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Nintendo Can Remotely Disable New 3DS System

By - Source: Eurogamer | B 73 comments

Nintendo can "brick" the 3DS using a system update.

Nintendo reportedly has a kill switch in place to disable the new Nintendo 3DS handheld if users are caught playing illegal games stored on unapproved SD cards. The news arrives by way of Japanese retailer Enterking who warns consumers about the possible 3DS "bricking" by Nintendo itself.

In a letter to customers who plan to re-sell their Nintendo 3DS in the future, Enterking suggests that SD cards be formatted before bringing the consoles into the shop. "If you use equipment which is illegal or unapproved by Nintendo or if you do customisation which is unapproved by Nintendo, there is a possibility that Nintendo 3DS becomes non-bootable by system update."

"Because of terms of agreement above, Enterking refuses to buy 3DS system with a record of illegal or unapproved equipment," the company added, indicating that the 3DS might actually keep a record of what's is currently on the SD card and what was previously loaded on later dates.

Although the measure of bricking the system seems rather harsh, it's not at all that surprising. Previously Nintendo had a huge problem with the R4 flash cartridge which could store hundreds of pirated Nintendo DS roms downloaded from the Internet. The R4 cartridge was eventually banned in Japan in 2009, and was later outlawed in the UK during Q3 2010.

Naturally Nintendo wouldn't comment on the kill switch, saying that it doesn't discuss product security details or countermeasures. "Nintendo 3DS has the most up-to-date technology," a spokesperson said. "The security has been designed to protect both the creative works in the software and to protect the Nintendo 3DS hardware system itself."

The Nintendo 3DS is slated to hit the North American market on March 25, 2011. In the meantime, the portable console's stiff security has reportedly already been hacked over in Japan by the team behind the R4iDSN flash cartridge. The team managed to get the 3DS to read flash cards that were previously blocked out.

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  • 4 Hide
    kcorp2003 , March 7, 2011 11:58 PM
    well, good news is. you given hackers a job to break your system. take note from Sony.
  • 1 Hide
    silky salamandr , March 8, 2011 12:08 AM
    Yet again people, we dont own anything. Were just leasing equipment. The PS3 witch hunt and now this. Boy the future of gaming...
  • 1 Hide
    f-14 , March 8, 2011 12:21 AM
    i hope a hacker gets the code and bricks every single one of these devices remotely as they are activated by customers.
  • 2 Hide
    joytech22 , March 8, 2011 12:26 AM
    Hey you like it you buy it.
    That's what I do anyway.
  • 1 Hide
    razor512 , March 8, 2011 12:35 AM
    Waits for there to be a false positive or some other error and nintendo "mistakenly" bricks a few hundred thousand unmodded consoles.
  • -2 Hide
    kilo_17 , March 8, 2011 12:37 AM
    Unapproved SD cards? Are they saying you have to use a Nintendo brand card?
  • 5 Hide
    aznguy0028 , March 8, 2011 12:50 AM
    FloKidWho would want this piece of crap anyways. Sounds like Nintfago wants to take money from people just like Bill Fags.

    Already over 400,000 people in Japan with the 3DS sold out everywhere at launch? Your comment has to be one of the most retarded I've read in awhile, full of fan-boyism and poorly attempted bashing. Nice try troll.
  • 1 Hide
    adamboy64 , March 8, 2011 12:53 AM
    I'm sure some homebrew software would disable this and/or the automatic system updates.
    This 'approved SD card' thing is a bit concerning though - not exactly sure what that means at this stage.
  • -1 Hide
    neoverdugo , March 8, 2011 12:55 AM
    More brickin'?? Nintendo should stop doing this type of crap. Once a system is bought, the client can do whatever it want AT IT'S OWN RISK!! Until then the console is owned by the company. Instead using updates to "protect" its consoles like the fools of Sony, they SHOULD focus on building game consoles that surpasses the next gen consoles from its competitors and add games that are focused to the more mature and adult themed clientele cuz the kiddies/family clientele ain't enough. I want more bloodshed, more oral obscenities, more violent situation, more hoes to ***, more hood politics, more psycho thrillas, etc to the Nintendo Wii and beyond console. The best games for the themes that i like are in PC, Xbox360, PS3 and even in the psp and ds and many of them are multi platform.
  • -1 Hide
    hotelromeo , March 8, 2011 12:59 AM
    That's great since the only Nintendo users I know are 10 years old and younger, they only thing they hack is the cookie jar. Nintendo is irrelevant.
  • -1 Hide
    hotelromeo , March 8, 2011 1:01 AM
    f-14i hope a hacker gets the code and bricks every single one of these devices remotely as they are activated by customers.


    Be sure to thank Geohot next time anyone visits him in prison.

  • -1 Hide
    Immoral Medic , March 8, 2011 1:01 AM
    So don't allow your 3ds onto any wireless networks. Easy fix. Either that or people start hacking the firmware through a homebrew route like what they do for new Wii updates that block/remove any hacks. It's just another thing to hack. No real threat to pirates here :p 
  • -2 Hide
    hotelromeo , March 8, 2011 1:04 AM
    silky salamandrYet again people, we dont own anything. Were just leasing equipment. The PS3 witch hunt and now this. Boy the future of gaming...


    Yes, thank you all you punk scumbagz idiots who have nothing better to do in your parent's basements than set up a P2P Hacker Club. Can I get a Geohot rant?
  • 0 Hide
    hotelromeo , March 8, 2011 1:06 AM
    neoverdugoMore brickin'?? Nintendo should stop doing this type of crap. Once a system is bought, the client can do whatever it want AT IT'S OWN RISK!! Until then the console is owned by the company. Instead using updates to "protect" its consoles like the fools of Sony, they SHOULD focus on building game consoles that surpasses the next gen consoles from its competitors and add games that are focused to the more mature and adult themed clientele cuz the kiddies/family clientele ain't enough. I want more bloodshed, more oral obscenities, more violent situation, more hoes to ***, more hood politics, more psycho thrillas, etc to the Nintendo Wii and beyond console. The best games for the themes that i like are in PC, Xbox360, PS3 and even in the psp and ds and many of them are multi platform.


    So...the first thing you do when you buy a new car is void your warranty, right? Great advice.
  • 0 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , March 8, 2011 1:08 AM
    nintendo+hackers= happy customer.
  • 1 Hide
    hotelromeo , March 8, 2011 1:10 AM
    mayankleoboy1nintendo+hackers= happy customer.


    Good luck, let us know how that brick thing works.
  • 5 Hide
    sephirothmk , March 8, 2011 1:15 AM
    mayankleoboy1nintendo+hackers= happy customer.


    No, but the car doesn't magically BRICK when you install a bigger exaust, remove the limiter, get new pimpy rims and some neon lights.

    If these shitty companies proceed to enforce their silly ways of saying: "You buy our product, but we still own it", who knows what might happen to the world industry as a whole. This isn't about piracy, heck this isn't even about Sony and Nintendo, they are small fish. What happens when EVERY company that sells products does this and doesn't get punished? "Ok, you buy that ketchup from us for use on a hamburger, but if you put it over a chickenburger, the ketchup has a kill switch that makes it turn into piss in your mouth"
  • -1 Hide
    fleeb , March 8, 2011 1:16 AM
    Why are they making it hard for us to play pirated games? WHY?!
  • 1 Hide
    Raid3r , March 8, 2011 1:23 AM
    Choose your sides people...that's all that matters..your either in for corp control or out..that's it. Each new system is coming with more absurdity..I'm on the out side, you?
  • -2 Hide
    hotelromeo , March 8, 2011 1:30 AM
    SephirothMKNo, but the car doesn't magically BRICK when you install a bigger exaust, remove the limiter, get new pimpy rims and some neon lights.If these shitty companies proceed to enforce their silly ways of saying: "You buy our product, but we still own it", who knows what might happen to the world industry as a whole. This isn't about piracy, heck this isn't even about Sony and Nintendo, they are small fish. What happens when EVERY company that sells products does this and doesn't get punished? "Ok, you buy that ketchup from us for use on a hamburger, but if you put it over a chickenburger, the ketchup has a kill switch that makes it turn into piss in your mouth"


    So genius, come up with your own product then and put your piss-up on it.
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