News Article

Rumour: Using Piracy Devices May Disable Your 3DS

Posted by James Newton

So don't do it

Nintendo has spoken before about the strong anti-piracy measures in 3DS, but there's been little more specific said. Now a rumour has surfaced that using a flash cartridge or similar device will actually render the console useless through a firmware update.

A rough translation of a poster outside Japanese retailer Enterking reveals this information:

Non-purchase able 3DS system: if you use equipment which is illegal or unapproved by Nintendo or if you do customisation which is unapproved by Nintendo, there is a possibility that Nintendo 3DS becomes non-bootable by system update.

Whereas firmware updates for past Nintendo consoles have attempted to prevent pirated cartridges from working, this would be the first time an update could stop the actual machine from working.

Of course, this is just a rumour based on an unofficial translation, but we'll find out more in the coming weeks as the machine's global launch nears.


From the web

User Comments (100)



zezhyrule said:

That just seems kinda drastic, but I don't plan on pirating anyway, so have fun people who do~



HipsterDashie said:

That actually sounds like a far more effective method of controlling piracy than playing cat and mouse with firmware updates. It seems similar to Microsoft's policy of banning consoles from Xbox Live should they be modified to play pirated games/use hacks/etc. Sounds like a good idea to me, although I suspect the homebrewers will rage over this one...



Rockmirth said:

they WILL find another way around this but i do like the idea. but what if someone tricks you to start a pirated game can you return the console in some way?



pikku said:

Okay, okay, Nintendo, ya got me. I'll stop pirating now! D:

lol jk. I don't pirate, and definitely do not plan on doing so in the near future



HugoSmits said:

way to go Nintendo... first we have to pay big bucks, and then we can't even decided what to do with it!

can't wait for the first virus to get spread by passme.. and bricks all 3DSes



jdarrell said:

From what I've read it's the exact same as the warning for the Wii, and is therefore currently not news-worthy at all.



JoeDiddley said:

I don't pirate but I would be more wary about buying a 3DS game 2nd hand from ebay. Tetris DS springs to mind.



Arkia said:

And when the updates mistake legit games for flash carts? Because I could totally see that happening at some point.



PSICOffee said:

So does this mean AR can't be used either? I guess I'll just have to remember not to use my GBA flash cart...OH WAIT THATS RIGHT I won't have to worry because ever since they screwed things up with the DSI and removed the slot as an "update" to the DSlite, I'll just have to use an older system to play Mother 3, which incidentally, is technically illegal for me to play in my country. Thanks again, Nintendo!



Token_Girl said:

There's nothing to whine about here. You can hack your console and play homebrew/whatever. Just don't expect to play online with unhacked consoles who can't cheat (I know not all hackers aren't cheaters, but this IS a problem, so I have no issue with locking hackers out of online games).

Also, don't expect to just be handed free firmware/shop/etc. updates from Ninty when you don't follow the EULA. You paid for the console as it came in the box the day you bought it. You can do whatever you want with it, but you aren't entitled to any improvements Ninty gives out for free later. Most of the updates will be cracked anyway. You'll just have to disable automatic downloading and wait a couple days, most of the time.



DarkKirby said:

I wouldn't hack my 3DS to play games I didn't pay for, but I disagree with not allowing imports. How many people import games without a good reason anyway? Hopefully, while this is bad news for consumers, game developers will be happy about this and support the 3DS more.



Megumi said:

Don't care much really, as almost everyone has said...I don't pirate. xD



EdEN said:

They could also use street pass or accessing the eStore to check what you've been doing with your 3DS...



TeeJay said:

This is great. There really isn't anything to worry about. Just don't pirate games. Simple solution.



Despair1087 said:

i stopped pirating a years ago. now i use my flashcart for playing mp3s on my dsi... since the 3ds plays mp3s i'd be okay if this rumor is true



Arcader18 said:

If you put Homebrewers in the same box with pirates... then I can call myself a pirate.. although i don't pirate(:, don't worry dudes it can't happen, at least with the flashcards we all know for DS and DSi since they don't install anything in your system, so Nintendo would have to play like @SoulSilver IV said, that cat and mouse thing bocking this Flashcards with updates. Speaking of 3DS Games, I think they also won't install anything. Brrrrr >:v I can't wait to 3DS Release in America D:



XCWarrior said:

This is what I was hoping Nintendo would do to stop pirating. Break the system if they can't play by the rules. And for above commenter, I'm sure this applies to homebrew.



Morpheel said:

my facebook language is set to "English (Pirate)", will my 3DS brick if i connect to facebook with it?



bboy2970 said:

That is excellent! I hope every pirate's 3DS gets destroyed! Hopefully they take it one step further by making so if a pirate 3DS comes within StreetPass range of someone else's system which is updated, the pirate system can be destroyed that way.



Morpheel said:

@24: You want 3DSs to be trained to kill their tainted brothers and sisters? (via update)

that sounds kind of cool



Retrogamer88 said:

i agree with bboy2970,i also hope every pirates 3DS gets destroyed! if there going to take the risk then they better be ready to pay the price the SOB's!



pixelman said:

I'm sure the hax0rz will come up with a workaround, but it sounds suitably difficult to do. :3



Tylr said:

Nintendo is pulling out all the stops to destroy pirating. Maybe they should take it a step even futher and use Streetpass to disable pirated systems even faster, like bboy2970 said. I'm all for it Nintendo doing this.



nr_09 said:

you cant stop pirating...
there are just to many poeple who like the challange to crack the code
(just look at ps3 still not cracked and yet there try)



belmont said:

Before doing something like this nintendo should:
1. Allow the run of homebrew in their systems
2. Make all the consoles region free
3. Release all games in EU/USA and not forgetting Mother 3, Saga 2, Tales of and all those games that were fan translated



The_Fox said:

@post 24
I'm pretty sure that would be incredibly illegal. I sure as hell know I don't want Nintendo using my property as a proxy in their war with hackers.



Ret said:

I don't see how this would work, DSi flashcards (the ones that work on 3DS) simply trick the system into thinking it is booting another game. No data is left on the DS system. If they did brick the console for running a flashcard, they would also brick it when a legit version of the game used to boot the flashcard was loaded.

So yeah, basically the only logical explanation is that this is another warning message like the ones you get on the Wii before an update.



ImDiggerDan said:

Well, Ret, there's nothing to say Nintendo haven't found more ways to detect the cards. They've done it before and newer DSi flash cards had to be firmware upgraded themselves to work again. Nintendo could do what Microsoft did and make a note on your system that you have been naughty and act on this fact later on.

I seriously doubt they'd brick your 3DS for it. They'd be hit with more lawsuits than you can shake a stick at by people claiming to be innocent and Nintendo would have a very hard job proving that they aren't.

I suspect the warning is a simple "if you use any devices that are unauthorised, Nintendo can't be responsible if your system ends up bricked" Sort of like the people in Europe who had chipped Wii consoles, downloaded US versions of new games and bricked their consoles when the game tried to install a Wii System Update not made for Euro consoles.



wanderlustwarrior said:

@25: I clicked this link expecting the article to be one of the many that gave the R4 brand recognition. Surprisingly, it didn't. You did, though.

There's many other devices out there, and they can do things other than pirate. Assuming there's just one and that's all that it does seems to me to be a sign of willful ignorance.

Stopping the machine from working sounds novel at first, but then you realize that's what the situation is on the Wii, and that gets beaten regularly.



GeminiSaint said:

Doesn't sound at all different from the standard warnings that come with every Wii bios update.
So yeah. No real news here. Moving on.



Ren said:

Like Robocop says: They'll fix you... they fix everything.



mastersworddude said:

I doubt Nintendo would do this. Because first of all if Nintendo bricks someones console they would be able to buy
future games on it and they wouldn't want to spent another $250.
Second of all Nintendo has no legal right to do that and would get sued out the a**.



Wolfo said:

Piracy have an advantage, when you are looking a physical game and you don't find it, maybe because are no more stock and are not future plans to get more, you can get the game.



TeeJay said:

They're not going to buy future games anyway, because they're pirating them. And they already spent the $250 for the console, so Nintendo already got the sale from them. It won't hurt them if they don't buy another one.

Second, I'm sure they do have the legal right to do that if the customer is stealing from Nintendo by pirating games.

@ 41
It is different because Nintendo is actually threatening to brick your console if you pirate games. Before, they just blocked those types of games from the console, but you could still use it.



SilverBaretta said:

Oh man, aren't firmware updates automatic through SpotPass? That would be one rude awakening for a pirate.



sykotek said:

As a consumer, I'm alright with this as long as there are measures in place to accurately prevent false positives besides having to send your 3DS and suspected pirated game into Nintendo for repair.

They'll also need to better protect the end consumer from pirated carts than they have on DS. They're not commonly seen in retail locations, but they are there, I've seen little more than a handful of pirate carts in the many years the DS has been out and they're not necessarily easy to spot unless you know what you're looking for.

Also, they'll need to label that security measure in plain sight on the packaging unless they want a class action lawsuit down the line. Sounds like a security measure that is easily prone to lawsuits.

Not that it really matters though, it'll get hacked for the challenge of it and most experienced pirates know to not install official updates on their systems from PSP.



Squiggle55 said:

I love this. There's absolutely no reason to complain about this. Nintendo should make their consoles blow up or something.



Bassman_Q said:

Really, this is great news. Practically all of my few friends who play the DS have one of those R4 flash cards, and it just pisses me off to see them play great games for free while I do what people SHOULD be doing: buying the actual cart/disc or points card. I may sound like a d***** right now, but it's about time for them to learn that pirating games is NOT the way to go. I think this will really teach all those pirates a lesson.



DarkLloyd said:

while this may stop a few it wont stop them all thats like trying to convert all the bad guys into good people it just doesnt work there always going to be good v.s bad going on, they exist to one another

p.s im sure i made sense somewhat



TrueWiiMaster said:

I hope this is true! Despite what anybody says, I'm pretty sure Nintendo is well within their rights to include such a measure in the updates. When you buy the system, you're buying a device to play specific compatible software only. If you put something else in and the system bricks, how is that Nintendo's fault? I can't try to jam a CD into my DS and expect Nintendo to replace it when it breaks. Of course, a CD's incompatibility is more obvious than a flashcart's, but either way incompatibility is incompatibility.

My only worry is whether or not this could spill over onto upstanding gamers. Glitches causing an official game to brick the system would be a nightmare, and the idea of hackers using streetpass against us makes me shudder...though I do like the idea of a pirate turning off the internet, thinking he's safe, and coming home with a bricked system after passing a legitimate 3DS.



k8sMum said:

i am a wee bit surprised at the number of people here who see nothing wrong with a company such as nintendo actually doing this. there are reasons for these devices other than piracy, from what i understand, and as long as it is not illegal to own one of them, i don't care for any company making decisions about something i've paid good money for, ie the console.

it also opens up a whole lot of things that could go wrong: false positives, screwing up systems that are owned by non-pirates amongst them, malevolent actions from other owners...shuddering at the can of worms this would open up.

rights are really easy to give up, sometimes we think it's for the greater good. but it can be dam hard to get them back. i am old enough to be a little paranoid about who-knows-what-i-am-doing-where/when concept and am not really comfortable with the walk-by updates or whatever anyway. when i get a 3DS, the wi-fi will be in the off position unless i am actively wanting an update or something of that nature.



Capt_N said:

I'm not extremely knowledgeable about the letter of the law, but technically, I think here in the U.S, that NoA is fully allowed to "cause" your "3DS to become inoperable", they would simply have to throw a warning in your face, so to speak, somewhere.

As for StreetPass/SpotPass, I've always believed those features will be utilized for piracy eventually, if that isn't already an under-the-table function both are to perform. Think about it: A 3DS constantly bombarded w/ software checks, & updates from Nintendo, is a great deterrent to piracy, although code is code, & can always be countered by more, or less code in the right design, & structure. However, I do kind of get an eerie feeling of considering mine, & other ppl's playing-by-the-rules 3DSes becoming a stepping stone/doormat for both Nintendo, & hackers in their war w/ each other. Not too mention hackers infecting legit systems.

Hackers/pirates could very easily write some code to constantly run in the background's of their systems os(operating system) to act as a firewall, to screen, &/or protect their hacked systems from legit code, that would otherwise render their system inoperable. Furthermore, I fully expect hackers/pirates to cook up some kind of a routing system to "bounce" any Nintendo system scans, & updates away from their systems to another system. Worse yet, consider how some viruses work by dodging an anti-virus scanner by hopping to another file, then back to it's original file, to avoid detection. I can easily also see this kind of trick being used. A pirate would have "authorized code", that kicks into effect upon detection of update, & sends hacked code to a neighboring system. The neighboring system then gets busted by the Nintendo update.

Pirates will work around this, unfortunately.



Minjo_Master said:

I love how every time there's an article about piracy on this site, there's a picture of a pirate. It's a little thing that makes me smile so very much.



jaffa said:

Finally I can stop playing crappy pirated cheap games I want to play good quality games not pirated ones



GreenDream said:

If the true hackers are as successful as they were with the PSP, they will probably be able to create custom firmware to keep to themselves within 6 monthes, and to rewrite spotpass 1.0 within 2 years. Nintendo will update their version, and the hackers will update theirs.

Honestly, this whole issue is still a big ? block. It remains to be seen whether the .dat and .iso files on the cartridges have been safeguarded. Hackers have duplicated the authentication system of Playstation Network, but the 3DS seems to use a new type of wifi authentication. Just have to wait and see what happens. If Nintendo does not pull the outrageous legal stunts used by Sony, then the hackers will probably respect Nintendo enough to not commit to a "war", as other posters have called it.

Pirating is a gray area, I think. It makes sense in places where it is economically impossible for citizens to sustainably import the European-descended lawful business style inherent to video game sales- a concept difficult to grasp for anyone who has not visited areas of abject poverty. It's like saying: "Because of who you are, where you were born, and the resources available to you... others shall have what you shall not. Such is your fate." That disgusts me...



GreenDream said:

Also, if the iPhone cases are any indication, then for electronic devices like the 3DS, it would probably be illegal for ANY entity, including Nintendo, to intentionally brick people's devices in the United States. Implementing proper signage of warnings is too unpredictable to be effective. Rumor topic is a rumor topic.



LightSamus said:

My friend has an AceKard2i or whatever.. he believes in try before you buy, if he likes a game enough he'll buy it. He says that sometimes a review just doesn't give you an idea on whether it's worth the money. Here in Australia DS games are $80, sometimes a little higher, it's just not worth wasting the money to find out you don't even like the game.



maka said:

Why don't they just put a device in that gives you a elcectric shock if you put a flash card in? That way they can finish all the pirates off and end the problem once and for all, eh?

I mean, if they ever do this (I believe it's just an unfounded rumor) they'd be already acting like judge AND executioner anyway...

Whether or not you're doing something illegal is for a judge to decide in court. That's why we have a law system. They just can't do something like this which is basically stealing your money.

There are many legal uses for the flash carts (playing import, fan translated games, homebrew, watching vids, etc...) and as long as actually buying a flash cart is not illegal in your country you're doing nothing wrong by using one.

BTW, what's the stance of Nintendo Life regarding flash carts and modded consoles? On one hand you guys post articles about emulators and fan translations which require some sort of modding that Nintendo sees as wrong and on the other hand you post articles like this one where instead of saying "flash carts" you say "piracy devices" which is a broad generalization and not true in many cases.

It's like saying CD-Rs are piracy devices too... there are many tools that can be used for piracy and that doesn't make them illegal. The same should be true of flash carts.



maka said:

And one more thing: The distribution model of pirated software proves that it is possible to distribute any software through the internet, quickly and easily AND the fact that there's a demand for this quickness and easiness.

Nintendo limits digital distribution to small games but this is not enough. The music industry was bitching about piracy and lost CD sells and then came iTunes selling millions of songs in a quick and easy manner.

DS games and even Wii games could be sold through the net just as easily and I'm sure many people would not pirate games if it were done this way.

Also, the fact that some games come to some regions much later is part of the problem. I don't want to wait 7 months to play a game if I can just buy it now from the US. Why should I wait? And what about games that never make it over here? I would never have been able to play an excellent game like Retro Game Challenge if weren't thanks to imports, and now (in a few months anyway) I'll be able to buy the Japanese version thanks to the translation that fans are making. Certainly not thanks to Nintendo and other companies that insist in not releasing games over here. And again, if games could be downloaded, reducing the cost of productions, then this would never be a problem...



GeminiSaint said:

@44. tristenj1992
"It is different because Nintendo is actually threatening..."
Officially, Nintendo didn't say anything yet. This is all coming from some random poster in some random store in Japan. Hardly an official source. Also, the translation could be (and most likely is) inaccurate. I'll believe Nintendo will start bricking their own systems when they themselves say they will (and they won't, because they'd get sued en masse).



maka said:

BTW, Nintendo has responded to this rumor: from

""We do not discuss product security details (for obvious reasons), nor can we discuss the details of countermeasures available in the Nintendo 3DS system. Nintendo 3DS has the most up-to-date technology. The security has been designed to protect both the creative works in the software and to protect the Nintendo 3DS hardware system itself.""



motang said:

As drastic as it may seem, I think this is one good way to battle piracy on the 3DS.



zionich said:


Im sorry to say , but there is no grey area when it comes to stealing, in the end its still stealing. Lets face it, no one needs video games to live, and to justify anyone taking what they want, because they cant work for it saddens me. If some one is in such a situation of econimic turmiol, playing video games really shouldnt even appear on the radar. The simple truth is, people dont want to pay for it when they can steal it for free. What sickens me is anyone trying to defend piracy in any way.

Like in another thread, some one had mentioned how we should be donating money to charity instead of buying 3DS'. (paraphrased, and maybe a little out of context, but basically that.) Whats not stated in statements like that, is by buying anything you contribute to all the people , from the sales clerk to the creators, income.

Its possible I take all his personaly because I have worked hard for everything that I have, maybe Im just smart enough to realize what I need and what I want. Im just not willing to steal for what I want.



wanderlustwarrior said:

Again, if it decreases functionality of the 3DS hardware via a software update (bricking, at the higher extent), it's pretty much what's been done on the Wii, which gets worked around regularly.

If it disables the device, it might be beaten, like how the DSi doesn't play DS flashcarts, but new DSi flashcarts have been made.

As things are currently, there is at least one DSi flashcart which works around DSi update problems by disguising itself as a DSi game.



Scribbler said:

Okay, this debate is getting utterly ridiculous.

First of all, as a DSi user who avidly dips his ladle into the homebrew kettle, piracy and homebrew are NOT one and the same. In fact the whole reason I bought my flashcart and started dabbling in homebrew in the first place was because I was getting sick and tired of all the half-hearted tripe that the industry was trying to sell me, and wanted to see what the open-source side had to offer. Turns out there's quite a bit more legal things to do with a flashcart than the mainstream industry would lead one to believe. I've taken my DSi from a grown-up toy to a media player, word processor, e-book reader, a digital canvas, and a whole load of homebrew exclusive games that are not only worthwhile, but legitimately free. These programs do NOT trample on the rights of first-party manufacturers and fall safely under fair use rights. In other words, I can have my homebrew and still get my Nintendo-provided content legit. This is perfectly reasonable.

Second, banning flashcarts and potentially bricking a system is NOT the way to end piracy and does as much good as plugging a leaky dam with a stick of dynamite with its fuse lit. Just because pirates can't play their games on real systems doesn't stop them every day from downloading ROMs en masse from torrents and finding new, better and more effective ways of emulating them. Enacting measures like this only makes the pirates regroup and makes the law-abiding users angry that they can't use the console that they paid their hard-earned money for however they wish.

If Nintendo really wanted more control, they'd take the XBox route and make the WiiWare and DSiWare platforms more indie friendly, and, instead of squashing their efforts, actually listen to what the advanced users and homebrewers want and add them as features. (an eBook service on DSi? yes) And most importantly, they'd demand that their third party publishers and developers would PRODUCE BETTER GAMES! Quote all the statistics and market analysis all you want, but the industry is headed in the same direction it was back in 1984. One day, the market will crash again, and we'll be the only ones left. Then they'll have to listen to us.



wanderlustwarrior said:

Because really, why don't we have a book or comic reader? It'd be the perfect device for it.

Anyway, @Scribbler: haven't you heard? it's trendy to assume it's pirates or not, with nothing in between, and to get on a soapbox in public whenever you can.



k8sMum said:

@scribbler: I've taken my DSi from a grown-up toy to a media player, word processor, e-book reader, a digital canvas, and a whole load of homebrew exclusive games that are not only worthwhile, but legitimately free. These programs do NOT trample on the rights of first-party manufacturers and fall safely under fair use rights. In other words, I can have my homebrew and still get my Nintendo-provided content legit. This is perfectly reasonable.

THANK YOU! you said it all much better than i could even attempt. it's cute to put a pic of a pirate up and play with wording, ie 'pirating' vs 'homebrew' grabs attention but further blurs the issue.

the majority here see only one use for flashcards: PIRACY! AARGGH!

most of us work very hard for what we have and do not steal from others. to immediately yell 'stealing' or 'thief' at those who want more out of their DSi is as wrong as those who don't use a flashcart being deemed ignorant because they don't agree.



Neko_Ichigofan said:

Ummmmmm doesn't this mean that youtube & other TOTALLY LEGAL flash sites will not work or EVEN WORSE Brick your 3DS if so nintendo may as well hammer the final nail on thier online coffin
it's a shame if thats the case......& if Nintendo did this on the wii 2 & does not get better 3rd party support or release most of the best games outside of japan they might well become no different then apple with almost nothing but casual gamers D:
& as much as I love 1st party nintendo games like mario,zeldo,kirby,& DKC it is getting on my nerves that each nintendo system since n64 has not released 90% of the best 3rd party games outside of japan
I'm probably one of the few nintendo HARDCORE gamers that doesn't use homebrew or import games.....if ninty makes its online service almost unusable by removing flash which would also cause SD cards to be unusable & does not incorporate a hard-drive I would not be surprised if they end up becoming a handheld only company
or will the 3DS STILL have internal flash? :/
end of rant....



Glade said:

@60 really a good thing to say on the net (sarcasm ends here) but i've never met a hacker nor do I want to but will hackers/pirates really go that Far to prevent their consoles from being bricked!!!!??? I mean just do the legit, legal thing and buy the 3ds games at gamestop or something.. jeez ackers are so sad.



k8sMum said:

@glade: i use mine as a ebook reading device. i am not stealing from anyone. it's pretty arrogant to lump everyone as a 'hacker/pirate'. (btw: how do you know you've never met a hacker?? do you really believe they go around with tags saying 'HI! I'M A HACKER! GOOD TO MEET YOU'??

nothing #60 (aka Capt. N) wrote will teach anyone anything: if you can really understand what he's talking about, you probably already know it.

sarcasm is going on and on...



GeminiSaint said:

@80. Rukiafan23:
You are getting three different kinds of things named "Flash" all mixed up:

Type 1: Programming language used in web pages.
Type 2: A type of rewritable memory (example: SD cards).
Type 3: An unlicensed product that's basically a blank cartridge where you can (among other things) upload ROMs to and then play them on official hardware.

The kind Nintendo hates, for obvious reasons, is the 3rd one. The other two are fine.



SyFyTy said:

So if I understand this correctly, when I (unexpectedly) am sold a used game from Gamestop and it is UN OFFICIAL (bootlegged like sold in Ebay) (in USA) because THEY were tricked into taking it in trade, as has often happened, it will brick MY 3ds system? That is very unfair. But also another reason to stop buying from GameStop here in the USA.This purchase type (getting bootlegged copies) happens at least twice a month when buying used from Gamestop.....



SyFyTy said:

Although it is worth noting that THAT exact same statement is what Nintendo says/quotes, in writing if you send a DS in for repairs and it contains a NON licensensed SCREEN PROTECTOR, or, stylus, or similar non licensed accessory. (except the last 3 words in that quote... 'by system update') I strongly question the accuracy of this rumor.



Scribbler said:

@k8sMum: the majority here see only one use for flashcards: PIRACY! AARGGH!

That's something that I've found potentially frightening over the years. That people actually think that all unauthorized (yet perfectly legal) activity is EVIL and blindly side with corporations. I fear that the issue will soon cease to be Piracy vs. Homebrew and become Corporate Rights vs. User Rights, a far weightier issue in the long run.

Think about this. What if by dual-booting a Linux build on your PC, you became labeled under the banner of "hacker" and "pirate" because of your distaste for the status quo? What if every time you ran system updates on Windows, Windows would constantly try to attack and delete Linux because the company sees Linux is nothing more than a piracy OS? What if suddenly, because your computer's firmware detects that two operating systems are installed instead of just the latest "official" Windows install, your PC refused to boot? You're doing nothing illegal, by simply asserting your rights to use your computer that you paid good money for however you wish, and yet you can't, because you've essentially paid the manufacturer and Microsoft to tell you what you can and can't do. You can't have it both ways. "It's my way or the highway," says Microsoft. You've essentially been treated like a criminal for something you MIGHT do. Sure, it's a silly scenario because PCs don't work like that. Microsoft doesn't work like that. But why, then, are Nintendo and Apple allowed to do the exact same thing? Because we let them, that's why! They want control and we give it to them.

Let's face facts. The world of technology is shifting gears fast, and old corporate tactics just aren't going to cut it anymore. We need to go beyond this petty piracy and software prices issue and realize that user's rights are just as, if not more, important for the survival of an ever-changing industry. Yes, Nintendo seems invincible. Their handhelds and consoles may print money right now, but that could all change with the coming tide. And if they're not careful. They'll get swept out in it.



maka said:

@Scribbler: Totally agree with you.

And I was thinking today that's very funny how they want us to believe that software is "licensed" and not own by us and yet if one of the game discs you own becomes unreadable you have to go and buy it again... If you payed for the right to play the game, then they should either let you back them up or provide you with a new copy after it breaks.

Again: Corporations trampling on consumer rights...



wanderlustwarrior said:

@85: I don't recall ever getting a bootleg game. Also, they and you both can and should check the game before you buy it.



k8sMum said:

@scribbler: you are preaching to the choir. i agree with everything you say. i just wish others weren't quite so eager to let another 'big brother' into their lives.

i get tired of the word playing that goes on: we own a game we buy; we DON'T own the game, only the use of it; we own the console we buy; we DON'T own it but merely pay for the privilege of using it...if we do/use/think anywhere out of the box, even LEGALLY, we are threatened with dire consequences.

@scribbler: the 'rights' issue seems to go one way, doesn't it? as scribbler rightly says, the entire technology field is changing, moving as fast as it can...perhaps the piracy problem wouldn't exist if people were more certain of not getting for games, also.

as horse would say on 'ren & stimpy: No sir, i don't like it.



zionich said:

Its not nessicarly people not knowing the difference, maybe the homebrew supporters just not seeing that all they mean is the stealing of games that should be purchased.

That said, Im not versed on the Law of it all, or how EULA forbids or allows modding of consoles. Please put some links to support that modding isnt illegal for my own benifit, as well as others.



k8sMum said:

@zionich: i do not pretend to be a lawyer, nor am i a true geek; i could no more do homebrew than ride a unicorn. i use a flash cart so that i can read books on my DSi...

is that modding my console? am i stealing anything? am i harming nintendo's or game maker's bottom line by reading books on my handheld??

can YOU support your saying 'maybe the homebrew supporters just not seeing that all they mean is the stealing of games that should be purchased.'

if YOU don't mind a corporation keeping tabs on your movements/activity/etc then be happy we live in a world where such ideas seem to be becoming more and more prevalent. i am uncomfortable with it.

btw: where was nintendo's concern when people have to rebuy downloads because the unit was registered, not to an account of the person who purchased it? that in itself shows me where their main concern lies.



maka said:

@zionich: homebrew is just like freeware on your computer. I make a game, put it on the net, you download it and play it. There's no piracy invoved...



zionich said:

In your post 79. I'm sure there are not as many people as ya think that don't understand the difference. I'm not trying to be nitpicky , just don't like being lumped. Which is sad because I did it also , sorry for any offense .

Im not saying for them to keep tabs , I don't support piracy for reasons I have already given. Unfortunately for homebrew people , stopping one might mean harming the other. And I don't see how that falls out of the rights of the creators. A consumer should be informed on what your buying , but yes it sucks.

@maka thanks for clearing that up. I was under the impression that the dsi had to be moded to use homebrews.



Scribbler said:

@zionich I would like to reiterate that fighting and locking out bootable flashcarts to prevent people stealing games made for Nintendo's handheld consoles is a fool's errand. People are not only stealing them through torrents, but also emulating them to a playable state on their home computers flawlessly and with far more options than the original system itself. Just because the 3DS has a glasses-free 3D display and motion sensing doesn't mean that it won't be emulated flawlessly as well. Legally, they have the right to lock homebrewers out and treat their loyal customers like potential criminals, but logically, there's no gain in doing so, and ethically, it's a very blurry line to cross, a line that more and more companies are crossing every day without us realizing it... or caring.

And flashcarts have already been banned in certain parts of the world, if one wants to question the legality of them.

@maka Yeah, it's a double standard all around. Everybody in the industry complains that video games don't get the respect of other, older mass media, and yet no one wants to stop and ask, "Wait a minute! What are we doing!? How can we change this?"

Don't get me wrong. I like video games and I respect Nintendo as a group of united artists, but there are so many time-worn traditions and policies that are keeping them both in the dark ages.



zionich said:


It perhaps is, so lets flip the coin. What would you do to help prevent piracy if you were in there shoes. Its very easy to say what not to do. The answer will never be , "do nothing, people are going to do it anyways." Any business person would take some measures to prevent theft. The real answer is, if ya dont like the way they choose to go about it, speak with your wallet as a consumer and boycot thier products while encouraging others to do so. Its really the most powerful tool that all consumers share in common. Whats sad, is for us here in the U.S. , its all about I want it anyways and ill just complain. More people need to actually do somthing about it.

And in no way am I including homebrews by them self, unfortuantly in this possible scenario, there a casuilty of war. Unless Nintendo, for what ever reason, really is about "we want ya doing it our way or no way". If thats the case, you know their stance, and its up to the consumer to respond.

There still isnt anything Official yet from Nintendo that im aware of as far as the truth to it.

Another thing that I see you and k8sMum trying to do is raise awareness as to what homebrews are, and how they can be used. Education is a great tool when supported by facts. What I was trying to determine is if there is anything in the EULA thats dissallows the use of homebrews. Im looking for the facts first, not personal opinion. Then there are legs to stand on in the battle on wether we should support Nintendo, or boycot them.



maka said:

" What would you do to help prevent piracy if you were in there shoes. Its very easy to say what not to do"

I'd open the systems to homebrew. Most of the hackers (the best ones it seems) don't care for piracy. And note that a hacker is just someone that likes to fiddle with technology and make it more useful. The term doesn't imply being malicious...

For example, it wasn't until Sony removed linux that people started to hack the PS3. If Nintendo would let people develop and release their own homebrew software and play it on their systems through some official method (like an official homebrew channel) there would be no need for flashcards (except for piracy/backup uses).

I'm sure the wii wouldn't be as hacked as it is if this would have been the case...



Scribbler said:

@zionich Yeah, for the record, Nintendo has most definitely lost $250 dollars from THIS customer. Most DEFINITELY won't be getting a 3DS. The novelty features and iffy (at least to me) game lineup don't justify the invasive software updates and prodding to keep in touch with its content. I may be a drop in the ocean, but I'm most certainly voting with my wallet this time around. At least the DSi's were easier to work around.

@maka Agreed. To paraphrase Daniel Floyd from The Escapist, don't mess with people who install Linux on their PlayStations. That's definitely a step in the right direction. Another good step would be to get to the root of the problem, and that's bootleggers and people that maintain websites and torrents that deal in illegally dumped ROMs. I know that the industry is very competitive and at times very cutthroat, but this is a serious issue in which the industry as a whole needs to stand together and solve in mutual interest.

Perhaps if they stand united, they can help snuff out the root of piracy rather than punishing their legitimate customers for something they have virtually no control over. As of right now, people illegally downloading their games get treated better than legitimate customers, and this is backward. The music industry learned this (the hard way), and the film industry is slowly coming to grips with this, and it's only a matter of time until the video game industry either does the same, or shoot themselves in the foot... ...again.



zionich said:

Corret me if im worng, but the other OS removal was in responce to the i device hacker that claimed he cracked the Ps3. And ya, maybe some of the best hackers in the world just want to use a device to its fullest, but the individual/s involed in making piracy possible have to be the top of there game. Everyone one else just chooses wether or not to participate. I dont know how exactly the Andriod Market works(content/pricing), but its open source like your suggesting, correct?


Im happy to here that you are going the correct route to showing ya disagree with the chosen course. Perhaps I just see the positive of the backround downloads because I always use the device as it is.

I think with the different laws of different countries its harder to attack the source that distributes the content. You could block IP's, then people cry foul. They could raid local servers and shut them down. I just find it hard to belive that in the end no ones rights wont be fringed apon.

Side Note: Im happy that the Nintendo Life community can have such a civil back and forth debate/conversation

Realisticaly , piracy will never go away. I do agree, they really need to target the problem though. I guess the real question is, does Nintendo find homebrews to be a problem. (probably yes, they dont see any money from it lol)



k8sMum said:

@maka: i too want to say how impressed i am at the tone of this debate. i do not have nearly the technological background that some here do, but we accomplished a lot, imho, without the anger, name calling et all that seems so prevalent on the web.

seeing different sides to a situation can only be a good thing.



maka said:

I think part of the problem with piracy is Nintendo clinging to an outdated model. The fact that you can download whole Wii games and play them on your Wii by connecting an HD proves that they could have moved on to a digital distribution of games long ago.

They resist doing this and so we have the problem of high production costs which translate to high prices for the consumer. The high production costs also cause the problem of games which aren't going to sell enough copies not to be sold outside Japan (or the US sometimes).

For example, a game like Retro Game Challenge wasn't released in Europe and its sequel wasn't released outside of Japan because the US version of the first game didn't sell enough copies. With a digital distribution model this wouldn't have been a problem and the game could have been released worldwide.

When music companies were complaining about piracy and declining loss of CD sells along came iTunes to show how a new model which catered to the demands of the consumers (quick, easy and cheap downloads) could be successful. Hopefully Nintendo realizes this before it is too late...



zionich said:

I shop with the devil ,Gamestop, and fully use there trade in/used games, and I still buy alot new ones. I know that alot of people that rely on used games would loose out on an all digital model. I guess I could sell my account that I have games downloaded (though was deemed illegal for stuff like EQ). That, and from Sony's PsP GO model (enter endless laughter here), It worries me that they'll realize that what they didnt spend in production , can still be passed to the consumer. Mainly by eventuall just concluding that we were use to paying X amount anyways. (Gas prices anyone) That and it seemed like it took longer for retail games to drop in price, but I do need to log onto my Steam more often .

Now if they open sourced it, as has been suggested, that would definitaly drive prices down, I personally love capitalism. Im no fool though, Nintendo bask in the riegns of power.



Scribbler said:

@maka As much as I like and heartily support it, I really don't think that digital distribution has matured enough. I believe that it's the future of media, most definitely, but for it to truly thrive, there are going to have to be a few OTHER business models taken out of the equation, first.

First, region locking. Okay, I could understand this one at the outset. Different regions used different frequencies, aspect ratios, etc., so barring one country's console from playing a game from another country sort of made sense. But now, most televisions are becoming standardized, and software emulation is becoming easier as CPUs are becoming faster and more powerful. Why can't we import Japan only games and play them legitimately on our system? Why can't Nintendo open up their Japanese virtual console and let us pick and choose what we want instead of having them choose what they deem "worthy" for us?

Second, DRM. Nintendo's original reasoning behind the lock-out chip in the NES was NOT to prevent piracy, but to control the content. This made sense, since a flood of mediocre to terrible games was one of the factors that led to the crash of '84. But now that equally horrid games are being churned out for both Wii and DS platforms, I fail to see why ANYBODY would kid themselves into thinking they need it. The old adage is "You can attract more flies with honey than with vinegar." 2DBoy proved this in spades when they released World of Goo DRM free and began the "pay what you think it's worth" program to let the pirates redeem themselves. Since then, World of Goo has been gracing more and more platforms and 2DBoy, just two guys operating out of a coffee shop, two guys that probably need DRM more than anybody else in the industry, has thrived without it.

It's all about control. The industry as a whole needs to wake up and realize that as more tech savvy and educated the public gets, the less control they're going to be able to enforce without fear of backlash.

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