Nintendo Freaks Out That People Can Use Memory Card To Pirate Games

from the give-them-a-reason-to-buy dept

You would think by now that companies might start to realize that they're never going to put a damper on any kind of piracy by lawsuit -- but that they need to actually give people a reason to buy. Apparently that message has not yet gotten through to the suits at Nintendo, who are looking into lawsuits to make it difficult to buy products that let you use unauthorized versions of DS handheld console games. There's a device called the R4 Revolution, that can be used by DS owners to store all their games on a single memory card, so they don't have to carry around all those cartridges. That's a big advantage and a huge value.

Of course, it also lets owners play unauthorized games. And, that, has Nintendo execs freaked out and suing.

But considering the very real legitimate use of the device, it's hard to see what's "illegal" about the device itself. In trying to stop the sale of the device, of course, Nintendo is also providing a lot more attention for the device and the fact that it can be used for unauthorized games as well. You would think that a device that made the actual DS console more valuable would be something that Nintendo execs would get excited about rather than trying to sue it out of existence.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    matt, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 6:26am

    never heard of it.....until now

    Why are they freaking out; they make a bazillion dollars from the library of 1,000,000 Nintendo DS games.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 6:31am

    Thank you DMCA

    It’s the legislation version of President Bush. Stupid, incompetent and doing its best to slowly make the world a worse place.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Xanthir, FCD, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 6:37am

    Hmm...

    I never really looked into the value of the DS memory cards - I thought they were just for playing ROMs. Carrying around all my games on one card sounds *awesome*, though. Looks like I know what my next game purchase will be now. ^_^ Thanks, Nintendo!

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 6:55am

    DS is handheld not console

     

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  5.  
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    mrong, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 7:18am

    awesome

    I own the m3 real, it makes the ds by far the best all around handheld. Watch movies, play roms, read books, run homebrew app's and so on. Completely worth the money, and the microsd version adds no bulk whatsoever, same size as a standard DS cart.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Pete Valle, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 7:20am

    Re: Console

    A handheld is also be a console, as in handheld game console. Sheesh.

    I understand where Nintendo is coming from. I purchased an R4 for my wife, and the truth is she hasn't bought any games since. Truth is, most people who buy an R4 are not going to use it for backing up data.

    But, once again, this is a perfect example of doing it wrong. How many people have just learned what an R4 is through this lawsuit and are now running to get one as we speak? It's a bit like shooting yourself on the foot.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Pete Valle, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 7:22am

    Re: awesome

    Forgotten about that. I agree with you, by adding videos, movies, emulation and other apps, the R4 and other devices makes the DS 10 times better.

     

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  8.  
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    Steven, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 7:32am

    Lost sale

    Ability to watch movies, play roms, read books. Those kind of features might push me to actually buy a DS and maybe one for my wife (my son has one of the old ones). It seems Nintendo is missing out on how much value this adds to their platform.

     

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  9.  
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    Michael Kohne, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 7:34am

    Nintendo lawsuit

    I don't really know what triggered this suit at this time - the R4 DS and the like have been available for some years now, so I have to wonder if something actually triggered the Nintendo suit?

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 7:40am

    Question
    "...it's hard to see what's "illegal" about the device..."
    Answer
    "...Of course, it also lets owners play unauthorized games..."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    MadJo (profile), Aug 12th, 2008 @ 7:42am

    I primarily use my R4DS for homebrew software and games. I have also used it to try out games, in order to see if they are worth my time and money.
    (Nintendo should have added a way to get demos of games for the DS.)

    Because I've wasted quite a few euros on real stinkers of games. That's 40+ euros per game I could've used on other/better games.

    But still I mostly use it for homebrew. There are some real gems out there (though you do have to wade through a lot of Tetris-like games). Here is a large list:
    http://nintendo-ds.dcemu.co.uk/NintendoDS-HomebrewGames.php
    (Setsuzoko no Puzzle is a good one, also Puzzlemaniak. And if you dig a bit deeper you can even find "make-your-own-adventure" stories from LoneWolf or how about an Incredible Machine like game such as Pocket Physics.)

    Not to mention the media playback capabilities that those cards add (Moonshell), or the PIM functionalities added by DS Organize.

    These cards have a lot more functionality than just play ROM files.

     

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  12.  
    icon
    MadJo (profile), Aug 12th, 2008 @ 7:45am

    Re:

    Doesn't make the device illegal.

    A copying machine lets users copy whole sections from books. Let's sue Xerox!

    A decent camera can reproduce works of art quite well. Let's sue Canon and Nixon!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Xan, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 7:47am

    Re:

    Question
    "...it's hard to see what's "illegal" about the device..."
    Answer
    "...Of course, it also lets owners play unauthorized games..."


    So does a computer's hard drive, should those be illegal too.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    mrong, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 7:50am

    If you do a lot of traveling, it's also much handier having all that stuff on a thing that actually fits in your pocket. No games to hold on to and subsequently lose somewhere. Also the battery life is amazing, I've not used a psp really, but the ds will hang in there for 10-12+ hrs. Even a few homebrew browsers for getting on the internets available.

    For Example, on a 4 gig microsd i've got about 120 games, a few movies, an entire season of arrested development, misc homebrew stuff and like 80 books. Plays mp3's too, but I have none loaded on it at the moment. Supports 8 gig cards as well.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Bobby Bobyanna, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 7:51am

    I just bought one

    My daughter only has about five games, but she has already lost one. It would be nice to put them all on one card, then you do not worry about getting them lost, damaged, traded. I just bought one, for her.

    Does anyone know if there are emulators available, if there were I would buy the DS just to play the old nes or atari games?

    In my opinion, nintendo should look seriously at this as a way to really boost their profits. How, you ask? I would go to the company, say, look, I will buy you for this, or I will shut you down.

    Then I would create a system that would allow people to buy ALL their DS games online. They have enough of a market share to just say, we are selling direct using this device. You come to our site, but the game, and then it runs on this card. They then would not have to share profits with Wal-Mart and target. They could give the dev studios a little more money. The dev studios would save money, due to packaging costs.

    They could charge 5 bucks less for the game. You would have more games, cheaper price. That would probably even grow their market share even more.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    vdeogmer, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 7:59am

    The problem is that with an R4, you can't dump your own cartridges. If you want to put games that you actually own onto the device, you have to download unauthorized copies of roms.

    And once you start doing that for games you own, you aren't going to not download the ones you don't.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 7:59am

    Re: Re:

    Nixon died over 14 years ago, dude...

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Daniel, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 8:01am

    Attn: Nintendo

    ATTN: Nintendo

    The only reason I bought a DS, is because of the R4.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Simple DS Owner, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 8:01am

    M3Real

    To be honest I have the m3Real though I do not use it to play illegal games, me being a Gamestop employee, I have bought many DS Games and ride an hour to my other job and another hour back.

    This makes perfect time for me and my DS to hang out. With the M3Real I'm able to take the 60 odd games I constantly play and take them all with me with no added luggage to carry. Incredible feature to have. Something I would like to keep.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Travis, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 8:11am

    Illegal?

    Question
    "...it's hard to see what's "illegal" about the device..."
    Answer
    "...Of course, it also lets owners play unauthorized games..."

    This guy has the right idea. We should ban every device that can be used for illegal activities.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    tony, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 8:13am

    Homebrew and try before you buy

    I can understand where Nintendo is after the use of R4 for playing Roms, but the home brew community use it also. if they want to make it a better solution, is provide a cart that we can buy offical from nintendo to run home brew apps, but not run backup roms.

    Another point from me and i do own a R4 is that there arn't demos avalable for alot of the games. I want to try the game, and see if i enjoy it. i do have a Wii and the Nintendo channel dose have some demos but nothing new or current.

    i don't want to spend my money on shovel ware. but i will and have bought a game that i did download for my R4 becasue i really enjoyed it. But It seems i use my R4 for a try before you buy approch.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Qle, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 8:14am

    KA Ching!!!

    All nintendo have do now is make this device into a phone add a wifi and allow the user to play one another as they talk! They would own the cell phone and the game industry! ka ching!

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Sumbuddy Stoopid, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 8:16am

    A funny comment

    I like to play with my Wii... The Nintendo's fun too...

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Kevin, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 8:16am

    By Nintendos logic they should sue ALL computer manifacters as well seeing you need one to download the games.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    seee?, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 8:17am

    Notice something?

    The blog here hasn't mentioned the m3Real. Probably because it does allow you to backup games you own. Whereas the R4, as someone stated, does not. That's not added value.

    In a perfect world, I'd love to play an "extended demo". By that I mean, I can play the game, bare bones, one time through for a discounted price. If I want to play it again, or get secrets, access multiplayer, get alt-endings, etc., then I need to purchase the full version. I'd definitely pay for the full version...plus it would make developers add content to their games to warrant a purchase, instead of giving us crap and hoping we buy anyway.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Dreamcast, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 8:49am

    They have something to be worried about

    not that I'm saying bad law makes up for poor product design but they should be quaking in there boots, this is what pretty much killed sega with the dream cast (besides worst controller ever) on account of the fact that they're games were mass distributable and easy to copy.

    This thing sounds like it's a little more difficult to do than the Dreamcast but it's not too much of a stretch.

     

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  27.  
    icon
    mdmadph (profile), Aug 12th, 2008 @ 8:57am

    wow, thanks for the streistand effect, Nintendo -- I'm buying one of these now, just because of the free publicity you gave them (though I'm getting the m3Real instead).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    mj, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 9:07am

    I just bought one too

    My brother got an R4 in the mail last night. After fiddling around with it for an hour or so, I was so impressed that I ordered one online and I'm going to buy a DS tonight.

    Still, I can see Nintendo's side too. I'm buying the DS from them (I probably wouldn't have if it wasn't for the R4), but I would think they make most of their money off games and game licensing. Now I can very easily bypass that and get all the games I want for free. . .

    Bobby Bobyanna, try http://www.workingdesign.de/ to get a genesis emulator (Sonic the Hedgehog runs great). Look here for a more comprehensive list of software/emulators: http://wiki.scorpei.com/index.php/R4_compatibility_list#Emulators

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Keith H, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 9:21am

    Re: @Anonymous Coward

    "DS is handheld not console"

    When you console someone they get handheld...right?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    JS Beckerist (profile), Aug 12th, 2008 @ 9:36am

    Re: Thank you DMCA

    It's strange how in every topic, regardless of the subject, there is always a U.S.A. troll.

    F-U man, seriously I'm tired of your off-topic crap. Go spout your hate somewhere else.

    ...and no, I don't have to be a coward to say this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    nunya_bidness, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 9:40am

    same sh*t different day

    typical case of dishonest people f*ckin it up for honest people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Greg, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 9:45am

    Re: Thank you DMCA

    You're an idiot, as Liberals usually are.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Justin, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 9:57am

    Thanks for the Idea

    I didn't know that was available or worked like that. Thank you Nintendo for making a big deal about this and bringing the idea to light.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    NA, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 10:11am

    Tactic

    This is just a tactic to boost sales. They have a valid reason to create a lawsuit that they may or may not win agains a value add compnay. This willcreate a new buzz and get the word out on the added features to the DS. This will boost sales for all. WIN WIN or as in office space WIN WIN WIN

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 10:14am

    >>I didn't know that was available or worked like that. >>>Thank you Nintendo for making a big deal about this and >>>bringing the idea to light.

    Great point! make it public and more people will find out how to get games without paying :)) And going after R4 is useless - there dozens of competing products available.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Alex, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 10:36am

    I can't think of a use besides piracy of games.

    I have an R4 and I have never used it for something besides playing NDS games and SNES/Genesis games through homebrew emulation. I've seen a clever homebrew app or two, but really, the DS is bad for movies, web browsing, and music playing. it's a really underpowered piece of hardware with a bad sound card and a tiny resolution. The media player on the R4 is pretty bad to begin with, and you have convert videos to a .dpg format which ends up looking terrible as a result of the screen's size. The DS is only good at playing DS games, since the screen is too small to play Genesis and SNES games in the first place.

    If you can use it to back up games, why would you? Getting the DS game onto the R4 with your own cart and hardware requires specialized hardware and some specialized expertise, since the DS cards are nonstandard in size and probably don't fit in any card reader slots in a PC. Nobody in their right mind would invest in the extra hardware to back up their games on the R4 and then have them in a convenient place.

    What they would do is download those games for free, and more, since they're available. The games you own are out there for free, like every other DS game you own. They're easy to get, and comparably small in file size. I mean, Super Mario 64 DS wasn't more than 32 MB, I'm pretty sure. Most people can pull that down.

    I would never buy a Nintendo DS game again now that I own this product, unless they somehow destroy the game piracy community, which I hope isn't a possibility. It's a waste of money to not invest in a flash card. It's 40 dollars for one DS game, and most aren't worth 10. The value of an R4 is amazing because of the implication of piracy. If a device like this existed for other consoles, I would never buy a game.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 11:14am

    Re: Thank you DMCA

    I like that, that like me, brave men hide behind the shadows and only yell obscenities while the stupid, incompetent men are standing up to the scorn of the world, making thier lives an open book, and trying to do the best they can with a world that has hated us since Jimmy Carter.

    We should all be proud of ourselves!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 11:15am

    Re:

    Cars can be used for drinking and driving, so should cars be illegal? It is a very slippery slope when making things illegal because of potential misuse.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Alimas, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: Thank you DMCA

    Apparently you're a moron.
    Conservatives tend to be.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    You're a fucking moron, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 11:53am

    Re:

    You're fkng kidding me right? That's the same argument gun conservatives use.

    "Well you can kill someone so nobody should be allowed to have a gun."

    Fkn a man, think before you speak.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    blah blah blah, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 12:07pm

    RE: Thank you DMCA

    "It’s the legislation version of President Bush. Stupid, incompetent and doing its best to slowly make the world a worse place." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DMCA Signed into law by President Clinton on October 28, 1998 I love stupid people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 12:34pm

    Re: RE: Thank you DMCA

    I never said anything about who signed it into law (I simply compared one stupid useless thing with another). Typical reactionary neocon, try to get above the slogans and canned responses.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    blah blah blah, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 1:05pm

    RE: Re: RE: Thank you DMCA

    "I never said anything about who signed it into law (I simply compared one stupid useless thing with another). Typical reactionary neocon, try to get above the slogans and canned responses."

    Typical stupid response.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2008 @ 1:56pm

    The one major downside to the R4 is it kicks the shit out of the DS battery life.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Oh dear, Aug 13th, 2008 @ 2:24am

    Re: battery...

    Does it? I've never noticed that. In any case a spare battery can be had on eBay for around £5.

    DS games are the ultimate ripoff - they deserve to be pirated - most aren't even worth the effort to download.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2008 @ 4:59am

    Re: RE: Re: RE: Thank you DMCA

    "Typical stupid response."

    Ok Ill try to explain it so even a Bush supporter could understand; Bahhhh, Bahh, Bahhh . . .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    MadJo (profile), Aug 13th, 2008 @ 6:55am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Of course I meant Nikon :) Slip of the fingers. :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    bobby bobyanna, Aug 16th, 2008 @ 8:52am

    Re: I just bought one

    Make that three, my brother in his 30's bought one, and I just bought another one for my daughters DS. So this article sold a couple more. LOL

    I got it quick too. Nintendo must be going nuts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Mark, Aug 30th, 2008 @ 8:03am

    r4

    um. can using the r4 get u arrested?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    redsbest, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 3:38am

    Just to point out that the R4 team has already stopped production of the R4 and there are a lot of clones about being sold as originals. The original will only take upto a 2gb sd and update v1.18. And alot of the "fakes" don't support official downloaded updates of kernels. So beware all future buyers.!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    person, Oct 8th, 2008 @ 3:29pm

    since i looked at this im forced my aunt to get me 1 for christmas

    hey by the way is it illegal to download it or to buy it or both?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    person, Oct 12th, 2008 @ 3:17pm

    http://shop.01media.com/info.asp?ProductID=33342
    try this place they sell all kinds of crap for vidoe games and stuff this where im gettin my r4

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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