Wow, that gbatek link looks awesome. Out of curiosity, what are you using that reference for? I imagine that those technical specs are more useful for someone looking into doing some homebrew/code exec stuff as opposed to hacking the game itself?
It details the graphics hardware and makeup of the bits in the registers governing the sprites. Quite useful for graphics. Similar story for aspects of 3d.
It details the memory layout, saves spending ages looking for the game binary in VRAM. Oh and it has a full breakdown of the instructions after I have found the binary in memory and all the various types of branching available to me.
It details the way the controls are handled, quite useful if I am remapping controls or figuring out how a
The GBA and DS have compression built right into the BIOS, it covers those.
It details the DS ROM structure, it details the ways saves work.
Yeah compared to http://hitmen.c02.at/files/yagcd/yagcd/chap14.html#sec14
(parts of http://hitmen.c02.at/files/yagcd/yagcd/frames.html
) it lacks a bit on the game format front, and it will never tell me anything about table files, relative search or text markup methods and why I would want to know any of those and it even lacks debugging discussion beyond how to use the emulator it comes with (nothing like http://www.romhacking.net/documents/361/
for instance). However relative search will fail (even simple Japanese text will probably not work easily), table files are useless when the text is graphics (like a lot of puzzle games) and when the text engine is almost a programming language unto itself (happens often enough on the DS) then knowing the hardware just means you have something to work through and you can predict what might be going on more easily rather than coming completely unstuck.
Why might that be? I realize the XBONE and PS4 aren't particularly RE'd/hacked yet, but the Wii U certainly is there, and the 3DS already has quite a large modding/fan translation scene. Is it just a rule on this forum, or is it just a 'no-no' because they're much more difficult than older consoles?
Patches are not hosted for them as part of site policy but hacking, assuming you are not just dodging anti piracy checks on the latest prerelease game, discussion and help seems to be fine. Or at least I was never asked to stop helping people hacking DS games during its life and plenty of site staff and people that would probably know better if it was against the rules also did stuff there.