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A very aptly named individual by the name of Gary Bowser has pleaded guilty to hacking Nintendo’s Switch console, and now faces restitution costs of four and a half million dollars. I mean, with a name like that, c’mon now...
Bowser, Screen Rant reports, headed up a group called Team Xecuter, which had created and sold kits designed to hack the Switch - turning a profit in the process, of course, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. A lawsuit was filed against Canadian citizen Bowser, aka GaryOPA, back in April 2021, but has only now reached its conclusion, the result being a guilty verdict. Bowser had previously denied any wrongdoing.
According to Torrent Freak, Team Xecuter’s kits allowed users to run unofficial and pirated games on their Switch consoles. The sellers of these kits initially defended themselves by claiming that they were providing the means to repair the consoles, or run homebrew games on them, rather than illegally obtained pirate software. Nintendo’s case against Team Xecuter was supported by the US Government, and a criminal investigation launched - ultimately leading to where we are today, with Bowser staring at a huge amount of damages to pay to Nintendo.
The plea agreement published outlines some of what Bowser was up to, actions that ultimately cost him dearly. He “knowingly and willfully participated in a cybercriminal enterprise that hacked leading gaming consoles and that developed, manufactured, marketed, and sold a variety of circumvention devices that allowed the enterprise’s customers to play pirated versions of copyrighted video games, commonly referred to as ROMs,” reads the statement.
Bowser faced charges of circumventing technological measures and trading in circumventing devices, as well as violation of DMCA measures. As well as the fine, he could face up to five years of jail time - though it’s unlikely he’ll be imprisoned for that length, especially if he’s able to pay the restitution.
In related Switch news, players of the newly added N64 games on Switch Online are annoyed at the button mapping, and the new Mario Party Superstars (review here, and check out the overview trailer, above) comes with a very important warning.