The Switch Sees an Increase In Docking!
It is a good thing that Mario’s brother is the newly appointed balloon czar, because he is definitely going to want to double bag it before rescuing the kind of princesses who have been arriving in the Mushroom Kingdom of late! The Nintendo Switch hacking scene is finally making good on its potential! Piracy and emulation is all well and good, but surely going full Tyler Durden on children’s vidya is the apex expression of the freedom afforded to the owners of hacked consoles!
Nintendo’s choice to use off the shelf components in the construction of the Switch has meant that Tegra exploits have become Nintendo Switch exploits, and as such there is a permanent capacity for exploitability inherent to all of Nintendo’s initial shipments of the hardware. This exploitability has led to the creation of a very robust Switch hacking scene, which in turn has led to many surprising applications of the hardware. The most recent application of said hardware is inserting hardcore pornographic images into Super Mario Odyssey, or more specifically the online Luigi’s Balloon World portion of the game.
Luigi’s Balloon World is essentially a balloon hunt, and involves players each hiding a balloon throughout a level. Each balloon displays the profile picture of the player that hid it, and normally these profile pictures would be limited to a small selection of images that Nintendo makes available for this purpose. The owners of hacked Switches however are not bound by such petty strictures, and a piece of leaked developer software has allowed them to upload their own custom pictures to be used as profile pictures, in this instance pornographic ones!
“It seems hackers have found a way to insert indecent content into our children’s games. It seems to be an issue with users’ profile pictures. The picture was changed several times over the course of my time patrolling, each picture being pornographic content. There are multiple of these balloons all being made by the same user. This is obviously intentional, and made to upset children.”
It probably is not great that children are being exposed to this, but it is hilarious that Nintendo has to deal with it! This is Nintendo who ruins their M rated games by censoring out swimming costumes! This is Nintendo who hobbles their consoles deliberately because they fear and distrust the internet! If Nintendo were not so averse to the internet then they might actually have a clue about how to address this issue! But Nintendo likely do not have the foggiest idea of how to proceed, and will probably just remove the feature altogether instead of finding a more elegant solution to the problem. One can hardly wait to see what delights Nintendo’s hacking aficionados have in store for us next!
Atari VCS VS RGT 85
There has been no shortage of prior warning signs that the Atari VCS would turn out to be a fraud. Not everybody is equipped to take heed of such warning signs though. RGT 85 is a massive Nintendo fan, and like many Massive Nintendo fans he tends to take a ‘glass all the way full’ perception of every product that comes along, especially when said products are as emotive as the potential release of a new Atari console. As such, he has been enthusiastically covering the Atari VCS since it was announced. To his credit though, when some highly suspect information about the Atari VCS was presented to him, RGT did not dismiss the information out of hand. Rather, he investigated the allegations, and then made a video on the situation which blew up – much to Atari’s chagrin.
The Atari VCS team have presented the console as a working piece of hardware, and their primary evidence supporting this has been footage of people playing Tempest 4000 and a remake of Yars’ Revenge, which were presented with the unequivocal insinuation that they were running on prototype hardware.
“Get #AtariVCS at AtariVCS.com Still excited about seeing Tempest 4000 on the Atari VCS? How about some actual gameplay? We’ve snagged more behind the scenes test video! It’s Tempest 4000, played with a modern controller on an Atari VCS test platform!”
Unfortunately for Atari this was quickly revealed as blatant fraud. The AtariAge forums revealed that the Yars’ Revenge footage was faked based on the player’s controller inputs. Meanwhile it was revealed that the Tempest 4000 footage was faked because one of the game’s developers revealed that the company knew nothing about a Linux port of the game, much less a specific Atari VCS version of the game!
“The contract does NOT talk about ataribox .. just to let you know .. not even in the small prints .. actually I don’t think there was any ataribox at all when the contract was made …”
“.. I know absolutely NOTHING about it, nor about it running, even less about the Atari box itself.”
“I don’t even know what HW or OS it REALLY is .. I mean “I know as much as you know” like “they say it’s like a laptop running some Linux”.”
“”I’ll believe it when I’ll see it” that’s my “best advice” for everyone.
And this is really the best advice coming from “N years of real life experience” .. see what you have in hands when you have it in your hands, don’t be afraid/worried of this or that “it’s not there until you don’t have it”.”
It was this information that RGT 85 presented in his video. Atari’s response to being found out was to go back and edit their description of the game footage to make it look like it had always had a disclaimer stating that it was the PC version presented for illustrative purpose only. They then got in touch with Llamasoft, the developers of Tempest 4000, in order to organise an Atari VCS port. Following this Atari proceeded to gaslight consumers, claiming that their ‘fake news’ critics were making up lies about the footage being faked and falsehoods about there being no Tempest 4000 port in the works. When Atari fans came to the Atari VCS Facebook page asking about claims that Atari’s footage was fraudulent, they were told:
“Hi ________. Atari shared footage of the existing PC version of Tempest 4K and fully expects to have it, and games like it, available for the VCS launch next year. We have clearly stated on our Indiegogo campaign page that IP shown “is depicted for illustration purposes only” and cannot comment on any confidential conversations with our business partners.”
When people presented RGT 85’s popular video to Atari VCS they went on to respond:
“Fake news. This was quickly debunked. That guy and others like him are in the views for $ business and not a single one of them has ever bothered to contact Atari or its PR team with a single question. Please don’t give “research” credit to people like that. There are many reputable media outlets that actually deliver verified facts.”
When has it ever been a good sign when a company attempts to get ahead by deceiving and gaslighting their consumers? It is like Atari saw what Coleco did with the Chameleon, and said “I’ll see your fraud, and raise you some brazen chutzpah!” – and it defies belief that the Atari VCS campaign did not end in just the same way as the Chameleon. This was all very obvious months ahead of the Indiegogo campaign, so anybody who looses their money to this obvious scam thoroughly deserves it.
Atari VCS VS The Register
When Atari’s Facebook stated that “There are many reputable media outlets that actually deliver verified facts“, they likely were not referring to The Register, though they should have been. So it was not enough that Atari VCS picked a fight with consumers and Youtubers, they also succeeded in picking a fight with the media this week. They decided to claim that a story released by The Register was all made up, and were then made to look ridiculous when it turned out that The Register were still in possession of the GDC interview recording upon which their article was based.
The funny thing is that the article that was initially published by The Register did not make the situation sound quite as dire ans the interview itself. The Article basically indicated that the author got the impression that contrary to Atari’s claims there was no finalised prototype of the console, and that Atari actually required the Indiegogo funding in order to begin developing a working prototype. The article was a little more specific, but that was essentially the gist of it. When confronted with this article by concerned Atari fans they were told:
“We honestly can’t explain that article either. Our executives sat with that reporter for half an hour and he wrote what he wanted instead of what was discussed with him. Sadly there are even irresponsible trolls in ‘professional’ positions i guess.
We clearly said that we were bringing engineering design models to GDC and lots of people clearly don’t understand what that means. Hunks of plastic? Well, yeah, that’s how you finalize the designs and confirm that you can get the look and feel you want for the finished products. Sad.”
Once again Atari lies about a critic having malign intentions, but the recording of the actual interview blows their claims to pieces. Atari suggest that the article is all down to The Register’s experienced tech reporters not understanding the purpose of a design model. The fact that Atari only have a design model to show for themselves is a legit cause for concern by itself, but the article was based on a lot more than that. In the interview Atari’s COO Michael Arzt is unable to answer even the most basic question about his console, and amid all the deflection inception he appears to have accidentally revealed that there is no functional hardware or software interface. He revealed that “We’re not so far down the road” that they had to commit to any specific AMD chip to power the console. He also revealed that “we’re not ready to show the software yet“. There is only one thing that a sane person could reasonably conclude from this information, and that is that there is no console, and the software interface that they are developing for it is as yet unusable. The initial article is three months old at this point, and it is conceivable that the project could have advanced within that time, but is it really surprising that Atari have been caught faking footage when they did not have anything to show for themselves a mere three months ago?