This is starting to sound more and more like the popular thing to do to combat piracy, so I guess it should come as little surprise that Nintendo is starting to take on a similar tactic for its Nintendo 3DS.
Apparently, if Nintendo is able to detect that a 3DS is using “equipment which is illegal or unapproved by Nintendo,” it’s going to send out a system update that makes the system non-bootable. Similarly, if they detect that you “do customisation which is unapproved by Nintendo,” the company might do the same.
We all know this has to do with the flash cartridges where people load up their downloaded ROMs and play commercial games for free (illegally). Considering that we’ve seen Xbox 360s banned from Xbox Live and Wii firmware updates that kill previously functional mods, the porbable gamer really is no exception.
In this way, I don’t think it’s a “kill switch,” in the strictest sense. Instead, it sounds like it’s more of the same with mod-killing firware updates. Not surprisingly, Nintendo says that it can “not discuss product security details.”