The Nintendo Switch was recently hacked. This has exposed some hardware exploits that mean Nintendo cannot fix them through a patch. The hack allowed for a complete dump of the Switch’s boot ROM. Essentially, giving the hacker access to everything that makes the Switch tick.

Since Nintendo cannot simply release a patch to fix this exploit, they will need to find a way to revise the Nvidia Tegra X1 processor itself. This will likely mean that the current model of the Switch will remain hackable for the long term.

Nintendo Switch hacked

The exploit was discovered by console hackers fail0verflow with their ShofEL2 release.

They are veterans of console hacking. The hackers have also said that the exploit was noted via Google, Nvidia, and Nintendo a while ago, but it was not fixed. The hackers were originally going to release the Switch exploit on April 25th. However, once the boot ROM dump was leaked they brought the release forward.

The hackers, fail0verflow, stated that they were conflicted over whether to release the exploit or not. They posted about this on their blog saying that they worried about exploits being used for piracy rather than homebrew purposes.

Homebrew is the term that is used when referring to users programming consoles when they ordinarily wouldn't be able to. This includes creating homemade games for them or exploring their potential and storage methods.

It isn’t necessarily illegal, but often console producers frown on their products being used this way.

There are still excellent games to play

The Nintendo Switch has had plenty of smash hit games this year including the likes of "Super Mario Odyssey," "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" and "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe." The console itself has also been the fastest selling Nintendo console in years.

Since the release of the Switch, Nintendo has gone from strength to strength, so could this exploit be the first stumbling block for their latest console?

For the moment, the Nintendo Switch is vulnerable and their options are limited in terms of what they can do. They will need to change the Nvidia Tegra X1 processor in order to stop the exploit.

The new Tegra process has been referenced in the latest Switch firmware update, so this could be Nintendo’s response to the console being hacked. This firmware update also includes an increase in RAM from 4GB to 8GB.

Only time will tell whether Nintendo can shore up this exploit permanently, or what their next move will be. They will need to do something, but what that will be we will need to wait and see.