74 posts tagged piracy
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!
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.
Super Mario 3D Land's non-game-related surprises aren't limited to the absence of a full physical manual; Japanese copies offer a new 3DS firmware upgrade, v2.2.0-4.
Initial reports indicate that the update is mandatory to play the game, and that it adds anti-piracy protections designed to block flashcarts. It’s also said to add a button in your Friends List that lets you join a buddy’s game in progress (presumably if the game has an online multiplayer mode and support for this new feature).
[Update: Other Friends List enhancements include the ability to quick scroll through your list when holding down left/right, and your friends that are currently online will now appear at the front of your queue.]
It appears that this is not the same 3DS firmware as the one planned for release later this month, which will introduce video recording, 3DS-to-3DS software transfers, StreetPass improvements, and a bevy of eShop features (demos, DLC, etc). We will update this post if we hear more news about this firmware.
See also: More Super Mario 3D Land stuff
The crackdown on flashcarts continues:
"This month, France joins a growing list of countries taking a strong legal stance against video game piracy. The Paris’ Court of Appeals issued guilty verdicts on Sept. 26th against Divineo SARL, along with five other companies, for the importation, sale and distribution of game copier devices commonly referred to as ‘linkers’ in France (in other countries, the devices may be called R4s or Magicom).
This decision now brings France in line with other European territories, including the Netherlands, UK, Germany, Italy and Belgium, based on decisions they already have rendered. It also is consistent with other court decisions that have been issued globally.”
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.
About a month after its last firmware release, Nintendo has put out a new update for the 3DS, providing this super uninformative note in version 2.1.0-4’s list of changes:
System stability improvements and other adjustments: Further improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments have been made to enhance the user experience.
That sounds like anti-piracy measures, right? Well, according to people who’ve tried it out, the update doesn’t appear to employ any protections against flashcarts. So far, all anyone’s noticed is the NetFront web browser has been altered somehow, going from v.17412 to 1.7455; and colors were added to 3DS Sounds' StreetPass data.
Nintendo does seem to have piracy on its mind, though, as its 2.1.0-4 update notes contain this block of text:
Super Famicom “Game Doctor” devices. These devices are meant for nefarious, swashbuckling purposes, allowing you to copy SNES games to, and then play from, 3.5” floppies. They’re still piratey now, of course, but I think the vintage of the system and the devices makes them more “cool old things” than “items you should feel like a jerk for owning.” I really like these crummy logos and the super utilitarian, gray-box product design.
Buy: SNES system, games
As predicted, today’s portable Virtual Console release is Kirby’s Dream Land, the debut of the pink character (or white, if you go by the Game Boy box). It’s not Gargoyle’s Quest, but Tinkle Popo is well loved here, too.
Other eShop/DSiWare releases today: Chillingo’s Trials HD knock-off Moto eXtreme, Skyworks’ Boardwalk Ball Toss (really?), Circle’s curious action RPG The Lost Town: The Dust, and Cosmigo’s Hearts Spades Euchre.
Nintendo put out something else last night: a new DSi V.1.4.3 update promising the predictably vague “behind-the-scenes improvements to system performance”. Those behind-the-scene changes include new measures to block a selection of popular flashcarts, including the SuperCard DSTwo, Acekard 2i, and iPlayer.
It’s interesting that even with the 3DS out, Nintendo hasn’t scaled back its efforts to fight piracy on the DSi models, slowly hacking away at known exploits. Now if only the company would include substantial improvements to the DSi experience with these firmware releases.
See also: More eShop news
Alleged Nintendo 3DS “Panda” development system on eBay. This looks an awful lot like the real 3DS dev system, with red accents on the back and a red 3D slider, and that sure does look like debug-type stuff on the screen, but of course there’s no way to be absolutely certain.
I suppose it’s possible the release of a system like this, which can play pre-release code, could lead to the discovery of a method of playing unsigned code (like homebrew) on retail systems? Maybe? Or it could just lead to having an awesome black and red 3DS.
If you see a blue notification light on your 3DS this morning, don’t get your hopes up, as the new firmware isn’t available yet; it’s just a message from Nintendo letting you know that the eShop/browser/DSiWare migration update releases this evening.
The note also warns Ridge Racer 3D owners that the game can freeze in the Grand Prix/Single Play mode it they “[press] the B button to return from Race Selection or Machine Selection.” Nintendo will put out another system update to fix the problem later this month — I wonder if there will more items in that release (e.g. Netflix)?
One other change mentioned in the memo: automatic system updates, which Nintendo has talked about previously in regards to the 3DS’s anti-piracy protections.
See also: More eShop news
[Image via Player’s Pulse]
Jurry-rigged device for dumping 3DS games. Scene group Legacy claims to be the first to dump ROMs from 3DS carts, backing up (and posting online) copies of Super Monkey Ball 3D and Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars.
This doesn’t mean rampant piracy like we saw on the DS is now possible on Nintendo’s new system, as there currently are no flashcarts or emulators that can run 3DS ROMs — even if emulators could, it would be difficult to display the stereoscopic 3D effect without an appropriate monitor.
Nor does this mean that we’ll see 3DS flashcarts soon. Two years passed after the DSi’s release before manufacturers put out devices with DSi-mode compatibility, and those carts still have their quirks, from what I hear.
As usual, we do not condone seeking out these ROMs or pirating any games. We’re just keeping you abreast on the latest in the war between Nintendo and hackers!
See also: More piracy news
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.