No one can argue that the Nintendo DS has been the front runner this generation in terms of hardware and software moved. So with all that money that it prints week after week, everyone should be all smiles all the way to the bank. Right? Nah, turns out that things aren’t all roses and candy with Nintendo’s portable juggernaut.
The problem is stemming from the sale of ‘piracy’ SD cards that let gamers download just about any game on the system, as well as act as emulators and open up the DS to added functionality. The main culprits are the R4, M3, N5 and TT, and they can be purchased from almost anywhere on the net.
This has sparked ELSPA’s Crime Unit manager John Hillier to take action. Hillier has started warning retailers that if they don’t stop the sell of these ‘illegal’ items, the ELSPA will be forced to lay down the law.
Hillier sat down with MCV and let them know exactly where he stood on the matter saying, “The supply of these items is an infringement and an offence under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and the Trade Marks Act 1994. ELSPA’s IP Crime Unit works closely with the enforcement agencies to stop this supply and prevent instances of intellectual property theft.”
In light of this, various reports show that the games that are hit the most by pirating are not casual titles, but titles that appeal to ‘hardcore gamers’. Doug Bone, UK sales director of Square-Enix says, “The growing availability of these R4 products is certainly alarming. The undeniable fact is that they are predominantly bought for software piracy and steps should be taken to restrict the distribution channels available.
“In the short-term it is the responsibility of the trade to ensure these products don’t hit the shelves. For every game pirated and so not bought, we suffer as an industry.” It should be no surprise after a statement like that that Square-Enix’s Final Fantasy series is one of the top pirated games.
So with all this hooting and hollering what does the Big N have to say about the whole ‘illegal’ games situation? A representative from Nintendo issued the statement: “We are monitoring the situation with R4 cards and working closely with our legal teams to identify any infringements on our IP and will take action where and when appropriate.” Talk about cool as a polar bear.