PLEASE NOTE: This post was not published as an endorsement of the actions mentioned. This is simply a news report. Reporting does not equal support/commendation/approval of any of the details mentioned.
The Switch hacking community has been making steady advancements over the past few months. In response, Nintendo has done a lot to keep the Switch as secure as possible. The most recent (and biggest) maneuver from the company was the 5.0 firmware update. To put it simply, this update really ‘switched’ things around in the system’s internal coding which did a good job at cutting the progress of hackers. Even so, it doesn’t look like it was 100% effective.
A hacker from the ReSwitched hacking group shared some comments during an interview over on the GBATemp forum. This hacker admitted that Nintendo has done a good job of securing the Switch from a software perspective, but the system’s most vulnerable point has been its heart: the Nvidia Tegra processor. The Switch is powered by a Tegra X1 chipset, a component that has been around since 2015. With it being such an established piece of hardware, exploits have been progressing rapidly. According to the aforementioned hacker, this has allowed the Switch to be “completely compromised.”
All hope isn’t lost, though. This same hacker admits that there are ways Nintendo can cover more bases, and it looks like the company is already doing so. One change comes with the a heavily-rumored hardware revision which will modify the Switch’s Tegra, thus making it harder for hackers to crack their way in. This is a common occurrence in the console industry, and typically isn’t something that’s announced to the public. Another method of protection this hacker mentioned is that Nintendo could “update the boot room patches written at the factory.” Of course, neither of these methods can fully protect the millions of systems that are already out in the wild and sitting on store shelves.
For now, Switch hacking is still not completely publically accessible. There’s no telling how long it will remain like this, however. As the system continues to grow in popularity, Nintendo will continue to be more keen about keeping it protected, like any other company would. For what it’s worth, the hacker that shared these comments admitted that the ReSwitched team isn’t seeking to damage the Switch, but simply wants to “create an engaged homebrew scene and do our best to foster a good, healthy community around it.” That sounds nice, but regardless, that doesn’t change the fact that hacking typically does lead to software piracy and cheaters. Hopefully Nintendo can keep up a strong fight to delay this scenario from becoming a reality for as long as possible.