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Nintendo will pay you upwards of $20,000 if you can hack the 3DS

The 3DS has been given somewhat of a lifeline with the recent release of Pokemon Sun and Moon, but the forthcoming launch of the Switch in March may just be the final nail in the coffin for the popular handheld.

It’s very strange then that Nintendo is only now looking to address the system’s piracy woes.

3ds hack

The Japanese gaming giant has announced via HackerOne that it will pay rewards to any person that discovers system vulnerabilities.

It’s willing to pay anywhere between $100 to $20,000 USD, depending on the severity of the exploit.

3ds hack

So if you have the technical know-how and think there’s more to discover about the 3DS, get digging: there’s some legitimate cash in it for you.

Nintendo says the program is designed to determine whether the 3DS can be hacked to accomodate piracy and cheating.

3ds hack

Interestingly, Nintendo also wants to determine whether the system can be hacked to disseminate “inappropriate content to children”.

What’s strange about the entire program is that the 3DS is notorious for having weak system and online security. There are countless exploits and homebrew programs out there, and even someone with little to no technical know-how can find ways to play pirated ROMs on the device.


It may not be as easily hackable as the DS — which was perhaps the most hackable handheld ever, up there with the PSP — but it’s still be a consistently targeted handheld by the hacking world.

This suggests that Nintendo could be ramping up its security effort for the Switch, and is looking for vulnerabilities that may be unintentionally carried over into the new console.

dark souls nintendo switch

The 3DS’ well-known vulnerabilities make it a good starting point for Nintendo in determining just how corruptible the technology is.

If you intent to get involved in the competition, you’ll need to share the details of any exploit you discover with Nintendo: you’ll be banned from sharing the details with third parties.

Further, any past or present Nintendo employees, as well as any third-party developers that have worked with Nintendo, are barred from entering.

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