Nintendo: Take That, Pirates!

R4 cartridges, better known in Japan as Majicon, are a major thorn in Nintendo's side. The importing and sale of these devices that allow people to play pirated DS games was ruled as illegal in Japan since 2008. Generally, Nintendo has opted for filing civil complaints or civil lawsuits against violators, but at last, it looks like the gloves have come off.

On May 30th, police arrested a 39 year old self-employed man in the Saitama prefecture. The man was charged with selling 3 R4 cartridges over the internet between February 14th and March 9th for a total of ¥7,200 (US$91.27). This marks the first such arrest of a R4 cartridge dealer in Japan, and hopefully will be a successful blow against the game piracy market for Nintendo.

Overall, there were 83 piracy-related arrests in Japan in 2011, nearly double the 45 arrests from 2010. While the majority of cases have been illegal video upload related, recent rulings and actions have shown that Japan is upping the ante and cracking down on all forms of piracy.

I'm guessing there won't be many retailers putting up Nintendo-provoking banners any more...

ニンテンドーDS用マジコン販売業者逮捕、改正不正競争防止法初適用 [知財情報局]

(Top photo: VIPDesignUSA | Shutterstock)


    Don't meant to be a dickhead here, but R4 carts arent nearly as popular now as they were before. With no new DS games out theres no point, Nintendo need to get ready for the inevitable 3DS flash cart.

      There are still new DS games coming out. See: Pokemon Black2/White2

      Dunno if you've noticed but every time they do a system update they threaten to brick your system if it as used any "unauthorised" carts, I doubt they'll be worrying about R4 this time around.

    Self-employed man? Sounds like Japan at least has a hold on it. I remember when I lived in China they were selling them in Samsung and Sony stores.

    Personally, I own a flash cart, and to be honest, Nintendo lost no sales with me, everything I downloaded for it, I normally wouldn't have bothered with, and a few great games, like Super Robot Taisen OG Saga Endless Frontier, were good enough that I actually went out of my way to buy the game legally.

    Then when I broke my DS one day, I had to go out and buy a new one just so I could keep playing some of these games. So yes, I'm saying if it wasn't that that flash cart, Nintendo would have a lot less of my money.

      I'm with you on this, ive spent more money buying nintendo products than any other game/console developer, my R4 allows me to play imports and games i cant get a hold of, as well as lets me sort through the rubbish.
      My Wii is also hacked, but every game i play for more than an hour gets bought legally.

      You're forgetting the fact that the big companies in the business are physically incapable of understanding that piracy =/= lost sales. ;)

    "charged with selling 3 R4 cartridges"," hopefully will be a successful blow against the game piracy market for Nintendo"


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