Nintendo 3DS launches in Japan, sells out & gets hacked

The highly anticipated Nintendo 3DS portable gaming console has apparently sold out in Japan at launch, supporting the notion that the product will be extremely popular, as many industry pundits have predicted.

The 3DS sets itself apart from all other portable gaming systems (and smartphones) by featuring a 3D screen that doesn’t require glasses. This new 3DS gaming experience is viewable by the naked eye, impressively popping 3D images out of the screen into your reality, without requiring cumbersome eye-wear.

Nintendo 3DS launches in Japan, sells out & gets hacked

Initial reports indicate that Nintendo has sold close to 400,000 3DS units at launch, with all available stock being gobbled up by anxious Japanese customers. Eager customers who weren’t able to snap one up during the initial launch frenzy shouldn’t have to wait too long though, as Nintendo plans to ready 1.5 million units for sale in Japan by the end of this month.

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North American customers will need to wait it out until March 27th, when the 3DS is planned to launch in this neck of the woods at $249.99.

The other big news surrounding the 3DS is that it has already been hacked, despite the fact that Nintendo had allegedly included more piracy protections on the system than any other handheld unit before it.

Joystiq reports on the hacks, discussing a YouTube video that showcases one 3DS customer utilizing the “Cyber Gadget CodeFreak” game capture utility to run backed-up games and homebrew apps on the new hardware. The video shows Mario Kart DS and the Lameboy (Gameboy) emulator running happily on the 3DS.¬†¬†Another YouTube video shows someone using an R4 to play backed-up games, showcasing that the new console can be manipulated with an R4 flash cartridge.

Will Nintendo try to block these hacks via a 3DS firmware update? We think it’s very likely.

Nonetheless, if you’re a soon to be Nintendo 3DS customer, you probably find the right-out-of-the-gate hacking activities pretty exciting. After all, who doesn’t want the ability to play game backups & homebrew apps on a new console?

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