Nintendo's first line of defense has been broken
The Nintendo Switch,
this Christmas's most sought-after present, has been hacked, paving the
way for installations of unofficial "homebrew" software – and
potentially even pirated games.
A recent hacking
conference in Germany saw a team of tinkerers take advantage of a quirk
of the console's off-the-shelf Nvidia Tegra chip, allowing them to use a
feature that Nvidia's own engineers and developers use to access
deep-level functions of the chipset not usually accessible to the
While the video explaining the specifics of the hack has
now been removed, should you be interested in exploring the hack in the
future it appears that you'll need to make sure your console stays at
Switch firmware version 3.0. That means keeping your console offline to
avoid newer system updates, and picking up a physical copy of Pokken
Tournament DX, which comes with firmware version 3.0 onboard. Should the
hackers then release their homebrew launcher, it should work.
are inherent dangers in attempting such a hack however. Firstly, and
most obviously, it voids your warranty, leaving you without Nintendo's
support should your console fail.
software not sanctioned by Nintendo loses the quality assurance that the
company offers, potentially leading to a sub-par experience, and
perhaps even locking you out of later Nintendo releases that require
newer firmware. That's before considering the damage piracy does to the
gaming industry and the people that work in it – a path that is often
walked from the first steps of honest homebrew tinkering to more
nefarious piratical ends.
Nintendo has long struggled
with the homebrew community and pirates, with its Wii and Nintendo DS
consoles particularly susceptible to hacking and piratical activities.
Don't be suprised if the Switch's security is stepped up in the coming