Nintendo Switch homebrew may soon be a reality. At the 34c3 hacking conference in Germany, hackers Plutoo, Derek, and Naehwert gave a presentation on kernel hacks for the Nintendo Switch.
Perhaps the most crucial sliver of information is that a homebrew launcher is coming to the Nintendo Switch soon. What this means is, custom, non-Nintendo sanctioned software could soon find a place on the Nintendo Switch. In the past this saw emulators or enhanced media player functionality on other consoles. Safe to say, we’d see more of the same here.
However there’s a catch. You will need to be on Nintendo Switch firmware 3.0.0. The kernel exploit necessary to make this won’t be made publicly available.
If you’re on a firmware lower than 3.0.0, you’ll need a physical copy of game Pokken Tournament DX which ships with firmware 3.0.0.
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Also of note, one of the reasons for this breakthrough is Nintendo’s use of an “off the shelf” Nvidia Tegra X1. The GPU is well-documented and debugging hardware isn’t too tough to come by. X1 documentation revealed information on how to bypass some of the security measures.
“Just search for ‘bypass the SMMU [System Memory Management Unit]’ in the documentation”, Plutoo said. Ending with: “Nvidia backdoored themselves.”
Earlier in the month, Nintendo released a new update to the Switch. Dubbed as version 4.1.0, it brought “general system stability improvements” and more importantly it should fix “an issue that caused motion controls to respond incorrectly when playing games that use the feature”.
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Considering that Nintendo is using its firmware updates to rectify existing Switch issues, would consumers gravitate towards homebrew apps considering they could lose out on potential fixes for their console? It would be interesting to see. More so when you consider how the company has embraced online services with plans for its take on PS Plus and Xbox Live Gold slated for 2018. Do you see yourself forsaking Nintendo’s official services for a homebrew launcher that could let you do more with your Switch? Let us know in the comments.