Nintendo today sued a Miami-based modding business saying its operation "blatantly promotes and sells unauthorised Nintendo games" along with flash cards and other devices to copy them.
HackYourConsole.com is named in the complaint, filed in federal court for the Southern District of Florida. Its website lists five varieties of R4 flashcards for sale, plus has offered $US80 preorders of the "Gateway 3DS" flashcard (pictured above) essentially the counterpart to the R4 that allows copying of DS ROMs. HackYourConsole.com's site says the business was established last year, and that it is an authorised U.S. dealer for all of this hardware.
A news release issued by Nintendo today also accused HackYourConsole's operator of providing "services to hack and modify the Wii console and allow the play of illegal software."
Kotaku left a message for the business at the phone number listed on its site; the message hasn't been returned yet.
Of the console makers, Nintendo's antipiracy efforts have been particularly visible because its DS line is specifically affected by R4 cartridges. Nintendo has fought R4 cards and their sellers for years, particularly in Japan, where in November the country outlawed their importation. It has been illegal to import, advertise and sell R4 cartridges in the U.K. since 2010.
Interestingly, in its news release, Nintendo provided words of support from an independent games developer. "Piracy on the Nintendo DS system has a huge impact on games sales," said Jools Watsham, founder of the studio Renegade Kd (which made Dementium: The Ward for DS).
"It can affect everyone involved, including the many honest players out there," Watsham said. "If independent studios, like ours, are unable to recoup the money they invest into game development, through the sales of their games, we will unfortunately see fewer independent games developed in the future."
R4 cartridges are a contentious issue with some gamers because, despite their close ties with piracy and the sale of counterfeit games, they also have legitimate use in the homebrewed games scene.