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Nintendo secrets just leaked to the public. Here’s what it means

A bunch of Nintendo secrets are now available to hackers

An attendee plays a video game using Nintendo’s Wii U controller at E3 2012 in Los Angeles, Tuesday, June 5, 2012.
An attendee plays a video game using Nintendo’s Wii U controller at E3 2012 in Los Angeles, Tuesday, June 5, 2012.
Jae C. Hong, Associated Press

Close to two terabytes of Nintendo secrets leaked online this week, opening up decades of legacy Nintendo secrets to software and hardware hackers, according to reports.

Insiders told Popular Mechanics that a third-party sever leaked the information, which was later pulled by hackers.

In the past, hackers have used Nintendo code information to create ROMs out of console games, allowing gamers to play Nintendo products on their computer instead of on a console.

These recent hacks mean “a new generation of console games could soon be emulated,” according to Popular Mechanics.

Some of the other reportedly leaked information includes hardware specifications for Nintendo devices and operating system code.

And there’s a PowerPoint presentation about Nintendo’s design philosophy, specifically when it comes to “friend code numbers,” which can be used to find friends online.

According to Polygon, users have complained about Nintendo’s “friend code” options for years since it creates a random number for you to use as a user name, or to find a friend. Other gaming companies, like Discord, allows users to have user name with four digits after it, a balanced way to find a friend.

“Gamers hate the Nintendo friend code in lieu of a traditional username, but the experience could be seamless inside a more thoughtfully designed operating system and interface. Instead, friend codes became the microcosm for Nintendo’s refusal to make a user-friendly online network,” according to Popular Mechanics.

But the leaks might not be worth much discussing after all. Hector Martin, who is a member of the “Team Twiizers” Wii hacking group, told PC Magazine that there’s little information in the leaks worth worrying about.

He said there are tidbits of information but not enough to create ROMs or emulated games based on new Nintendo games.

“Most of the docs at this point are confirming things we already knew, or providing interesting technical tidbits, which are fun, but of no practical consequence,” he said. “They contain documentation, source code for some parts of the system software (just a small portion), architecture diagrams and engineering docs like that. I’m sure someone is going to learn something interesting from this, maybe even fix some emulator bugs, but it’s all going to be very, very minor at this stage in the game.”