32 posts tagged flashcart
3DS flashcard bypasses region locking
I didn’t take the Gateway 3DS flashcard seriously at first due to a number of flaws: requiring separate MicroSD cards to load each game, working with only eight-month-old firmware, and offering no support for homebrew or out-of-region games.
The device’s team, though, is showing off an “alpha build” to address some of those issues. In the first part of this video, you’ll see firmware-spoofing support — you still need a 3DS with version 4.5 firmware or older to run the card, but it can now play games that require the latest system update, like Mario & Luigi: Dream Team.
And in the video’s other two parts, the Gateway team demonstrates how a system from one region can play a game from another. There’s a growing campaign against the 3DS’s region locking online, and the group behind it argues that one of the primary reasons why people buy these devices that Nintendo calls "illegal game copiers" is to play releases from other countries. I doubt this development will change anything, but one can hope.
This could be the first 3DS flashcard
I say “could” because who knows if this is legit, what with this news coming out of nowhere from a company no one’s heard of, but this demonstration video looks credible. Gateway says its device supports both standard and XL 3DSes, and works with any back-up ROMs. It’s disappointing that the first product of this sort seems geared more toward piracy (which, we must once again remind you, we absolutely do not support) than homebrew purposes…
MaxConsole claims this video was put together before the Gateway team created some kind of “game manager” for the device, hence all the MicroSD switching you see here. However, there is also speculation that Nintendo could easily cripple the flashcard with a firmware update due to the presumed nature of its workaround (which doesn’t look like it would even circumvent the system’s region-locking).
Nintendo has rolled out a new firmware release for the 3DS across all major territories, but before you get excited, according to the company’s Japanese site, the only notable addition is there are more character options for your password when storing credit card data on eShop.
Other than that, there’s the vague mention of “improved system stability and convenience” in this 4.2.0-9 update’s change log, and you should know by now what that means — several flashcart owners have reported problems loading their devices after installing the firmware.
Anyone else surprised that the Nintendo 3DS is more than a year old now and hardly any progress has been made by would-be 3DS pirates or homebrew developers? Nintendo’s persistent efforts to lock out these devices probably has a lot to do with this.
Crown3DS, ostensibly the first working 3DS flashcart. Like the PassMe and PassCard solutions that appeared in the DS’s early homebrew days, this isn’t the most elegant solution in its current, presumably non-final state.
3DS owners have been able to run updated flashcarts on their handhelds for some time now, but only in DS mode, which doesn’t have access to much of the 3DS hardware. Though this new Crown3DS team has figured a way to get into the 3DS mode, it’s unfortunate they’ve skipped over homebrew and gone straight to commercial games.
At the moment, the device can only run one commercial ROM, and a crappy one at that: Splinter Cell 3D. The group intends to dump more 3DS games, run more tests, fix bugs in the cart, and increase its ROM compatibility.
Because the Crown3DS is not yet on sale and unavailable to the public, it’s unclear whether Nintendo can to block this device with a future 3DS update (the cart runs on the latest v2.1.0-4 firmware). The company has made efforts to keep 3DS/DSi piracy from reaching the problematic levels experience with the DS, releasing regular firmware updates, some of which increase anti-flashcart security.
Nintendo has put out a new 1.4.2 update for DSi models, and while it’s unclear if the new firmware adds any new functionality to the system (e.g. DSiWare migration), many report this release blocks several popular flashcarts.
Scoffing at these new anti-piracy countermeasures, at least one flashcart manufacturer, R4iDSN claims to have found a workaround and will release an update for its device this week. Expect other teams to follow with similar news.
[Update: D3P has asked sites to pull the image of the debug system/card — please enjoy this cute augmented reality image of a paper cut-out figure in its stead!]
Working 3DS flashcart not used for piracy! Our own JC Fletcher snapped this photo of a 3DS debug unit with a “CTR FLASHCARD 16Gbit” at D3 Publisher’s Game Developers Conference booth. JC says the debug system “resembles the retail 3DS, but has what appears to be a more ‘plasticky’ exterior finish, and red accents around the cartridge slot (where the normal 3DS is silver). This particular extended cart (looks like a passcard!) likely held a build of D3P/Art Co.’s arcade shooter Dream Trigger 3D, which you can watch a trailer for here.
Preorder a 3DS with: Our Nintendo 3DS Buyer’s Guide
See also: More Nintendo 3DS news and media
Flashcart allegedly working with Nintendo 3DS. Well, that was quick! Despite promises of increased anti-piracy measures and early reports of flashcarts no long working with the 3DS, the team behind the R4iDSN (AK2i clone) claims to have found a way around the system’s security and posted this video as proof.
As of now, the device will not play 3DS games or even DSi-enhanced titles, only DS releases, but this is still an impressive feat considering the system just launched in Japan (and has been available in China for a few days).
This doesn’t bode well for Nintendo and third-party publishers, who hoped increased protections would prevent the piracy problems we’ve seen on the DS/DSi.
Nintendo could theoretically release a mandatory firmware update — an automatic one, even — but the company better act quick, as the Acekard team also claims that its flashcart now works with the 3DS (Code Freak’s cheat device appears to work with it, too).
Preorder a 3DS with: Our Nintendo 3DS Buyer’s Guide
What this means is that homebrew software running on a CycloDS iEvolution can potentially access a DSi’s camera, SD card, extra processing power, and more. The company promises to “supply legitimate homebrew application coders with a free iEVO unit to aid development”.
Team Cyclops says the flashcart will eventually support DSi features in commercially released DSi-enhanced games, so that homebrew victory also unfortunately benefits pirates.
It’s unclear if the 3DS and its "sophisticated" anti-piracy measures will defeat whatever workaround iEVO uses, but Nintendo has only a few months to come up with a way to shut the flashcart down (assuming whatever protections it already has in place can’t neutralize the device).
Oh, and for those wondering about that round white gadget, I believe it’s for updating the iEvo’s firmware.
A day after Nintendo put out a new DSi firmware upgrade preventing system owners from loading pirated games or homebrew software, Chinese flashcart manufacturer Supercard has released an update for its DSTWO product that circumvents those new protections. It plans to also provide a fix for its DSONEi device next week.
Presumably, other flashcart companies will soon release their own updates. Manufacturers found a workaround for these countermeasures in record time — hackers spent a little over a month to get these devices working on the DSi when it first launched with new anti-piracy tech, and over four months when Nintendo added extra security with its last system update in July 2009.
The upcoming Nintendo 3DS is said to have some "sophisticated" protections to guard the portable against flashcart use. Hopefully for Nintendo (and developers looking to make their money back with 3DS software), that technology will hold up longer than a day against pirates.
Street vendor selling DS flashcarts in Tokyo’s Akihabara district. He used to have a folding table to set up and sell his wares, but now he carries around the "illegal game copiers" like they’re lunches, presented on a portable shelf slung around his neck. He even has a jingle he sings to entice passerbys and would-be pirates.
He has sold flashcarts in this spot, right next to electronics store T-Zone, for six months, I believe. Cops questioned him about his activities several months ago, but that hasn’t deterred him from peddling the devices.
Here’s what his selection looks like:
This is what happens when you close stores, vending machines, and online shops for selling flashcarts; sellers take to the streets! They’re persistent like that.
Speaking with Forbes earlier today, Nintendo CEO and president Satoru Iwata disclosed that the upcoming Nintendo 3DS model will introduce new anti-piracy measures designed to prevent gamers from playing downloaded games on flashcarts.
Nintendo tried something similar when it launched the DSi in 2008, but flashcart manufacturers found a way to circumvent those protections within a couple months. Then the company released a 1.4 firmware update last July again blocking flashcarts, but pirates developed a workaround for that in under a week.
For those of you who don’t remember the Pokémon Mini, it debuted in 2001 and is still the smallest handheld with interchangeable cartridges that Nintendo’s ever produced. The portable received only a handful of Pokémon-themed titles (e.g. Pokémon Tetris, Pokémon Breeder mini) for its tiny, black and white display.
I didn’t know it until today, but there’s a small development community dedicated to hacking the device to run new games, apps, demos, and more. Someone even turned the portable into a thermometer! Here are a few completed, in progress, and concept homebrew projects:
While I doubt the Pokémon Mini community enjoys much activity, there’s enough to warrant someone producing flashcarts for the portable (see link above)! I wonder if the people who are buying these things are really using them for homebrew, or if they’re just purchasing the carts under the guise of homebrew and using them to pirate Togepi’s Great Adventure? Those devils!
See also: Hella sassy Pokewalker animation