Handheld homebrew ahoy!

With the release of what game works as they key component for the initial beginnings of the 3DS homebrew, the game’s price skyrocketed like no other and almost every place sold out of it. Little bit of googling should reveal that game to you and then some. The game was pulled from the Japanese 3DS eShop within 24h, as it was the only digital version that could use the exploit.

Multiple consoles in the past have seen their own homebrew to some extent. There’s only few selected machines that did not see any sort of homebrew scene. Just checking all the apps the Wii’s scene has seen tells a pretty great story. The hackers and homebrew developers have taken practically all of the Wii’s functions under their controls to some extent. You even have an app to control the Wii’s disk drive’s light. Taking control over such trivial things is pretty awesome, which is pretty awesome.

By going with the WiiBrew’s list, there’s some homebrew Software developed. Some of them are more or less just slight remakes of past titles, like the mandatory Pong or Poker. The number of software is rather staggering, and there are some surprising ones as well like WiiPhysics, a software that is just a physics playground. It’s not as vast as e.g. Garry’s Mod, but does the job.

As with most modern console homebrew, there emulation. Emulators themselves are a bit gray area. For example, Nintendo’s stance on emulators is interesting in that their website does not really judge the emulators themselves. Their stance keeps referring to the ROMs and their validly illegal status and how emulators endorse illegal downloads. While they are in right, it is good to recognize how emulation enforces historical archival of digital goods, which in turns also allows people to have access to games that could not be released in their original forms nowadays or in the future. In this sort of situation, the emulation itself would have no impact on the possible future sales of the software. There’s also the fact that certain companies are not willing to put their older games on current consoles. Then you have consoles like the Sega Saturn, where the original source codes have been lost due to various issues. For example, Princess Crown on PSP ran on Saturn emulation and had all sorts of issues. The only way to get Princess Crown in proper form to modern systems would be to rebuild the game from scratch.

Still, licensed or not in any form, ROM downloads are judged as illegal, unless your local legislation begs to differ. Copyrighted stuff have their own legal standings, but then again you always have products that have no owner and become abandonware.

It’s also laughable to prosecute people for physically modding their consoles. From the consumer point of view, the owner of the system can do damn well anything with it in their own discretion, be it modding or using as line weight.

There are numerous loaders, system tools and utilities for the Wii homebrew to utilise, and sometimes they can be very useful albeit highly dangerous. All these are most likely candidates to see early development in 3DS Homebrew. I’ve read somewhere that the 3DS region is only one flag that determines whether or not the console has region locking, so one utility developed could me to turn the flag off, thus making the console region free. Don’t quote me on the function, but unlocking region is one of the things most homebrew users would like to see. Wii has AnyRegion Changer and GCBooter are there to circumvent regional lockouts in Wii’s system level and in GameCube discs.

Unlike GCBooter, AnyRegion Changer is a dangerous tool in the hands of those who don’t know what they’re doing. These effects range from changing the video output to one that your screen doesn’t support to bricking your Wii. Seeing how Nintendo seems to somewhat similar tech in the 3DS and Wii U, similar tools most likely will surface to reach similar effects.

Knowing homebrew, there will be multiple exploits in the future as these devs and hackers gain further understanding what makes the 3DS tick. It is somewhat uncertain how large scene 3DS will see, but we can be sure that certain apps will be developed at some point, somehow. Every and all console companies are afraid of piracy, and it must be said that homebrew does not equal piracy. However, the reality is that piracy will follow in suit. It most likely will be somebody else than the people who developed the exploit/s or initial homebrew. There are both positives and negatives on piracy. It is illegal, that’s no under dispute, but we also can’t ignore all the positives piracy can bring with it, historical archival being one of them.

As mentioned, Nintendo has already taken steps to prevent the use of the exploit. Nintendo has the power to turn some of these people away with few simple changes in how their console works. Region locking being one of them, and it is not all too uncommon to hear somebody who pirates games to tell region locking is the only reason he resorts to it. After all, there are numerous games even on the 3DS that never left the regions.

You may be asking whether or not I would be using this exploit if I would have the possibility. The answer is twofold; I don’t see value in it at this time, at this very moment, but the idea of using software from different region is a selling point for me. I don’t give a damn about piracy on 3DS, as the number of must-have software is quite low, but spread across regions. Of course, your taste most likely differs a lot from mine and thus your must-have titles could be found in your specific region.

Nintendo most likely will only tighten the security on their system, but no system is completely secure. There will be future exploits made, and the system will be cracked. The tighter the system is, the more certain individuals will enjoy cracking it open.