Nintendo Switch hackers are being banned from online services

Nintendo Switch

Not long after its March launch last year, it was revealed that a GPU exploit in the Nintendo Switch could be used to run unofficial software, like pirated games and homebrew ROMs. Since then, the Switch's hacking community has grown, and the discovery of a new 'unpatchable' exploit last month has only made the console more attractive to pirates and homebrew fans.

Nintendo isn't taking the assault on its walled garden lightly, however, and is taking steps to crack down and dissuade users from taking advantage of the security holes. 

The Japanese company has begun banning hacked consoles from its online services, sending error notifications when users attempt to log in. According to the message,  “The use of online services on this console is currently restricted by Nintendo,” and users will need to “Contact Customer Support via the Nintendo Support Website”.

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Locked out

The incident was first reported by Switch enthusiast Shiny Quagsire, who said the error message popped up on an unhacked switch, meaning Nintendo has applied the ban to a Nintendo user account, which could affect multiple Switch consoles if the user owns more than one.

The ban restricts users to playing games on their console only with most online services disabled, though it appears news updates are still coming through. Access to the eShop, playing online games and interacting with the Switch community are all blocked, however.

Banned consoles can still receive and download software updates.

Shiny Quagsire has since contacted Nintendo to have the ban removed, but his request was denied.

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The moral of the story? If you're a Switch fan and don't want to ruin your Pokémon or Zelda experience, it'd be best not to mess with your console.

[Via Nintendo Life]

Sharmishta Sarkar
Managing Editor (APAC)

Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing camera kits or the latest in e-paper tablets, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She's also the Australian Managing Editor of Digital Camera World and, if that wasn't enough, she contributes to T3 and Tom's Guide, while also working on two of Future's photography print magazines Down Under.