Nintendo Is So Not Screwing Around With 3DS Piracy

The 3DS was apparently already cracked within 24 hours of release, and it's now supposedly running piracy devices. Isn't Nintendo going to do anything? You betcha.

Japanese game retailer Enterking issued a notice that it would not be buying back any 3DS units that were used with a R4-type devices - specifically "illegal or unauthorised devices". The notice states that there seems to be a record of such use left on the system. This would be in line with the rumours that the 3DS keeps a log of flash cart use, which then can be checked.

Back in July 2010, THQ's Ian Curran said, "What excites me even more [than 3DS games]is that there's technology built in that device to really combat piracy... I actually asked Nintendo to explain the technology and they said it's very difficult to do so because it's so sophisticated."

The Nintendo terms of agreement clearly state that it is possible that the 3DS might not be able to boot up after firmware updates if unapproved or illegal devices are used in the 3DS. You have been warned!


    Interesting that they may forceably brick the entire hand held. I know M$ locks certain consoles from online play (love this policy by the way) but they can still be used offline. This is the next step and I'm wondering what the Trade Practices act would have to say to that.

      How could you bring that up?

      "Nintendo wont repair my console which is bricked"
      "Why is that?"
      "They said i used illigal software on my 3DS"
      "Did you?"
      "Well... Yeah i did... But...."

      Should be intresting to see how development of the 3ds R4's come... Give em a few weeks to actually play around with the device and they will find how to wipe the loggs each time i recon.

      id be willing to bet if this is the case and anyone has the stones to bring it up against them.

      Nintendo would probably loose. Because again i don't care about pirating but i do like being able to have a copy of everyone of my games on the one card, or at least as few cards as possible.

      It's the same thing that's starting to cause piracy in all media. The companies refusing to provide a format that's more convienient.

      I still want someone to come out and sell me high quality Digital copies of singular episodes of TV shows(preferably without 5 minutes of anti piracy messages attached) That i can use in any media player of my choice something which id be willing to pay more for for a season of than a DVD copy of the same thing.

      Microsoft's "lock console from online play" is actually kinda funny because many pirates still download XBLA games and DLC, as such content cannot be pirated without going to extraneous lengths (acquiring and flashing a jtaggable console). So when you ban these pirates from accessing Xbox Live, you're actually restricting them from accessing the solerevenue stream that they were actually willing to contribute to.

    You have to wonder about the people who use the carts for their legitimate intent: "backing up" owned games. I for one have a bunch of games on a flash cart (for a DS Lite), for the convenience.

      Andy... want to take a stab at the percentage of people who use flash carts to back up games vs pirating them?

    I'm going to buck the trend here and applaud Nintendo on it's policy. Brick away guys!
    I, as a software developer, am sick of hearing the same old arguments from people who pirate media.
    "I'm just backing up" - Pirate
    "Not convenient so am just encoding it" - Pirate
    "If it's any good I'll buy it" - Pirate
    People are just so used to automatically just accepting terms and conditions without reading the implications.
    In this case, the terms of use for the hardware you are using clearly state the implications of using unapproved devices and in conjunction with the 3DS.
    What I love in particular about this is that the protection system here doesn't impact on legitimate buyers and users. So win win!

      It's that generalization of everyone that pisses me off. You claim I'm a pirate for wanting my 1000+ DVD collection for easy acess on my home media centre. As well as keeping my copies in good nick.

      Oh do you have an issue with second hand games because as a software developer if you don't you have some nasty double standards there since as far as your concerned it should be piracy as its essentially cd key sharing

        Rip and encode your 1000 strong DVD collection for your personal use. Either that or you can buy TV shows/Movies from digital distribution services like iTunes for example.

        Those sweeping generalisations ring true for the majority of flashcart users.

          Technically it's illegal to remove encryption from DVDs

          And considering in my experience the illegal copies are much higher quality than iTunes and while I haven't used them In a while refused to work with media centre setup in my home

        Crowknee is right Alinos. you ARE a pirate becuase you rip your DVDs. Perhaps you should read that warning that comes up when you play a DVD. you do NOT have the right to copy your DVDs as a backup. Owning a DVD is just that; owning the right to that disc to play that movie. You do NOT have the right to copy it, circumvent DRM etc.

        Whether or not you think you should be able to is irrelevant. Alinos, you are a pirate!

          I know I'm not allowed to rip the DVDs which is where I take issue with being called a pirate I pay for everything I watch yet apparently because I choose to watch them in a way that is technologically logical as opposed to companies heads trying to maintaina monopoly on an outdated content system that takes longer to arrive in a format I can purchase in some cases can never be bought( 2 guys and a girl hasn't been released on DVD how am I meant to re watch a show I lived 10 years ago instead of the tripe that is 2 & 1/2 men)

        Ahhh... Alinos. Yes indeed you are a pirate. As others have stated, if the product you purchase does not suit your needs, altering the IP of others is NOT your right. Try reading the terms and conditions once in a while. When you buy a DVD, you buy that specific DVD with that movie on it. Not the right to have that movie available to you.
        Extrapolate that to a car for instance. When you purchase a Ford, you get that Ford - not the ability to use any Ford at your convenience.
        Because it is digital, people assume that the rules are different. You CAN make your own versions of it as the IP has no physicality - but it doesn't mean you are legally allowed to.
        Second-hand games is a completely different issue to the one outlined in the article. They reside under a transfer of ownership. If you sell a game that you still retain a copy of (installed for instance) you are again pirating.
        It is funny that, when corporations make people take account for their actions, they are seen as being to harsh.
        1000+ DVD rips - could land you quite a nasty little fine.

          The last time I checked, backing up your DVD's is not piracy, because you own the DVD the disclaimer you are talking about says its illegal to copy AND SELL the DVD therefore you are a pirate in doing that. It also states its for your own personal use to do anything you like with. This is the same for console games, its only illegal if you make a copy AND distribute. The only exception is PC games where you only have the rights to play the game not own it. This is why there is no PC pre owned market.

          Indeed it could, but the issue is that to take me to court in this case would be hars as opposed to someone actively promoting piracy in no wu have I ripped someone out of there hard earned cash. Which to me is the true definitionof a pirate and when the Delivery system truely catches up to the day and age we live in maybe piracy as you put it would be less rampant

          Or at least it wouldnt include paying customers

            That's the problem; you keep trying to exclude yourself from the piracy group, yet you continually state you pirate DVDs. YOUR definition means nothing and taking you to court would be easy with the confiscation of your Media Center and a maximum fine of $5,000 PER DVD.

            And you say you're a paying customer? That is true in that you bought the DVD. The Studios lose money as you aren't buying the digital copy form iTunes or Bigpond etc. You are stealing from them.

            Again, just because you feel you have the right to rip the DVD because you bought it means squat. You are very liable for breeching DRM - i hate people who try to argue that they aren't pirates because they "feel" like the definition of piracy isn't a legal one.

              Just so you can reference what the Government says about this, go and have a look here:


              VERY clear, so stop fooling yourselves. You're a pirate. Stand up and admit it and move on. The risks are outlined there but don't think you can argue "fair use" as you are not covered.

              arrrr matie :P

              I don't debate it's legality the fact is that the studios aren't losing any money from me since I buy everything

              If iTunes provided a better alternative to DVDs they would get by money instea Aussie retailers do most of the time when DVDs are available in a timely matter inside australia otherwise it goes to the overseas store

              To me definition of a pirate is someone who takes without any payment ever at all. I think that breeching drm on something you have paid for is something completely illegal

              Like I can modify my car to the point where it's illegal to drive on the road but my investment in that vehicle enables me to do whatever I want on my private premises

              I might not be what you call legal but I'm not a pirate either

                The last word i'll have on the matter is once again you ARE a pirate. You can choose to rip your DVDs and convince yourself you aren't doing anything wrong, but the reality is (if you even bothered to read over the link i posted) you are a pirate and you are engaging in a prosecutable wrong.

                Just because you are successfully fooling yourself that you are better than the unwashed pirates who sell ripped media, you are actually taking liberty with someone else's IP. Something that they have explicitly asked not to be done to it. Regardless of legality (did i mention it DEFINITELY IS illegal - prosectuable on a per offense basis?) what you are doing is morally wrong - you've purchased something under the expressed condition of use that you have chosen to circumvent and have copied their IP for your convenience.

                Be a man, read the document i posted and realise you're breaking the law AND disregarding the desires of the original IP owners.

                Well said Dogmeat.
                People who break copyright and then try to explain it away are either ignorant (please, read the link and the warnings!) or just plain arrogant (I'm different and special so it doesn't apply).
                Choose which you are, but both are pirates.

    I think its fantastic. I cant stand people who pirate, including movies, music whatever. The more of this sort of thing the better. Thieves is all you are, plain and simple.

    what a load of bull crowknee. If your so upset about piracy your obviously not doing too well at " software developing". People will pay for something if its good. and there will always be people who don't want to pay, and people that will provide that service.
    Applaud away, it wont do anything

      I guess you're right, noone ever downloads the good games for these flashcarts.

      They only ever BUY the big ones and save their bandwidth for the cheap terrible releases.

      Oh dear.
      By your logic, a House Moving company could come and take your house away stating that they'd have paid for it if it was any good.
      Keep an eye out for large trucks... and me applauding!

    What concerns me is the region-locking of games on the 3DS (assuming that it is part of the anti-piracy protection).
    Ignoring the fact that we will most likely be charged more for games than our mates in the US, Japan and the EU, there is a potential that we Australians will miss out on many great titles, including a few Japan-exclusives.
    I'm not saying that Nintendo's stance on piracy is bad, but I do not want to have to buy another 3DS just to play games from Japan.

    Personally I love the idea, but what about people who buy games online and have no idea that they might be buying a non-genuine copy?

    I have unfortunately been stung before on this.

    I don't know the difference between the R4 cards and whatever other cards might be used, but it concerns me that consumers may get screwed with no way of proving their innocence.

    This is kind of bad news IMO. Blocking the flashcarts from loading is one thing, but 'bricking' your 3DS for running them is really, really underhanded.

    Like people have said, I currently use an R4 legitimately, as I can't be bothered carrying my huge stack of DS games with me everywhere I go (I only ever take my R4 and pokemon soulsilver - because of the IR on the cart) not to mention all the great homebrew that has been made possible on the device (my favourite is a program called Win2DS, that lets me remote control my PC from my DS. It's great to be able to use my DS as a remote when watching movies on my PC).

    I was physched when I saw that the R4 worked on the 3DS, but this really troubles me. Sure, I can just opt to not download firmware updates, but when they deliberately withhold promised features to be released in later firmware updates, it makes it hard.

      I am sorry, did you just say you use an R4 Legitimately?
      Are you setting yourself up to be pounded?

    They should be adding content not taking away. Things that slow piracy that I like are :

    Pokemon HG/SS Pokewalker
    DA:O DA2 DL content.

    Give people incentive to want the REAL one, make something that pirates can't just copy. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX, do something to reward the buyers.

    I gaurantee that if you do it, someone pirates your game, finds out they could have more FUN buy purchasing the real copy, then you have just made one more sale.

    Think about it.

    Friend of mine had a great idea!

    Know someone you don't like? That guy has a 3DS? Great! Get your R4 cart, put it in their 3DS, play a game for a few moments, and BANG! Their 3DS is bricked! ;D

    Unstoppable. Uncurable. $350 worth of trolling.

    So, if my younger brother borrowed my 3DS without my permission, and took it to his friends house, and his friend put a flashcard in it, then I'm screwed?

    Nintendo can't really be allowed to destroy my property like that.

    It's like if somebody stole my car, and then broke the speed limit, then, after my car was returned, Toyota seized the car and crushed it into a cube.

      It copies to a log remember.

      I'm sure it tracks the usage of these carts vs the usage of legitimate games.

      Remember that some people who have flashcarts have NEVER bought a legitimate DS game.

        They'll brick it regardless.

          Exactly. Nintendo won't have a "good vs naughty" ratio in the logs, if a flashcard has been used once, that would be enough.

          This news is really quite disappointing. If this piracy countermeasure actually does brick 3DS's, then there is going to be a huge outcry.

          Voiding your console warranty is enough in my opinion. Even banning you from playing online would be enough. Not outright bricking though...

    Thinking they wont just get around this is ridiculous, not like you have to authenticate to play games like the xbox.

    If I were to buy and R4, it would be because I don't want to take a bunch of game cards with me along with my 3DS. Although that also means that I would be a pirate. Now i am looking forward to the eShop to buy and store my games much like my iPhone. So it is my believe that Nintendo has already taken the necessary steps to set up an online shop to meet the current demand of online download masses, to pay or to pirate is up to the consumers now. The only problem is waiting for the shop to actually launch...

    Piracy is actually pretty important for a device like this to penetrate the Asian market in massive numbers.

    It will be too hard for mac users to modify but easy enough for the rest of us normal people who can't really justify $40 bucks for a game....

    Piracy made Microsoft the Pc standard OS it is today actually......

    Well, one tip that I guess will work. Why not just format your 3DS since it will delete eveeerrryy single record in your DS :)?My brother accidentally used a R4i(yeah, the fucking not working version) and had my DS updated, but nothing happened. I guess formatting solves the prob :3

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