How the Nintendo Switch prevents downgrades

Downgrade prevention has been a cat-and-mouse game between consumers and companies since the inception of remote updates. The Nintendo Switch adopts a worrisome-strategy of preventing firmware downgrades by permanently modifying your device every time it updates. While this isn’t a new concept (the Xbox 360 was doing it back in 2007), it is part of a greater effort to prevent end users from modifying their devices to their liking.

The Nintendo Switch use an Nvidia Tegra X1 SoC, which comes with a fuse driver. This allows it to programmatically blow fuses - permanently modifying the device, making it impossible to revert to a previous state.

Despite being used in an anti-consumer manner, the technology is fascinating.


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