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Nintendo 3DS jailbreak - Why it is so hard?

Posted on 19th Nov 2011 @ 5:21 AM

Few months before, R4 3DS team claimed they already dumped 3 3DS games successfully, and real R4 3DS card will be released to the market very soon. But there is no any news update later. More and more players pay attention to the Nintendo 3DS game jailbreak, since the ROM dump. Well, there may be several methods to hack 3DS games. Firstly, we have to introduce the Nintendo game cassette, which is the key of jailbreak. There are 4 kinds of cassettes in summary.


1. "BIOS bonding model": After power on, BIOS will load the data of cassette automatically, and directly start the game. GB/GBC/GBA use this kind of model. If this model is hacked, the result is seriously. For pirate flashcard, there won't be any remedy measure. For R4 card, a mending patch can be added to the game to lock the r4. But the console who use "BIOS" model is main in the end of last centry. In that time, the flashcard was very expensive as the high cost of MicroSDHC memory, which limited the development of R4 card. You can hardly find any anti-hacking measures for these consoles.

2. "in-upgrade system + game induct": After power on, enter the main system, the main system is invariable, it need the hardware of console to induct and load games. While starting game, it enter the cassette model, and has no connection with main system. Both NDS and NDSL console use this model. The model has same weakness in anti-jailbreak as BIOS model. And as the development of MicroSDHC card, the r4 card is cheap and popular. So most NDS games has anti-hacking measures.

3. "Upgradable system + game induct": After power on, firstly enter the main system, and the main system is variable(upgradable). It also need hardware to induct and load games. While induct game successfully, the game has no connection with main system. Nintendo study from Sony, and use this model on DSi, DsiLL and DsiXL. It is easily to lock the r4 card or r4i card on main system. But it is impossible to change the configuration of NDS game. Many flashcards can pass the console detection by simulating the NDS Rom. What is more, since induct game successfully, the game has no connection with main system, it means, the console can't detect the flashcard any more.

4. "Game bonding with system":  After power on, enter the main system, the main system is veriable(upgradable). Games will be inducted and run on the main system. The main system can detect and control the game running at anytime. Nintendo 3DS console just use this model, that is why users can pause the game and back to main system by pressing the"Home" key. Obviously, this is the biggest obstacle for 3DS jailbreak. It is difficult to hack 3DS games, as the game process is under control of the main system..(that is why "Ridge Racers" can't run on Nintendo 3DS V2.0.0 system). As we know, R4 card can run on Nintendo DS and DSi seriesconsole, as they stimulate NDS ROM to pass the system detection. But the 3DS system can detect and control the flashcard in total game process. It can lock the card at any time.

Also, the StreetPass and SpotPass will be locked, as 3DS system will easily detect the coherence. The Startup ROM is not same as Register ROM, then be locked.

It seems, Nintendo anti-hack successfully in 3DS console, by learning experience from DS and DSi jailbreak. Though there are many R4 3DS cards in the market, they are actual DSi cards, which can only run DSi games. It need much longer time for 3DS jailbreak. In furture, 3DS console may learn from Wii. If so it will be much dangerious to hack 3DS console.