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Nintendo no friend of homebrew market, sues DS cart makers


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The R4 doesn't look like much: just a generic Nintendo DS cart. What it does, however, causes Nintendo no small headache. The device, and others like it, bypasses the system's firmware and with the help of a micro SD card filled with... well, with whatever you want, the cart runs pirated games, emulators, or homebrew games. Nintendo has had enough, and AFP reports that the company is lawyering up with 54 other software companies to sue companies that make and distribute the device in Tokyo, using the Unfair Competition Prevention Law.

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The Times wrote a story on the device late last year and pointed out that Japanese retailers are more than aware of the legal questions with the device. "'New R4 shipment has finally arrived! You know what it does! Absolutely no questions will be answered concerning this product...' reads the sign outside one electronics store just off the main Akihabara drag. 'Guaranteed for one week only! Of course we can't explain what the R4 will do...' reads another in the store next door," they wrote. Other retailers don't sell the device for obvious reasons: after you can download every game for free, why would you come back into the shop for legitimate purchases?

 

Piracy has long plagued portable devices; the new firmware updates for the PSP are cracked within hours of their release. At a press briefing at E3, SCEA CEO Jack Tretton blamed piracy for the lack of PSP titles in the NPD top-ten lists month after month. Hacking portable devices is as easy as running a few programs you download, or buying a $40 device like the R4. There is a reason that Nintendo was able to find such wide support for this lawsuit: everyone is losing money because these carts make piracy such an inviting proposition.

 

While it's easy to see why companies like Nintendo hate the R4, gamers who spend time with hacked devices know how great they are for purposes completely unrelated to stealing games. Making backups of the games you own to pack onto the cart results in fewer lost games while traveling and more convenience. Playing classic games via emulator is a blast, although the legality of ROMs, even if you own the original carts, is questionable. You can also download an almost infinite number of homebrew games and applications that allow you to create music, organize your video and music files, or use the hardware in unique ways. A cracked PSP is one of the most versatile and interesting pieces of consumer electronics available for such a low price, and I've met more than one person who has gotten into amateur game design by learning to code on hacked PSPs or DS systems.

 

This lawsuit will only affect sales in Japan, so those outside the Land of the Rising Sun need not worry about their supply of R4 carts drying up, for the time being. Besides, another product would no doubt fill the gap even if the R4 is taken off the market; hackers always find a way. It's just a shame all the fun uses of open hardware don't get more press.

 

Source: http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080...art-makers.html

In other news, Datel has released their homebrew flashcart (NDS Max Media Launcher) that's like an R4, but doesn't run commercial games. Anyway, it's completely legal, and I wouldn't be surprised if you saw it at Best Buy already. You'll need their Max Media Dock as well though to store the files. Or you can just buy their "Games 'n' Music" device that has it all.

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The thread title is misleading- it should say 'Nintendo no friend of piracy'.

 

While it's easy to see why companies like Nintendo hate the R4, gamers who spend time with hacked devices know how great they are for purposes completely unrelated to stealing games. Making backups of the games you own to pack onto the cart results in fewer lost games while traveling and more convenience. Playing classic games via emulator is a blast, although the legality of ROMs, even if you own the original carts, is questionable. You can also download an almost infinite number of homebrew games and applications that allow you to create music, organize your video and music files, or use the hardware in unique ways. A cracked PSP is one of the most versatile and interesting pieces of consumer electronics available for such a low price, and I've met more than one person who has gotten into amateur game design by learning to code on hacked PSPs or DS systems.

This is such a claptrap line of reasoning.

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Maybe Nintendo and the rest should consider that ppl aren't going to pay high prices for games that may turn out to be no good. It isn't "piracy" that hurts sales; it's the prices they charge.

 

Also, how many ppl bought a DS only because certain things were possible with it. Most of the gamers I know would never have got one otherwise.

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I got a DS because there were good games on it that I was willing to pay 30$ for. I bought my M3DS something acronym because I'm a pirate. Some people are into homebrew, that's great, I just don't want to have to shell out 40$ for games that I'll probably be disappointed with.

 

Side Note: Free air mail from Hong Kong is not a fast way to receive products.

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Hey GC is there a way to "break" said product and force it to run your games :D? IF there is wouldn't that be interesting?

 

Aside that Nintendo won't win, it might stop a few hundred dudes from getting R4's but a few thousand will rise up and replace those double zeros and make em triple.

 

Edit: Break ....

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Hey GC is there a way to "brake" said product and force it to run your games :D? IF there is wouldn't that be interesting?

I don't think this product needs you to push the brake. Do some research.

 

slk10bf7.jpg

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Game Industry

 

Nintendo: 30,000 illegal pirate devices seized so far in '08

Nintendo has told GamesIndustry.biz that it has so far this year seized almost 30,000 piracy devices which infringe company copyright.

 

The numbers come following Nintendo Japan's lawsuit, which with the help of 54 other publishers, aims to tackle the growing threat of DS piracy devices such as the R4 cartridge.

 

"Nintendo takes a global approach to piracy and has pursued the illegal game copying devices in 11 countries this past year," said the company in a statement.

 

"Nintendo has worked with enforcement officials in Belgium, China, Denmark, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Korea, Netherlands, Spain, UK, and the US, seizing close to 30,000 infringing game copying products, as well as taking actions against those distributors and manufacturers."

 

The notorious R4 chip is available to buy over the internet, and allows hacked code to be transferred easily onto the Nintendo DS and played via a cartridge and memory card.

 

"Nintendo and software manufacturers are suffering tremendous loss caused by the import and distribution of such devices," said the firm.

 

"Nintendo and software manufacturers have determined that the spread of such devices in the market would hinder sound growth and development of the entire computer game industry and will therefore continue to take strict legal measures against any game copying devices that operate like the R4."

 

Nintendo files suit against five DS hacking firms

 

"Touching is good," but hacking? Not so much. Nintendo has gone on the war path against five Japanese companies that make their living helping users rip off DS games. Of course, a primary use for such hardware -- such as the R4 Revolution, pictured -- is homebrew and emulation, but good luck convincing Nintendo (or any large console manufacturer) of that. Details of the actual lawsuit are slim, but Nintendo has brought along with it 54 Japanese software makers to lend a bit of gravitas to the suit. If you haven't managed to hack your DS yet, now might be a good time to score the requisite hardware -- we might be facing a scarcity before too long.

 

http://www.engadget.com/2008/07/29/nintend...-hacking-firms/

 

Well I don't think that this directly relates to this, but the Team Cyclops Forum is down, citing account suspention. Weird that with Nintendo going on the warpath about these types of cards that the forum would go down.... Anyone agree?

 

 

I guess Nintendo is finally taking action against flashcarts.

 

Nintendo And 54 Companies Battle "Evil" R4 In Court

 

Nintendo has just announced that it and 54 game software companies are filing a lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court again "R4 Revolution for DS"-type devices, using the Unfair Competition Prevention Law as the legal grounding. Nintendo is asking for the cease of marketing, sales and importation of these Chinese-made devices. The R4 allows easy software piracy by fitting right into the DS's cartridge slot. Data is stored on a Micro SD and downloaded from websites via a flash drive, and the R4 has a small slot that the Micro SD card goes into. In a statement released today, Nintendo announced that these R4 devices "allow illegal uploading from the internet", adding that "it is causing severe damage to our company and software makers, and this is something that we cannot possibly overlook." In conclusion, Nintendo adds that such devices hurts the growth of the entire game industry and steps must be taken regarding the legality of R4 carts. It's important to note that this legal injunction is for Japan only.

 

Back in November 2007, Nintendo announced that it was "keeping a close eye on the products and studying them." Earlier this spring, Nintendo apparently pressured Akihabara retailers to stop carrying the popular R4 carts.

 

A list of some of the companies who along with Nintendo have filed in this suit.

 

Arc System Works

SNK

Capcom

Koei

Jaleco

Square Enix

Sega

Taito

Takara Tomy

Tecmo

Hudson

Bandai Namco Games

The Pokemon Company

Yukes

Level Five

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I guess the people who made the article GC posted forgot to include how Jackie also admitted that if it wasn't for CFWs, PSP sales would have long reached rock bottom. But hey, pirates are evil and fund terrorism, amirite? :D

I wish I had the poster that said that right now. Dang.

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