Nintendo Switch hackers have had a major bit of bad news today as Nintendo has renewed their offensive against the hobby. Switch hackers have long been a part of the homebrew scene, helping to crack copy protection for games in some cases, while others were just interested in modding the console. Nintendo of America filed two lawsuits this past week against a group of sellers of various modchips and other tools used by game and hardware hackers against the Switch and other Nintendo platforms.
There are two suits that were filed, the first was filed in an Ohio court against Tom Dilts Jr., the alleged operator of the website UberChips. The second suit was filed in Seattle against a number of unnamed defendants and various websites selling modding and hacking tools. According to the suits, the tools sold on this site and others like it allow users to get around Nintendo’s “technological protection measures” which are meant to protect its games and hardware from unauthorized access and copying.” Lawyers allege that this is most often done to enable piracy.
All defendants reportedly sell products from a group of anonymous hackers called “Team Xecuter.” This name is well-known in the modding scene for developing and releasing tools for various game consoles over the years.
Nintendo has been a very litigious entity for some time with filing suits against a variety of hardware modders and ROMs sites. In January, it won an injunction against Sergio Mojarro Moreno, the operator of a Team Xecutor mod reseller, pushing him out of the business. Sites like EmuParadise restricted public access to their vast ROM collection after Nintendo cracked down on sites like LoveRetro.
Polygon has reached out to Nintendo for more information. The outlet also shared the full filing, check that out below.
It appears as though the operators of the primary target have pulled their website offline, as UberChips appears offline. The site dealt in a variety of different products for various current and retro game consoles. The modders offered a kit to hack the Nintendo Switch with for $47.99. Similar kits were sold for SNES Classic, PlayStation Mini, Nintendo 3DS, and Game Boy Advance hardware as well.
According to Nintendo and the general consensus of hardware makers, the primary purpose for these mods was not for archiving or other possibly justifiable pursuits, but used mostly for game piracy and Nintendo said this is causing “tremendous harm” to the company; Nintendo lawyers said hundreds of the devices have already been sold.
The damages sought by Nintendo in the suit amount $2,500 per trafficking violation. And also the company will seek an injection against the operators, preventing them from re-entering the trade.