Nintendo Kills Nintendo Switch Pre-Owned Games to Combat Piracy: Report


  • Nintendo has apparently resorted to banning Nintendo Switch game cards
  • This has been done to combat growing piracy concerns
  • The Nintendo Switch has been in the crosshairs of hackers since launch

Nintendo has taken a drastic step to combat piracy on the Nintendo Switch. The hybrid console, while enjoying early success, has been the centre of attention for hackers aplenty with a bubbling homebrew scene emerging. And while Nintendo is looking to protect the Switch from attempts at piracy, it seems that it may have taken a step too far. Reports on the Nintendo Switch subreddit have emerged stating that pre-owned Nintendo Switch game cartridges or game cards as they’re known have been banned by Nintendo. This is possible because the company has unique keys to identify each Switch game card. If the card is dumped onto the Nintendo Switch’s memory (which any custom firmware user can do easily) and that copy is used online, Nintendo will ban it. What this means is, if you buy a used copy of a Nintendo Switch game, you run the risk of having your game being unplayable online and perhaps even your console banned from playing online as well.

“Looks like we’ve got confirmation that Nintendo is banning gamecart certificates (I guess people aren’t taking my advice…). The relevant error for trying to use a gamecard with a banned cert is 0x1F727C — 2124-4025,” tweeted a console hacker Michael Scires (via the Nintendo Switch subreddit). He followed this up with a message on Discord stating that playing a banned game card “will get your console banned quickly”.


Considering that Nintendo Points, the currency for its rewards program can be earned from a game card only by the first account that claims it, it would seem that Nintendo indeed has a way to identify each game card uniquely, which would make banning individual game cards easy.

That being said, Nintendo has yet to comment on this. If this is true, it means that buying used games on the Nintendo Switch has become a thing of the past and instantly makes Nintendo one of the most consumer unfriendly companies around. More so when you consider how expensive new Nintendo Switch games are, digital or otherwise.


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