As a prominent Switch hacker called “Shiny Quagsire” just found out, Nintendo has begun rolling out bans for those who hack the Nintendo Switch. What the bans come down to is removing the most significant online components of the affected consoles. While banned consoles can still update their games and access news channels, they may not access Nintendo’s eShop or access any online component in games or participate in social media through them.
Shiny Quagsire thought he could circumvent the ban by using a different Switch console, and entered his Nintendo Network account credentials. However, the ban was extended to his second console, as the Nintendo Network account associated with his hacking activity was banned, meaning he can no longer use the account to purchase any new games.
Wow, it’s almost as though Nintendo doesn’t want anyone hacking their consoles or using them to play pirated software.
Here is what the ban message looks like, as shared by Shiny Quagsire himself:
The notice contained an invitation to contact Nintendo’s customer support, which Shiny Quagsire did. This was the reply that he got back:
TL;DR: “You’re the kind of person we don’t want using the online component of our system, so we don’t regret banning you at all. Please refer to the EULA where you agreed that if you hack your system or put pirated games on it, you’d be aware that we could totally wreck your system (though, this time, we merely settled for disabling the funnest online components).”
It’s kind of amusing how resigned to the outcome that Shiny Quagsire turned out to be, as though this wasn’t the worst of all possible outcomes, especially if pirated software were involved.
Personally, I think that the prospect of hacking Switches seems pretty awesome, provided that a person isn’t doing anything illegal. If a person can hack a Switch to get Linux running on it, that’s pretty awesome.
What grinds my gears is hacking software to give one’s self an unfair advantage in online multiplayer games. As I see it, if a person spent $60 on a game to participate in the online experience, hacking to give one’s self an advantage in online play takes something of value from the other players. A prime example of this would be the Global Trade Station (GTS) in the more recent Pokemon games. In the Diamond and Pearl days, the GTS was flooded with pokemon with request criteria that was impossible to fulfill, and players were doing this to take advantage of an exploit that could duplicate their pokemon. Because players would often leave their pokemon up for trade, the GTS came to be filled with pokemon that remained until they were automatically removed.
Things are even worse in online FPS games where a person could activate a hack that could make their character invincible so that no one else can do anything about them. There are many other exploits as well, and they each have the effect of ruining the online experience of the game in question, and game companies should care about this because it damages the reputation of the game franchise as well as the game company itself.
Considering this, it’s great that Nintendo is doing something about cheaters and hackers, because it means a better experience for the rest of us. When I see people getting banned that actually deserve it, it makes me not regret buying a Nintendo Switch at all.
I know that some in the hacking community may take issue with my assessment. What I’d have to say would depend on what you’ve been doing with your game system:
- If you use your system to play pirated games, you have no reason to be upset. If you steal your games to begin with, why do you want to access the eShop? Besides, just be glad Nintendo didn’t notify the FBI (though, if they did, you might end up getting a visit).
- If you cheat at games and want to play them online, Nintendo was right to ban you. If that’s how it happened, then I find the outcome refreshing. If you upload an entitled tantrum to YouTube, I might find it and get a laugh out of it.
- If you hack your Switch just for fun, it’s unfortunate that you got banned. But, if you were smart enough to hack your Switch, you should have been aware of a banning as a possible outcome.
Have you ever tried to convince a cheater in Pokemon that cheating was wrong and that they shouldn’t do it? I have, and you’d be impressed at their capacity to avoid acknowledging the obvious. After a while, I just stopped attempting to reason with them and left it to Nintendo to deal with them appropriately.
For those who are planning on hacking the upcoming Pokemon games for Nintendo Switch, this latest round of bans is your warning shot. Even if you avoided getting sniped this time around, the latest bannings are like that bullet that whizzes right by your head, perhaps taking out a few hairs as it goes, as if to say, “Rethink taking another step forward.” And if Nintendo is going to start charging to use their online services, it’s only expected of them to clear out anyone that’s going to subtract from the experience.
I know that there might be some cheaters reading this that would be triggered by it. If you’re one of them, just get over yourself. You’re not the only person who plays games online, and the rest of us want you off. When you get banned, we get what we want. End of story.