You know that unexciting firmware update your 3DS automatically downloaded last week and prompted you to install when you opened your system?
It might not have seemed like much at the time — Nintendo’s changelog for version 4.4.0-10U is characteristically vague — but the update permanently blocks almost all flashcarts, according to SuperCard. They would know, being a manufacturer of these devices!
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.
And users will have to purchase those new devices to replace their now obsolete ones. Many will likely never get around to doing that, which is just what Nintendo is hoping for — maybe it won’t be able to stop all piracy, but the company aims to make it so inconvenient that most people just won’t bother with it.
It’s really impressive how effective Nintendo’s anti-piracy efforts have been on 3DS, so far avoiding the problems that plagued DS. The system has been on the market for a year and a half already, and hackers still haven’t figured out how to run commercial 3DS software (or homebrew games and apps, unfortunately) on it!
Buy: Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL consoles
See also: More piracy and anti-piracy news
[Via Supercard, DS-Scene]