Nintendo has updated the Nintendo DSi and Wii to block users’ access to homebrew and pirated games — while the company routinely releases similar Wii “upgrades”, the last time it put out new DSi firmware was in August 2009.
The last DSi update introduced improvements to the DSi browser, the ability to upload photos to Facebook, and anti-piracy measures, but this new DSi version 1.4.1U firmware lists only the following change:
- This update provides behind-the-scenes improvements to system performance
There isn’t much information on what all those “behind-the-scenes improvements” include, but the firmware reportedly blocks a number of popular flashcarts:
- Acekard 2i
- M3i Zero
- Supercard DSTwo
[Update: GBAtemp claims that Nintendo has posted another firmware update, version 1.4.2C, which blocks the EZ-Flash Vi, iSmart DS, Hyper R4i, and other carts].
The EZ-Flash Vi, iSmart DS, and Hyper R4i flashcarts are not affected. Most if not all of the carts listed above are capable of upgrading their own firmware, so it’s possible that the manufacturers of those devices will release an update that will once again circumvent the DSi’s protections. When Nintendo posted its last update for the portable, its anti-piracy measures lasted for four months before hackers discovered a new workaround.
Gamers can continue to use their flashcarts with their DSis to play homebrew titles (and commercial games, which we advise against/disapprove) so long as they do not connect their system online and download/install the update.
Presumably, the 1.4.1U update will come pre-installed in the company’s future DSi systems. The Nintendo 3DS will likely include the new firmware along with other new anti-piracy protections. Older DS models, such as the DS Phat and DS Lite, should not be affected at all.