What does the latest 3DS firmware update really do?
A few days ago, 3DS firmware update V9.5.0-23U/E/J was released. It is a small update as the last firmware update before it was V9.5.0-22U/E/J. Changelog says “Further improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments have been made to enhance the user experience.” as most of the other updates. Whenever i see this, i am sure that a) There is no new feature b) Some exploits are now blocked.
As you can guess, i am right. This new update blocks RegionThree which lets users play their retail cartridges from different regions. Even though Nintendo declared region-lock may be considered to be removed in the future, there is no further info at the subject. According to Smealum, it might still be possible to use region free in the future though.
fwiw getting region free going on latest firmware through another entrypoint (say cubic ninja) should still be possible.
— smea (@smealum) March 3, 2015
This update also blocks web browser based exploits like this one. There are lots of web browser exploits for save editing, item unlocking etc. for several games. As in most Nintendo consoles, Pokémon series are the most hacked one. Now, this kind of hacks does not work.
What about flashcarts? Interestingly this update is same as the last one considering the flashcarts, meaning Gateway is still blocked (though EmuNand can be updated to latest firmware) and Sky3DS still works. It is really saddening that Nintendo targets RegionThree and web based exploits while doing nothing major to block flashcarts.