3DS Homebrew Built By Hacker

November 22, 2014 12:00 PM
3ds homebrew launcher

The 3DS homebrew launcher has been created by coder Jordan ‘Smealut’ Rabet.

22 year old coder Jordan ‘Smealut’ Rabet is the first to break through the 3DS’ security to build a 3DS homebrew launcher – all it took was a couple of months’ work and an obscure 2011 3DS puzzle game: Cubic Ninja.

According to user ‘Ryukouki’ – a reporter on gbatemp.net who worked together with Smealum on the project – the 3DS homebrew exploit is incredibly easy and all it requires is a 3DS, an SD card, an internet connection, and a copy of Cubic Ninja (either physical or digital). With it, users will be able to use emulators, custom games (potentially the 3DS homebrew’s test game 3DSCraft: Minecraft made for 3DS), software, applications, and even messaging.

After Raben’s public revelation on Twitter that the game Cubic Ninja is required to install the 3DS homebrew launcher, its cost and demand skyrocketed. Once valued around a dollar, it has rapidly shot up to $40, Arstechnica.com said, and on Amazon UK it is being sold for almost £60. Mere hours after Raben’s Tweet, Nintendo pulled the digital version of the game, only available from Japan’s 3DS eShop.

cubic ninja

The game which enables the 3DS homebrew launcher installation.

It still has yet to be seen how Nintendo will resolve this breach of security, as they have made no comments on the 3DS homebrew exploit. But according to Eurogamer, a company spokesperson stated that “Nintendo continuously monitors all threats to its products’ security. We will take the necessary technical and legal steps to prevent the facilitation of piracy and to protect intellectual property rights.”

Indeed, there’s little doubt that Nintendo won’t block the 3DS homebrew one way or another – they have made it clear from the start that piracy on their hardware will not be tolerated, even filing lawsuits against companies which sold R4 flashcards for the DSLite.

But the question that lingers is: to what extent can this 3DS homebrew launcher be considered piracy? It will apparently be able to run emulators, which many consider to be a form of piracy. However, the creator of the 3DS homebrew – Smealum – has stated that he does not condone piracy and that the exploit will not play ROMs. But it’s hard to deny that releasing the 3DS homebrew to the public will possibly open a floodgate – other hackers could potentially create software to play ROMs for the 3DS homebrew launcher. Even Ryukouki said himself: “The possibilities are endless” and that the possibility of the 3DS homebrew playing ROMs is “a question of if/when.”

Whatever the case, Rabet remains adamant that he does not want to enable piracy with the 3DS homebrew. “If you release an exploit that’s too powerful you might let people do whatever they want with their console – which can be great – but you also have the possibility of piracy…which isn’t so great.” He told Eurogamer. “I don’t want to release something others can use to steal someone else’s intellectual property.” He continued. “That’s not what I want.”

The 3DS homebrew launcher will supposedly become public today on the 22nd November.

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