Nintendo Is So Not Screwing Around With 3DS Piracy

Illustration for article titled 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.

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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."

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Fast-forward to 2011. 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 unauthorized 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 rumors that the 3DS keeps a log of flash cart use, which then can be checked.

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!

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DISCUSSION

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Had prepared a long statement on the subject of Nintendo's ability to brick 3DS's they deem to be unwelcome via long-distance. I would hope they don't venture down that path and choose something a bit more innocuous, like simply banning the offending consoles or accounts from their network service.

What disturbs me more is this:

"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."

THQ's VP Ian Curran said this? That security is more important to a game developer than making great games that people will buy? It says a lot about a company whose main goal isn't to produce a great game, but to figure out how many locks they need to put on the door.

Not saying that security should be an afterthought. Making sure your game isn't pirated is certainly important. But if you're a game developer, your FIRST priority is turning out a great game and making a customer want to come back for more. THEN you deal with the security issues.