Jordan “Smealum” Rabet and a team of fellow hackers have finally relased the first exploit that allows homebrew applications to run on any Nintendo 3DS model. Called Ninjhax, the software takes advantage of a previously obscure 3DS game called Cubic Ninja, causing demand for the poorly received game to skyrocket.
Speaking with Eurogamer, Smealum said “Cubic Ninja has a level editor, which is the vulnerable part of the game. And it has a way of sharing levels, which is through QR codes. So basically what I have is a manufactured QR code you scan with your game, and from there it starts running code on your console, and then downloads more code through Wi-Fi, installs it to the save game and loads up the Homebrew menu.”
ok so exploit game is cubic ninja, eshop or retail is fine. however eshop version is JPN only !
— smea (@smealum) November 18, 2014
Nintendo removed Cubic Ninja from the eShop four hours after Smealum revealed that Ninjhax requires the game. Smealum said he found it incredible that Nintendo readily believed his tweet. He jokingly wondered what would have happened if he claimed the exploit relied on Super Smash Bros. instead.
Check out the video to see Smealum use Ninjhax on a first generation 3DS and the latest 3DS:
Eurogamer’s interview with Smealum is a great read and you should definitely check it out. But if you’re itching to play around with homebrew software, then head to the Ninjhax website to download the exploit and find out how to load it on your 3DS. Needless to say, you’ll need a copy of Cubic Ninja. As of this writing Best Buy is still selling it for $5 (USD) to $7.
While the exploit will let you run emulators and homebrew games – and there are already a handful of both on the Ninjhax homebrew channel – on the 3DS it won’t let you run pirated 3DS games (yet). And if it’s up to Smealum it’s going to stay that way. As for Nintendo? You can bet they’ll release a firmware update soon that will render the exploit useless.