I like to keep an eye on what's going on in China with regards to piracy issues - especially now that Nintendo has been aggressively going after people who pirate and China's homegrown CDC Games is taking a stand, as well. Steven Davis, the security guru over at PlayNoEvil, spoke with Frank Yu, who works for Microsoft in China, about the current state of piracy in regard to the current generation of consoles. I'm never exactly surprised by the extent to which stuff is pirated in China (I'm still a little boggled that it's easy to purchase films that have been outright banned by the government - bootlegged, of course), but it does make me wonder exactly how much companies can do when the motto seems to be "If you make it, they will come and pirate it (sometimes with the help of government entities!)".
I know the pirates and the modders in China. They are able to chip the Japanese Wii but the US Wii has more protection (Editor's Note and, presumably not hacked because of the availability of the Japanese Wii). For games like Paper Mario, that needed a firmware update on the Internet which even modded Wii's could get. On the new Metroid, the Internet update does not seem to work for modded Wiis this time...(no doubt) a solution is being created.
Yes, the Xbox 360 hardware is totally broken for pirated games...however, if you leave your mod chip active MS will detect it and shut you out of Xbox Live. I have heard rumours of mod chips that can be switched off so that it toggle between a modded Xbox and an unmodded one to go on Live. I have brought many MS Xbox people to the shops here in China that do the modding (its not illegal to install the chip as far as I know but it is illegal to technically sell the console) (Editor's Note: Frank used to work for Microsoft in China). Folks at MS are always impressed by the speed and workaround that hackers and modders do to the motherboard. Of course we don' t tell them we're MS...there are a lot of foreigners who go to these shops too.
Not too much demand for PS3 here...ergo no modding or pirated games that I know of. The whole DS library is available on DVDs here for perhaps USD 12 for the whole set. You still need a Supercard or R4 mod/card (Editor's Note: see previous articles on Nintendo piracy) for the DS but there is no need to install anything, its just a cartridge like any other game with a slot for a Micro SD memory card.