Technology

Pirated Games On Nintendo Switch Can Lead To A Banned Console

Nintendo Switch pirated games
Image Source: Nintendo.com (screenshot)

Back in April, we saw the reveal of a hardware exploit that would allow hackers to gain nearly full control of the Nintendo Switch. However, it appears that playing pirated games on the Nintendo Switch could lead to some serious issues.

Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch is one of Nintendo’s most successful consoles of all time and continues to grow in popularity as the game library continues to expand. While the majority of Nintendo systems are marketed towards children, the company has been clear that the intentions of the Switch are to provide a quality experience for everyone. There are titles on the platform for adults and children alike, and everyone can rally over titles like Zelda and Mario.

Although the system already has a relatively impressive number of titles – especially of indie games – there is a large demand for older Nintendo titles to make an appearance on the console. Many have hoped for some sort of way to repurchase ported versions of their favorite titles, but Nintendo has been slow to oblige which has led talented hackers to develop a potential jailbreak solution.

However, new information from Reddit user and hacker SciresM warns against using pirated games on the Nintendo Switch due to the potential for repercussions from Nintendo.

Pirated Games

The hardware exploit that jailbreaks the Nintendo Switch cannot be patched out by the company as it is not a software issue, so if you already have a Switch the possibility to jailbreak will be there indefinitely. However, the lack of an ability to do anything about the jailbreak doesn’t necessarily mean that Nintendo can’t take action to punish you for playing pirated games.

According to SciresM, Nintendo cracks down on pirated games by permanently banning consoles with pirated software from accessing Nintendo’s network. That means no online play and no eShop purchases which may greatly reduce the functionality of the Switch – especially as a connection is required for a great many games.

In order to detect pirated games, Nintendo has a multi-tiered system in place. Each Switch game card has a unique key, and if the game card is dumped and used online Nintendo will ban it and prevent that ID from being used online ever again. This has led to a fear over purchasing legitimate pre-owned games as well, but that’s a discussion for another day.

Downloadable games include an encrypted ticket that combines information about the game with the console’s unique Device ID as well as the Nintendo Account ID used to purchase it. If you are to download a pirated game that was purchased on another account, Nintendo can use this ticket to instantly ban your console from the Network.

Nintendo has had issues with pirated games with previous consoles like the 3DS which is still pretty capable of accessing illegitimate content, but the Nintendo Switch seems positioned to ban anyone who engages in playing pirated games.

So you can jailbreak your Switch at your own risk, but as soon as you start installing pirated games you may find your console basically useless.