Nintendo had major trouble keeping pirated video games off their original Nintendo DS, so they went to great lengths to keep illegal software off the new Nintendo 3DS. But an astonishingly clever user has discovered a way to hack the system using Nintendo 3DS apps that can be downloaded for free.
According to Gizmodo, the hacker found a way to use the free YouTube app to somehow force the Nintendo 3DS console to run “unsigned code” on the system. His name is Jordan Rabet, and he originally provoked Nintendo into taking two other applications down from the eShop, Ironfall: Invasion and Cubic Ninja, because they too allowed him to hack the Nintendo 3DS system. But now Rabet has found a new way around the company’s security measures using the free YouTube application.
You can see a demonstration of the hack in the Vine video below, posted by the hacker himself. He assures his viewers the hack is no joke and encourages players to “get downloadin.”
Get downloading what, you may ask? The YouTube hack gives the Nintendo 3DS user access to the Homebrew Launcher, which allows him or her to play emulated games. An emulator is essentially a program that copies an existing video game, allowing you to play the unlicensed software for free.
Emulating video game software is illegal, hence Nintendo’s efforts to keep the programs off the Nintendo 3DS. But the Homebrew Launcher reportedly only allows you to emulate SNES games that you already own, according to the Mary Sue. And the hacker, Jordan Rabet, apparently doesn’t want to encourage video game piracy.
Even so, it will be interesting to see how long it takes for Nintendo to fix this problem or possibly find a way to keep Rabet from finding exploits like this in the future. These sort of hacks often venture into a legal gray area, making it difficult to determine exactly what constitutes breaking the law.
According to Wired, the “Tubehax” method disables the Nintendo 3DS protection features, which allows the device to play ROMs. This means that, despite Rabet’s disapproval of piracy, his method could open the door to downloading illegal copies of existing eShop games that Nintendo has worked so hard to protect.
What do you think about the Nintendo 3DS YouTube hack?
For more on the system, read about the New Nintendo 3DS system and see if you should upgrade from the older model.
[Image credit: Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images]