The Nintendo Switch is on top of the world right now, but all the early success in the world won’t mean much if the system ends up being quickly hacked. Of course, jailbroken hardware can be used for harmless stuff like homebrew apps and mods, but it can also open the door for piracy, and handheld gaming systems like the PSP, PS Vita, and Nintendo DS have all had their lives cut short because hacking got out of control. Unfortunately, the Nintendo Switch could be headed in the same direction.
Hackers are working hard to open up the Nintendo Switch, and it seems they’ve made a breakthrough. Known hacker Derrekr6 boasted on Twitter that Switch hackers had managed to get to the system’s kernel…
For those non-hackers out there, the kernel is core of a computer or console’s operating system, through which you can gain complete control of the machine. It’s difficult to say what, precisely, our hacker means by “we got the kernel” – hopefully it simply means they’ve found/dumped the kernel, rather than taken control of it. The feeling on hacking/homebrew sites is that this is a big first step towards breaking open the Switch, but that actual usable hacks and exploits won’t be possible for a while yet.
Of course, Nintendo isn’t going to sit back while hackers do their thing. The Big N is offering big cash rewards for anybody who finds and reports Nintendo Switch exploits, and you can expect plenty of mysterious system updates that promise to “improve system stability and user experience” and little else. The fight against hackers is an ongoing battle Nintendo can’t afford to lose.