Nintendo is Banning Switch Consoles Running Pirated Software


Nintendo has announced that it will begin to ban Switch consoles that are running pirated software. The move comes after an unpatchable hardware exploit turned up this year. The concern was that the unpatchable exploit might allow piracy on the Switch console.

Reports are now surfacing that people taking advantage of that exploit to install and run pirated software are facing permanent bans of their hardware from the Nintendo network. Nintendo has several protections in place to detect systems with pirated games when online.

The protections include that every Switch game card has a unique key. If the game card is dumped and a copy of the game is used online, Nintendo can ban it and prevent the game card from being used online again. That has led to concerns about purchasing used games for the Switch reports Gamasutra.

With downloadable games there is an encrypted ticket inside that combines info about the game along with details about the console unique ID and Nintendo Account ID. Players that download a pirated game purchased on a different console or account can be identified and banned from the network. These tickets cant be forged and once banned there is no way around the ban. That means while Nintendo cant fix the hardware exploit, they are far from toothless when it comes to piracy.