Over the past few months we've been reporting on the efforts of 3DS hacker smealum, who's been actively working towards releasing a homebrew exploit and channel for the 3DS. System updates and then the New Nintendo 3DS model delayed progress, but it seems that the exploit is now just days away from arrival.
It's been announced on gbatemp.net (thanks for the heads up, The_Ninja) that details for accessing the channel will go into the public domain on 22nd November. This covers the files and instructions depending on the system version installed on the hardware, in addition to confirmation of the 3DS game cart that'll be needed to complete the installation process; it's been a closely guarded secret. Smealum has also posted an updated picture of the channel in action, below.
It's been stressed throughout the development of this homebrew exploit that it won't allow 3DS ROMS to be played, which partially heads off criticism that it'll contribute to piracy. It's previously been stated that it may allow for region-free play with legitimate copies of games, in the future, while at launch its core purpose seems to be opening the doors for apps, game projects and emulators. A sample project is 3DScraft, which appears to be a primitive recreation of Minecraft running through the loader application.
The topic of homebrew can be controversial, of course — while some feel it's a chance for innovation and fun for programmers, other perspectives may bemoan that it can open the door to piracy, while others may refuse to accept the unapproved hacking of the 3DS system on any level. As this will be the first major homebrew application on the system it'll likely attract viewpoints on both sides, while Nintendo's active system update regime in this generation will likely attempt to block it in future.
We welcome comments and discussion on this, as always, though remember to observe our Community Rules while discussing this topic.