Nintendo has been heavily criticized for region locking the Wii U and 3DS compared to Microsoft and Sony who adopt a region-free policy. Even more absurd, the 3DS’ predecessor played titles from all regions without any modifications. Region locking is inherently anti-consumer and predominately used to control pricing in an unfair manner. Interestingly, a new hack was discovered by Jordan “smealum” Rabet via Twitter which exploits part of the official YouTube app’s code.
The mod, codenamed “Tubehax” unblocks the 3DS’ protection and grants access to homebrew software, games from any region and custom-desktop themes. Nintendo are known to remove any kind of vulnerabilities through software updates and will be concerned about this latest revelation. For example, Tubehax can run a variety of emulated games which Nintendo are trying to legitimately sell on the eShop.
Rabet released a YouTube video showing the hack in action and began playing Portal! While the install method is currently unknown, Rabet plans to release a guide very soon. I suppose Nintendo only have themselves to blame after implementing such a draconian form of DRM. While the mod can be used for illegal purposes, it will be fantastic for playing imported Japanese games unavailable in PAL and NTSC regions. However, I’m unsure if digital codes will work on a cross-regional basis.
Thank you Wired for providing us with this information.