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Capcom, Nintendo Spearheading DS Piracy Lawsuit
Capcom, Nintendo Spearheading DS Piracy Lawsuit
October 14, 2009 | By Chris Remo

October 14, 2009 | By Chris Remo
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    38 comments
More: Console/PC



Capcom and Nintendo have joined with 53 other unspecified video game publishers to file suit against four sellers of the R4 flash cartridge for Nintendo DS, which can be used to play pirated games on Nintendo's handheld console.

Through the suit, the publishers seek an injunction against distribution of the R4, in accordance with the 2009 Japanese Unfair Competition Prevention Act.

Nintendo has frequently taken up arms against widespread piracy of its games. Last year, the company -- then too joined by a litany of fellow publishers -- launched a lawsuit against R4 distributors. As a result, early this year, a Tokyo court issued an injunction, but Capcom now says that legal action has had no meaningful effect in the intervening period.

Despite numerous notices sent to sellers of the device, a recent Capcom statement claimed that those vendors "ignore our warnings" and "[did] not show any sincere response," leading to its current renewed offensive.

Capcom said it expects the court's ruling in the new lawsuit to reflect that "our company and other software manufactures have sustained [extreme] damages from proliferation of illegal instruments."


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Comments


Alan Rimkeit
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I have one question after reading this article. Can the R4 device be used for any legitimate functions? I don't own a DS but my 10 year old daughter does. Needless to day she does not have a R4. So I really have no idea. If it can be used for other purposes, besides piracy, that is a score the corner of the company that makes the R4. They can argue that in court. If it really has no other uses besides stealing games I see them going down in legal flames.

Samer Abbas
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@Alan,

Even if it does have other uses, this will not help their case much because the primary use of R4, the most prevalent one, is copyright infringing. Look at what happened to Napster, for example. They tried to use the VCR analogy and it didn't work out because, unlike VCR, their service's primary use was illegal.

Benjamin Quintero
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Days before this, I posted an opinion about this very thing. Check out my blog entry on how "Homebrew can be a good thing". Though I will tell you that it's not a popular opinion. They can be used to create and store homebrew games, just like anyone can create games for their PC. Though it may invalidate your warranty through some ambiguous legal speak; much in the same way you can't jailbreak your iPhone or how you can't copy anything other than jpegs onto your home consoles. It's about charging you hundreds of dollars, then telling you how to enjoy your hardware =). If you dig around inside of the original box, you may find some kind of agreement that pretty much says they own you.



It's a tough call, but someday the manufacturers may get smarter about it and open their platforms. Adding server side log-in security measures to avoid piracy, while opening their hardware for development would separate the legitimate developers from the ones intending to solely pirate. I'd love to see consoles take on an approach that GoG or Steam has towards PCs, housing a portal for good games at a low base overhead of free (thank you PC) =).

Roberto Alfonso
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Well, it is a tricky question, Alan. I own a R4 and use it to watch anime (convert them from the originals I obviously own!). The thing is, R4 lets you play certain formats that require licensing (from either or both the encoder and the decoder), and I doubt they paid for it. You can run some homebrew applications, and a few try to be as legal as possible (like CBDS, the Comic Book reader, which has a online "store" of PDFs you can download). But the thing is, piracy is extremely easy with a R4: download the room, copy it into the MicroSD card and then boot the DS. Even if it had legal uses, it makes piracy so easy it is almost its primary usage. Down here virtually every DS is sold with a R4, just like every PS2, Xbox 360 and Wii comes chipped to play backup files.

raigan burns
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The thing about VCRs is that AFAICT it _is_ illegal to record and playback TV broadcasts, which I'm assuming was their primary use. It's just that it's so obviously stupid for it to be illegal to cache content that (when viewed non-cached) would we legal, that common sense prevailed.



Anecdote about the R4: it's much easier to test builds by giving everyone R4s than to buy multiple devkits. Obviously there's no debugging/etc, but it's quite a practical solution.



I agree that the primary use of R4 may be piracy, but that absolutely can NOT be justification for preventing its sale. It's ridiculous that these days consumers no longer own the things that they purchase, instead they're only buying a license to use/rent the hardware and software.. this is a massive erosion of freedom which should be addressed at some point.

raigan burns
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p.s - my R4 allows me to use my DS as an mp3 player; this is a huge boon. I don't understand why Nintendo/etc. ignore these sort of applications and let free 3rd party homebrew serve the market in their stead.. it just seems stupid on their part.

Theodore Barlas
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I believe one of the main reasons Nintendo DS is still at the top of the sales charts, is that it's extremely modifiable through the use of such cartridges. In a pure marketing sense, R4 actually helped the boost of Nintendo's sales. Sure, there are people who pirate games, but make a console popular enough and you dramatically increase the potential of future customers for game cartridges. Some games require the use of external peripherals, such as a bluetooth pedometer or a guitar fretboard, that render the pirated release obsolete.



Without wanting to promote piracy, I believe it's safe to say that a device such as the R4 is vital to the promotion of the console. Think of this. People who pirate games, wouldn't have bought them anyway. Probably, if R4 didn't exist, they wouldn't have bought the console itself! So let these people act as marketing tools to promote the console even further instead of trying to keep the market restricted.

Roberto Alfonso
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That is my theory about why PlayStation and PlayStation 2 dominated the market the way they did, and why PlayStation 3 suffers, Theodore.

Toby Cubbin
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Of course they're going after the R4 cart. It's only the most popular flash cart out there. However, the action will turn out to be moot. There's already hundreds of clones, some are as successful as the R4 itself (M3, Acekart) and some less successful (DSTT, iTouch).



However, this injunction threatens not only the flash cart makers, it also threatens the emulator developers. If flash carts are "illegal" because they can pirate games, by extension would emulators also be illegal?

Fiore Iantosca
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I own the R4. It's awesome! I've purchased some games after playing the ROM. I definitely believe piracy has helped the sales of the DS and the PS1 and PS2 as Theodore stated.

Adam Flutie
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I got the equivalent of the R4 for the GBA. The reason? I got sick of hauling around all my GBA games on trips and what not. I kept it legit and never played carts I didn't own the original of. Now my DS library is getting out of hand... and I have had to rebuy a few games I lost and what not as I like to swap between games a lot and misplace them. I've been really tempted to get an R4 simply to clean up my library and make sure I don't lose any more of my games.

Roberto Alfonso
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Adam, I heard about the "hauling" excuse quite a lot. However, nobody is still willing to go completely media free (as in, full download service like iTunes). In forums you usually read people say they prefer carrying all their games as ROMs than the cards themselves, but they wouldn't like a handheld that is only digital download managed (like a PSP Go).

Peter Dwyer
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@Roberto



The fear of digital only is down to not being able to trade old games towards new ones and also because you are at the mercy of the service you buy the games from. If they ever go bust you loose everything you bought from them. Unless all the games you buy, via download, are stored on your local system and backed up to DVD. You are quite simply stuffed. None of us truly believe the comapnies running these services will be around forever.



I'll get all controversial and say that once things go completely digital download. The games industry is going to experience a crash like the old atari times and like video rental did a few years back. People simply have an inherent distrust of things they can't physically own and rightly so.

Harley McGrew
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@raigan VCR time-shifting for home use was determined to be fair use in a split decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1984, so your assertion isn't correct.

Fiore Iantosca
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AdamI know what you mean. I still have not found an excellent storage carrier for my DS and GBA games. They all have SINGLE CASES but nothing like a handy bag than can hold say 20+

Luc Shelton
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I think flash carts such as the dominant R4 are very much the rebel yell in which Nintendo should be listening to.



For example, ignoring the fact that it's time and time again perceived as a tool for pirating activities, it's also an MP3 & MP4 player and an excellent homebrew / indie platform which many communities have taken the time to create content for.



My point being, yes, I think this is a problem for Nintendo and the success of sales for it's platform, but it's also quite a unique tool to demonstrate the possibilities of the hardware itself also.

Megan Swaine
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If DS piracy is such an issue, then they should focus on nailing the people who are sharing the games, or prevent hardware that allows them to dump the games to ROMs in the first place (how is that done, anyway?).



The retailers shouldn't be punished for this.



I realize they don't want to compete with these people, but what it boils down to is that they have to.

Adam Flutie
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@Roberto Alfonso - That is because with an R4 you still get to own the copies of the games... which you can always make another ROM out of or put in different hardware. DL only? you are renting them through the service... One is safe, the other expects 'good business practices' to not get screwed out of your money long term.



@Peter - Guess I should have read your comments first. well said.



Nintendo should also be aware that the larger the noise they make for this thing, the more attention it gets and people look into it more. I wasn't too interested in getting on yet, but if it is going to maybe go away, I better look into it more for this Christmas.

Sean Parton
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@Theodore Barlas: You said: "People who pirate games, wouldn't have bought them anyway. Probably, if R4 didn't exist, they wouldn't have bought the console itself!", and I highly disagree. We're dueling anecdotes, but I know plenty of people who even though they had a pirated version, if they couldn't utilize a certain feature they wanted to use (such as multiplayer), they would then buy the product. Others couldn't find illegitimate methods of obtaining a game, so they bought it as well. Saying each person who pirates would never buy a game is just as wrong as stating each pirated copy is a lost sale. The reality is somewhere in the middle.



@Peter Dwyer: Nintendo has been around longer than anyone in this conversation has been alive (since 1889). They're not going belly up any time soon, if ever. Also, it's certainly not true that all people feel the need to physically own a useless trinket to enjoy their games; otherwise, Steam wouldn't exist, PSP Go would have never been a gamble worth taking, and we'd never hear of such platforms poping up ever again.



@Fiorentino Iantosca: My buddy owns a steel carrying case he bought for his DS (that is made for the DS) which can hold the handheld, a car charger for it, and at least 40+ games. Bought from a retail store, too. You just need to look harder.



@Luc Shelton: They're not ignoring people who want an MP3 player. That's what the DSi does out of the box. They likely just don't feel they have the hardware/software combination to pull it off profitably with the older versions of the handheld (or thinking they can pressure people into buying the new hardware is just more profitable).

Jeremy Glazman
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@Theodore Barlas: To say that the R4 "actually helped the boost of Nintendo's sales" is pretty rediculous... Nintendo has sold over 100 million DS units, and I'm sure the vast majority of those people have never even heard of the R4.



The same to Roberto who said mod chips are "why PlayStation and PlayStation 2 dominated the market the way they did, and why PlayStation 3 suffers", that just shows total lack of understanding of the industry. Playstation dominated for so long because it had LOTS OF GREAT GAMES and huge support from developers, not because it was easy to *steal* those games!



There are obvious legitimate uses of the R4 but the primary use is to facilitate stealing games, there can't be any question about that. Anyone following the DS homebrew scene knows that it is hardly a scene at all, just take a look at ndshb.com and see the paltry few apps/games that people have made available in the last 5 years, including an incredible 9 games posted since 2008. The Colors app is probably the only good thing to ever come out of the DS homebrew scene.

Maurício Gomes
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@Jeremy:



I know a huge amount of PS1, 2 and PSP owners (and only 2 PS3 owners), also I know a huge maount of XBOX 360 owners, DS owners and Wii owners.



ALL OF THEM (with the excpetion of the 2 PS3 owners) have played at least 1 pirated game on their system for whatever reason (even to test if it ran pirated game).



Also I have some friends that are heavy DS users, they are the people that I see driving nintendo sales, they own multiple DSs, a huge library of games, accesories... And all them own a R4 that never leave their consoles, they use it to store ROMs (both legal and illegal), play music, homebrew, video, and so on...



And all them hate digital distribution Oo (I somewhat like digital distro, and I don't own a DS...)

One of my roomates refuse to buy digital distro games, he loves to feel that he own the game, his room has shelves of boxes of games, neatly organized, like some people that do bottle collection, or can collection, or art collection, this guy has a game collection that he proudly displays on his room, the DS games all with the original carts, inside the original boxes, and the original manuals, on the same place, his shiny boxes of Resident Evil series, Godfather series with movie and game and God Of War series for PS2 (among the other "normal" PS2 games without the shiny "entire franchise collection" boxes). And he puts all his games (SPECIALLY the legal ones) on his R4, because he has a fear of the carts getting damaged, while the R4 if it get damaged, you buy another one...

Sean Parton
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@Hélder Gomes Filho: You're fighting an anecdote with an anecdote. Furthermore, you're supporting the claim that R4 users use the R4 for piracy. This doesn't help your arguement much, and really just solidifies Nintendo and Capcom's stance: people use R4's for piracy, and since that harms their business, they want to put an end to one of the large factors that allow it to persist.



Your point about digital distribution is interesting. However, the phenomenon of people wanting collect a certain type of object and preserve it's quality is nothing new. People have always done this with games, CD's, vinyls, stamps, rocks... but in the case of objects that they want to use (such as games or vinyls) they would either use them sparingly or would obtain multiple copies. Currently, yes, your friends are (via either copying their own roms using special hardware or just downloading a copy of a game they already own), but Nintendo et al are still claiming that this is copyright infringement.

Maurício Gomes
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@Sean I am not saying that noone pirate stuff in the R4, I am only saying that the R4 does have legitimate uses, and this issue should be tought upon carefully, not just: "Huh! The R4 is a evil tool, ban it!" or "I own a R4 and it is usefull, defend it!"



But like I said, indeed R4 allows piracy, but... Piracy REALLY harms their business? This is not a rethoric question.

Roberto Alfonso
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@Luc: MP3 has licensing issues. From what I remember, CDs and MP3 players in Canada got a CD tax that goes to the entertainment industry. If Nintendo were to approve MP3 usage they would not only need to pay for the license, but pay extra taxes in such countries (plus it is not possible to update the firmware of the almost 100 million original DS and DS Lite units).



@Jeremy: Randy Stude, president of the PC Gaming Alliance, stated piracy helped PC gaming grow (http://www.gamepolitics.com/2009/02/14/pcga039s-randy-stude-pirac
y-helped-pc-game-biz-grow). I am not saying PlayStation or Nintendo DS could have not dominated as they did/do without piracy, but you cannot say it is simply not that way. Let's remember that most (95% or more I would say) games don't sell more than a million units. The best selling PS2 game sold to around 15% of the install base, while the best-selling PS game sold to around 7% of the install base.



@Sean: It is copyright infringement, isn't it? I haven't heard of the backup argument holding water anywhere...

Chan Chun Phang
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To people complaining of lack of storage cases for cartridges. Considering the size of DS carts, you can just DIY your own storage. It's not like carts get scratched as easily as disc-based formats.



To those saying R4 has legitimate uses: No they don't, not in the eyes of the law at least. It's like claiming that guns have legitimate uses, then buying them in the black market.



To those saying that you get it to back-up games: There are a LOT of things that cannot be backed up in such a manner, it's inherently a fact of real-world hardware. Just because you can back it up now, doesn't make your case any stronger. The fact is, when you buy a cart, you're buying the hardware + software, not just software. One can probably make an argument that the R4 is infringing on hardware IP to begin with (the IP being the hardware connections + security measures), hence making most arguments here moot.



To those saying you're using it for homebrew: you're bypassing hardware IP licensing fees. Do note that part of the console pricetag is offset by companies obtaining licences to sell their games for said console.



Having said that, it's not like users are forced to program on the DS. If people are REALLY so desperate for portable touchscreen programming, there're alternatives, like the iPhone.



@Theodore Barlas: I highly doubt that's the case, considering that it's EASIER/CHEAPER to mod PSPs (illegally), not to mention that other platforms (phones) are inherently cheaper and easier to make/distribute software. The reason for the success of the DS is the Games, not that the games are easily pirated.

Maurício Gomes
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@Phang. This is not a case of lack of storage cases, this is not lacking... But switching carts for example is prone do you drop the cart (I know a guy that lost his most prized cart this way, the cart fell down on a hole in the ground and he never found it again), also using it alot damage it, among other reasons...



And don't say that a iPhone is a portable alternative, first, it is touchscreen only (Somje people may WANT the buttons...), also it is hell expensive (specially when no carrier is a sponsor... here in my country even sponsored iPhones are 1000 USD at least...)

Sean Francis-Lyon
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When I bought my DS, I actually bought it and now I own it. If I want to put my own software on my hardware then I have ever legal right to try. I never agreed to any End-user license agreement‎.

I realize that the most common use of the R4 is piracy, but that does not make my non-pirating activities in any way illegal. If some company wants to make a device to aid me in my legal activities then what gives some court the right to prohibit them from doing so?



With software, publishers don't want you to have the right to do whatever you want with it, so instead of selling you the actual software, they sell you a license to use their software. When you go into a store and buy a game disc you don't actually buy the game, but a license to play the game. If Nintendo did not want me to own my DS then they should not have sold it to me. If they Licensed the hardware and forbid homebrewing then they would have not gotten my money.



I think that the R4 hurts game developers and the industry as a whole, but I don't see how what R4 distributors are doing is illegal.



@Chan Chun Phang

"To those saying you're using it for homebrew: you're bypassing hardware IP licensing fees. Do note that part of the console pricetag is offset by companies obtaining licences to sell their games for said console."

The DS hardware is sold at a significant profit as are all gaming handhelds. There is nothing illegal or immoral about bypassing handheld hardware licensing fees.

Megan Swaine
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What the R4 is used for isn't really the point- unless your R4 comes pre-loaded with stolen goods then you are not technically breaking the law by purchasing it. It should not be illegal to buy a simple electronic storage device.



The problem is the ROMs. But because people who distribute illegal content on the Internet are hard to track down and prosecute, authorities are taking aim at the retailers and the manufacturers of the hardware instead.



The bottom line? It's hard to compete with free. But yet again, they don't really have a choice. Taking down Napster didn't help the music industry one bit, did it?

Chan Chun Phang
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@Hélder Gomes Filho: I wouldn't consider carelessness as a viable point however. Granted the R4 would solve said problem, but the question then is whether the solution is suitable for the problem. (like arming people with guns to cut down crime/prevent government abuses) Also, I only gave iPhones as the most recent example, smart phone programming has been around for a long time. And it's not like homebrew is a market to begin with, so the actual pervasity of said market shouldn't be that much of an issue.



@Sean Francis-Lyon: Just because something is sold at a profit doesn't mean licensing fees are not applicable (it only means that without the licensing fees, said items would've been more expensive if companies tried to maintain the same profit margin). Going Robin Hood is not legal by any means.



@Megan Swaine: Actually, I'm not sure whether the R4 breaks any hardware IPs, but I wouldn't be suprized if it does; cartridge-based hardware and security is not that old after all. Not to mention reverse engineering the software to be able to access/communicate with the underlying hardware would probably have broken some patents as well. Granted this would only be the crime of the person who actually did the reverse engineering required for the R4, but the manufacturers can't be completely absolved from the blame either. I know this whole point is somewhat legally dubious, but I wouldn't be surprized if it was brought up by the lawyers.

Theodore Barlas
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@Chan Chun Phang : The PSP's failure was not due to its lack of good games. It was due to its price and low portability. The DS was about half the price, while it could play nonstop for 12 hours, while the PSP could barely make it past 3 hours of gameplay before recharge. The UMD was a serious drawback. Who in his right mind puts energy-hungry moving parts on a portable console anyway? Moreover, if my memory serves me correctly, the real modification that allowed ROM backups directly from the Memory Stick was out with the PSP 2000, using a custom firmware. So, that tells me that at the time, DS had already dominated the market and PSP was left behind. Obviously, not only because you could download games for free, but I hope you get the point.



@Sean Parton : In my defense, I believe that if a pirated game is incapable of multiplayer, then it's not a fully functional game. It makes no difference from a demo. You play a game because you want to experience it in the best possible way for you, pirated or not. So, yes if a game is worth it, even a pirate will buy it. That's what I meant when I said that you dramatically improve the customer potential. Moreover, you have to agree that there are some people that buy the DS only to play the pirated games. Well, they still bought the DS, didn't they?



@Everybody : Don't get fooled you guys. Of course the game industry knows about all this stuff. They know about piracy, they know about R4, AceKards, modchips, custom firmwares... even about hacks that are not out yet. Hell, we know about them because we are hobbyists. They know, because it's their job! They have to know! They know their console, game, mobile device will get hacked from day one. Because, let's face it. Have they ever done anything about it? No. They have never done anything serious. Not because they can't, but because they don't want to. They won't remain viable in the market.



Nintendo for example releases a patch that removes homebrew support on the Wii, supposedly for good this time. 24 Hours later, Wii is hacked again. Apple, updates it's software every once in a while removing jailbreak from the iphone and ipod touch. LESS than 24h later, it's hacked! Why bother with a fix when you know it'll break the next day? You do it because such a small thing as a patch becomes a huge marketing deal for your product. I read it everyday in my RSS feeds. "Wii is hacked again, iPhone is jailbreaked even after the update, etc.". They promote their devices for free that way. It's just marketing.



This case is the same. Now Nintendo tries to make a fuss, because PSP Go attempts to climb the sales charts and threatens to take a share out of the DS in the handheld war. If you still question it, then ponder this. Why would they go after ONLY the R4? There are dozens of alternatives out there with the same or better capabilities. No, it's because R4 is the most popular and it will make the biggest fuss. Those marketing gurus of the big multinational industries are way smarter than you and me, that's for sure.

Chan Chun Phang
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@Theodore Barlas

1) And then, I can bring up the point of DS vs GBA Lite. GBA Lite outperforms DS in battery and portability and price, so without the games, GBA Lite is still superior.



2) The problem is that it not only harms Nintendo, it also harms game manufacturers, like Capcom. Granted there's the iffy issue about whether non-paying pirates would've paid if there wasn't any method to pirate, but still.



3) You're mixing up knowledge with the capability to act on said knowledge. The fact is, it's so easy to manipulate high-response hardware/software that any attempts to lock them down via software alone would either be insufficiently dissuasive, severely reduce responsiveness/friendliness of software, or both (usually both) (note: it is a fact that there's no software security protocol which cannot be broken, hence the whole issue of software security being to make the process of breaking so lengthy that there's no point in trying to break). One of the major problems with security is that the greater the complexity of checks, the more processing it will require, and even that in itself is no guarantee.



Also, a reason on why Nintendo would only go against R4 instead of other "better" targets: to strike fear against the manufacturers/users of such devices and dissuade people from investing in them. You're correct that the purpose is to make the biggest fuss, but the reason why for the fuss is not to counteract PSP Go. I don't even see how these two are linked frankly since you have already said that removal of R4 would reduce DS numbers, perhaps you might want to elaborate?

Theodore Barlas
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On my response



1) You are not making equal comparisons right now. GBA was a previous generation console and it's not available in the market anymore. It bested everything though when it was at its prime and dominated the market like nothing else. And yes, if you ONLY compare the console's performance based on battery consumption, GBA is better at this part. It's not better if you compare it fully as a console to the current gen handhelds.



2) Capcom was not a good example in my opinion. It's the newcomer developers that are plagued the most. Companies like Capcom may have a greater loss in gross, but as a percentage (they release games on all known gaming platforms) they should be doing fine.



3) If a company really wants to control the piracy, it will turn to digital distribution. It's way harder to pirate when you get constantly checked and if you are interacting with an online community and wish to have a good social status you won't even consider that. Look at Microsoft for example with XBoX LIVE! or Valve with Steam or Blizzard with Battle.net! Not only you can't pirate there, but more essentially... you don't WANT to! I know that we will eventually go there, but currently the marketing game is played otherwise.



Edit : There is not a known way to pirate on the PSP Go just yet. If Nintendo attacks something that today you take for granted like pirating on DS, then you will ultimately get the fear of loss of a privilege and you will try to hang onto it as much as you can. This translates to a raise of sales, both on R4 cartridges and more importantly, on DS consoles (it's like thinking : I 'll get it while I still can). Do you still believe it's not marketing?

Chan Chun Phang
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@Theodore Barlas:

1) Wherein lies the point: the reason why next gen wins previous gen is because of the games. Otherwise why move to next gen?



2) The reason why I mentioned Capcom, is because Capcom is mentioned prominently in the article topic, so as to remind people that this is not just about Nintendo. I'm not claiming that Capcom is the only, or most hit, factor in this.



3) False. Digital distribution alone would not halt piracy, in fact it may make it worse since all games would then be in an existing software-only format, bypassing hardware security measures. Only if games also require online authentication would it make a difference, and even then, online authentication has been proven to be breakable on PCs too. Do note that online distribution != online social activity, which is an entirely different issue. (Also, people have private servers for WoW and Diablo II, so your claim about not wanting to pirate because of Battle.net is false eitherway)



There is no known way to pirate on the PSP GO, simply because it's new. I'll take my word back one month later if it hasn't been broken by then. And again, I've already said that this is more than just Nintendo. What does Capcom (or the other 53 unmentioned companies) have to gain from this?

Theodore Barlas
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Yes, next gen is about the games, but more importantly : the way we play them. DS introduced dual screens, WiFi and a touchscreen. PSP is more than a game console, it's a media player. You can also use it in conjunction with the PS3 as a gaming aid or a controller. How can you compare these features with the previous gen?



I will stick to my opinion that Nintendo tries to make a big fuss out of this. Capcom is a big name in the industry and a move like that will benefit the company if this means that it will see its sales grow. Nintendo just uses Capcom's name. This applies to the other publishers as well.



Hardware issues have never blocked a game from being pirated. It only stalled the process for a little while. As I said in a previous post of mine, a game with crippled gameplay for me doesn't worth at all. All online custom servers, with absolutely NO exception, are vastly inferior in quality to the retail ones. If you have ever played in any of them you probably know what I mean. It's like comparing the experience of a film being screened on a 3D cinema, with a cam version you just grabbed off a torrent site.



A strong gaming community is everything to the vitality of a game. Being digitally distributed, means that you can enjoy it without restrictions everywhere, with online support, easy updates and you probably ways to compare your gameplay against others of the same network, as long as you have the game legally bound on an account of yours. Pirating a game like this, makes you lose all these privileges, or makes you choose for an inferior alternative. Vastly inferior on my belief.

Chan Chun Phang
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I can, because it's the games using said functionality which makes it better than previous gen. Without the games, the DS or PSP wouldn't have made as much of an impact; not to mention that games has always been the driving factor of console sales, given the examples of Pokemon, Monster Hunter, Nintendogs...



Of cause such a move would see Capcom's sales grow. The question is, is the growth because of the reduction of R4 units, or the prevalence of R4 units? And how about the other 53 companies? (of which I don't recall 53 major game companies, so some of them must be lesser companies.)



It isn't true that online servers are always crippled, in fact, they're sometimes boosted above conventional online servers. Granted there may be issues with balance, but there's a reason why Ragnarok Online private servers are frequented (because they can adjust exp/drop rates to make grinding not take forever, in addition to mods which adds classes/items and etc).



Lastly, you're assuming that most/all PSP GO games will use online functions. Unlike console games, most portable consoles are used on the go, which means limited connectivity except in certain regions like Metropolis - Japan. Fact is, most portable games don't fare well on an online environment with the exception of scoreboards/sporadic online content, which by itself is questionable. (since it's likely online content updates will have micropayments, making it no different from offline content.)

EDIT: I'm differentiating between portable games and portable console games here. In general, online capabilities of portable games are used when not on the move due to better/more stable connectivity, with developers making use of portable consoles because of their userbase more than the portability.

Sean Francis-Lyon
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@Chan Chan Phang

"Going Robin Hood is not legal by any means."

I'm not Going Robin Hood. I'm not taking anything from anyone or using anyone's property without permission. If Nintendo wants to retain legal rights over what is done with a particular piece of hardware, they must retain ownership of that piece of hardware. They did not. They could have refused to sell hardware to people who do not sign a contract agreeing to only use approved software. They did not.



The reason pirating software is illegal is that you are using someone else's property without permission. If you want the owners permission, you can go to your local game store and buy a license to play the game.



I am not breaking any law or taking undue advantage of anyone's hard work.

Chan Chun Phang
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@Sean Francis-Lyon:



The rom isn't illegal if you made the backup from the actual cart or is self-created, however, the R4 is since that breaks patents. By buying the R4 to actually use said roms, you're infringing on patents indirectly; No one is going against emulators in this case.

Michael Kolb
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I own a flash card for my DS and play all the games I own with it, not having to worry about swapping cards is great and maybe its my PC upbringing but I like to pick from a list or a directory, as well as watch videos that I encoded for it and listen to music that is on my 2gb flash card. I'm not ripping anyone off, I'm trying to get the full functionality of the device. I buy all my games as well.


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