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.

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Companies: nintendo

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Comments on “Nintendo Freaks Out That People Can Use Memory Card To Pirate Games”

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Anonymous Coward says:

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!

Pete Valle (user link) says:

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.

MadJo (profile) says:

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:
(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.

mrong says:

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.

Bobby Bobyanna says:

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.

Simple DS Owner says:


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.

tony says:

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.

seee? (user link) says:

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.

Dreamcast says:

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.

mj says:

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 to get a genesis emulator (Sonic the Hedgehog runs great). Look here for a more comprehensive list of software/emulators:

Alex (user link) says:

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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