Latest 3DS Firmware Blocks Flash Cartridges

Latest 3DS Firmware Blocks Flash Cartridges

image

A flash cart manufacturer believes that Nintendo's new update can't be circumvented with a software patch.

If you happen to use a flash cart on your 3DS for homebrew games and apps (or other, more nefarious purposes) you may be in for a nasty surprise when you perform the next firmware update on your device: Nintendo's latest firmware release will render most of these cartridges completely useless.

Super Card, a flash cart manufacturer, posted an announcement on its forum stating that the new update checks for a feature that is not present on current flash carts, therefore making it a hardware defect. The company goes so far to suggest that "95% of the card in the world will be blocked", and a number of factories will most likely need to abandon current card designs due to the latest checks put in place. Certain cards such as the DSTwo, however, still appear to still work after an update of their own.

It's believed that Nintendo's update was released in anticipation of an upcoming hack which would allow users to extract ROMs from official 3DS cartridges.

The release notes for firmware 4.4.0-10U do not mention anything about anti-piracy checks on the system; this update (and the four that precede it) simply adds "further improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments...to enhance the user experience".

Source: Destructoid via Polygon

Permalink

I enjoy reading about this cat and mouse game.

As they say..."where there's a will, there's a way'.

Well this will surely stop them . . . .OR what is most likely to happen is that this will only slow them down a little, if at all, and this will turn into some kind of endless loop (ala the PSP situation back in the day) that just goes on and on.

Xanthious:
Well this will surely stop them . . . .OR what is most likely to happen is that this will only slow them down a little, if at all, and this will turn into some kind of endless loop (ala the PSP situation back in the day) that just goes on and on.

The decent flashcarts will have firmware updates in a week or two.

Whenever I read this articles, I always wonder what homebrew games and applications exactly? Every person I've encountered uses these cards to pirate games, simple as. Its of course possible I've just met the less legit side of the market but still. Genuinely interested to know what else you can do with the 3DS (thats practical - I heard about running Linux on a DS Lite and it just seemed fantastically pointless).

And this will take how long to crack?

Yawn, your efforts bore me Nintendo

Oh good, another reason not to bother getting a 3DS.

Haha! People still actually play games on the 3DS?

Oh wait, so do I. Damn.

Although I mostly only play DS games

Fasckira:
Whenever I read this articles, I always wonder what homebrew games and applications exactly? Every person I've encountered uses these cards to pirate games, simple as. Its of course possible I've just met the less legit side of the market but still. Genuinely interested to know what else you can do with the 3DS (thats practical - I heard about running Linux on a DS Lite and it just seemed fantastically pointless).

I used a cart to turn my DS into a portable comic reader and media player. This was, of course, before I had gotten an Android tablet. Now I wouldn't bother.

Give up Niiinty!

You cannot fight it for much longer!

Nintendo, just introduce serial codes and internet style DRM. Then again, I don't think that you still make you happy.

Fasckira:
Whenever I read this articles, I always wonder what homebrew games and applications exactly? Every person I've encountered uses these cards to pirate games, simple as. Its of course possible I've just met the less legit side of the market but still. Genuinely interested to know what else you can do with the 3DS (thats practical - I heard about running Linux on a DS Lite and it just seemed fantastically pointless).

How many iPhone apps do you think would have been made if it was as hard to develop for as the DS platform? Nintendo makes it hard to develop legit apps and makes consuming legit apps about as hard as pirating games and requires the same method. So of course there is no real market there and it's all Nintedo's fault. And I think Nintendo lost probably it's greatest opportunity in not providing a platform for software. If they had a app store equivalent in 2004 or 2005 I think they would have sold tens of million more DSs and had a huge app revenue stream.

If only they were this persistant with innovating Super Mario.

Is it ironic that I only find out how to crack systems this generation when the companies try desperately to stop it? I really hope the 3DS doesn't take firmware update ques from sony.

DVS BSTrD:
If only they were this persistant with innovating Super Mario.

I think It's more a rush for the Wii U release that made them (Nintendo) cut back on any innovation and play it safe with the tried and true, if not a little stale game-play (just made it prettier) but now they just bling the entire screen with coins coins COINS! What's the point in THAT?!

Back on subject, little does Nintendo know that this update this tells the hacking groups that they're on the RIGHT track to cracking the system wide open...

GAunderrated:
Is it ironic that I only find out how to crack systems this generation when the companies try desperately to stop it? I really hope the 3DS doesn't take firmware update ques from sony.

The more companies fight piracy, the more people become aware of the pirating option. For example, Nintendo trying to block flash cards just makes someone ask, what's a flash card and what does it do.

Nicolaus99:
I had a cracked PSP with a bunch of stuff loaded on it. On a whim, I purchased a few legitimate games to support those studios even though it meant having to deal with those stupid little mini disc/cart things. The resulting updates bricked all the stuff I had on there already. Lesson learned. Now I pirate everything.

Yup companies don't want you to pirate some and support others. You are either a full blown pirate or a customer/chump.

Crono1973:
The more companies fight piracy, the more people become aware of the pirating option. For example, Nintendo trying to block flash cards just makes someone ask, what's a flash card and what does it do.

What's a flash card and what does it do?

Fasckira:
Whenever I read this articles, I always wonder what homebrew games and applications exactly? Every person I've encountered uses these cards to pirate games, simple as. Its of course possible I've just met the less legit side of the market but still. Genuinely interested to know what else you can do with the 3DS (thats practical - I heard about running Linux on a DS Lite and it just seemed fantastically pointless).

Yeah, piracy is the most common use. Homebrew applications seems more like a legal thing they add to prevent it from being a piracy tool. However homebrew applications do exist. There's eBook readers, home made games, PDA and emulators.

Now that pretty much everyone got smart phones few of those things are actually practical though...

OlasDAlmighty:

Crono1973:
The more companies fight piracy, the more people become aware of the pirating option. For example, Nintendo trying to block flash cards just makes someone ask, what's a flash card and what does it do.

What's a flash card and what does it do?

LOL

As far as I know, you can put many games on one card instead of dragging around a bunch of DS/3DS games.

I only know that because of Nintendo's fight to ban R4 cards. Funny thing, most people never even thought about the copy protection measures of the NES, SNES and N64.

The copy protection was there but it was invisible and not made a huge deal out of.

And this is a reason why I don't yet have a 3DS. I've enjoyed downloading (and purchasing!) many of my DS titles to be used with Flash Cards. Stick in a small TransFlash and have gigabytes of space. Customize an Acekard2i, CycloDSi, or SuperCard DSTwo with tons of features and I can have a ton of DS games all without having to switch gamecards. Even better, I can play mods such as Undubs (Players putting the original language, often Japanese, audio back into titles that were dubbed during localization. Final Fantasy IV and The World Ends With You are particularly good ones. There is no way to get the experience with the Japanese audio without a "hacker" flashcart and the ability to dump, manipulate, and play ROMS) If it wasn't for flashcarts, I probably wouldn't have bought a DSLite or DSi, nor the games I've purchase

Its time for everyone to just bloody get over the fact that piracy happens. Systems that I can modify and pirate, while not losing initial functionality like online play and whatnot ( NDS, Wii, PS2, PSP, Android ) compel me to spend a lot more on both hardware and software for the platform; this is true for many users. Those like the X360 and PS3 often compel users to NEVER buy any new software at all because they have to give up such functionality like online play, updates etc... that they simply pirate everything they can. After all, if you're worried you're going to get your hardware banned (or, it already has been) or you have to stay on a custom firmware that won't allow you to go online or get into the store, why buy anything "legit" - you're not going to be able to make use of it? This pointless punitive design actually means hardware manufacturers and game developers lose money overall. Platforms that have relatively few lockdowns are the ones that thrive.

I'd like to buy a 3DS, but until I can load multiple titles of my own choosing onto a single storage medium and modify as I like, forget it.

Nicolaus99:
I had a cracked PSP with a bunch of stuff loaded on it. On a whim, I purchased a few legitimate games to support those studios even though it meant having to deal with those stupid little mini disc/cart things. The resulting updates bricked all the stuff I had on there already. Lesson learned. Now I pirate everything.

Well, whatever makes you sleep easy at night.

In my opinion, pirating could never be justified. Unless you had to pirate to save someone's life. Or some-shit like that.

In terms of pirating because it's too expensive, DRM, or whatever other reason; tough. It's not your product to stipulate the conditions as seem reasonable to you, really. If a product is too expensive, has DRM etc, do not buy it. Do not pirate it. Get it out of your mind and move on.

That's how I feel, anyway. If someone does pirate, it's not something I care about. Only when that person tries to justify it, does it annoy me and I have to stick my oar in.

Helloo:

Nicolaus99:
I had a cracked PSP with a bunch of stuff loaded on it. On a whim, I purchased a few legitimate games to support those studios even though it meant having to deal with those stupid little mini disc/cart things. The resulting updates bricked all the stuff I had on there already. Lesson learned. Now I pirate everything.

Well, whatever makes you sleep easy at night.

In my opinion, pirating could never be justified. Unless you had to pirate to save someone's life. Or some-shit like that.

In terms of pirating because it's too expensive, DRM, or whatever other reason; tough. It's not your product to stipulate the conditions as seem reasonable to you, really. If a product is too expensive, has DRM etc, do not buy it. Do not pirate it. Get it out of your mind and move on.

That's how I feel, anyway. If someone does pirate, it's not something I care about. Only when that person tries to justify it, does it annoy me and I have to stick my oar in.

Why do you care if other people justify it? Does someone else believing in something different really bother you that much? I know that we are constantly conditioned to believe the world is black and white because it makes it easier to handle life, but I have found it to be all grey.

If you don't agree then more power to you, but dealing in absolutes is usually a sign of an oppressor.

i do wonder why they bother with this nonsense, just make a physical chip that nobody can emulate
it's honestly not that hard, infact i can even plan a system right now.
build a 22nm chip the size of a pea, this is your lock, you need one in the cartridge and one in the system.
( you can produce these for pennies each, an entire 2m round wafer is not that expensive and you'd get hundreds of them out of it. )
use it to hardware decode encrypted data from the card and translate them to the game system
you'd program it by using an on chip programming tool before the resin is set.
so nobody can reprogram it without disassembling the chip and it's child's play to make the arms break off if you tamper with it, just use filament wire

it would be possible to steal some of the chips, but that means only a handful of copys and basically zero net pirate usage
eventually someone would build a workaround cartridge after a few years, but it would require a physical piece of hardware which makes it infinitely more difficult to obtain than a simple flash
what will actually happen: they'll pirate something else

the current systems are simply inadequate and make the legitimate customer pay for the code monkeys throwing money and time away trying to accomplish the impossible holy grail of digital drm
it doesn't work, we all know it so can we get over it and just make it on chip and stop wasting people's money

pirates are eventually going to crack anything, but if it's a physical mod you cant torrent it
and that's the real problem that costs studios the big bucks.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here