Nintendo has had a long history with piracy, perhaps more than many other companies in the same situation. Back in the days of the Nintendo 64 the company decided to use the cartridge system rather than the easily-copied disc formats that Sony opted for with its PlayStation console. Even today the Wii U's discs are proprietary rather than simply being Blu-Ray or another standard disc format, and of course the 3DS is one of the few systems still using cartridges. Piracy has evolved, of course, and with every new generation some individuals discover a way to make copies of software and even hardware in order to avoid paying for the games they desire; it seems Nintendo has had enough.
The iconic gaming company has hired a lobbying firm known as Choe Groves Consulting in order to try and appeal to the US government to tighten the regulations around intellectual property, in the hope of reducing the effect piracy has on the industry. It's likely that if this is successful it would also affect other media formats such as films and television, rather than just being limited to video games.
Despite Nintendo of America's official stance on piracy it has only spent $50,000 dollars — since 2009 — on the issue. This is likely due to the difficulty of pirating many of their current generation titles, but it seems this has not been enough to stem the tide. The DS was particularly vulnerable to piracy, as once the infamous R4 Cards became widespread many users considered it a more appealing method of playing than buying each game individually. The 3DS has so far fared better than its older counterpart, thanks largely to the improved online capabilities of the system, and Nintendo even managed to put significant pressure on a recent hack that allowed custom homebrew content to run on the 3DS. This move was likely made, as one might expect, to prevent anyone from abusing the exploit in order to pirate software.
Emulation of Nintendo's older systems has become so common that it's a regular part of gaming, even so far as to release many of these on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Sometimes these are disguised as other apps but often appear on Android devices without any question as to what they offer. It's possible that Nintendo will also attempt to crack down on this area as well, considering the availability of a selection of their older titles on the Wii U and 3DS Virtual Consoles.
Whether or not this lobbying attempt will be successful is a matter of debate, but we'll be sure to update you all with any information once we have it. Do you think this is money wisely spent by Nintendo? Let us know your opinions by leaving a comment below in the usual place.