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Nintendo’s New Game & Watch Hacked a Day Before It’s Official Release


As thrilling as it’s to retro players to see Nintendo resurrect its earliest handheld consoles, with simply three video games on the new Game & Watch—two of which being Tremendous Mario Bros.—it’s not stunning to see hackers already cracking the hardware open to see if there’s the potential so as to add extra titles.

Twitter person ‘stacksmashing’ was one of many fortunate few to have their Sport & Watch consoles delivered yesterday, and after a short outing into the Mushroom Kindgom, they instantly proceeded to tear down the hand-held to see the way it functioned, and decide its potential for expandability. It seems to make use of fully totally different {hardware} than the NES Classic Edition from just a few years in the past, which has already been efficiently hacked.

The excellent news: stacksmashing discovered that the Sport & Watch appears to load a Tremendous Mario Bros. NES ROM file into the gadget’s RAM, which implies that the ROM file might probably be swapped with a distinct one permitting different video games to be loaded and performed on the hand-held. In addition they discovered that after barely altering the software program that powers the Sport & Watch, it nonetheless booted, that means alternate firmware might be created and used as an alternative.

Most significantly, stacksmashing was capable of bypass the Sport & Watch’s ROM encryption after only a day of tinkering to make the console display a custom “HACKED” message on display screen. There’s nonetheless lots of work to be finished to find out if alternate sport ROMs could be loaded and performed—not only a easy ROM that shows textual content—however it is a lot of essential progress in simply at some point.

The new Game & Watch’s USB-C port seemingly can’t be used for transferring data, requiring the handheld to be opened up to perform any hacks.

The brand new Sport & Watch’s USB-C port seemingly can’t be used for transferring information, requiring the hand-held to be opened as much as carry out any hacks.
Picture: Twitter – stacksmashing

The dangerous information: based mostly on stacksmashing’s explorations it doesn’t seem as if the USB-C port on the brand new Sport & Watch is connected to the CPU or something aside from energy wires. It appears it’s for charging the inner battery solely, which implies that anybody eager to swap out the pre-loaded ROM information, or fully exchange the firmware, goes to want to open up their gadget and use customized {hardware} to re-flash it.

That may make it difficult for anybody with out a primary understanding of electronics to switch their very own handheld, however that is additionally day considered one of tinkering with the gadget. As the brand new Sport & Watch makes it into the palms of different hackers, extra of its secrets and techniques will probably be revealed, however from the get go it doesn’t seem like Nintendo has gone to the identical lengths because it has with consoles just like the Swap and 3DS to lock this one down.

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Andrew Liszewski