Nintendo has had a long history battling console modding, with players busting apart the code and tinkering away inside. Some may do it for research, to get past region locking, or to enable homebrew apps, while others are less scrupulous, instead using the opportunity to pirate games and bypass security checks. No matter your intentions, though, if you’re in Japan, the law now works against you.
As reported by Kotaku, Japan’s Association of Copyright for Computer Software has expanded its regulations regarding the Unfair Competition Prevention Law. In the amendment, dated December 2018, it’s reported that console modding is forbidden. That’s not all, though. Game modding is also affected, throwing the legality of humble PC mods into question, and game save editors are being pulled from store shelves. Finally, unauthorized sales of digital keys online is also now illegal in the country.
Time will tell how much the country enforces these new laws, but it’s stated that modding consoles and game saves could net you five years in prison and 5 million yen ($46,000) fines.