The 3DS Is Being Hacked, And Why This Is Good News

Luke Plunkett:

Over the past week, hackers have made substantial progress in their efforts to hack Nintendo's 3DS handheld. While, yes, this will have negative consequences for things like piracy, I'd like to think you, dear reader, can see the more practical benefits of getting under the system's skin.

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ziggurcat1728d ago (Edited 1728d ago )

kraptaku down voted.

there is no benefit to having these devices hacked as all it does is force these companies to clamp down and punish those who wish to use their devices in a clean, legitimate fashion.

Yi-Long1728d ago (Edited 1728d ago )

... who would very rarely play on a handheld, and thus wouldn't consider purchasing one unless it's hacked and able to play 'illegal' games.

That might seem like a bad thing, but TBH it isn't. I wouldn't have bought it if it wasn't hacked, so they wouldn't have gotten my money for the hardware. Now they might.

2nd of all it means I will try and play games I otherwise might never have played, which also means I will be open to many more genres and series, and when I like those, I'll end up buying them for the home-consoles.

Good examples would be Everybody's Golf, which I downloaded and loved for the PSP, so I ended up buying Everybody's Golf for the PS3. The same goes for other games like Disgaea, God of War, etc etc.

Basically, it works the same way as any other form of íllegal downloading, in that it makes you try things you normally might not try, thus discovering new stuff you'll love, thus turning you into a future consumer.

Kinda what you've seen happening with anime/manga, Kinda what you see happening with TV-series that might not be shown in a certain area but find a fanbase through illegal downloads, after which those fans will buy the DVD/BR set. Kinda what we've seen happening with music in the past. Etc etc.

It has already been shown in numerous studies that downloads actually INCREASE sales, because more people are able to discover new stuff, so a larger portion of people will be interested in buying the actual product. We still buy movies. We still buy games. We still buy comics and books. And we might even still buy music if the legal option would be as user-friendly as illegal downloads.

This whole notion that a modded console is bad for business is complete nonsense. Hell, I believe a modded PS Vita might actually be the best thing right now for Sony, probably increasing it's sales and user-base tenfold.

PygmelionHunter1728d ago (Edited 1728d ago )

I want some of that you're on.

There is no benefit in selling modded consoles for developers and publishers, and that's all that matters to me, I couldn't care less if the console manufacturer's sales aren't going sky high, I want "support", and you only get that with good game sales, period.

Besides, that growing "fanbase" you speak of will never turn back the right way after they start pirating games, unless they are forced to do so, don't be delusional.

mcgrottys1728d ago (Edited 1728d ago )

you know that game companies make their money off software sales right? And they usually sell their hardware at a loss because no one wants to buy a $700 game console. It's been that way since the 3DO.

So when if you buy a new console to pirate games they will loose money period.

Griffin48711728d ago

Piracy is bad. I still do it, but it's bad. Can't be justified. I am a net criminal.

vallencer1728d ago

I love it when people who pirate video games justify it by saying "now I can play games I normally wouldn't play. And then If I like it I will buy the console version." But what you're still not getting is its illegal and you're still hurting the company who's game you pirated. Because 9 times out of 10 the company who made the handheld version did NOT make the console version. There is no excuse for what you do so stop trying to create one. Just own up to it.

jrbeerman111728d ago

at least griffin admits it.

Most pirates try and justify it with whatever means necessary.

MikeMyers1728d ago (Edited 1728d ago )

Now I am not supporting it being hacked but I want to ask a simple question, do regional locks do anything beneficial to the consumer? One example is there are many instances that the European region gets better treatment when it comes to Playstation Plus. There are also regional exclusive content when it comes to music service like iTunes. So again I ask, do these regional locks have any benefit to the consumer?

Granted I know there are language barriers but if the consumer is well aware that some content may not include a familiar language then it is buyer beware.

Consumers want more freedom with their content. Hacking it isn't the answer but clearly more can be done to support the consumers needs.

vickers5001728d ago (Edited 1728d ago )


He (and those like him) may not have the moral high ground in this particular case, but his kind is still better than those who buy used games. Anti-pirates don't believe in anything other than black and white extremes, there's no grey, so if you're going to say that a pirate will always pirate everything they can and will never buy anything, then it would be just as logical to say that people who buy used never buy new (of course neither are true).

So while Yi-Long might be taking away from the handheld developers, he's at least giving something back to the console developers, where as the "used game buyer" is only taking away from console developers but giving back to some greedy retailer such as gamestop. Yi-long may still be doing some bad, but at least he's contributing SOMETHING.

If you buy used, then you are NO BETTER THAN A PIRATE. In fact you're probably worse. So if you're someone who buys used games all or most of the time and you're judging pirates, you're a hypocrite and should just keep your mouth shut.

I'm not condoning piracy, and it is bad (though I don't think it's as bad as some of you immature little brats think it is, the brats who think any pirate should be raped/killed/jailed for life), but some of you (those who buy used) should take a look at yourselves before you judge.

The only way piracy is acceptable (morally, not legally) is if you later end up buying the game after pirating it. Using piracy to demo games that don't have playable demos to decide whether or not you're going to buy a game in my opinion is okay, so long as you don't finish the game. If you pirate it and complete it but don't buy it, you're an ass. If you play it for a few hours and decide to go and buy it, that's fine.

jeeves861727d ago

@ vickers500

People who buy used, who contribute something to the economy, are no better than free-loading pirates? Give your head a shake, man!

Those people who buy used might turn around and buy DLC, or an online pass. Maybe they just can't afford to buy brand new? Who are you to be critical of their purchase? They bought it legally, from a store, or they bought it from someone else online.

rainslacker1727d ago

Wow...I do have to admit...the "used game buyers are no better than pirates" argument is a new one. Finally after all these years we finally get a fresh argument. Too bad it's not accurate. People who buy used games may still buy new games...similar to what some pirates may do. They may also trade in those same games and buy new ones. Oh, and most importantly, THE USED GAME BUYERS ARE NOT BREAKING THE LAW.

Lots of if's when it comes to piracy, and we could spend all day looking at scenarios on why both used and piracy are good. Some of them may even be accurate in certain cases.

But here's the problem. When looking at piracy, you can't look at it from a case by case perspective. You have to look at it from a broad statistical view. Unfortunately there are no accurate statistics that I'm aware of that really measure the effects that piracy has on the market. All I know is that the console manufacturers, and more importantly the publishers are against it, obviously so.

I often point to the PSP to show the decline in developer support it got after the hacks for it came out. System sales spiked, but software sales slowed much lower than they should have. It was only the really big releases on the system that really had much success on the system, and the only obvious correlation was piracy.

Those kinds of things have a negative influence on the honest consumer. And as such, piracy is simply wrong.

I personally pirated games for many years during the PS1 and early PS2 days. I even ran a hugely popular hub on Direct Connect(if any of you remember what that was...was like a forum version of Napster). I had well over 1000 games downloaded or burned, and I maybe brought 1-2 a year. I installed mod chips for people, quite a lot actually. I initially got into it because I wanted a mod on the Saturn to play Japanese games, but the temptation became too great. I've since had a change of heart, but because of my experience, I can easily say all the reasons I hear why piracy is a good thing are complete BS. It's all just justification on why it's OK to break the law. I've heard them all, I've used them all, and they were, and still are BS.

Now my collection now is well over 500 games across many systems. I always try to buy new(not always at full price), but sometimes buy used if it's the only way I can find it. It's much more satisfying knowing that I now can honestly give back to the industry that I love so much, instead of looking at how I can take whatever I want from it without a second thought.

Yi-Long1727d ago (Edited 1727d ago )

"So while Yi-Long might be taking away from the handheld developers, he's at least giving something back to the console developers"

Actually, I'm not taking ANYTHING away from handheld developers. As I stated before, I never ever would have bought a PSP in the first place if it hadn't be modded. Just like my GF never would have bought a DS if it wasn't modded. Just like my nephews and nieces wouldn't have been given a DS from their parents if it wouldn't have been modded. And just like many of my friends wouldn't have bought a PSP if it wouldn't have been modded.

The fact that these machines, both DS and PSP, were modded, have meant a HUGE increase in hardware sales, and most of all, a huge increase in playing gamers, young and old, discovering new games and genres, and turning a large part of them in future paying fans.

I'm very much a console gamer, but those modded handhelds were mostly bought as impulse-buy toys so we would have something to do on the plane rides, enjoying old classic games through emulators or just discovering some games we otherwise never would have bought in the first place.

So if those systems wouldn't have been modded, those developers wouldn't have seen any of our money anyway.

Thus there is no 'taking away from...' argument. They never had it.

That said, again, it has led to more sales when it comes to console versions. Not just me. I also have friends who played Everybody's Golf on the PSP and have BOUGHT it for their PS3, which otherwise they probably never would have done.

Also, like you said, many here treat it as a black/white issue, which is ridiculous. We all have budgets, of which many of us spend a certain amount on our 'entertainment'. I probably spend around 100 euro a month on home-entertainment, meaning books, DVD/BR's, and most of all games. Just this week I bought a new (2nd) Scarlet Red PS3 and FIFA 13, not to mention all the games I bought on XBLA which were on sale these last few weeks, so I probably spend most on NEW games than most of the nay-sayers here. I never ever buy used. I buy a whole lot of XBLA games, many of which are HD ports of games I have already played before, often also having payed for them before.

There's even a huge generation of 30+ aged gamers rights now which grew up on pirated gaming, with their C64, Amiga and PC games. In fact, Tim Schafer even mentioned in his GamesTM interview a few years back how he went on an interview for a job and was talking about a game that company had done, and the guy mentioned that was actually the illegal version of the game...

This whole industry is for a large part BUILT on piracy. It has turned so many kids into gamers, and thus when they grow older and can afford it, it has turned them into PAYING customers!

I'm pretty sure that for the occasional game I downloaded for my PSP to play for a few hours while I'm on a plane or a train, I've put more money back into the industry than many of the people here now moaning about 'piracy', but who only buy 2nd hand games every time, or who just buy 1 Call of Duty game and 1 FIFA game each year, and that's it...

Once again, piracy leads to a bigger exposure, which means more potential fans, which means more sales, both right away as well as later on (new installments, HD ports, etc etc).

rainslacker1727d ago

Here's the jist of your argument.

I wouldn't have brought it anyways, so it's OK to steal it.

As far as you now buying the console version(or something similar)... Like I said in my post above, you can show anecdotal evidence to every argument on why piracy is OK and make it seem like it's not a bad thing. But it's still the honest consumer that is getting hurt by it. That lack of social responsibility is too prevalent in the pirate and modding community, and while there are some that may be actual consumers (whether today or in the future), most just want their stuff for free.

It may benefit the industry in some ways, but the overall negative effect it has far outweighs those gains.

Yi-Long1727d ago

"It may benefit the industry in some ways, but the overall negative effect it has far outweighs those gains."

Really!? WHAT negative effect exactly!? Cause pretty much all studies have shown that 'piracy' has actually led to MORE sales, not less.

Shows which are only shown in the USA I can now download, and when I like it, I'll often end up buying the DVD-Box or BR box. And so do many MANY people.

When I watch an anime online that isn't shown here and will never ever be shown here, and I like it and there's a good DVD/BR (box) released for a good price, I buy it. And so do many other people. In FACT, the complete manga/anime industry in the west was actually BUILT on people discovering it all through illegal downloads! FACT!!!

And AGAIN, how does it affect 'the industry' when I buy a modded handheld I would never have bought if it wasnt modded!? There IS no lost income. They never would have gotten ANY of my money. Now it made be discover new series on which I've consequently SPENT money later on on different ports or sequels. FACT. And so have friends. FACT. And so have many MANY other people. FACT.

In fact, 'downloaders' are usually spending much more money on their entertainment than non-downloaders.

Whenever downloading has been made impossible or more difficult or whatever, official sales have gone DOWN ( France I believe which incorporated a failing 3 strikes system). FACT.

So please please please explain to me how piracy actually is affecting the industry, when pretty much all studies have shown otherwise, and every year it seems more money is being spend worldwide on 'entertainment'.

Maybe you've been listening to the copyright-math from the industry itself too much.

rainslacker1727d ago

In 2009, COD:MW2 pirated 4.1 million times(PC). It sold about 300K copies(PC)

In 2010, COD:BO pirated 4.2 million times(PC). PC Version made up only 6% of sales.

Those are big numbers, and not something small on scale. To take single examples, as you are doing is not looking at the bigger picture.

The creator of Crysis has said that they are suffering because of the huge piracy that affected it

John Carmack said that Sales on the PC are suffering, but doesn't specifically call out piracy

Cliffy B has stated that video games on the PC are suffering due to piracy, thus they focus more on consoles because it's less affected.

That is a negative effect that far outweighs the gains. Whether true or not is up for debate, but the truth is you have many developers who see a direct correlation to piracy and sales. I'm sure those guys have much better research data on the subject than we do.

If piracy has a negative effect on sales then game prices go up. If they can't go up because the market can't bear that price, then the investment to develop those games goes down. A negative effect.

The Vita has been overly locked down because of the rampant piracy that existed on the PSP. Developer support for the PSP plummeted. PSP game sales revenue DID NOT increase with increased system sales, they went down. A negative effect.

DRM has seen a huge spike in use in the past few years, and some really big games are using an always-on connection to be required to play them. A negative effect.

Developers or publishers get support calls or emails from people who are playing pirated games, costing them real money.A negative effect.

Some games that get released on the pirate scene are pre-release versions. This can give a negative perception of the game to those who pirate the way you do, translating in a loss of sale (Assassins Creed had a game breaking bug in it's pre-release version). A negative effect.

It's virtually impossible to tell how much money is lost due to piracy. Your own example is the reason why. As such it's also virtually impossible to tell how much is gained by piracy, so your argument falls short.

As far as downloaders spending more. That has been shown to be relatively true in the music and movie sectors, but not in the video game sector, which generally cost 3-5 times more than those mediums.

Anime culture is different than gaming culture. Those that offer pirated media, or have offered fansubs, generally take a very hard line stance on piracy for piracy's sake. The community itself strongly encourages buying the physical or digital releases as much as possible. Even before the internet with fansubs, those people would pull titles from their catalog as soon as a title was announced for localization. It's a much different community, and isn't suitable for comparison to games.

There are some pirating groups for games that also take this stance, but evidence has shown that community itself doesn't really listen, and their releases get posted up on every available pirating portal.

To say piracy is the reason for entertainment spending rise, is ignoring the fact that entertainment mediums are positively affected by economic decline. However the games industry itself has seen a decline in sales, which may have nothing to do with piracy, but we have seen a substantial increase in piracy rates year over year. Obviously the people want it, but sales don't reflect the benefit that you make in your argument.

vickers5001727d ago (Edited 1727d ago )


I'm saying that people who buy used are no better than the Yi-Long type of pirate. We're all gamers here, and most of us agree that gamestop are greedy pricks who do more to negatively affect developers through used sales than piracy.

And yeah, people MIGHT buy DLC if you're looking at piracy/buying used as a situation by situation basis, but you anti-pirates usually don't, you usually just assume every single pirate ONLY pirates video games and NEVER pays for anything, or only pays for what they can't get through piracy, and refuse to acknowledge that there are some (probably even MANY) that end up buying the new versions of the games they like to support the developers.


"you can't look at it from a case by case perspective. You have to look at it from a broad statistical view."

I disagree. That's pretty much the only way to look at it, since as you said, there are no statistics for these cases. I speak for myself and a few other people I know when I say that some pirates will buy new after illegally downloading something that they end up liking (though I quit what little video game piracy I used to partake in LONG ago, now I always buy new, I just wait for price drops). It's just as reasonable to assume that there are as many pirates like me out there as it is to assume that there are as many "buy-nothing pirates" out there, unfortunately because there are no statistics.


This point is completely irrelevant, as the law does not equal morality, which is what we're talking about here. If the point was "piracy is illegal", then this argument would be over a long time ago. But this is about the morality of piracy (among other things, such as the effects on the industry), and what is the law is not always morally right (and I hope you'll agree with this, because this is too big of an argument to get into in this article).

As for my stance on used gamers, well in my opinion, they are on par with pirates. Used gamers may contribute to the industry by buying dlc, just as pirates may contribute to the industry by buying games they like. But both are still not contributing as much as they should be. Used gamers may be contributing to the mass economy, but they aren't contributing that much to the actual developers, which I think you'll agree, is what's most important.

Oh and you can't look at those COD numbers as accurate results of piracy. Those piracy numbers were done to protest Activision and their lack of support for the PC game, they aren't the average everyday piracy numbers.

My goal here is not to convince you that piracy is always right, I'm not that delusional, but I am trying to get you to see that piracy is not ALWAYS wrong, and in SOME cases, it can be good, it just depends on how the individual goes about it. And I think when we talk about whether piracy is wrong/right, we shouldn't just throw out thoughtless blanket statements like "all forms of piracy are destroying the industry" or "piracy is the reason [X] is thriving", or even individual attacks such as "all pirates are scumbags", because none of these blanket statements are true, you have to look at it on a case by case basis.

+ Show (11) more repliesLast reply 1727d ago
SilentNegotiator1728d ago (Edited 1728d ago )

Only after that generation has played out do I want my handhelds easily hacked. That way I can use it for ROMs, have digital copies of the games I have that aren't available that way, and add other benefits.

Otherwise, I have no problem with closed platforms. The people that think companies don't have the right to maintain closed platforms (while the system is still relevant) are only thinking of themselves.

Ilovetheps41728d ago

People try to justify this hacking by saying that there are practical reasons for hacking a system. This article uses the example of getting rid of the region lock. But let's just be honest, people will use it mostly for piracy. It's unlikely that someone will just use it to get rid of region lock. I just think that it's tough to justify hacking this system. It will be used primarily for piracy which in turn could lead to less games being made on the 3DS.

-Gespenst-1728d ago

How exactly does this enable piracy? Disabling the region lock isn't the same as being able to run dumped roms of games on flshcarts.

Piracy is fine so long as the console's lifespan has ended and no more games are being made for it.

Also, this exploit won't actually be released for a fairly long time.

Snookies121728d ago (Edited 1728d ago )

I agree this will be used for piracy, but I really do just wish my 3DS wasn't region locked... I've imported a Ciel NoSurge on Vita, and will be importing KH1.5 on PS3 when it comes out. Makes me sad when I don't even have the option to do that if a game comes along that isn't localized...

Yi-Long1728d ago

... so if a hack/mod fixes that, I as a consumer would be very pleased.

I want to be able to buy a game when I'm on the other side of the world, or import games that might not be released locally, or they might be cut/censored/altered.

Hicken1728d ago

It's not going to just stop at that. You know this. I know this. The hackers know this.

Stop pretending it will.

Or does that not matter to you?

Of course not. You don't give a damn what the negative implications are, as long as you get what you want out of it.

As long as you get a region-free system, you could not care less about what happens to software sales.

Krew_921728d ago (Edited 1728d ago )

I agree with you, but there are others that don't seem to understand what most of us are trying to say.

We know it will lead to some user piracy, but it was never intended for that to happen. We can't stop it though even if we all boycotted against helping hackers SOMEONE WILL hack it somewhere and will release it.

I for one would love to use homebrew software, but I know many will use it for piracy. There's no stopping it anywhere.

There's no reasoning with people who don't agree with what we mean though, they'll never understand the legal uses we could benefit from a system hack. They ignore the good and go straight to the bad.

Whether it matters to us if piracy is enabled at the end of the day though, yes and maybe to some no. The DS did well, and that was hacked as well.

I can also tell there are only a select few who can admit they will use a system hack, the others are afraid they might sound wrong and get disagrees, when they themselves would most likely use it.

All I'm trying to say though is for everyone to have an open mind, and I'm sure if it was possible, the people hacking the Vita would make it so you couldn't use game back ups.

Although if you look at Wololo, his initial VBHL hack did not allow you to run game back ups or anything that required Kernel access, but he still got hate because of the select few who made the HOMEBREW community look bad.

rainslacker1727d ago


If it wasn't region locks it would be something else. It could be to get all the "promised" features out of a system (remote play on Vita), to run home brew (PSP), make better use of the system (play games off the hard drive on the PS2/Xbox).

The temptation is just too great among those that don't care, and that's why modding always leads to piracy, even if it's not the original intent.

Summons751728d ago

Yes because piracy is always a good thing! Good job kotaku for ice again proving how worthless you are. Go back to your articles of my little pony and cat pictures.

ChickeyCantor1728d ago

While these "hacks" allow a doorway to piracy, It doesn't promote piracy.
That's something people (users) take advantage of.

Nuclear power is "great" too, until it falls into the wrong hands.

Before you claim I support "piracy". No, I'm just laying out the differences. People who like certain developers will always support them by buying their games.

360ICE1728d ago

"Hey, guys. You're not invited to this party, but I'll let you in if you promise to be nice. And I'll leave the door open, even if the forests are full of wolves."

That's what happens.

ChickeyCantor1728d ago (Edited 1728d ago )


Might want to read my comment again.
There is always someone taking advantage of the exploit.

But that's the "moral" question one needs to ask themselves.

There will always be hacks for consoles. And crying over it won't change a damn thing. There will always be people who pirate.

Nintendo/Sony/MS need to find a better solution than just adding update patches.

360ICE1728d ago

I think I got that the first time around. I just don't agree with several points of your first comment. For instance, this isn't the equivelant of inventing nuclear power, as much as it is the equivelant of inventing nuclear arms and making them available to everyone (slightly less dramatic though)

Even if it won't change a thing, you're generally well adviced to have a negative attitude towards things that bring negative consequences.

The people who leave the doorway open can't distance themselves from the actions of others, because they're so predictable.
It's kind of like giving a huge bowl of food, and say "just eat when you're hungry". We all know what the outcome will be, and even if there in this case is a moral question involved, that won't change a thing. This opens a chance to exploit that people will undoubtedly use, as you said yourself. My contention is that blame is also to be given to those who gives others the chance.

keabrown791728d ago

Just means I will finally be able to import the white 3ds that I've been waiting for.

PcRules1728d ago

Great, about fucking time. free games to everyone ;)

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