News Article

New Nintendo 3DS Delays Planned Homebrew Channel

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

New hardware and upcoming update give pause for thought

Recently we reported that a homebrew channel was cited as being in the final stages of development, leading us towards opening the can of worms that accompanies every Nintendo system. The hacker behind the planned app, smealum, stated that the app will not run illegal 3DS ROMS, but was planned to support homebrew games and apps. The area becomes fuzzier with confirmation that some emulators will likely be supported, while a future plan is to use the channel to essentially make the 3DS region-free and run game carts from all regions on any given system.

Since that point the channel has caused some frenzied speculation — yet to be clarified — around which game will be needed to make it function; it was made clear that a particular retail game would be needed. That's all on the backburner, however — the announcement of the New Nintendo 3DS models has led to this homebrew channel release being postponed. It arrives in Japan on 11th October, and smealum has stated that he needs to assess what the new system throws up; there are no plans to delay into 2015.

This is an interesting project to follow, as Nintendo's active efforts with regular system updates continue to necessitate modifications to the exploit; the improved security on the 3DS that requires the latest updates in order to access services such as the eShop also limit the appeal of homebrew projects that can't keep up and get past the latest roadblocks.

Interesting times ahead. Let us know what you think, though please observe our Community Rules.

[via tinycartridge.com, twitter.com]

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User Comments (38)

Jazzer94

#1

Jazzer94 said:

"while a future plan is to use the channel to essentially make the 3DS region-free and run game carts from all regions on any given system"

This would make me so happy.

Shepdawg1

#2

Shepdawg1 said:

I expected about as much. I'm surprised that he's even been able to keep a stable home brew app going so far, considering how often the firmware is updated.

ferrers405

#3

ferrers405 said:

And I think Nintendo should put a Firmware weekly to stop this exploits, piracy must be prevented, even Homebrew Channel it's not piracy it opens a huge door to Flashcard groups.

Kaze_Memaryu

#4

Kaze_Memaryu said:

...the app will not run illegal 3DS ROMS...

Dream lively, smealum. Dream of the nonexistent day a homebrew channel will be made well enough to prevent piracy while bypassing region-locks.

KingBoo01

#5

KingBoo01 said:

@ferrers405 That would be awful. Even if I weren't to use the Homebrew Channel, its nothing more than a hassle, especially for those who have internet caps, or slow internet. I would probably stop updating altogether. Also, @Kaze_Memaryu technically Smealum's version wouldn't support 3DS roms, what would probably happen is using this channel as a base to program a rom reader, however that would end up being a separate app unrelated to this.

WaLzgiStaff

#7

WaLzgi said:

And then a firmware update gets released and forces you to update if you connect to the internet ;)

HeroOfCybertron

#8

HeroOfCybertron said:

Oh boohoo, I'm perfectly happy using my 3DS the way it was intended and region lock doesn't bother me since if a game doesn't comes out in NA It's just another game I don't have to bother wasting my money on.

LostHeaven

#9

LostHeaven said:

I highly doubt this will not be used, even if indirectly, to run emulators and roms on the 3DS.

rjejr

#10

rjejr said:

The new New Nintendo 3DS.

I hate it when companies give their products stupid names. Though if they are just calling it 3DS and stopping production on the old 1 Im ok with that though it doesnt seem fair to unsuspectung consumers. Based on the changes, 3DS NFC would work. 3DS Nipple is a bit weird though. Maybe 3DS N and 3DS N XL, the N can stand for New, NFC and Nipple. Maybe a small n to match the small I in DSi. 3DSn. They can turn the Wii U u upside down and keep the blue graphic to sort of tie the systems together. Wii U and 3DS n.

Gelantious

#11

Gelantious said:

@ferrers405
With cheap systems like the 3DS people will just end up having two. One which they update to use for all e-shop titles and online gaming. And one for homebrew stuff which will stay offline. Frankly I'd go for it just for the region unlock, it's annoying with loads of games that I can't play because of it. And that will never be released in the EU.

Kosmo

#12

Kosmo said:

I hope Nintendo wins against piracy this time around. Because Homebrew WILL be used for piracy.

Gridatttack

#13

Gridatttack said:

Kill region lock. Its a plague.

@Kaze_Memaryu No one is dreaming about that thay. Im sure he perfectly knows one day a ROM loader will appear, but of course, it seems that is better blame the one who made the homebrew launcher possible :P

unrandomsam

#15

unrandomsam said:

@LostHeaven Yeah but if it can run GBA games properly there is no reason for Nintendo to not just allow it legitimately. (Other than they would have to admit they were lying the whole time about it).

@Kaze_Memaryu The anti piracy in devolution has not been cracked by anybody.

@Kosmo Not sure it will. Needs another exploit. The only capable and willing people want to sell flashcards.

@WaLzgi It needs a retail game to start (Unknown which one) if it is a Nintendo one they might benefit by its price going from next to nothing to full price. (Plus they could do a reprint with the bug patched). It is also not certain it can be patched (The Brawl one couldn't).

RupeeClock

#16

RupeeClock said:

All things considering, smart move.
Just in case the New 3DS's firmware doesn't block the exploit.

Region free is probably what interests me the most as well. Anyone wanting to try it out though is best off not updating their current 3DS systems until the exploit is released though, once exploited you can probably launch game carts via the channel to bypass firmware version checks.

retro_player_22

#17

retro_player_22 said:

I remember for the Wii, we need Twilight Princess to get the Twilight thing to work and access the Homebrew Channel, would be nice if that one game that would be perfect to access the 3DS Homebrew Channel is Ocarina of Time 3D, I mean who else doesn't had that game already? I would be so happy if we got region free back on portable again.

tux_peng

#20

tux_peng said:

But, remember... Though you opened the Door of Time in the name of peace... Ganondorf, the Gerudo King of Thieves, used it to enter this forbidden Sacred Realm!

I like homebrew, but this will surely be used to load ROMs, there are already DS flashcarts that work, and 3ds flashcarts that worked ands are lookind fi=or a new method of loading

Starwolf_UK

#21

Starwolf_UK said:

Interesting thing to note or bear in mind. Playing an import game using region unlock hacks and going online with this may violate the Nintendo Network terms and conditions. Not sure if activation of streetpass or spotpass on these also does so (streetpassing via a Nintendo zone I guess uses Nintendo Network).

I guess if you have a spare 3DS such things won't matter though.

My only hope for Homebrew is a Virtual Boy emulator (being able to experience it minus the headaches would be great). I would have thought VB Wario Land would get a 3D Classics version (the cream of the crop of VB games, sounds like just the ticket) but it is clearly not going to happen officially at this point.

@retro_player_22 It is not OOT 3D. smealum gave hints that the game was cheap (OOT is not), on the eShop in some but not all regions (OOT is on all)...then got really made that people ran with this and speculated as to what the game was (as it is just making people waste money).

ToastyYogurt

#23

ToastyYogurt said:

Mmmm, makes me wonder if the exploit depends on a bug in the hardware. That would make sense. It would be harder for Ninty to patch, and if the mod was released before the New 3DS that might give Ninty some time to find the exploit and fix it on the hardware side.
Regardless, I hope this mod does well, but I'm worried some guy will write up a ROM booter. Would be nice to have homebrew, region free and a little emulation (I mean, come on, the system should be able to run SNES games. Would also be nice to have a wide selection of GBA games, too.)

Iggly

#24

Iggly said:

I personally won't be using this mod on the N3DS, though I'll probably have it on my 3DS so it can have some purpose after the N3DS takes the spotlight.

Gelantious

#25

Gelantious said:

@piojito_O
Previously they've been able to block such forced updates once they can make changes to the OS. And those games would be listed with warnings on homebrew sites until there's an update to bypass it.

GhotiH

#26

GhotiH said:

I will mod mine first day I can. Modding my Wii was a great decisions, and I still have yet to pirate a single game I don't own a legitimate copy of. Hoping for a Riivolution-like app for custom textures and music in SSB43DS.

Discostew

#28

Discostew said:

@BSFsontails1012 Homebrew is not necessarily piracy, but can potentially lead to it. This particular homebrew lacks the permissions that are required to load ROMs, and it is not known whether it will ever be capable of that. This is more for people who want to make their own stuff on the 3DS to its full extent.

Sforzando

#30

Sforzando said:

Remember, if Nintendo killed the region lock and offered a dev kit for bedroom programmers, this channel would be unneeded!

ecco6t9

#31

ecco6t9 said:

It is a bit humorous to see Nintendo one step ahead. A good "hacker" would appreciate the challenge.

rayword45

#32

rayword45 said:

Yeah there is no reason to support a region lock.

Any company trying to keep modders out look no further than the PS3 to see exactly what and what NOT to do. They had OtherOS, nobody skilled cared enough to find an exploit. Remove that, DING DING DING exploit for all y'all mothers.

A region free system with enough capabilities to please a homebrew dev is less likely to attract hackers.

DashDG

#33

DashDG said:

There are so many legal games to play for my 3DS... an app like this is useless for legal customers.

QuickSilver88

#34

QuickSilver88 said:

Just an update for those that don't follow the scene......The smea hack is just a user mode exploit......meaning there is no kernel exploit which would be needed to do a rom loader. Getting a user mode exploit out will give more people access to look for kernel exploit but another one may NEVER be found. Firmware 4.x does have a full kernel exploit and a flash cart team named Gateway has done amazing things with that exploit including running a redirected nand from the sd card (called emunand) so you can have the latest firmware version while keeping your sysnand on 4.x, they have region fee, they have a multi-rom intface right in the 3DS dash, they have a tool to dump your own roms, backup and rstore saves and run your own dumps online. No one really knows who the hell GW is or how big the team is but they own the 3DS right now and have been looking for a newer kernel exploit for over a year with no success....couldmhappen but if U really want in on 3DS hacking/modding U better get a 4.5 unit while they can still be found at retail.

AlphaAlex

#36

AlphaAlex said:

Seeing as there's all the talk about region lock, let me tell you about this "glitch" I found. When I put my American cartridge of Kid Icarus: Uprising into my European 3DS, nothing happens. However, when I put an European cartridge of Pokemon Y into my American 3DS, the game appears on the home menu and it tells me that an update is available for this title (which is wrong, interestingly). However, when I attempt to play the game, it doesn't work; it says that the game card could not be read. I have an idea as to why that is, but can anyone guess why? :)

rjejr

#37

rjejr said:

@Alpha2797 - I'm not a big fan of 3DS+, too similar to PS+, what with the S and the +. Maybe if PS+ hadn't been out for 3 years already and somewhat popular. Though I suppose Nintendo could market it w/ "the 3DS+ console doesn't require a yearly subscription to play online" ;-) Though I would much rather we all refered to it as 3DS+ than New 3DS. I know it's new, but I want a name.

yuwarite

#38

yuwarite said:

What's the point of Homebrew on this kind of closed device, in this day and age, when smart devices exist - which have GamePad support and can be easily output to TV's.

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