Gateway: The 3DS Piracy Tool Whose Anti-Piracy Tactic Bricks Your 3DS

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Gateway: The 3DS Piracy Tool Whose Anti-Piracy Tactic Bricks Your 3DS

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"We pride ourselves to do thorough testing before release, the same cannot be said for our so-called 'competitors,'" says Gateway.

A few days back, when hackers defeated the 3DS region locking system, many users who tried to take advantage of this tactic had an unpleasant surprise in store. Their 3DS devices died, and it seems the culprit is Gateway's piracy enabling flash card, which recently updated with anti-piracy measures that brick devices.

Gateway manufactures a homebrew flash card advertised as a way to play backup 3DS ROMs, a practice which Nintendo definitely does not approve of. However Gateway's own tech has been pirated by other card manufacturers, and this upset Gateway so much that it recently introduced what amounts to a piracy kill switch, in a software update. Once it detects illicit activity - and any modification counts as illicit in Gateway's book - it corrupts flash memory, effectively destroying the device.

"We do not answer rumors, speculations and other tactics from people who are not even real competitors but simply companies stealing our hard work," says Gateway customer support. "It would be just taking away our time from what we owe our customers: Bringing them a better and better experience with Gateway new firmware, functions and compatibility."

At time of writing, Gateway's site would seem to be out of action; an official statement posted there suggests that "flawed copying or modifications of our official launcher firmware" is to blame. The region-free patches, say Gateway, are among the modifications it warns its customers to avoid.

Since Gateway's product is itself illegal, customers won't have much luck appealing to the authorities. Gateway has said that it only offers support for genuine Gateway customers, and those with bricked devices can't be genuine customers. If they were, they wouldn't have tried to modify Gatway's product. Those with dead devices have only one option: send it back to Nintendo for repair.

Source: Eurogamer

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Wait... WHAT?

So this Gateway this is a card you plug in your device and it boots a special OS? So wouldn't removing the device and booting the Nintendo OS un-brick the device?

Any way, rather hilarious story if you have no vested interest in the situation.

Oh this is just too funny. One of the big pro-piracy arguments is that pirates offer a better service, and now these guys go and pull something like this? Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

I don't exactly approve of Gateway's work, but I'd say that it serves their 'competitors' right.

And I am sure that there is a "Yo dawg" somewhere in here, but...

I'm just glad that the classics are cheap enough not to resort to using "backup" ROM's. I'd seriously wish they'd lower prices on their normal games though.

Scars Unseen:
Oh this is just too funny. One of the big pro-piracy arguments is that pirates offer a better service, and now these guys go and pull something like this? Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Isn't that the same as saying Origin sets the bar for all legal online sales?
One private shop doesn't reflect all other options.

WOW the disconnect is strong with this one, stop modifying our product that modifies other peoples products it's unethical

Mahorfeus:
I don't exactly approve of Gateway's work, but I'd say that it serves their 'competitors' right.

And I am sure that there is a "Yo dawg" somewhere in here, but...

The true irony is that folks who produce carts that are meant to pirate other peoples works complain about other people pirating their work. From the official statement:

"We would hate for all of our efforts to go to waste. Especially to some moron who thinks they can get away with such blatant thievery. I hope that everyone has a change of heart and will support the people who made all of this magic happen. Without us, so many gamers would not be able to play the games that people worked really hard on."

Remember kids, piracy is only bad when you're the one whose work gets pirated...

Smilomaniac:
I'm just glad that the classics are cheap enough not to resort to using "backup" ROM's. I'd seriously wish they'd lower prices on their normal games though.

Scars Unseen:
Oh this is just too funny. One of the big pro-piracy arguments is that pirates offer a better service, and now these guys go and pull something like this? Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Isn't that the same as saying Origin sets the bar for all legal online sales?
One private shop doesn't reflect all other options.

Not what I was saying. Basically, Gateway just ensured that no one can ever trust them again, thus devaluing their own product in an attempt to protect it. No effect on piracy in general, but I can't imagine too many people rushing out to buy a "backup" tool that the manufacturer actively sabotages.

Chaosritter:
The true irony is that folks who produce carts that are meant to pirate other peoples works complain about other people pirating their work. From the official statement:

"We would hate for all of our efforts to go to waste. Especially to some moron who thinks they can get away with such blatant thievery. I hope that everyone has a change of heart and will support the people who made all of this magic happen. Without us, so many gamers would not be able to play the games that people worked really hard on."

Remember kids, piracy is only bad when you're the one whose work gets pirated...

Amen brotha! Preach it sista!

A Simpson's episode did this EXACT same situation a few episode's ago ("Steal This Episode"). Uh...Spoiler Alert I suppose if you're on the edge of your seat for the story arc of a recent Simpsons's episode. Homer created a "movie theater" in his backyard where he played pirated movies for "The freedom!". Eventually he gets caught and thrown in jail for it. The movie writers love the idea so much that they create a movie out of his story. He gets incredibly pissed off at everyone stealing his movie and destroys his own theater when everyone tries to watch his movie for free.

It's one of my main reasons I don't like piracy; everyone has no problem with "information should be free!" until they're the ones footing the bill...

Can't say I feel too sorry for the people whose 3DS's got bricked, if you use illegitimate pirating hardware you take the risk of fucking up your system. Hopefully they've learnt their lesson and they'll pay for future video games they play.

Well that's a DRM I hadn't heard until now. "If you change the software,I break your machine that you paid for".
Wow Nintendo.

This is utterly delicious.

And it will serve as ammunition against pirates for weeks to come. :D

Good lord, the hypocrisy is so powerful you can feel it scorching off Eyebrows...

Stavros Dimou:
Well that's a DRM I hadn't heard until now. "If you change the software,I break your machine that you paid for".
Wow Nintendo.

Not Nintendo's doing, the guys who make the Pirate device Gateway installed this so anyone who modifies their Gateway device will brick the 3DS.

Hypocrisy at its finest. If you're a script kiddy using other peoples hacks you're asking for trouble. You could never trust other peoples hacks let alone trust someone else's illicit hack. The only hacks you can ever trust are the ones you do yourself. Soder, code, and all. Then you're just hoping you don't do something that doesn't brick it yourself. I applaud Gateway for teaching another generation that you can't trust someone else's hacks. Now they can go off and try to learn to do it themselves. 5 3DS's later they might have made some progress, but that's the cost of learning.

This is the beginning of a very dangerous precedent if something like this is allowed to stand. Imagine every other company as soon as they release a new product releasing an update that corrupts the old one.

Pariah Dog:
This is the beginning of a very dangerous precedent if something like this is allowed to stand. Imagine every other company as soon as they release a new product releasing an update that corrupts the old one.

Naw, that's illegal.

These guys can get away with it because their PRODUCT is illegal. It's difficult to prosecute someone for doing something illegal if they don't give a rip about the law in the first place (and if you contact the authorities, they'll just point and laugh at you).

Actually, even though the use of their thing might be illegal, the design behind it could still be considered intellectual property (I think, not sure what American law states on that matter exactly) and therefore copying it might be infringing copyright :p

But heck, now even the pirates are putting DRM on their hacks? Lol

I suggest we go and offer up these guys to the volcano god of skull island or something! /startsthedrums

So a company that makes a product that's almost exclusively used to pirate 3DS games adds in protocols that bricks the Nintendo handheld for users who use pirated versions of gateways pirating flash card? Ironically enough a good chunk of the users affected by this are those who actually tried to pirate things using Gateways flash cards to begin with. Which was basically the entire point of getting those flashcards to begin with. So they just shot their own feet.

Stavros Dimou:
Well that's a DRM I hadn't heard until now. "If you change the software,I break your machine that you paid for".
Wow Nintendo.

You didn't read the article didn't you? Nintendo wasn't behind any of that. Gateway added in protocols into their flashcards that bricked Nintendo's system if it detects the user is utilizing a pirated copy of their pirating software.

Am...am I reading this right? A company that aids in 3DS game piracy had their own software pirated so now they developed anti-piracy DRM for their own pirate stuff?

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at the large amount of irony present here.

The hell of it is, this Gateway card can't even run homebrew. only signed commercial software. Unlike the DS scene, not a soul can claim they've used this card for anything but piracy.

P.S. Thanks

P.P.S. That said, I am genuinely interested in the prospect of a 3DS homebrew scene popping up eventually, even if it takes another two years. I'm really curious what sorts of ideas people might come up with for the hardware, and fans tend to be better at thinking outside the box than the big developers that comprise most of the commercial games.

I will be curious to see how successful this will be in the long term for people pirating this software. If I know pirates (and I don't want to) they will enjoy over-coming gateway's counter measures. And when that happens it will prove that even the most draconian counter measures won't work.

I love how as you read the article, it gets gradually more hilarious.

It's like some kind of technological comedy of errors.

well now the pirates know about the trigger its possible to find and nerf it is it not? recent firmware update addition that kills the entire system should not be terribly difficult to find if you know what your looking for lest to my amature programming mind.

pretty darn funny however either way piracy cards being pirated and the pirates getting angry and nuking all of them wo warning, tisk tisk dodgy arse homebrew hacking scene.

God, just when I thought Adblock's Kickstarter campaign to get funding to advertise their software on the web was the height of eye-rolling irony...

Meanwhile, Nintendo just quietly chuckles to itself as these folks with bricked systems are forced to buy another 3DS.

In short "do not ever buy anything from Gateway ever again", just amazing how they are willing to destroy users consoles only to make sure their mods are the only ones in place...

Orange12345:
WOW the disconnect is strong with this one, stop modifying our product that modifies other peoples products it's unethical

If only they reached a level of self-awareness on this.

It's kind of like that whole Game Dev Tycoon where people were posting for help because in their pirated copy of the game pirates made it impossible for them to make money.

Scars Unseen:

Not what I was saying. Basically, Gateway just ensured that no one can ever trust them again, thus devaluing their own product in an attempt to protect it. No effect on piracy in general, but I can't imagine too many people rushing out to buy a "backup" tool that the manufacturer actively sabotages.

The manufacturer only sabotages cards that aren't legit. It would be like Nintendo bricking the device if it was found to be playing pirated software. Few would say I can't imagine too many people rushing out to buy a tool that the manufacturer actively sabotages.

OT:

It also seems disingenuous to call this a "Piracy Tool". By that logic we can call the internet a "Piracy Tool", we can call computers "Piracy Tools"

wulf3n:

Scars Unseen:

Not what I was saying. Basically, Gateway just ensured that no one can ever trust them again, thus devaluing their own product in an attempt to protect it. No effect on piracy in general, but I can't imagine too many people rushing out to buy a "backup" tool that the manufacturer actively sabotages.

The manufacturer only sabotages cards that aren't legit. It would be like Nintendo bricking the device if it was found to be playing pirated software. Few would say I can't imagine too many people rushing out to buy a tool that the manufacturer actively sabotages.

OT:

It also seems disingenuous to call this a "Piracy Tool". By that logic we can call the internet a "Piracy Tool", we can call computers "Piracy Tools"

umm.. no. It does not sabotage illegitimate cards; it turns illegitimate cards into vehicles of sabotage that destroy people's expensive gaming hardware. This is illegal, and would earn a legitimate company a well earned lawsuit, but since Gateway's own product is already illegal, that isn't likely to happen. Thus the only thing people can do is not to buy any Gateway derived product, original or otherwise.

Take away the illegitimate nature of the products involved and it would be like Sony inserting a virus onto Sony Pictures blu rays that trashed the firmware of any non-Sony blu ray players.

Indeed, it's a hugely dangerous practice and very illegal.

Reminds me of that one Oblivion modder who made your game go to hell if you didn't follow his rules, except bugs in his mod made your game go to hell randomly anyhow.

Well that's a shame. Can't wait for a legit home brew screen to pop up on the 3DS. Playing all my old games on the go without paying an arm and a leg to buy them a second time would be nice, as would getting rid of scumbag Nintendo's region locking bullshit.

wulf3n:

OT:

It also seems disingenuous to call this a "Piracy Tool". By that logic we can call the internet a "Piracy Tool", we can call computers "Piracy Tools"

Well, it's a card designed solely for piracy O.o. It isn't like a boat that you can use for some smuggling on the side, it's a galleon with skull crossbones and is physically incapable of holding legitimate legal cargo.

wulf3n:
OT:

It also seems disingenuous to call this a "Piracy Tool". By that logic we can call the internet a "Piracy Tool", we can call computers "Piracy Tools"

Actually, apparently, the Gateway product can't even run homebrew. Only pirated commercial software.

Just... I can't even anything anymore.

It's like Irony and hypocrisy had a baby.

lacktheknack:

Just... I can't even anything anymore.

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