3DS: Smealum postpones Homebrew Loader release, in light of new 3DS announcement by Nintendo
Yesterday, Nintendo announced the upcoming release of a new model of 3DS. This new revision will bring several hardware changes, including a new analog stick, two additional shoulder buttons, and “speed improvements” related changes. What sounds surprisingly terrible is that some 3DS games will only be compatible with this new model, which is sure to confuse gamers, and their parents/grandparents even more.
But I’m not here to talk about the New 3DS here, rather about the impact that this announcement had on the homebrew scene a few hours ago. Developer Smealum, who had announced he would release a homebrew loader for the 3DS “soon” (most of us were expecting the release to happen this week), just stated on twitter that the new hardware announce made him reconsider the schedule for his loader release.
So what are the reasons behind this move? Well simply put, the new 3DS model might have some additional code, new security measures, new drivers, etc… that hackers will want to look into. In order to dig into the device, exploits are required, so if Smealum releases his exploit now, he gives Nintendo a chance at fixing the vulnerability before the new device is even released (meaning hackers will not be able to leverage that exploit to unravel the new 3DS’ secrets).
It is not uncommon for hackers to “keep” their exploits for themselves, at least temporarily, in order to investigate the device more. In the long run, this is extremely good for the hacking scene: if these exploits were all made public (and therefore instantly patched), no progress would ever be made on the devices.
So in that regard it is easy to see where Smealum is coming from. But the pill is hard to swallow, as the release had been taunted for weeks if not months, and promised to happen “in the days to come” not so long ago. As Smealum himself admits, his work feels like some “bait and switch” vaporware right now, and that’s definitely not good.
I’m really sorry, I know this is *** and bait&switchy but I don’t want to make any rash decisions.
— smea (@smealum) August 29, 2014
In my own experience, exploits for consoles come and go, and there always be a good reason not to release. Today it’s the announce of the new 3DS model, that will be released in Japan in a few weeks. Tomorrow, we might be told to be patient until the same model reaches Europe and the US, to avoid those regional versions from being patched as well. By the time this happens, a new major 9.x or 10.x firmware will be announced, and it might be better to wait again, etc…
The truth is, with no significant progress in 3DS hacking over the past 4 major firmware revisions, it’s high time the 3DS got some movement, and I personally think now would be a perfect time for some more homebrew. Mind you, I don’t even own a 3DS, so I’m not in a conflict of interests here 🙂 (on the other hand, one might argue that the community has already waited for a while, they might as well wait a few more months)
That being said, this is Smealum’s work. Having myself spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours on HBL back in the days, I know of firsthand experience how it feels to have your work released not “on your own terms”. So if Smealum feels now’s not the right time, it’s up to the community to be mature and respect this choice.
Smealum said that he does not know at this point how this new 3DS hardware will impact his release schedule. He clearly stated that the release will happen, and that he will not wait until 2015 (release date of the new 3DS model in Europe and the US) to make it happen. However, if I interpret his statements correctly, it sounds likely today that he is willing to wait until someone can test his exploits on the new 3DS hardware before he does a release. So that could mean mid October at best, unless Smealum changes his mind.
for clarification purposes, since apparently not everyone knows what “!=” means : i have no intention of delaying until 2015. need to think. — smea (@smealum) August 29, 2014
Stay tuned, we’ll definitely let you know if any progress is made