Piracy has always been an issue when it comes to video games. Even if you go back to the days of arcade units where companies would make carbon copies of an arcade chipboard and sell it for cheaper. Currently piracy is far less involved than having to know the manufacturing specifications of an arcade unit.
Most people associate piracy with personal computers since it’s very easy to do. However piracy on consoles is a big deal too. So much so that it killed the SEGA Dreamcast and did some serious damage to the PSP in the west. The easier it is to pirate the more prominent the problem is. However even if it’s difficult or requires a 3rd party tool which costs money people will still do so.
The Nintendo Dual Screen (NDS) had a whole bunch of piracy issues, even before emulation. This was helped along by the fact that there wasn’t any soldering necessary to pirate. All that you need to pirate on an NDS is a cartridge which fits in the same slot as where you would put games.
It appears that this issue has spread to the 3DS, a company known as Gateway has claimed to have cracked the 3DS and has allowed users to download and play ROMs using this device. The company claims that the primary use for the device is to play backups of titles that you own. However this is the claim that all console piracy device manufacturers use, the fact remains that a large majority of people use these devices to play illegal copies of video games.
Moral and legal issues aside, it is heavily recommended that no one is to purchase a Gateway 3DS cartridge. The reason behind this is that the cartridges will “brick” your 3DS. Bricking is a term used when a device is rendered unusable due to an irreversible (or difficult to undo) software malfunction, essentially leaving your device as useful as a brick.
Gateway and several fans of the device were claiming that the bricking did not happen. The arguments went back and forth, until a user uploaded solid proof on YouTube. The user posted an embedded link to the footage on the GBAtemp forums where users discuss handheld consoles.
A rumour has been circulating on the same forums claimed that this bricking was caused by an intentional design flaw that would brick a device when a user would try and use a competing brand of 3DS piracy hardware. This alleged flaw has backfired and has affected those who only used the Gateway device.