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Using piracy devices could brick your Nintendo 3DS

7:30 PM on 03.07.2011 // Dale North

We have touched the Nintendo 3DS and piracy before, but even some of our own staff members here at Destructoid were surprised when they heard what could happen to their shiny new glasses-free 3D game system in recent tips, so we thought we might cover it as its own news item. 

Know that the Nintendo 3DS logs every cartridge you put into it. An image of my own play history can be seen in the image above. The moment you push a cartridge in the system, it pops up on this list, and there's nothing you can do to change this list, let alone clear it.

Those not concerned with piracy see it is a cool feature, as it logs your play time and date, and can even sort all your played games to tell you which ones you play the most. The flip side of this is that the system 'knows' what you've put into it. So, if you put an R4 or other piracy device into it, it'll know. Nintendo will know.

Nintendo is now making it clear here in Japan that they'll disable any 3DS with illegal games on it. Call it a remote bricking. A system update could easily shut your 3DS down. The 3DS and its always-on wireless ability make fun things like Street Pass possible, but it also gives your system automatic access to hot spots and access points. Updates can come in automatically, as you're always 'on.' Maybe Nintendo is watching you, gamer.

GoNintendo points us to a Japanese retailer that warns of this bricking by firmware update. The store also says that they won't buy systems with a record of illegal equipment use. 

The 3DS actually logs every single thing you do, even beyond what games you're playing. You can actually go into your history and see how many steps you took on each day. A system that knows every step you've taken? I don't think piracy is going to be that easy on a system like this.

Dale North, Former Dtoid EIC
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