One day I was walking to my College course and I walked past a stall in the middle of the local shopping plaza. In a tiny little box was something called an “R4 Card”, and whilst at the time it was unknown to mme what this device was, I later found out it was essentially a re-writable flash drive for Nintendo DS games. Pirary on the DS is rampant, take a look at this search for The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks on a popular P2P Torrent Website;
Now replicate this across essentially every title to grace Nintendo’s dual screen handheld and you have a very precarious investment problem for publishers and developers alike. Nintendo realises this and plans to combat it with the release of the 3DS. Ian Curran, THQ’s Executive VP of Global Publishing said during a recent interview with CVG;
“What excites me even more [than 3DS games] is that there’s technology built in that device to really combat piracy. The problem with the DS market in the last few years, particularly with the DS Lite, is that it’s just been attacked by piracy. It’s made it almost impossible to shift any significant volume. The DSi combated it a little bit, but the 3DS has taken that a step further. I actually asked Nintendo to explain the technology and they said it’s very difficult to do so because it’s so sophisticated. They combated the piracy on Dsi, which they don’t believe is cracked yet – but they know they’ve been hurt across the world and they believe the 3DS has got technology that can stop that. Therefore the opportunity for people to invest more in product development [on the system] and bring more 3DS products to market comes out of that. It’s going to probably cost us more to do it all in 3D – so we want to make sure we get a return on our investment when we do it.”
If Ubisofts DRM debacle is anything to go by, new and improved anti-piracy software simply spurs the “hackers” to try even harder to press forth their malicious ways. How do you feel about piracy on the Nintendo DS? Let us know below.