Nintendo Wants You to Hack Your Switch For Up To $20,000

on April 11, 2017 2:22 PM

Ever trying to protect their software and hardware from homebrew applications, Nintendo is turning to the hacking communities to track down any vulnerabilities in their hardware. News comes by way of HackerOne that Nintendo is offering anywhere from $100 to $20,000 to find any holes that could lead to the family-friendly company’s main worries: piracy, cheating and sending inappropriate content to kids.

For those out of the loop, HackerOne is an online “vulnerability coordination and bug bounty program” where various companies — ranging from GM to Uber to Slack — ask users to find exploitable bugs within their programs.

This tactic isn’t a bizarre one for Nintendo — the Japanese publisher made the same move a few months ago specifically only for the Nintendo 3DS. With the Nintendo Switch in gamers’ hands for more than a month now, they have broadened the search to the home console.

Even more surprising is that a few problems in either Nintendo Switch or Nintendo 3DS have been readily identified. Since the bounty was published, Nintendo has awarded at least three different hackers bounties for finding exploits. In short, expect “stability updates” for both Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS in the near future.

Issues regarding both piracy and cheating are not new for Nintendo. While The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was getting rave reviews, the game was immediately emulated onto PC — eventually supporting 4K. This, of course, was due to a Wii U emulation tool which has existed for quite a while.

Other instances of hacking have been highlighted this year as well. Only a couple of weeks ago, The Pokemon Company removed over 7,600 users from both Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon’s online community due to altering save date. This followed another mass-removal in January where 6,000 users were removed for the same reason.

With the Nintendo Switch outperforming Nintendo’s own expectations, it is unsurprising that the House of Mario is looking to make sure all of their bases are covered.

 /  Editor-in-Chief
Lou Contaldi is the Editor-in-Chief at DualShockers, specializing in both reviews and the business behind gaming. He began writing about tech and video games while getting his Juris Doctor at Hofstra University School of Law. He is maybe the only gaming journo based in Nashville, TN.