3DS launches in Japan, already hacked

Nintendo’s anticipated new 3DS handheld – the first new portable Nintendo platform since 2004 – finally went on sale in Japan on Friday, but the news continued over the weekend as someone posted a Youtube video showing the system being hacked.

Just one day after the device went on sale, it seems one very smart hacker was able to use an R4 card to play unauthorized DS games on it. R4 cards have become infamous in the hacking community and are the de facto medium for pirated content on the DS family.

However, this only applies to the DS side of the system. The 3DS is able to play the entire back catalog of DS games, so the hacker in question has only been able to replicate the existing hacking abilities from the DS onto the 3DS. The video does not show anything about hacking actual 3DS games.

Nintendo has spent considerable time and effort to ensure the 3DS and 3DS games are completely “unhackable.” It has poured more anti-piracy resources into the new system than it has previously ever done for any handheld.

Nevertheless, the company must be disappointed that some part of the device’s security has already been compromised. Whether or not this will lead to a security breach of the rest of the system remains to be seen, but it isn’t a good start.