Apparently, hacking into Nintendo Switch Online and adding your own ROMs isn’t as hard as you might think. In fact, it’s easy enough that most people would be able to do it.
According to Polygon, Switch Online is so exploitable because the service is using the same type of easily hackable emulation software that Nintendo implemented in the NES Classic and SNES Classic consoles. One of the hackers who’s already added their own ROMs to Nintendo Switch Online, kapu, told Polygon that setting everything up takes a bit of work, but is manageable with instructions. After that setup, it’s “insanely easy to swap out ROMs and add entirely new ones.”
“I have serious doubts that it points to any vulnerabilities,” he added, “I’d say it’s just a side-effect of making it easy on [Nintendo] to add more games as they officially release more, thus making it easy for modders as well.” As he considers this exploit to be nothing more than a simple oversight on Nintendo’s part, kapu advises against trying the hack yourself. Nintendo might patch Switch Online in the future, and possibly even ban players who utilize the hack from being able to play online. For now, the ball is in Nintendo’s court, and everyone will have to wait and see how the company addresses this development.
Until then, there are 20 NES games on Switch Online already, with another nine scheduled to launch on the service before the end of 2018. Pre-orders for Nintendo’s NES-style Joy-Con controllers are also available if you want to fully capture the nostalgic experience of playing these classic games. The controllers are expected to ship in mid-December 2018.