Switch Hax Weekly Issue 5

weekly5.png

Hello everyone, and welcome to another Switch Hax Weekly. This is a bumper homebrew issue with not less than twelve different projects to report on! This week we have:
  • New Switch firmware
  • RetroArch Switch
  • SX OS 2.1/2.0.1
  • Homebrew Bounty Round 1 begins
  • New homebrew roundup
  • 3DS news

New Switch firmware: 6.0.1

The Switch firmware got an update yesterday, with the release of 6.0.1. To date it seems like it only includes some bugfixes, and no damage to hax has been reported. The qlaunch module was replaced, which means custom themes will not work in 6.0.1 at time of writing.

9608223A-FE1C-4270-991F-4D03F1E0AE11.jpeg
Thank you to @Naked_Snake for the screenshot.

There is a discussion thread here.


RetroArch Switch

RetroArch, by the libretro team, is a popular emulator frontend available for a wide variety of consoles and computers. Until this week the Switch version was only able to be played through Lakka.

Pre-release jitters
There was a bit of a hiccup the day before RetroArch's Switch release. On the 30th September Libretro made a tweet teasing the soon-to-come release, stating that there would be 42+ cores.



An hour later, Jonathan Downey, who has a YouTube channel called Spawn Wave, made a tweet saying that RetroArch had been released. He didn't have any inside knowledge (as nothing had been released at that time), and given the time difference between Libretro's tweet and his, probably just misunderstood it. With 27K followers it quickly got retweeted out of control.



Many news outlets reported on the release using this tweet as source. These outlets include Nintendo Enthusiast, My Nintendo News, Gaming Alarm, and 1st Gamers.

Adding to the confusion was the fact that Libretro retweeted Spawn Wave's tweet, making it seem like they approved or agreed. It turned out that they just thought it was cool, and they weren't meaning to convey any particular message with the retweet.

RetroArch Switch was released the next day to much fanfare, with two more cores than promised, plus lots of other amazing features. Check out the official blog post by Libretro for details, and talk about it on the official GBAtemp discussion thread here.

TX accused of bribing main developer
SX OS is accused of asking m4xw to develop RetroArch solely for SX OS in exchange for $6,000.

The details here are a little murky, as the sum total of the evidence is m4xw showing a snippet of the conversation between him and the SX OS team.

Great to know you are associated with them. Not surprised.
Yet we are here and I never accepted any payment whatsoever.

If you want to blame me for trying to gain their trust, go ahead.
I don't mind it, I wanted to see where this goes and I didn't like the destination.
Can you maybe expand a bit on what the current status of your retroARCH port is?
I understand you are ambitious to write a custom UI for reotroARCH from scratch,
but from a time-efficiency point of view this would set us back quite some months.
This also goes for porting Qt etc. to switch. They would be nice *future* goals
but for now we are mostly interested in getting an emulator frontend integrated ASAP.

You can either provide us with source code or an NRO and we will take care of the
actual integration into TX menu. Right now it seems easiest to me if we have some
button or menu inside our TX menu that will bring up the retroARCH frontend, and a
way to go back to TX menu from the retroARCH frontend.

The user interface, user experience and rom folder structure should be consistent.
Everything needs to be branded with Team Xecuter of course, please let us know
what graphics assets you need. (type of asset, limitations, dimensions, mockup UI screenshots)

A member of the SX team (@xiaNaix) states that he was asked to contact the team to begin a discussion because of his existing ties, and much of what SX are accused of isn't true.

Not right at all.

In the chatlogs I saw, they never asked him to stop open-source development. In fact, they talked about things they could do, like integrating the romlist into the SX OS menu, that would differentiate the two builds. There was also discussion of whether or not RetroNX access would be locked to the paid version of SX OS or free for everyone and it was agreed to be free. m4xw liked that idea and agreed to lower his price for coding work since it would not be behind a paywall, so to speak.

I don't want to get into too much detail since the chatlogs aren't mine to release, but I didn't see anything "nefarious" about this arrangement from what I read. It's unfortunate that it's been portrayed as a "bribe" when it seems like nothing of the sort actually transpired.

If you are brave, the discussion thread is here.


SX OS 2.1/2.0.1

A new SX version dropped yesterday. The TX team has decided to have two simultaneous branches of SX, 2.1 beta and 2.0.1. The 2.0.1 branch will be the stable, working branch but not including all of the possible new features. 2.1 beta will introduce the new features the team has been working on, and allow the public to test it, hopefully allowing for a shorter time before the features make it into the stable branch.

2.0.1
2.0.1, the stable branch, introduces some stability fixes. SX OS 2.0 had a few issues with games not working - some of the affected games include NBA2K19, Doom, Xenoblade Chronicles, and The Messenger. These should be fixed. If you are still having issues with games please comment on here and I will update this column, or comment on this thread.

2.1 beta
2.1 beta introduces the cheat engine and cheat finder. These operate similarly to the Gateway 3DS cheat engine - to find the memory area to edit a number in the game (for example the number of a particular item in your inventory), you first search for that number and find many results, then change the number (by, for example, dropping some of those items) and search again for the new number, and so on, until the memory location has been determined. The value at that memory location can then be edited. There are some complications due to the Switch implementing ASLR everywhere. TX has produced a guide which you can read here. If you have created a cheat code to share, or you would like to request one, please do so in this thread.

DiscoDaz.jpg
Thank you to @DiscoDaz for the screenshot.


Homebrew Bounty Round 1 begins

The first round of the Homebrew Bounty began on the 6th of October. Developers will have one month to produce their entries (computer tools in this round), before judging begins in November. We already have some entries!

PySwitch by @Rikikoo: As you can guess from the name, this is a Python script. It extracts & parses various file formats for the Switch.

Croquis (1).png
The result after dragging an NCA file over the print_control.py script

Croquis (2).png
The result after dragging the same NCA file over the print_nca.py script

HacPac GUI by @XorTroll: By the author of PlayerNX, this is a GUI written in Dot Net for the legal NSP builder, HacPac, written by @The-4n. This was released a few days before round 1 began, so hopefully it is a valid entry.
ScreenShot.png

NES Online Injector by @bodyXY: By the author of the similar-looking Another HacPac GUI written in C#, this tool allows you to inject more games into the NES Online app that comes with your Nintendo Online subscription. Like XorTroll's HacPac GUI mentioned above, it was released a few days before the round began.
NOGA_2_8_1.png

New homebrew roundup

Here is some new homebrew that hasn't been entered into Round 1 of the Bounty.

Doom 64 Ex by @fgsfds: This is a port of the reverse engineering project of Doom 64. By the accomplished author of many other ports. Thanks @Cyan for reporting this one.
74E926F9-5A66-4A00-BF0F-FF7CA21D77DE.png

Dedbae xci2nsp by @roothorick and the 2168-0002 team: This is a script that converts XCI files to NSP, in a more efficient and faster way than 4NXCI.
xci2nsp.png

dOPUS by @HiD: An NSP/XCI manager for Switch. You can use this to install or delete XCI/NSP format games. Based on 4NXCI and Tinfoil. Sadly, somebody came to the thread claiming to have a trademark on the name, and the author deleted the original post and his github repository, rather than either rename the project or ignore the person. Hopefully it will come back in the future with a new name.

Pixel Shuffle NX by @Cid2mizard: Cid2mizard looks to be a regular here, as this is his third appearance in the Weekly. Pixel Shuffle NX is a port of the original Flash game, with all the same levels.
1.jpg
Does anyone else find it amusing that the thumbnail is of a thumb?

SwitchExplorer by @SimonMKWii: A utility with a GUI for exploring NSP, XCI and NCA files. Looks to have similar functions to PySwitch mentioned above, but have fewer supported file formats. On the other hand, it is GUI-based,which is very nice.
upload_2018-10-5_0-53-1.png

Libdedbae & dbcli by @roothorick and the 2168-0002 team: A C library for manipulating Switch file formats. Seems similar to SwitchExplorer and PySwitch mentioned previously. If anyone knows the differences between these three tools, please comment and I'll add the information to the column.
dbcli-usage.png

NRO2NSP Builder by @re.lax: Builds NRO files (homebrew launcher executables) into installable NSPs. You can either build the NSP to launch the NRO from the SD card (meaning that to update the homebrew application, you only need to replace the NRO file) or built into the NSP itself (meaning you don't need a file on the SD card, but updating involves building and installing a new NSP).

Boop by @elementalcode: An application for sending NSP files to Tinfoil to install, which has the functionality for network installation built in, similarly to FBI for the 3DS.
boop2.png

Legal NSP Splitter for FAT32: by @AnalogMan: The Nintendo SDK contains a script for splitting NSPs to be able to install games larger than 4GB on FAT32 SD cards. AnalogMan has rewritten the logic into a Python script, so everyone can do the same thing, but legally.


3DS News

From now on I will endeavour to keep an eye on the 3DS scene as well as the Switch scene. This week we see the release of a free way to install CFW on the 3DS on the latest firmware. It involves DSiWare, and is by @zoogie, who has released multiple other DSiWare-based hacks.

The official discussion thread and support is here.


Bye for now

Thanks for tuning into another issue. If you would like some more reading, our previous issue can be found here.
 

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look what we have here ;)
https://gbatemp.net/threads/doom-64-ex-port.520294/

he couldn't resist to release something this week! (or do you count yesterday as next week issue 6? I counted it as "released before the issue 5")
Wow thank you, I'll add it in the morning! He will win a world record for porting.
Edit: I'm awake now, may as well fix it! Thanks for seeing it!
 
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Hello everyone, and welcome to another Switch Hax Weekly. This is a bumper homebrew issue with not less than twelve different projects to report on! This week we have:
  • New Switch firmware
  • RetroArch Switch
  • SX OS 2.1/2.0.1
  • Homebrew Bounty Round 1 begins
  • New homebrew roundup
  • 3DS news

New Switch firmware: 6.0.1

The Switch firmware got an update yesterday, with the release of 6.0.1. To date it seems like it only includes some bugfixes, and no damage to hax has been reported. The qlaunch module was replaced, which means custom themes will not work in 6.0.1 at time of writing.

View attachment 146125
Thank you to @Naked_Snake for the screenshot.

There is a discussion thread here.


RetroArch Switch

RetroArch, by the libretro team, is a popular emulator frontend available for a wide variety of consoles and computers. Until this week the Switch version was only able to be played through Lakka.

Pre-release jitters
There was a bit of a hiccup the day before RetroArch's Switch release. On the 30th September Libretro made a tweet teasing the soon-to-come release, stating that there would be 42+ cores.

https://twitter.com/libretro/status/1046492054132600832

An hour later, a guy called Jonathan Downey, who has a YouTube channel called Spawn Wave, made a tweet saying that RetroArch had been released. He didn't have any inside knowledge (as nothing had been released at that time), and given the time difference between Libretro's tweet and his. With 27K followers it quickly got retweeted out of control.

https://twitter.com/SpawnWaveMedia/status/1046513566520672257

Many news outlets reported on the release using this tweet as source. These outlets include Nintendo Enthusiast, My Nintendo News, Gaming Alarm, and 1st Gamers.

Adding to the confusion was the fact that Libretro retweeted Spawn Wave's tweet, making it seem like they approved or agreed. A possible explanation could be that multiple people are involved in Libretro's Twitter and other marketing activities, and they aren't all intimately acquainted with the development status on every single console and computer. This could be exacerbated by the fact that Spawn Wave's tweet was on its own, rather than a retweet of Libretro with a comment. If it had been, the Libretro marketing person might have seen their team's own tweet, and quickly realised that Spawn Wave just misunderstood it, and not retweeted Spawn Wave. Libretro has been contacted for comment, and this column will be updated if a reply is received.

RetroArch Switch was released the next day to much fanfare, with two more cores than promised, plus lots of other amazing features. Check out the official blog post by Libretro for details, and talk about it on the official GBAtemp discussion thread here.

TX accused of bribing main developer
SX OS is accused of asking m4xw to develop RetroArch solely for SX OS in exchange for $6,000.

The details here are a little murky, as the sum total of the evidence is m4xw showing a snippet of the conversation between him and the SX OS team.



A member of the SX team (@xiaNaix) states that he was asked to contact the team to begin a discussion because of his existing ties, and much of what SX are accused of isn't true.



If you are brave, the discussion thread is here.


SX OS 2.1/2.0.1

A new SX version dropped yesterday. The TX team has decided to have two simultaneous branches of SX, 2.1 beta and 2.0.1. The 2.0.1 branch will be the stable, working branch but not including all of the possible new features. 2.1 beta will introduce the new features the team has been working on, and allow the public to test it, hopefully allowing for a shorter time before the features make it into the stable branch.

2.0.1
2.0.1, the stable branch, introduces some stability fixes. SX OS 2.0 had a few issues with games not working - some of the affected games include NBA2K19, Doom, Xenoblade Chronicles, and The Messenger. These should be fixed. If you are still having issues with games please comment on here and I will update this column, or comment on this thread.

2.1 beta
2.1 beta introduces the cheat engine and cheat finder. These operate similarly to the Gateway 3DS cheat engine - to find the memory area to edit a number in the game (for example the number of a particular item in your inventory), you first search for that number and find many results, then change the number (by, for example, dropping some of those items) and search again for the new number, and so on, until the memory location has been determined. The value at that memory location can then be edited. There are some complications due to the Switch implementing ASLR everywhere. TX has produced a guide which you can read here. If you have created a cheat code to share, or you would like to request one, please do so in this thread.

View attachment 146108
Thank you to @DiscoDaz for the screenshot.


Homebrew Bounty Round 1 begins

The first round of the Homebrew Bounty began on the 6th of October. Developers will have one month to produce their entries (computer tools in this round), before judging begins in November. We already have some entries!

PySwitch by @Rikikoo: As you can guess from the name, this is a Python script. It extracts & parses various file formats for the Switch.

View attachment 146109
The result after dragging an NCA file over the print_control.py script

View attachment 146110
The result after dragging the same NCA file over the print_nca.py script

HacPac GUI by @XorTroll: By the author of PlayerNX, this is a GUI written in Dot Net for the legal NSP builder, HacPac, written by @The-4n. This was released a few days before round 1 began, so hopefully it is a valid entry.
View attachment 146111

NES Online Injector by @bodyXY: By the author of the similar-looking Another HacPac GUI written in C#, this tool allows you to inject more games into the NES Online app that comes with your Nintendo Online subscription. Like XorTroll's HacPac GUI mentioned above, it was released a few days before the round began.
View attachment 146113

New homebrew roundup

Here is some new homebrew that hasn't been entered into Round 1 of the Bounty.

Doom 64 Ex by @fgsfds: This is a port of the reverse engineering project of Doom 64. By the accomplished author of many other ports. Thanks @Cyan for reporting this one.
View attachment 146134

Dedbae xci2nsp by @roothorick and the 2168-0002 team: This is a script that converts XCI files to NSP, in a more efficient and faster way than 4NXCI.
View attachment 146114

dOPUS by @HiD: An NSP/XCI manager for Switch. You can use this to install or delete XCI/NSP format games. Based on 4NXCI and Tinfoil. Sadly, somebody came to the thread claiming to have a trademark on the name, and the author deleted the original post and his github repository, rather than either rename the project or ignore the person. Hopefully it will come back in the future with a new name.

Pixel Shuffle NX by @Cid2mizard: Cid2mizard looks to be a regular here, as this is his third appearance in the Weekly. Pixel Shuffle NX is a port of the original Flash game, with all the same levels.
View attachment 146118
Does anyone else find it amusing that the thumbnail is of a thumb?

SwitchExplorer by @SimonMKWii: A utility with a GUI for exploring NSP, XCI and NCA files. Looks to have similar functions to PySwitch mentioned above, but have fewer supported file formats. On the other hand, it is GUI-based,which is very nice.
View attachment 146121

Libdedbae & dbcli by @roothorick and the 2168-0002 team: A C library for manipulating Switch file formats. Seems similar to SwitchExplorer and PySwitch mentioned previously. If anyone knows the differences between these three tools, please comment and I'll add the information to the column.
View attachment 146123

NRO2NSP Builder by @re.lax: Builds NRO files (homebrew launcher executables) into installable NSPs. You can either build the NSP to launch the NRO from the SD card (meaning that to update the homebrew application, you only need to replace the NRO file) or built into the NSP itself (meaning you don't need a file on the SD card, but updating involves building and installing a new NSP).

Boop by @elementalcode: An application for sending NSP files to Tinfoil to install, which has the functionality for network installation built in, similarly to FBI for the 3DS.
View attachment 146124

Legal NSP Splitter for FAT32: by @AnalogMan: The Nintendo SDK contains a script for splitting NSPs to be able to install games larger than 4GB on FAT32 SD cards. AnalogMan has rewritten the logic into a Python script, so everyone can do the same thing, but legally.


3DS News

From now on I will endeavour to keep an eye on the 3DS scene as well as the Switch scene. This week we see the release of a free way to install CFW on the 3DS on the latest firmware. It involves DSiWare, and is by @zoogie, who has released multiple other DSiWare-based hacks.

The official discussion thread and support is here.


Bye for now

Thanks for tuning into another issue. If you would like some more reading, our previous issue can be found here.
Great article, Informative, unbiased, what more could we want.
 

LibretroRetroArc

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Adding to the confusion was the fact that Libretro retweeted Spawn Wave's tweet, making it seem like they approved or agreed. A possible explanation could be that multiple people are involved in Libretro's Twitter and other marketing activities, and they aren't all intimately acquainted with the development status on every single console and computer. This could be exacerbated by the fact that Spawn Wave's tweet was on its own, rather than a retweet of Libretro with a comment. If it had been, the Libretro marketing person might have seen their team's own tweet, and quickly realised that Spawn Wave just misunderstood it, and not retweeted Spawn Wave. Libretro has been contacted for comment, and this column will be updated if a reply is received.

No, the only thing that happened is that I saw Spawn Wave run with a story, I assumed he is a Youtuber with a large enough audience, so I just retweeted it, regardless of the factual accuracy of his post or not. And yes, it was released a day later actually.

Anyway, the Twitter is not really ran by a 'marketing person', there is no PR department or anything. If I see cool stuff I retweet it, if I have news to report from our project, I report it. My bad if there was any confusion.
 
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Cyan

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which one? I might have missed that release thread. or maybe it's not posted on gbatemp?
I'm trying to gather all released apps to make a full wiki list, I'd appreciate if you can provide any links I missed :)
thank you.
 
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Draxzelex

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which one? I might have missed that release thread. or maybe it's not posted on gbatemp?
I'm trying to gather all released apps to make a full wiki list, I'd appreciate if you can provide any links I missed :)
thank you.

edit : found it.
it's dedbae https://gbatemp.net/threads/switch-...-a-smarter-faster-xci-to-nsp-converter.519930
I thought he was referring to NSP -> XCI, not XCI -> NSP. This is currently the only tool that make .XCI files: https://gbatemp.net/threads/xci-builder.516977/
 

Cyan

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yeah, I mixed the conversion order, and you managed to find my edit before I delete it (few seconds!)
maybe he also mixed the order because I didn't find any new released nsp to xci tools.

I didn't have xci builder in my list, nor his other tools. Thanks for that link.
 
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