News Article

Nintendo Blocks 3DS Flashcard With Latest Firmware Update

Posted by Andy Green

It didn't take long

A short while ago a functional 3DS flashcard emerged into view that gave people the opportunity to play ROMS on their 3DS.

ROMS are a particularly touchy subject as many do in fact use them as a means of backing up legally owned content. However, the Nintendo DS suffered greatly because of them as many flashcard users downloaded tonnes of games they had not purchased, meaning they did not legally own the software.

Nintendo has said it will be utilising system updates on the 3DS to put a stop to the use of flashcards and it seems it has done just that as the company that manufactured the flashcard has confirmed the latest firmware update has stopped it from being compatible with the 3DS.

Nintendo seems to be on the ball with its defence against illegal behaviour on the 3DS. This is largely down to the fact the 3DS has a much more advanced online infrastructure than the DS did. Thanks to firmware updates such as this, the company can keep on top of restricting illegal activity.

Naturally, we encourage discussion on this subject in the comment section, but please observe our Community Rules, and refrain from straying from this particular topic or posting any links "to any download sites, torrents or other resources that allow users to gain access to illegal content or related activities".

Thanks to Ryan Millar for the tip

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User Comments (78)

Yellowgerbil

#1

Yellowgerbil said:

Well that was brought down quickly.:-D I am glad that Nintendo seems to be able to block everything now.

Kifa

#2

Kifa said:

Honestly I've never met any single person that used a flashcart to backup their original DS software. All I saw was enormous amounts of pirated content, but even more troubling was the fact that those people didn't really think they were doing anything wrong. "It's just a stupid small 'mobile' game, why would I pay for it?" they said...

It's great that Nintendo keeps the 3DS secure, and I hope that it will keep it that way right until the end of console's lifecycle. Way to go, N!

Kifa

#4

Kifa said:

@x-mas_mii Keyword: minority. I guess those people are very few compared to the whole number of 3DS owners, so it should not matter much.

Besides - many retail game cartriges contain firmware update and force it before the first use.

@ErnisDy Oh sure they can, but there are only so many ways you can bypass security and they will eventually run out of options. And every exploit can be patched, unless it's a major flaw in security architecture, and that is unlikely because such a hole would have been discovered long ago. :)

Fazermint

#5

Fazermint said:

I'm not so worried about the whole piracy issue. The Wii and DS were hugely successful commercially, yet it is very easy to play pirated games on them if you know what to look for.

Linkstrikesback

#7

Linkstrikesback said:

@Kifa "Such a hole would have been discovered long ago".

Yeah, no. It took them years to finally hack the ps3 successfully on that scale. It probably will happen eventually.

allav866

#10

allav866 said:

@Kifa It's like Game&Watch Vermin, where flashcard developers will try to use different paths to get past the 3DS's security, but Nintendo will be waiting for them with a hammer!

Wii_Win

#12

Wii_Win said:

GG. Not particularly surprising, Ninty has been pwning in this department so far.

bouncer0304

#15

bouncer0304 said:

Well done for reporting it to Nintendo guys! I know they'll be working on a workaround right now but as long as we keep reporting them, they'll eventually give up. Hopefully in the end it'll cost too much to money to keep updating it and they'll let it go. While it's true the ds and wii sold well they suffered because of the piracy. Let's keep the 3ds where it is right now- a great handheld with a catalogue which is shaping up to match the ds library.

Ralizah

#16

Ralizah said:

LOL I think it's clear that Nintendo does not intend to go easy on pirates this time around. The amount of piracy on the DS was just insane.

ollietaro

#17

ollietaro said:

The other side of it is that if you don't buy games, future sequels may not get made. That was probably one of the reasons the second Fire Emblem DS game did not get an official English release (another reason being the immense translation). Since more people bought Fire Emblem: Awakening this time 'round, the future of Fire Emblem is secured because we just read that it would have been the last game in the series if it didn't sell well. Can you imagine if most 3DS owners pirated FE:A? We would never see another FE game again.

darkfenrir

#18

darkfenrir said:

Asking someone else to send me games? Who? And how to send them here? Yeah, those are the biggest problem I had. Not to count it's freaking expensive here. The only games I managed to buy (and the money is very, very hard to get too) is Pokemon SoulSilver, White and White 2. :(

Undead_terror

#19

Undead_terror said:

@Epic Oh you and your call of duty ;)

________________________________

________________________________

Still waiting for Nintendo ID for the 3ds, and others are wanting mii verse.

6ch6ris6

#21

6ch6ris6 said:

i would still buy games though, but only the ones that i really want and i want a boxed copy!

Mk_II

#23

Mk_II said:

Actually, the rampant piracy did in fact ruin the DS 3rd party software market. Only the very best-selling games, usually Nintendo titles, were stocked and sold and a lot of games were never released.

ThumperUK

#24

ThumperUK said:

What many gamers fail to realise is that mass piracy is theft. It is also costing them, in both higher prices and more developers going to the wall thus reducing the number of really creative games. If you are a designer who becomes jobless then you're not likely to be a fan of those people who are stealing the games you design.

FineLerv

#25

FineLerv said:

It's great news, but there are many a pirate that don't even connect their DS to the Internet.

Bulbousaur

#27

Bulbousaur said:

This is good news, but I wouldn't be surprised if the flashcard makers just release an update within the next couple of weeks...

Kaine_Morrison

#28

Kaine_Morrison said:

I heard that you can use a flash cart to watch videos on the DS.
I thought that was kinda cool.
But isn't using a flash cart obsolete now, what with the 3DS having a SD port?

Donjwolf

#29

Donjwolf said:

I have never pirated a single DS game, but I knew someone who did for ALL his games. It's sad.

demonta4

#30

demonta4 said:

It would be cool if they released movies on 3ds like thhy did for psp,that would at lease get rid of 25% of hackers

Otto-Soq

#31

Otto-Soq said:

They will never win from cyber pirates. Clever people don't do 3DS updates, and update their flashcard when needed to. Price drop for games is the solution, i think. Ps: i don't do flash.

LordGeovanni

#32

LordGeovanni said:

@Kaine_Morrison
Don't know the specifics, but the SD card is probably harder to work thru than the Game Slot. Game Slots register as a game to run, while the SD Cards slot is a series of programs and files. The 3DS (should) would be more careful with the data and access from there.

Without the illegal side of the market, it would just work great. Homebrew and backup of already purchased games... The difference is that Homebrew is more along the lines of Indie gamers and the backups are more like Download titles on the eShop. Now if Nintendo was to actually make a Nintendo ID instead of a System Access Only, it would eliminate all the legal reasons for a Flash and therefore make it redundant to have one and/or obviously illegal. Keep in mind that as long as there is technology, there are people trying to exploit it. Some of our (US) Federal hackers were independent Hackers that either messed with the government too much or hacked somethings to understand how they worked and then were offered a job because of their knowledge. (The first group were Hackers, the second group uses the old term of hacker). As the saying goes: "The last technology that couldn't be hacked was the abacus".

Cranky

#34

Cranky said:

Unfortunately the flashcard in question does not 'hack' the console to enable homebrew and such.

RockyAdrian

#36

RockyAdrian said:

So.....instead of fighting flashcards, why Nintendo doesn´t release the SNES and GBA games that everyone wants, that way there would be no need to have a flashcard, since all those games would be on the e-shop. That, and the fact, that I think, they are pretty expensive, compared to other games that come for Android or IOS.

Kaihaku

#38

Kaihaku said:

"ROMS are a particularly touchy subject as many do in fact use them as a means of backing up legally owned content. "

Many? I've never met a single person who used ROMs to back up legally owned content.

AlbertoC

#39

AlbertoC said:

Open the posibility for homebrew and don't endorse piracy, just like the guys that made Wii homebrew possible did. Then you have a supporter here.

I will stick on buying boxed copies, even if it costs me a lot of work (do you have any idea how hard was it to get a boxed cartridge of Luigi's Mansion Dark moon? Terrible, i tell you... Ditto with Rhythm Thief, i had to IMPORT it from Amazon...) Those boxes make me the owner of my games... I know i just have a license to use them and the code is not mine and whatnot, but if my 3DS gets stolen or broken THERE is the rest of my games. Everything boils down to buying another console and case closed, play away. (Do you see the point of "backing up" games? Huh?)

There Nintendo, i'm not a pirate. Where is the account-based system in your consoles? And when do you plan we can upload the progress in our games to the cloud? Where is the LEGAL way of doing this? When? Know that I'm waiting.

retro_player_22

#40

retro_player_22 said:

I'm glad they are trying but knowing the pirates, they'll never give up. They'll find a way to bypass that security one way or another, whether through SD Card or using an official game as a bypass.

S7eventhHeaven

#42

S7eventhHeaven said:

the UK is the worst place for R4 cards. it is often mobile phone shops that sell them near us and before gamestation went bust they used to sell them at our branch. out door open markets usually get away with selling them. usually you will find stalls that sell blank dvds, cds and blu-rays will also be selling the cards. Nintendo should work with local trading standards to get them removed.

ValentineMeikin

#44

ValentineMeikin said:

@S7eventhHeaven I almost wonder if that's why places like Gamestation went bust.
Anyway, I'm in the UK.
I'm buying a PS3 for Super Robot Wars OG2 and Project Diva F, the latter being a completely official release.
I've never been fond of emulation, since several games never work right with a emulator.

japzone

#45

japzone said:

Not like this does much in the end. Most of the major DS flashcards have already circumvented the latest blocks in System v6+. I wouldn't be surprised if the 3DS Flashcard could do the same.

Yoshis_VGM

#46

Yoshis_VGM said:

Nintendo was pretty on top of it. Like everyone else, this isn't the end...the company can easily update it. Hopefully Nintendo will continue to listen to the warnings of their consumers and continue to update the 3DS to keep the DS flashcard disaster from happening again.

Wheels2050

#48

Wheels2050 said:

@ThumperUK: No, actually, it's not - piracy is copyright infringement, which by definition is distinct from theft.

It's still illegal, but it's not theft.

It's certainly in Nintendo's interest to crack down on flashcards, so I don't hold it against them. However, it is a pity that this means developers don't have an avenue for homebrew software - coming from a PC gaming background, I still think console gamers miss out on a lot by not being able to play mods, new software (or even develop their own).

theblackdragonAdmin

#49

theblackdragon said:

Hey guys, just to remind you all — we don't care how big a pirate your brother/uncle/step-sister/cousin/neighbor/teacher/science lab partner is, nor do we care how many ROMs you personally own. Please keep the discussion focused on the article at hand. Thanks in advance!

md1500

#51

md1500 said:

And I'd bet anything that the latest update is required for the next 3DS games to function. It might even be included on the cart.

Cyb3Rnite

#52

Cyb3Rnite said:

You dudes have no idea how fast pirates can adapt. I expect this fight to last long.

Gridatttack

#53

Gridatttack said:

Saw it coming. That flashcard is not completed yet to achieve its full potential.

And so, the endless fight against piracy starts...

Vincent294

#54

Vincent294 said:

Pirating games is like stealing. It hurts game devs. And 3DS games are usually $40 & often times even less? If you can afford a 3DS, you can probably afford to support some game devs & their families. Flashcard makers are disgraces to me.

Bass_X0

#56

Bass_X0 said:

@alav866 - you mean it starts out easy to block at first but eventually there are too many to block coming too fast and it becomes impossible to block them all?

MarioIdent

#57

MarioIdent said:

Well I'm happy. :-) Hopefully if something like this for Wii U emerges, then it will be blocked like this. Well done Nintendo!

allav866

#58

allav866 said:

@Bass_X0 No, this is GAME A, not GAME B, so it's not impossible. It just requires that Nintendo pays very close attention to the flashcard developers' movements.

Extremist

#61

Extremist said:

The problem with the 'system updates'-protection is that they (usually) don't add anything new to the firmware required for the games to play. So if you remove the firmware version check from a ROM-file, it'll work just as well on an older firmware.

element187

#62

element187 said:

Good on Nintendo. Piracy keeps software expensive on all systems... Sadly they will release a different card that gets around the fix and Ninty will have to do another fix. A never ending game of cat and mouse.

RockyAdrian

#63

RockyAdrian said:

Well, part of my comment was erased. I would like to know, with all due respect, what was the reason. Thanks in advance for the answer.

Araknie

#68

Araknie said:

Good good, since i buy this stuff i would feel angry for people using the console for free.

Patriplexity

#69

Patriplexity said:

I really think it's funny how Nintendo responds to pirates and flashcards almost instantly, while if they recieve a letter or E-mail from you it's very likely they'll never respond :|
(I don't condone hacking/pirating by the way. And this post is a joke, I understand that Nintendo is incredibly busy.)

Dogpigfish

#70

Dogpigfish said:

Pirating doesn't do anything??? Remember Dreamcast and Jaguar? Both financial ruin because of theft. If you want a game, support the hard working developers and pay for it.

ThumperUK

#71

ThumperUK said:

@Wheels2050
Whether it is 'theft' or 'copyright infringement' depends on which country you are based in. Thieves (which is what they are) like to call it copyright infringement as it sounds better. The FBI considers piracy theft, as do authorities here in the UK, maybe over there in Australia it is different?

DarkKirby

#72

DarkKirby said:

If only Nintendo would put this much effort into stopping hackers and cheaters in their online games.

paperskyx

#73

paperskyx said:

I respect Nintendo WAY too much to ever steal from them. iTunes, now that's a different story.. I have partial morals.

3dbrains

#74

3dbrains said:

my 3ds is off for repair (wont even turn on) did the update bring anything new... i'm about a month out of date.

golephish

#75

golephish said:

@paperskyx itunes lol. and yeah seems there actually was an update released and the pirates updated the cards to now to be working in 6.1.0-11u

thetruth111

#76

thetruth111 said:

I made a temporary account just to state that people putting down pirates have no right due to the nintendo ds lite only started selling so many consoles after the r4 was able to play commercial roms and if you look at the current sales for all gaming systems the hacked or pirated systems are all in the top ten sales while the 'secure ones' are last after all did you know the 3ds is bombing in the sales department? if not look it up because its true and it because of nintendos ignorance to the fact that pirates buy more console, games, and all around hardware that the average gamer. their is always going to be pirates and just like refusing to give a human air the 3ds and wii u are dieing without any flashcards, before you try to argue this point research it on google. im not a pirate but i live by facts and i think those who condem pirates without looking at the truth of the matter are a bunch of morons, meaning 33.7% of the human race.

roxas84

#77

roxas84 said:

I don't think other place would have more problems about this then in "LAOS" because we don't have a "LEGAL" place to buy game cards at all, i think if Nintendo wants to stop this they should think worldwide for other countries too, for me, I don't use flash cards, I go buy my game cards at Thailand, but still it takes a LONG LONG LONG time for the games to come and i don't usually go to Thailand too, so i think it's good that most of you still have Legal shops to buy the game cards

Deathbyillusi0n

#78

Deathbyillusi0n said:

I have to agree with @thetruth111 also its not theft it's copyright infringement you can't call it theft when you didn't steal a physical item. Also they talk about that it's a loss in sales which is a load of crap because if a pirate usually doesn't want to spend the money on the game. If there was no way to play it free then lots of times not all but lots times they won't buy it regardless. In those situationsiit's not a lose in sale cause they weren't going to buy the game anyways. Also ONLY buy consoles that can be hacked so that I can do homebrew games. There is a lot of other people out there that do the same thing. Once we by the device we should have the right to download what we want with them. Instead of Nintendo wasting there time with blocking the cards with updates because we all no they are going to lose. Also the game companies need to stop complaining about the pirates. If they are so worried about it why not make decebt anti piracy measures in the games itself so that they can't played. If they want something done they don't something about it and not complain. Like for PC games. It's not up to Microsoft or apples job to make the game unplayableor have security pprotections on the gameto make it unplayable. IIt's the game company itself. Like stuff for PC they make a serial key that has to be activated online and can only be used once. Maybe they need to download something like that. Also it's a load of crap about that's why game prices are so high. Like take the PS3 for instant for years there was no way to play backups of PS3 games. Yet the prices were still 60 bucks. Even now with the jailbreak geohotz did you had to be on a certain firmware to download it and you can't even play online now because Sony can detect it and block your consol. But anyways why were the prices so high for games on the PS3? It's because the game developers are greedy. Many people can't afford the prices for games. If they made them more affordable then more people could buy them
They should be offering cheaper games and have more download able in game content you can purchase so that they can make more money.

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