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Latest Nintendo 3DS Firmware Update Locks Out Most Flashcards

Last week, Nintendo 3DS users were prompted to update their firmware for no apparent reason. According to a flashcard maker and a scene site, thanks to the latest Nintendo 3DS firmware update, most flashcards do not work on the 3D handheld.

100 thoughts on “Latest Nintendo 3DS Firmware Update Locks Out Most Flashcards”

      1. In the case for DS and 3DS, it’s a device that allows you to run your own code. Nintendo tries to stop people from doing this because users can run copyright software, movies, games, etc. Though I wish they would actually add something for most of the updates, instead we paying customers get in the middle of the war between Nintendo and the illegal stuff.

        1. You know, you can also download Nintedo DS/3DS games illegally, so it’s a counter measurement to prevent piracy in their consoles.

        2. i like flash yes some people you it to pirate but i love it. i like having the option of taking my 30+ ds games with me with out have to take 30+ carts.the games i have in my flash is the ones i own and its perfectly legal to have one copy of the media you purchased whether its games movies or software.but to each his own!

          1. it does not matter the flash card i have already been patch and its working so this news is old and wrong they did nothing but a security patch on the 3ds firmware this is not news it happens all the time

          2. FYI, it’s still illegal even if you own an genuine copy of the game. From Nintendo’s website:

            “Can I Download a Nintendo ROM from the Internet if I Already Own the Authentic Game?

            There is a good deal of misinformation on the Internet regarding the backup/archival copy exception. It is not a “second copy” rule and is often mistakenly cited for the proposition that if you have one lawful copy of a copyrighted work, you are entitled to have a second copy of the copyrighted work even if that second copy is an infringing copy. The backup/archival copy exception is a very narrow limitation relating to a copy being made by the rightful owner of an authentic game to ensure he or she has one in the event of damage or destruction of the authentic. Therefore, whether you have an authentic game or not, or whether you have possession of a Nintendo ROM for a limited amount of time, i.e. 24 hours, it is illegal to download and play a Nintendo ROM from the Internet.”

            1. Thats cute a lot of legal jarbin that means dick. You can have the file on another device, if this was illegal why is it legal to own a flash card thats only purpose is to put DS related media on it? Its not logical, Nintendo has big legal people that say this and that, but if you know the law it doesnt matter what someone else says. Futhermore why then can you copy a page of a book legaly of the information from it, these things are also copywriten and fall under the same general set of laws. Educate yourself insted of regurgitating

              1. Actually what they’re saying is correct. If you dump your own media, instead of download it, it is legal. If you download another copy that was not dumped by your own person, it is illegal.

        3. even lazy gamers like myself who don’t wanna do things the hard way in the games r now prevented from using action replay and other cheat devices thanks to the most recent system update i don’t like doing the tedious grinding in pokemon and i want to get infinite carrots in ocarina of time so i can win the race against ingo to get epona cuz he uses infinite carrots himself and another thing i’m too lazy to be bothered with in pokemon is trading to get pokemon i can’t get normally

        1. You´re bot right. Flash cards are just like game cards but with a slot for a small Sd card with data. It´s different from the Sd card you use on the memory card slot

    1. it’s essentially a card that’s shaped like nintendo ds/3ds games, you can illegally download games from the internet and put them on the flash card, allowing you to play them on the 3ds itself, instead of having to emulate them on a computer

      1. True, but it’s not all about illegal games. A lot of folks enjoy flash cards because they can develop homebrew for the system running the card. I used to use a flash card solely to run emulators with games that I backed up myself from my own legally purchased copies (oldies from the 8-bit era). And to make sure I’m not a hypocrite I STILL purchase the titles when made available through the VC service. Not everyone with a flash card wants to break the law.

      2. just because something is free and easily accessible does it necessarily have to be considered illegal i mean law enforcement agencies don’t shut down porn sites that offer their content for free do they…no and unless ppl sell stuff as a 3rd party seller without permission from the official owner of the “pirated” media than i don’t have an issue with it if someone isn’t making money off of something they got for free from say a peer to peer file sharer or a file sharing website then i don’t have any problems with it

    2. A cartridge like any other DS game that has some sort of storage that can run homebrew applications, DS rom files, among other things…

    3. It’s not a stupid question if you don’t know the answer.
      It’s a card which allows you to run DS and DSi games without having to pay for them, via downloading and copying them into a MicroSD card and placing it into a DS styled cartridge.
      I own a flash card but I no longer use it as it’s become… pretty much a BRICK to my 3DS

  1. By the way, what do I have to understand by “most flashcards”? I mean, how can they be categorized? Brand, content, etc, etc, etc?

    1. By brand, different brands have slightly different coding but still perform most if not all of the same functions as others. So Nintendo would find out the codes and make the updates that forbid those codes from being read on the system. That’s my own theory anyway.

      1. Hum, ok. But what is the purpose, then?

        I also took a look to the post linked website, and I got nothing. Terms like “IC”, “PCB”, “FPGA”, “DSTWO”… What the hell do they mean? Seems like they have something to do with hacks, but I am not sure so far.

        1. IC usually means integrated circuit… this can be anything from a small specialised processor to a storage chip (i think in this case they’re referring to a storage chip) and PCB usually means printed circuit board (i.e. the board all the electronic components are soldered onto) DS cartridges would most likely have one too so that explains that
          an FPGA is an IC you can program yourself

          dstwo.. no clue.. maybe a make of flash cards

          1. I see, Kehool. Thanks for replying my doubts.

            Finally, checking other sources, I realized that some people have been using 3DS to emulate/play DS ROMs. That’s why Nintendo came up with this update.

            I confess I was not aware that was possible to emulate DS games in the 3DS.

  2. I don’t want to play around with flashcarts and things like that. I do not want to be tempted to pirate games and steal. Even if it is digital, stealing is stealing. I would rather buy a physical game or download a game legitimately than to steal just to try it out. That’s like walking into a store, taking something and leaving, and saying you are just trying it out. That is still stealing.

    Plus, even it was okay to use, I have no use for it. So I am glad they blocked it.

      1. yes there are indeed people who buy their music…

        tho i’d prefer it being refered to as “illegal duplication”
        stealing is the wrong term, since it is definitely not the same as walking into a store and taking something with you without paying

    1. Why wouldn’t they? I mean,sales will slow down and game developers will not make games for the 3ds.Look at the psp and wii homebrew it’s a mess

        1. Oh yes it does. Sales of games stimulate companies to make more games. If you download the game and play that version that was never bought, thats one less sale to them. Multiply that but a crazy lot amount and development will slow. Im happy this is happening.

  3. It stands to reason – they didn’t like it last time, they won’t tolerate it now.

    Why would anyone think this was going to stay ‘open’ for long?
    Nintendo aren’t so gracious to allow a blatant security hole to remain for long.

      1. Regardless, it was due and entirely in Nintendos interest to ensure this weakness was plastered over. {albeit being late to their own party}

  4. Who has a flash card for 3ds that can verify games no longer work? I want zelda II it is available in europe and no reason for not being here. If i need to get a flash card to get great games that used to be available from ds e shop and euro and jap 3ds e shop I will look into it.

        1. It is the official press release, just reposted on this site. It came out in August, and I couldn’t grab it at

    1. Personally I’d say Nintendo should release more of the NES VC games from the Ambassador program as well as extras and they should incorporate the GBA VC for every 3DS owner, not just Ambassadors. In my opinion, if the 3DS had the GBA VC available to the public, as well as starting with even just a couple of the games, market them at about 8 to 10 dollars per game depending on the demand for them, they would make a killing, more people would be happy and Nintendo would not have to keep releasing the updates to block R4s all the time, maybe for those that use them to play DS games but that’s about it.

      1. I’m an ambassador and I dislike that idea. I like knowing that the company who cost me an extra $100 made it up to me by giving me 20 free games, 10 of which no one else has access to. It feels like a genuine gift rather than a hasty making up.

        1. At least ten of the games are not worth playing. We bought four 3DS’s at $250 each. Then the 3DS XL comes out at $199. Not only that the platinum gift for club.nintendo was terrible last year. What a way to support the people who supports Nintendo.

          1. The one last year was better than the year before that. A dinky plastic statue? The Pin collection was at least cooler than that. The deck of cards will be good at least.

            I’m still punching myself for taking that Punchout game instead of the Hat from 3 years ago.

        2. And that’s we’re the frustration comes in and someone buys a flash card to remedy the problem even though they would have paid if the content was there

  5. I think the argument that flash cards hurt game sales is pretty weak. For many pirates it seems that it comes down to a choice between getting the game for free or not getting it at all. Either way Nintendo still doesn’t get any money.

    1. i’d tend to agree with you
      however this is not only for stopping piracy but also to send a signal to developers that 3ds is a safe investment for their games

  6. I would say good, but many people use flashcarts for purposes apart from illegal ROMS and stuff (Pokesav, homebrew gaming, etc). It is just a shame that the majority of people just use them to emulate games being sold for £30 and simply being a drain on the gaming industry…


  8. Well, maybe if they had better features on the 3DS(such as better music and video players, and support for legal homebrew), less people would be buying them.

  9. GAYYYYYY i knew there was a reason why my Action Replay wasnt working on it recently

    But this is actually a serious legal issue. The Action Replay I have was specially designed to work on the 3DS, and if it no longer does, well, I want my money back. That or someone needs to get Nintendo to undo this update, because it could cost companies that make these flashcards a lot of money.

    1. they could actually face a lawsuit from those companies
      nintendo lost before when they tried to prohibit manufactures from producing flash cards, and willfully locking developers out of their system was one of the major reason why they lost their case

  10. Always a bad sign when they do that against your own system that you have the right to own..

    Also, as always I think that one theory might be right, that people will probably find a way around.

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    1. If you can upgrade the card then do that if not then you will need to buy a new R4 card and make sure the update on the DS is not past what the firmware update can allow

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