CycloDS iEvolution and DSiWare Sudoku Hack

Yesterday proved to be a rather interesting day in the world of DSi homebrew with another two means of running code in DSi mode released to the world.

First my CycloDS iEvolution card sample turned up although I had to wait until quite late in the afternoon for the firmware to be released on their website. What surprised me most about the card was that it makes use of the Cooking Coach savegame exploit I released back in 2009 and later used to bootstrap a wifi loader ( see dsi mode homebrew ).  Team Cyclops have taken a somewhat novel approach to distributing the card. I quote here from their announcement.

In order to meet compliance with universal copyright laws, we have taken a completely legal approach for our iEvolution product. Competing products are distributed with content which contains illegally distributed partial ROM images (required for booting on DSi). iEvolution is distributed in a completely blank state and does not contain any illegal content.

What this means is that the card is basically a useless lump of plastic until you obtain ROM dumps for two games which you feed to a utility that constructs an update file for the card. Whether or not this is legal is rather debatable given that most users will in all likelihood obtain the dumps from an illegal source rather than buying the games and dumping them for their own personal use. The interoperability clauses in the US DMCA, the UK CPDA and the European EUCD obviously don’t apply to a card which provides the means to run illegally distributed “backups” so unfortunately this whole setup is still very dodgy as far as the law goes. Right now it’s quite difficult to make the argument that it’s primarily intended to run homebrew since currently the communication between arm7 and arm9 fails in DSi mode – this may be libnds related but I’ll know more when I’ve had a chance to figure out why.

Shortly after Team Cyclops released the firmware and tools for their card YellowStar made an announcement over on hackmii.com of a DSiWare savegame exploit which allows us to boot code from the internal SD card on the DSi. Unfortunately if you’re european and weren’t quick off the mark this avenue of running homebrew is no longer available. Nintendo pulled Sudoku from the European store within 24 hours of the hack’s release. I’m told it’s still currently available for US DSi owners but I can’t confirm this. If you’re American and Sudoku is still available for you then buy it quick – 200 points for DSi mode homebrew is a bargain ;o) UPDATE: Sorry, US people are out of luck now as well.

For DS/DSi related homebrew programming questions visit the devkitPro forums or our friendly IRC channels on blitzed.org.

What are you thinking Nintendo?

I’ve just had a look at this weeks DSiWare releases and found a little gem called FlashLight. 200 points for something that can’t have taken more than a couple of hours to throw together? £1.80 for that? How on earth did that get approved?

The sooner Nintendo let homebrew developers get in on the act the better. A lot of the stuff produced by devkitARM users should be worth several thousand points if you use FlashLight as a metric.