Nintendo has always made efforts to combat the various forms of piracy its consoles has had to endure. From sales of illegal flash carts to the copying and distribution of retail games, individuals have been known to pay upwards of US$1.3 million should they get caught.
The company acknowledges the difficulty in trying to stay ahead of the game but admits it's not going to be easy to stamp it out completely. The Nintendo of Japan President, Satoru Iwata, has spoken about the measures that will be taken when the 3DS hits the market, and he reiterates the concerns he has about the scale of the problem. With regards to the DS, Iwata notes:
Piracy is a serious issue. Unfortunately, the piracy issue has reached a threshold where it is no longer easy for us to completely put a stop to now... Although we have made some progress, unfortunately, it's kind of like a game of "Whack-A-Mole" where you hit one over here and it pops up over there, and it has been a bumpy ride.
When speaking of the 3DS's security measures, he seems more optimistic in the ways Nintendo can cover itself.
On the Nintendo 3DS, when the new hardware is launched, various measures can be taken. So, we'll continue to take advantage of technological attempts. In the case of Nintendo DS, the pirates work to find ways to then overcome that and enable it, but we'll continue to try to do what we can to limit the amount of piracy that's going on.
What makes the 3DS so architecturally different to its predecessors? Are firmware updates enough? Will there be more focus on the digital distribution of games? We guess we'll find out in the coming months.