In November it became clear that homebrew was going to be a reality on the Switch, with a breakthrough declared for those most determined to use it. That process appears to be continually moving forward, with a Homebrew Launcher apparently coming 'soon'.

This was confirmed by hackers Plutoo, Derrek and Naehrwert, who appeared at the 34C3 hacking conference in Germany this week. They confirmed that they're working with the team behind the November announcement to finalise the Launcher, though no deadline was given beyond 'soon'.

The talk itself, regardless of feelings about the nature of such hacking, was interesting; after all, it delved into detail on what makes the Switch tick, and even the sorts of changes Nintendo implemented to make hacking tougher compared to the 3DS, for example. It transpired that the GPU - a stock NVIDIA Tegra X1 - was a bit of a weak point, as the chip is so well known and documented from other hardware that's readily available. The talk shows how many security gaps Nintendo has closed since the 3DS, albeit that hasn't stopped determined hackers.

The hackers themselves, in this case, are being very deliberate in what data and tools they're releasing; their stated intent is that the work will be used for homebrew, not outright piracy. Of course, the likelihood is that some will work on options to support piracy of Switch games.

Of course, much has changed since the days of rampant DS piracy. With this exploit systems need to be on version 3.0, whereas Nintendo is already well beyond that. Those that get a clean unit, keep it offline and then update from the Pokkén Tournament DX cartridge can install version 3.0, but that system will be restricted to that firmware for anyone wanting to utilise this homebrew exploit in its current form. As a result it's a very restrictive and niche option, likely to pass the vast majority of Switch owners by.

In any case, it seems a Homebrew Launcher is now close to being a reality on Switch, something that's always seemed inevitable since the system launched.

[source wololo.net]