)

I'm not saying piracy and modding are the same. I'm saying cracking a system wide open enables modding and piracy

And honestly, a few people modding games is not worth anyone cheating online or pirating games, because that hurts everyone else.
Coolio. I'm glad we're on the same picture

Too damn bad 3 people liked this happening. Kind of makes me wish this news scares away all Third Party and Indie developers from making any more games on the Switch

At least we will get VC soon I guess.

Mon Jun 18 18 06:40pm
Rating: 1 (Updated 1 time)

dont go into hyper overlaod about the news.. it was revealed today that nintendo has implemented EXTREME piracy checks for games , which will prevent the pirates from playing pirated games online.. supposedly, eshop doownloads and game carts send a special unique code back to nintendo and if it doesnt match the original purchaser, or the id is faked, or that id appears on multiple systems (an unnatural number), it will trigger an instant ban.. the only thing pirates can do is play OFFLINE.. even having the switch connect online can send any game play data back to them as it searches the user account it connected with for game play data, and the ban goes to the system, banning all online services, and will not be reversed by nintendo.

Bricking consoles seems like the next step if all else does not work.

In my country, people don't want to buy things legit as they are too obsessed with getting things either free or something that is horribly cheap and you guessed it, they LOVE piracy.

I keep telling my friends and family that piracy is bad but they always bicker and keep stating that large companies can manage with piracy because they have a lot of money and all to which I say BS since companies don't like losing money.

While my mom usually doesn't boast that often that games or consoles that I want are costly, the fact that when buying affordable hardware like Nintendo is something parents still crib about is just lame and honestly annoying to hear.

I wish I get the switch though so that I can socalise with you guys and Nintendo fans in general..plus I badly want to play Odyssey.

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