Console hacking group break open a Nintendo Switch and turn it into a Linux tablet
The Nintendo Switch is the latest console to be hit by homebrew hackers who want to push their homemade games onto the format.
Fail0verflow, a squad of console hackers, have cracked the Switch wide open and managed to turn it into a Linux tablet. Complete with touchscreen and web browser support, the Switch’s main body essentially becomes a fully-working tablet for browsing the web and – while not shown – watching movies.
Currently, the Switch can’t actually play video via streaming services and there’s no front-facing web browser available. Fail0verflow’s hack shows that there is at least enough compatibility to do that if Nintendo so wished.
Interestingly, Linux appearing on the Nintendo Switch is just the first step in what could quickly become a homebrew market for the device. In the past, Sony’s PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita were hit by homebrew hackers who, for the most part, used the system to develop and distribute their own games across the devices.
The issue with homebrew devices isn’t that you’re using the hardware for an unintended purpose – which usually goes against the usage terms you agree to when using a console for the first time. Homebrew hackers, and even the sort who put Linux on a machine, open the floodgates to piracy on a platform. So far, Switch piracy levels have been rather low, but as the Switch has sold more consoles than the Wii U ever managed to muster in its life, Nintendo seriously needs to find a way to stop homebrew hackers from busting the Switch’s gates wide open.