News Article

Nintendo Determined to Beat Hackers with Wii U and 3DS

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Pirates beware

Most will agree that, when it came to online functionality and security, Wii and DS were both below par. Hacking and modding on both systems appears to have been widespread, which not only led to issues with some online games but, most importantly for Nintendo, cost the company money due to the extensive number of pirated games on both systems. Homebrew hacks and flashcarts were all too easy to use, with some helping themselves to hundreds of games without paying a penny.

Although hacking and modding may still be happening, it's been less common and well-known on 3DS, no doubt due to the fact that Nintendo apparently has the ability to 'brick' modded systems from afar. When asked by shareholders about online security, Satoru Iwata made it clear that the significant issues that faced Wii and DS won't recur to the same extent on current and upcoming systems.

In developing the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS, we recognized that security is an extremely important factor for the sake of our business and in making sure that our consumers feel that playing our products is safe. While some acts of piracy are still possible in its DS-compatibility mode, as we had to ensure that the Nintendo DS software could still be played on the Nintendo 3DS, the Nintendo 3DS itself still maintains a robust security system, even after this much time has passed since its launch. Various attempts have so far been made to compromise the security of the system, but of course, security is like a multilayered fire door. Even if the outermost layer is wrenched half open, as long as there are other layers behind it, I do not believe the system will be hacked in an overly short cycle. Of course, security that is designed by humans is never perfect, but at the same time, should our security fail, we have to come up with a way to update the system. These days, hardware features can be “updated” through a network by downloading a new system itself and replacing the old system with the new one. This does indeed enhance the overall security of the system, but in fact, all of our devices before the Nintendo 3DS had one major problem. They were structured in such a way so that unless the user proactively performed a system update him/herself, the update could never be done.

Although consumers knew that it was better to perform system updates, many did not perform them, as it was often the case that they were simply never made aware that they were available. As with smartphones, tablets, computers and operating systems, many devices today have an auto-update feature, where updates are automatically downloaded when there is an Internet connection, and put on standby, and a message that says “Updates are available for your system. Would you like to proceed?” appears later before the user finally installs the updates. At the moment the Nintendo 3DS’s security remains robust, but we have prepared ourselves to minimize the damage should our security fail. Please note that, in a sense, we learned a very bitter lesson from the Nintendo DS and the Wii, and we have put it to good use in designing the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U.

For those that play fair then this is all good news and it's clear that, in terms of online infrastructure and security, Nintendo is modernising and upping its game.

[via nintendo.co.jp]

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User Comments (83)

CerealKiller528

#2

CerealKiller528 said:

No need to worry. I would never hack a Nintendo console. Microsoft and Sony on the other hand can lose all their money! :D

C-Olimar

#3

C-Olimar said:

I once played a cousin's flash card on my old Lite (not proud of it) and 6 months later the screen snapped off. Let that be a warning to you ll.

Hyperstar96

#4

Hyperstar96 said:

For the last time, Nintendo... NOT ALL PROPLE WHO MOD THEIR SYSTEMS ARE PIRATES!!! People need to stop being so paranoid!

ejamer

#5

ejamer said:

Not all people modding systems are pirates, but most are. This isn't a case of a few bad apples ruining a barrel - it's the exact opposite where a few innocent people get hurt because the majority have proven over time that they just can't be trusted.

Yasume

#6

Yasume said:

Yeah, not gonna happen. I know a guy who plays pirated games on his 3DS since he bought it on the release date. Pirates are too smart. You can't stop them.

MrKenta

#8

MrKenta said:

I don't want the 3DS to suffer from piracy and the players to suffer from hackers, but I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't be happy if they found a way to disable the region lock.

theblackdragonAdmin

#9

theblackdragon said:

guys, we're not interested in your personal tales of hacks and/or illegal mods, nor are we interested in ads for flashcarts and other such devices — please, let's keep the discussion to the article at hand. thanks in advance!

@MrKenta: I don't think there's a person alive who wouldn't be happy to see Ye Olde Regione Locke go the way of the dodo :3

BudrSbastig

#10

BudrSbastig said:

The only way to beat the pirates is for the games company's to make there games cheaper. If all new 3ds game carts were £15 - £20 people would make fewer copies ... until then most people who own a ds/3ds will download games for free for tinterweb.

SilverSeraph

#11

SilverSeraph said:

The people who want to pirate will pirate. They will always find a way and they have no intention of buying. Nintendo would better spend their time and resources on trying to better entice the people who ARE interested in buying legit software. The more they try to limit pirating the more they hurt paying customers.

Also, if they don't want people to mod their systems then they SHOULDN'T USE REGION LOCKS!!!! This blows my mind every time I think about it. The market for their products is worldwide with a worldwide distribution system. Hardware should play software from anywhere in the world!

chewytapeworm

#13

chewytapeworm said:

Those crafty pirates... Always one step ahead!

They ruined my days of innocently zooming around Luigi Raceway online with barrages of Bob-ombs and blue shells. Damn them all to hell.

onlyaman

#14

onlyaman said:

Not only can my US system not play games bought in my new European home, but I can't even play multiplayer or properly streetpass (only the Mii plaza features work) with everyone around me. DAMN YOU REGION LOCK.

Capt_N

#17

Capt_N said:

@SilverSeraph "The people who want to pirate will pirate." Yep,... & there will always be ppl who pirate, just for (the sake of) pirating, even if Nintendo, &/or any other game co. gave away their games for free.

Another thing is, I think most of these anti-piracy securities are able to be comparable to a computer virus, & an anti-virus: A virus is written, then an anti-virus is written to counter the virus, then cycle continues by/of both parties. B/c it's all just programming, each side can always counter the other.

In the same manner/way, hackers/pirates, I think, will always get around most consoles', & handhelds' anti-piracy measures/securities, simply b/c there is no actual/literal(read:physical) hardware in place to counter pirates/hackers; it's all just programming code. This is why the systems security can be updated remotely. It's all just programming code.

I don't know (for) myself, but I assume that the 3ds security is basically just programming. Which doesn't bode well, for someone not wanting to play w/ hackers/pirates who cheat.

cfgk24

#20

cfgk24 said:

Piracy is bad for games development - Players should be happy to buy games at retail prices to encourage games developers to produce better games

SkywardLink98

#21

SkywardLink98 said:

Some of these "Pirates" are actually improving your games.

though some are just trying to beat everyone else online :(

bahooney

#22

bahooney said:

Well, Nintendo, if you made your consoles region-free, I would have no desire to resort to other means. Told.

Wheels2050

#23

Wheels2050 said:

It seems to be working so far - to my knowledge, no-one has managed to pirate 3DS games as yet.

It'll be interesting to see if Nintendo can manage to hold the pirates at bay. They seem to be relying on automatic updates to cover security flaws, but I imagine that anyone who can hack the system will be able to prevent those updates from being downloaded. Pirates are a clever bunch. (Well, the people who hack consoles and crack games to begin with, at least).

Odnetnin

#24

Odnetnin said:

Has anyone seen The Pirates! Band of Misfits (or The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists in the UK)? Not up to usual Aardman standards (read: perfection), but still a great movie.

Gridatttack

#26

Gridatttack said:

As mentioned in the text, you can still use flashcarts on the DS sandbox mode, but the 3DS mode is never touched. The DSi was never hacked (there is one but it doesn't do anything at all), so I doubt the 3ds will be hacked anytime soon (only RAM hack has being successful, but its still useless) This is good news to people who play online games, because cheaters on online games ruin all the fun, like it happened to mario kart wii (and no, flashcarts will not ruin your system, as some other user said :P)
But what really sucks at all is the region lock thing. I mean, it is supposedly to maintain control of a product in the different regions, but all really does is to block importers :/

NintyMan

#27

NintyMan said:

Boo, those scurvy pirates again! Talk about a lousy bunch. They keep illegally downloading millions of copies of outside games that result in millions of Nintendo's money getting lost and shafting honest players while they wreck havoc on online games. I realize not all people who mod are pirates, but a lot of them are and it's got to stop.

It's too bad that like crafty theives, they'll try to find a way through the 3DS and Wii U. I just hope that Nintendo at least seriously slows them down.

CerealKiller062

#28

CerealKiller062 said:

Hackers, not pirates though because some of them are stupid, are really, really, really, smart. They will find a way and this is just egging them on to try and hack the system faster. Keep the pirates out by not making it an obvious challenge, just randomly one day release an update that will forever make the 3DS unhackable.

Koos

#29

Koos said:

It depends on the culture. In some places in the world they sell hacked hardware and piratef software in stores in regular malls. At the end if the day.it depends on the goodwill of people and their connection to the brand. Only real fans actually go and buy CDs of their favorite music today and its the same with video games. Then there those roaming innocent and unsuspecting in the world and buy at local stores and chains - that's the culture angle.

TheDreamingHawk

#30

TheDreamingHawk said:

I like the region lock, to be honest. That way it only ensures that sales happen in that certain country, which is fine. The EU and NA eshops should be merged, but that's about it.

Lyndexer

#33

Lyndexer said:

This is great. I hated how you play Mk Wii and the hackers come after you since you're always in first.

Edlicious

#34

Edlicious said:

I only experienced hacking on mario kart wii like 4 times max, and i played everyday. But many of those hackers/pirates are actually more modders then anything else and modders are pretty cool, I dont think changing a way a device looks is really hurting anyone. my Iphone is modded so it looks like a windows phone, but I still buy apps legally.

rayword45

#37

rayword45 said:

Most Wii hacking teams will tell you they don't support piracy, and while the DS ones arguably do, they don't do so explicitly, and legitimate users won't pirate.

Ever heard of wanting to run homebrew? Extract music? Have backups? Hell, even for DS wanting to change save files.

This would be easier to talk about if there was an easier way for indie developers to release free games.

Also, no they won't brick your system from afar like that.

accc

#38

accc said:

I believe that the overall net effect of piracy on sales is negligible. The vast majority of the people who pirate software never would have purchased it legitimately in the first place, and of the remaining people, many of them do end up purchasing some of the software they pirated later when their budget allows it. The negative effects of piracy are also mitigated by positive word of mouth, as the more people that play a game, the more they talk about it, and the more they talk about it, the more potential legitimate customers hear about it. It's not just a coincidence that the PS1, PS2, GBA, DS and Wii all experienced massive hardware and software sales despite being riddled with piracy. The story is the same when you look at individual pieces of software; the list of most pirated software includes games like Call of Duty, Crysis, Skyrim, Half-Life, et al. — which happens to coincide with the list of software which is most commercially successful. Even indie games like World of Goo, Super Meat Boy, VVVVVV and many others have been hugely successful despite rampant piracy. Software piracy has been around for decades and the industry has never been hurt because of it. As someone who purchase all of my games, I really feel that companies are wasting their time by making it a point to combat software piracy. I feel they would be better off if they try to turn pirates into consumers by offering them better incentives for purchasing their products, rather than trying to lock them out completely.

Sherman

#42

Sherman said:

Nintendo should care less about piracy and more about their super high prices.In México games are very expensive: The games you can buy for about 40 dollars like Kid Icarus: Uprising in the U.S. we buy them at 60 dollars (800 pesos) here in México. Yes, our 3DS games are even more expensive than U.S. Wii games. Can you guess how much a Wii games costs here? Your 50 dollars Skyward Sword costs 67.50 dollars (900 pesos) here.To make things worst, the average wage in the U.S. it's around 7.50 dollars an hour. Here you need to work a whole 8 hours shift to get paid that. Nintendo should spend resources and money in making social-economic studies and not in anti-piracy updates and price their games and consoles according to the results.And one more thing: A lot of games are not available in here. I went to 7 different stores looking for any Layton games and only found one and bought it. I would've bought all of them, but couldn't find them.

And before you delete this or warn me, I wan't to make it clear that this is not a pro-piracy comment:

I'm not sayind piracy is OK, I'm saying that Nintendo's high prices are not!

And that's a big cause of people buying this cards. Just stating a point, nothing more.I'm just pissed off 'cause a lot of us had to come to use any of these resources at some point because we have no choice. Literally, we... have... no... choice...I want to buy games at a reasonable price. Just put them within our range, Nintendo, please.(And if any of you have the money to buy games and/or your games are cheaper than mine and still use Flash Card, then shame on you).

CerberusAzdin

#43

CerberusAzdin said:

@SilverSeraph

The only reason I would EVER mod my 3DS would be to remove the stupid REGION LOCK. WHO'S BRIGHT IDEA AT NINTENDO'S WAS THAT?

1989 Gameboy = region free
1998 Gameboy Colour = region free
2001 Gameboy Advance = region free
SP = region free
2004 DS = region free
DSi = region free
2011 3DS = REGION LOCKED.....WTF!?

DarkKirby

#45

DarkKirby said:

Maybe its most important to Nintendo to "hacking" to stop pirating, but Nintendo is well known to pretty much not care about people who cheat in their online games at all, leading to widespread hacking/cheating in much of any of their games that go online. Maybe they should work on making their online not suck and usable like every other console before worrying about the "pirating" cutting into their profits.

OdnetninAges

#46

OdnetninAges said:

theblackdragon,

Does this mean that if I play a DS game that was used in an Action Replay DS (I don't do Action Replay anymore), or buy a used game from a store that was put into an Action Replay DS, will it lock my system? In the agreement, it says "In connection to an unauthorized device will render the system permanently unplayable". This worries me, as I buy a lot of used DS games, and have a few old DS games that I haven't even put in the 3DS due to this.

Gridatttack

#47

Gridatttack said:

@Sherman I know that feel too...im in the same situation.Here is worst. 3DS games are 65$ and wii games are 75$. I guess its all the fault is for those damm retailers (even worst, other consoles; namely ps3 & xbox360; games are over the 80-90$ range)

ouroborous

#48

ouroborous said:

If you think DS or Wii "suffered" because of "piracy" you're crazy. They sold wonderfully regardless of anyone who was playing roms, honestly I think the lion's share of DS and Wii users were NOT doing that. I think the PSP got hit alot harder with piracy. I guess it's kind of irrelevant now, the DS is outdated so there are no new games to sell, the Wii is almost done, and 3DS so far is holding out against piracy of 3DS games, and eShop/DSiWare games are seemingly 100% impervious to piracy.

Vincent294

#49

Vincent294 said:

No mods? Hmm, I've seen some pretty interesting mods like R2D2 in GTA4 & an The Office-themed Counter Strike mod, but I'd rather have no piracy & no cheating over the lack of hilarious mods any day.

SMW

#50

SMW said:

"Of course, security that is designed by humans is never perfect"

I love this line. If humans aren't the ones to design perfect security, then who will? Iwata to hire aliens to design unhackable consoles?

Sean_Aaron

#51

Sean_Aaron said:

It doesn't really matter if the system is unshakable, it matters if it's so difficult that most people won't bother. And whether or not Nintendo suffered financially doesn't really matter. As a publicly held company having illegal copies of your software floating around doesn't create a good impression for shareholders and if I was a developer I'd be wary of putting effort into making a game for your platform if I had the impression I might sell less as a result.

I've also encountered very few people who modded a console solely to get around region locks - I certainly never met anyone who had a DS flash cart and didn't use it to play software downloaded off the net. Given the non-essential nature of gaming systems "it's too expensive" is a fantastically weak defence. I figure anyone using that line must shoplift on a regular basis as well?

Kage_88

#52

Kage_88 said:

Pirates of the Carribean: At Iwata's Wit's End.

Seriously, pirates should be made to jump into a pool full of ravenous Cheep-Cheeps.

Geonjaha

#53

Geonjaha said:

Piracy will always be present. It's present for television and music as well as games - and you cant stop it. All you can do is provide good service and extra's to those paying customers. Some people find it hard to accept, but just do what you choose to do. If you're doing the right thing then stop letting other people make you angry when they dont.

BulbasaurusRex

#54

BulbasaurusRex said:

@accc Even if that's true, hackers still need to be kept at bay to keep them from cheating at online games. Nintendo can absorb a lot of lost piracy sales, no problem, but it's totally unacceptable when the law-abiding users themselves are affected.

Polaris

#55

Polaris said:

I wouldn't want to steal from Nintendo! Just play with the game a little more. Hehehe....

Polaris

#56

Polaris said:

I didn't cheat online though. That's stupid. Sometimes it's funny to fight vs a hacker (and still win).

But I'm not part of the bad bunch. Some love Nintendo but just do simple things like import models into the game (add our own content).

Is that so bad? I'd want someone to create art with my game.

Cloud-San-VII

#59

Cloud-San-VII said:

Why is it that when someone just wants to mod something, it's wrong? I think modding is okay as long as you aren't cheating with it (cough like some of the people who go online cough).
I realize that some modders are bad and some aren't, but the few that are good get penalized with the rest, sadly.
I love Nintendo, but some of it is technically their fault. If they did not region-lock their systems (and I spoke to Miyamoto, the Wii U will be region-locked), some of the pirating would be stopped. Their are some games that won't leave Japan that I want to play, and I won't buy a different regioned and go through that whole process just to play a few games.

Rensch

#61

Rensch said:

The reason why the old DS and DS Lite were so prone to piracy was because there were no firmware updates. The risk of bricking my system makes me refrain from using a Flash Card on 3DS, even if it is only for homebrew software.

DarkKirby

#63

DarkKirby said:

@Geonjaha
Agreed. The best way to deter piracy is to provide a service better then the pirates. When companies decide they want to inconvenience paying customers in the name of stopping "pirating", because they want to provide a terrible service but be the only option available, they have not only not stopped pirating, but pissed off loyal paying costumers.

NINTENBOY

#64

NINTENBOY said:

YES! YES! YES! These are words I'm very happy to hear peopel you know what I'm talking esspecally if you play Call Of Duty on the Wii the hacking is absolutly out of control. There's people on there who can block your account so you won't be able to go online, people who cheat in the game by making themselfs invinceble it's just simply retarded and makes the game unplayable!

If it were up to me every single one of those hackers would go stright to JAIL!! Cause these people have this cockyness that I just can't stand they swear their untoughable and swear they have the RIGHT to hack the game >:( I'm I guess this warrenty on the game and the console saying absolutly no hacking or modding of any kind doesn't exist huh. IF I EVER SAW ONE OF THESE COWARDS IN THE REAL OMG I WOULD ABSULUTLY MURDERLIZE THEM!!

Sherman

#65

Sherman said:

@Gridatttack, it sucks, right?

Sean_Aaron wrote:

Given the non-essential nature of gaming systems "it's too expensive" is a fantastically weak defence. I figure anyone using that line must shoplift on a regular basis as well?

No, I'm a hard worker, hate people who steals anything. So don't say it like you know about it. I don´t know how much you get paid and the game prices there, but I'm guessing it's pretty fair. I need to work 3 days, each day an 8 hours shift just to get enough money to buy one 3DS game. And let me tell you I have a good job, a well paid job. And still, 24 hours of work as a developer here in México it's equal to 5 hours of flipping burguers in the US.
Not to mention that if you work flipping burgers here you'll need to save a whole week, 45 hours of work to get you a 3DS game. Now tell me they are not expensive and we are using it as an excuse.

BRAINFOX

#66

BRAINFOX said:

They should have the zombies from ZombiU do a jumpscare on someone when they try to hack. Then, brick the controller with the zombies on them until the hack is removed. Either that, or just have Samus jump out of the screen and blast the hackers instead with an ice beam!

SyFyTy

#68

SyFyTy said:

@Capt_N
Eric Weiss aka Houdini, more a man than myth, who knew a great deal about security (and locks and conputers are not as different as many may think) He escaped from top security prisons unaided, while simultaneously rearranging prisoners)... Said "Locks are only for honest People". His philosphy was that there wasn't a security measure made by man, that could NOT be circumvented. I fully agree. It is this same principle that states there is no such thing as the perfect crime. Nothing can be done that leaves NO clues at all. Every action leaves a trace. It's how science discovered the universe. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction/ It is a law of nature. This is the core principle in reverse engineering in the corporate world. The answer [a hint of] is always contained in the question, if one knows where to look. I've invested my life study in these principles (not piracy) for well over the past fourty years.

Vincent294

#69

Vincent294 said:

@Cloud-San-VII Yeah, but the problem is, if you can mod it, you can hack & pirate it as well. So there cannot be a safe way to allow mods except for really fancy level editors, etc. that let you change just about anything w/ single-player. And no one makes that, and we all know some people will go I just want to make mods, and then we have piracy and cheaters all over again. If only there was a way to allow mods without cheating and pirating...

DarkKirby

#70

DarkKirby said:

@NINTENBOY
As happy as I would be if Nintendo took the rampant and obvious cheating in their online games seriously and made a serious and effective effort to put a stop to it to show they are a viable platform to rely on to play online with, and thus, increase sales that way, I feel like this "anti-hacking" effort is solely directed at stopping piracy and stopping piracy alone. Based on what the article says, and Nintendo's history.

Sean_Aaron

#71

Sean_Aaron said:

@Sherman: you don't like the price don't pay it; you can't afford it save until you can. I don't care how poor you are, video games aren't a basic human right.

Barbiegurl777

#72

Barbiegurl777 said:

I would never go to that extreme of tearing my system apart just to hack or mod it.

I do agree though the region locking with the system's does bite though.

A few year's ago I had to import several ds games from the UK because they were NEVER released over in the US they aren't bad ds games I guess they just didn't get popular enough to be released over here. One of the games was:

Hello Baby ds

What's weird is the US normally get's most of the games as the UK but I guess some just don't see a US release sometime's. I made sure all my ds games I bought were authentic by trying them in my dsi though to be on the safe side there all UK ds games.

WARNING: to those that want to get Nursery Mania DS the American version no offense don't waste your time on the american version of the game because ALOT of the content is left out of the game. If you want to get the full fledged game you'll have to import it from france like I did.

The french version is called:

Real Stories Babies DS

It was released in 2008

The american version (Nursery Mania DS - Released in 2010) is a joke it's basically it's like playing a demo of the game.

Best advice avoid the american version & get the french version.

I have both version's & can honestly say the french version is better. The only reason why I say the french version is better because in the game you get to play with 8 babies & unlock clothes & toy's in the american version you play with only 1 baby & unlock nothing plus to make matter's worse when the game comes to an end in the american version it show's all 8 parent's with 8 kids. Just saying...

Happy Gaming! (^_^)

danschemen

#73

danschemen said:

Good cause of they mess up online gaming on the Wii U i don't see anybody buying the console unless they have a craving for Nintendo games which is only the hardcore Nintendo gamers.

UnseatingKDawg

#75

UnseatingKDawg said:

Well, this is good news. Now I can actually play a game online without fear of someone gaining an unfair win. Had that problem more than once.

shinpichu

#76

shinpichu said:

Making a statement like this is only more likely to get their systems hacked. I love how the industry has learned NOTHING about hackers and pirates in the last few years.

You want to stop hackers? Let them run Linux on your machine. That's all most of the talented hackers want - to be able to use every machine they own like a PC. When companies don't let them, they hack their machines so they can do it anyway, opening the door for pirates in the process. Want proof? The PS3 went basically unhacked for years - not because of great security, but because of the OtherOS feature. The floodgates didn't open until Sony removed that feature for whatever reason.

Sherman

#77

Sherman said:

Sean_Aaron wrote:

@Sherman: you don't like the price don't pay it; you can't afford it save until you can. I don't care how poor you are, video games aren't a basic human right

First you called me thief, now you call me poor. Guess you just can't read well or your braing can't assimilate what I'm saying.

Nibelilt wrote:

@Sherman I know that feel. New Wii games are $100 here and new 3DS games, $70. Good luck.

God, that's even worst =(

g1i1ch

#78

g1i1ch said:

Actually pirating is very much looked down upon in the Wii modding community and it is the minority.

TempuraWizard

#79

TempuraWizard said:

Are you kidding me. Not ONCE in that whole lecture did he mention region-locking, the NUMBER-ONE reason a lot of people want to see the system hacked. Nintendo can't be bothered to make sure at least 10% of good 3DS games released in Japan get released overseas, and then they region-lock the system to prevent importing, and THEN they actively combat hacking of the system?????

Just.... wow.

Elliander

#81

Elliander said:

Piracy is not the only reason why people mod their consoles. While Piracy does indeed happen, many mods come as a result of an actual need. For example, Nintendo insisted that no one needs any more storage practically insulting it's customers in the way it said so. In response, the modding community found a way to enable 32-GB SD cards and shortly after Nintendo did the same. Nintendo disabled the ability to play legally owned DVD movies from the Wii, so the modding community unlocks it. Unfortunately Nintendo responds by physically blocking that capability in revisions which still makes no sense. Then there is region free: There are a number of English games released in Europe that are not released in North America, and even those games that exist in both usually the one released later has more content. Additionally there are some games in Japan never released in English that I really like.

While Piracy can be a problem you need to step back and think about it for a moment. Would a person pirating a few hundred games be likely to spend money on all of those games? No. While it may be true that the ability to pirate decreases the amount of money those people spend on games, it isn't nearly as big of an issue Nintendo is making it out to be especially since these people make up the minority.

I should also point out that because Piracy is looked down upon, the programmers of some modding tools cannot be used alongside other hacks. There are all kinds of crazy and interesting stuff that modding can do that isn't against the law. On the contrary, I would argue that Nintendo earned at least as much money as it lost to pirate in the way that modding has kept the system flourishing. Most non-party games can be beaten so quickly that renting would be enough, but if you can revisit those games with mods that you need the disc for you are more likely to buy.

Now, if someone were to purchase a Wii-U and mod it and it were to be bricked, it would be very easy to prove if someone was pirating or not. If someone isn't pirating and simply unlocking a feature for increased usability Nintendo would be open to a lawsuit. Why? Because regardless of whatever is written in the EULA Nintendo doesn't have the legal authority to destroy private property. This was verified in a parallel case involving cell phones. The cell phone companies didn't want people unlocking their phone to use with another carrier and when it came to a lawsuit the courts ruled that because the phone is physically owned by the customer the most they can legally do is invalidate a warranty. More recently in cases involving the iPhone people have been unlocking it for a very good reason: Turns out if you accept an update on an obsolete model everything slows to a crawl and the only way to fix is to unlock the phone. There are other reasons to unlock as well, but Apple does not have the legal authority to brick them. Back to Nintendo, the simply fact is that there are enough legal precedents to show that Nintendo cannot do this, but because no one has actually brought Nintendo to court about it yet the issue continues. In all honesty though it would only be a matter of time before the bricking strategy fails for the same reason as it did in other industry sectors.

It's also creepy some of the things Nintendo authorizes itself to do that goes above and beyond preventing piracy. It reminds me of the Amazon Kindle scandal where Amazon sold something it shouldn't have and then hacked into people's devices and deleted the offending material without users permission. Even when companies say they never would, just having the ability to access people's devices remotely concerns me.

Elliander

#82

Elliander said:

Turns out the Wii-U does perform automatic updates without permission. When you say "no" it happens in the background anyway. This can be a serious problem because if you interrupt the update in progress your Wii-U will be bricked. Many people with spotty connections will also be affected even if they do know, and since the whole purpose behind the majority of these updates is to combat piracy the consequence will just be to expose everyone else to bricking.

Isn't it ironic that the only people who will be adversely affected by this "security" are the people who think they are safe because they are not modding?

WileEQuoxote

#83

WileEQuoxote said:

I don't condone hacking, but would probably have more sympathy for Nintendo if I didn't feel screwed over by their greedy setup for their store. I had to replace a DSi and a 3DS, and had to re-buy games I wanted to keep every time, even with them registered through my Club Nintendo acct! This little lack of functionality, where I can't re-download a game I've already bought has me playing PS3 primarily except for franchises like Zelda and Metroid. Nintendo has a setup to leech enough money off loyal fans (which I was til all that crap) that I can hardly feel bad for them...I actually sympathize with the pirates to a degree. Considered it myself briefly after buying the same game repeatedly.

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