3DS: Smealum to release Homebrew Loader in a few days. Will support firmwares 4.0 to 8.1
Those of you in the 3DS scene have probably been following Smealum’s recent activity with excitation. The French hacker announced several months ago that he was working on homebrew support on the latest firmwares for the 3DS. Until now, homebrew on the 3DS has been limited to older 4.x firmwares, and requires the use of expensive flashcarts.
Smealum has confirmed his hack will not require a flashcart. It will, however, require a specific 3DS game to trigger the exploit. Smealum has confirmed to me that the game is available on physical cartridges, and, in one locale, on the Nintendo eShop. Bottom line is, if you are interested in this exploit you will need to purchase that game, and most likely you will want the physical version of it, not the eShop version (in particular because Nintendo would not be able to patch or remove the physical version from your device).
the homebrew loader we’re about to release will require you to have a specific retail game. the game is also on eShop but not in all regions
— smea (@smealum) August 25, 2014
The exploit has been confirmed to work on 3DS, 3DSXL, and 2DS, on all firmwares from 4.0 to 8.1
For those of us who have been on the Sony scene for a while, this will remind us of the GTA: Liberty City stories exploit on the PSP. The exploit brought full kernel access to the PSP through an exploit in the GTA game. Prices for the game quickly skyrocketted, in particular after Sony stopped producing the game with the flaw, and instead started selling a new version that enforced a firmware update. GTA Liberty City stories prices went up to 8 times retail prices at the time.
If stock for the exploited game is low, the same could happen here, and no doubt that people will take advantage of the exploit to increase the prices of the game on sites like ebay or Amazon.
We have contacted Smealum to offer our help through a ninja release, in order to spread the game name while avoiding early leaks. (Our site has years of experience announcing exploits on the PS Vita to guarantee a huge amount of people get the exploited game before it gets pulled of the PSN by Sony) Smealum has declined, making the good point to me that because a physical version of the game exists, a Ninja release could do more harm than good (people knowing about the game in advance would start buying many copies to hoard them and resell them at a higher price point).
He also confirmed that the name of the exploited game will be announced in the days to come. The game is, according to Smealum, “old and cheap”. The announce should be followed by a release of the homebrew loader: Smaelum stated he wanted “things to be ready” before he’d announce it, so since the announce is near, I am assuming the homebrew loader is very close to a release as well.
Finally, it needs to be stated again, this hack will not, according to Smealum, let people run 3DS roms. I personally have no doubts that other hackers will dedicate efforts and time to break whatever security Smealum might have put in place in order to prevent piracy through his hack, so we’ll see how that specific thing plays out.
You can check Smealum’s twitter here.