Online reports suggest Nintendo's upcoming 3DS console may be able to detect when users try to play an illegal flash cart on the device. In such a scenario, Nintendo could implement special firmware that would disable the console from working, basically bricking your $250 mobile gaming system. More than a theoretical possibility, at least one website is reporting that's exactly what Nintendo intends to do.
According to GoNintendo.com , Japanese retailer Enterking posted a warning on its website that, loosely translated, states that "in case you use equipment which is illegal or unapproved by Nintendo of if you [perform a] customization which is unapproved by Nintendo, there is a possibility that [the] Nintendo 3DS [will] become non-bootable" via a system update. Yikes!
Whether or not Nintendo would really do that remains to be seen. When pinged by Eurogamer.net , Nintendo had an opportunity to squash the rumor, but instead played it coy.
"We do not discuss product security details (for obvious reasons), nor can we discuss the details of countermeasures available in the Nintendo 3DS system," a spokesperson said. "Nintendo 3DS has the most up-to-date technology. The security has been designed to protect both the creative works in the software and to protect the Nintendo 3DS hardware system itself."
If we're to read between the lines, it appears the rumor is true, the only question is whether or not Nintendo would actually go through with it. Nintendo will have to decide if it's worth alienating the ones who would use third-party ROMs for legitimate purposes, as well as those who oppose such measures in principle.
Would a kill switch have any impact on your decision to buy a 3DS console?