Nintendo only lets users choose from a limited number of preset profile pictures (or custom-made Miis) for their online avatar on the Switch network. So at least one Reddit user was quite surprised to see pornographic profile pictures showing up on the user-placed balloons in Super Mario Odyssey‘s online “Balloon World” mode.
“The picture was changed several times over the course of my time patrolling, each picture being pornographic content,” Redditor ewaison writes, including links to (censored) screenshots of the offending profile pictures in their post. “There are multiple [sic] of these balloons all being made by the same user. This is obviously intentional, and made to upset children.”
The reported imagery seems to trace its source back to the recent leak of an internal Switch developer menu online. We’ve seen pictures and reports of that previously dev-kit-exclusive system menu in the past, but users are now able to make use of an unpatchable Switch exploit to install the leaked menu on standard retail Switch hardware (as seen in his video).
With the menu installed, users can load an arbitrary 256×256 resolution JPG onto their SD card and use a “Change Avatar” menu option to upload that file as their profile picture. Nintendo apparently stores (and then distributes) whatever gets uploaded directly on its servers rather than using some sort of internal ID tag to denote which preset profile picture should be used.
Nintendo doesn’t seem to be moderating these customized profile pictures at this point (the company has yet to respond to a request for comment from Ars Technica). That’s somewhat understandable, since all those picture choices were preset by Nintendo until very recently. As word of this profile hack spreads, though, we expect Nintendo to start reverting modified profile pictures and issue user- and system-level bans from its online network, as it already has for users suspected of firmware modification and piracy.
By the way, footage of the leaked “DevMenu” tools seen online shows an option to back up save game data to an SD card, a feature that Switch users have been asking for consistently since launch. Apparently that feature is ready for Switch developers to use, even if Switch users apparently can’t be trusted with it just yet. At least we’ll be getting access to subscription cloud saves relatively soon.
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