Well, it's time to blast this discussion wide open. GBAtemp's resident 3DS developer, smealum, has been quite busy the past couple of months developing his 3DS exploit called SSSPwn. We've seen the hundreds of discussion threads that have come up in the past, and we've seen where they all have ended up. It's time to put an end to all of this, and it's time to give you guys a taste of 3DS homebrew and what to expect out of it, straight from itself. No more speculation, no more dancing around. There is a lot more information to follow, so hit the "Continue reading" button for the rest of it!

Now, I must apologize in advance. I have not been entirely honest with you guys, and I should mention that I have been working alongside smealum with this exploit since August, gaining more information as to what this exploit is all about. I am mentioning this topic because the release date of SSSpwn is truly at hand, and it's awesome to think of the potential that this exploit will bring.


This exploit is actually very simple to launch. This exploit is similar to the exploit that made Wii hacking popular - the modified boot.elf file that is placed on the root of an SD card, and launched by opening the Wii mail/message center. For those of you that don't remember, the screen glitches out, and the exploit will launch, asking to install the homebrew channel. The concept here is very similar and launched in a similar manner - why break what currently works? There's no reason to.

Activation of the Exploit

Activating the exploit is very easy. It requires a Nintendo 3DS. It could be a regular 3DS, or it could be the New Nintendo 3DS. It's very versatile. Activating the exploit begins by going to a particular link. I will not be distributing that link, but it will be available soon - I promise. Going to that link, you will be asked to input the firmware version of your Nintendo 3DS. Following that, you're going to be getting a set of directions that will instruct you on how to proceed with installing the exploit. Doing so, however, requires a Nintendo 3DS title, and due to the nature of the exploit, I will not be providing that information to the public at this time. No exceptions to this rule will be made. If you try and message me about it, do not expect a reply. Once the exploit is installed, you will have the Homebrew Channel, not so unlike that of the Nintendo Wii, on your system. From here, you can power down the system, or remove the SD card while in the Homebrew Channel to install homebrew, which takes the form of .3DSX files. These homebrew are placed in a created directory on the 3DS SD card's root, and placed in a folder with that homebrew's name. The file is renamed boot.3dsx, and once you reinsert the SD card, the Homebrew Channel will acknowledge the presence of the application and you will be able to run homebrew!

Homebrew Test

Yep, you got that right, I got the opportunity to test some 3DS homebrew. First of all, I will note that the homebrew is in 3D. And it's actually pretty solid, so I'll have to hand it to smealum for that. Please note, though, that homebrew in its current stage is in a "work in progress" phase, so there's still things that need to be worked on.

The title I spent time working with is 3DSCraft. Yep, it's Minecraft, on the Nintendo 3DS, on the go. And dear God my camera is horrible - Minecraft 3DS looked a lot better than that mess. With a Nintendo 3DS, the operations are limited, to be developed for future, but it does its purpose - it shows people that homebrew runs. And what better way to prove this than with a picture? (Minor side note - the New Nintendo 3DS has more operations available due to the extra buttons the console has).

According to smealum, a lot of the homebrew being worked on still has stuff to fix, but the potential is out there - there's so much that could be had in terms of 3DS homebrew with this out in the wild.

So Now What? Why Should I Care?

There's still things to perfect with this exploit. It's not flawless by any means, but it's a huge first step to recognize the homebrew that is capable of running on the Nintendo 3DS. It's a very versatile exploit that can be installed on virtually any Nintendo 3DS console out there, regardless of firmware. For those that follow the homebrew scene, this is a great opportunity, once released, to start doing things with it. Think emulators. Custom games. Applications. And that is what myself and smealum hope to see as a result of this - a developing homebrew scene that helps the 3DS soar like back in the days of the Nintendo DS. Please note, however, that 3DS backups are not possible to execute on this exploit.

So When Can We Expect This to Come Out?

A lot of this community has waited anxiously for more information as to the release of this exploit. Well, I can give you a date as to when to expect it - and it's soon. The date that the 3DS exploit will become publicly available is November 22nd, so mark those calendars. All information will be made public at that date, which includes the game needed to execute the exploit. There will more than likely be a follow up post to this that contains that information, but in the meantime, stay hopeful and get excited, because things are going to get good from here on out. In the meantime, though, I would like to ask that, if you want to discuss the exploit, to do so here, instead of writing hundreds of threads within the Nintendo 3DS Hacking and Homebrew forum.