Nintendo has been taking serious actions against hackers and pirates on the Switch all year, but the company hasn’t forgotten about its aging handheld. The 3DS just got a minor firmware update a few days ago, and the patch notes simply stated that it “improved system stability”. It’s been known for a while that these “stability updates” usually end up being security patches, and that’s exactly what this one has turned out to be.
The Big N has now made use of the same security measures its implemented on the Switch to fight against piracy on the 3DS. These tactics involve detecting illegitimate copies of games and subsequently banning the Nintendo Network ID that the system is attached to. The way this is carried out is that, like the Switch, 3DS systems will ping Nintendo’s servers to authenticate software via a special digital ‘ticket’. These are essentially like product keys, except they cannot be forged, thus allowing Nintendo to see if a user is playing a pirated copy of a game or a genuine one.
Piracy is naturally more rampant on 3DS than Switch due to the handheld having been around for several years at this point, but it looks like Nintendo is keen to crack down on it as much as possible.