For my money, the 3DS is the most essential console on the market right now. It's got an incredible set of new exclusive games, it's reasonably priced and it's just hitting its stride. The only issue? The ill-advised region locking. But hackers have found a way to make your 3DS region free without the need for illegal hardware.
But first a disclaimer: we're not suggesting this is a great idea or that you should attempt it. In fact, we recommend you don't attempt it. I'm quite happy with my 3DS XL the way it is, I've got my hands full with the games I can buy here in Australia. Your mileage may vary.
That being said, the hack can be done without any illegal cartridges or whatnot, it's merely done by tinkering with the 4.1-4.5 firmware on the 3DS using a flashcard. You can find out more information here.
I think what's most disappointing about this is the fact that it proves that the 3DS's region locking is something that, most likely, could be removed at any time by Nintendo via firmware. Region locking consoles is a completely archaic process and needs to be sent back to the dark ages where it belongs. Particularly when it comes to handheld consoles, the consoles you typically take overseas when you travel to other countries where there is the possibility that — gasp — you might want to buy a game in another country!
Hackers found a way to disable 3DS region lock [Tiny Cartridge]