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The Switch’s official online NES emulator has already been hacked

FOR MOST OF US, getting three stars on every Mario Kart 8 course will be the biggest challenge the Switch ever presents. For others, it’s hacking the device to run non-approved software against Nintendo’s will. Usually, Nintendo puts up a pretty good fight against this, but hackers have found the official Switch Online NES emulator ridiculously easy to modify.

It took less than 24 hours for hackers to figure out that adding new games to the library is absolutely trivial. Perhaps Nintendo’s team were too busy trying to figure out why a beloved character was suddenly trending worldwide and forgot to add the usual hurdles in a rush to order an industrial quantity of eye bleach.

Whatever the reason for the oversight, the mechanism is simple: it seems that the Switch Online NES emulator uses the same software as the NES Classic Edition, which means the same exploits work.

In this case, all games are saved as .nes files, and a database lists all the games which are authorised to run in plaintext. A few extra lines and the Switch will gullibly play the game of your choice. Here it is running Kirby – a classic Nintendo character that, as of Friday morning, has not yet been compared to a world leader’s genitals.  

Said changes do require a hacked Switch, and that’s something that should be putting people off, no matter where you stand on Nintendo’s intellectual property rights.

It’s one thing hacking a NES Classic to play more old games: it’s not internet connected, and can’t be remotely policed by Nintendo. The Switch needs a subscription to even access the NES emulator, which means that if Nintendo feels so inclined, banning your machine for hacking is well within its powers.

For that reason, we suggest you follow the lessons from Jurassic Park: just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should. µ

Further reading

Source : Inquirer

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Founder and Editor-in-Chief of 'Professional Hackers India'. Technology Evangelist, Security Analyst, Cyber Security Expert, PHP Developer and Part time hacker.

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