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Well this is… interesting. The Nintendo 3DS, with both feet in the grave, its eShop shuttered, physical games long out of active production… has just gotten a firmware update to 11.17.0. Huh. And the patch notes are just “Further improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments have been made to enhance the user experience,” as all firmware updates for the console since early 2015 have been.

So what gives? Why update now, when all other support for the console is well and gone? Well, it turns out that the update makes all currently known methods to mod or hack a 3DS obsolete and unknown as the community struggles to work with the new firmware. Already Homebrewed 3DS’s appear to be A-ok with the update, but those looking to hack their consoles who haven’t done so will find immense difficulty should they download the update.

This has led to an outcry from 3DS modders, who feel that the update was put out as pure antagonistic spite towards those attempting to use the console after Nintendo has effectively abandoned it. While there’s obviously (and understandably) emotion in that response, it really is difficult to figure out why else Nintendo would send out a firmware update now after the console’s been effectively buried. Whether or not you view the company’s attempts to protect the console from hacking attempts is of course a matter of personal perspective, but it’s clearly provoking the ire of several people who just want to play 3DS games on their 3DS and have very few means to affordably do so.

We’ll be sure to post any updates on the situation as they come forth.


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Written by Amelia Fruzzetti

A writer and Nintendo fan based in Seattle, Washington. When not working for NinWire, she can be found eating pasta, writing stories, and wondering about when Mother 3 is finally going to get an official localization.