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GameCube (Games) Entertainment Games

GameCube ISOs Released? 546

Posted by Hemos
from the still-no-confirmation dept.
Mister.de writes "An online piracy group called "StarCube" has made ISO's of games like The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker available for download on the net. They are not publicly available to everyone, but are said to be hosted on private warez FTP sites. As of yet (6/14/2003) there is no way to actually play the games after burning to a mini-disc, but reliable sources say that there will be a hack for the GameCube released soon so that these illegal copies can be played. Also rumors do have it that the copied games can be played on the Panasonic GameCube, but that is unconfirmed. " The story came from Console-Gods originally.
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GameCube ISOs Released?

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  • by hatrisc (555862) on Monday June 16, 2003 @08:50AM (#6211087) Homepage
    on slashdot, because the feds will see it and immediatedly shut it down. way to ruin our fun /.!
  • by jkrise (535370) on Monday June 16, 2003 @08:50AM (#6211089) Journal
    Atleast you could've included some rumored links? Or sites rumored to contain links rumored to contain the warez? After all, this is Slashdot!!
  • Hard to do (Score:4, Informative)

    by Bagels (676159) on Monday June 16, 2003 @08:50AM (#6211090)
    Getting an ISO wouldn't be impossible - the real problem is that you have to rig your 'Cube to read it, as GCN discs spin *backwards*. To play a burned disc, you'd have to either heavily modify your computer or your 'Cube, and in the end it would be cheaper to just buy the game rather than pirate it.
    • Re:Hard to do (Score:5, Interesting)

      by James_Duncan8181 (588316) on Monday June 16, 2003 @08:53AM (#6211110) Homepage
      I am not entirely sure that the spins backwards thing is true (as that would mean that the normal GC discs wouldn't play on the Panasonic model) but assuming that it is, why not just make a program that modifies the ISO before burning?

      Surely this is the simpler method...

      • I don't think you understand. It's not that the ISO has the bits backwards, it's that the "groove" is backwards - clockwise instead of anti-clockwise, or vice versa.

        I don't know how the Q works - perhaps its drive can spin in both directions?
        • Having read the other posts, I'm now confused myself. However, I'm pretty sure it's *not* just a case of taking a normal ISO and reversing the order of the bits...
      • Re:Hard to do (Score:5, Informative)

        by womprat (154589) <david.davidhogue@com> on Monday June 16, 2003 @09:02AM (#6211180) Homepage
        I'm pretty sure they don't spin backwards. I even went and popped open the lid while the system was reading. I'm not sure why this rumor keeps popping up though. I've heard it so many times.

        Whatever protection they have on there is damn good since (barring this story) I haven't heard of anyone successfully reading a disc.
        • Re:Hard to do (Score:2, Informative)

          by Echnin (607099)
          Yep. They do NOT spin backwards. That's an idiotic claim. Anyone can pop the GC up while playing and see that it spins clockwise, just like regular CDs. Takes 5 seconds to find that out.
        • Re:Hard to do (Score:3, Informative)

          by captainstupid (247628)
          I have not confirmed this myself, but supposedly it's not that the discs spin backwards,
          it's that the laser starts reading the disc from the outside and works its way towards the center.

          This is different (of course) from the normal, start reading at the center of the disc and work your way out.

          If this is the case, it seems like a incredibly simple yet effective method of copy protection.
      • Re:Hard to do (Score:5, Informative)

        by Spokehedz (599285) on Monday June 16, 2003 @09:46AM (#6211548)
        I'm almost 99% sure that the discs don't spin backwards, but Iâ(TM)d have to have a friend of mine bring his GC over so that I could test it. The reason Iâ(TM)m _guessing_ it doesnâ(TM)t spin backwards, is because of the plain and simple fact that console hardware developers don't like to get into _really_ proprietary stuff because of the high-cost of the Devkit that would be required by the hardware. And the more the developer has to pay for the Devkit, the less likely they are to get it if they are a smaller company who can't afford the multi-million dollar expenses... which translates into less games. And we all know how less games--that very well may be high quality games--turns out... All I gotta say is Playstation, and you know what Iâ(TM)m talking about.

        What they _probably_ did was take some 'special' 8cm DVD disks (look here [dvd-and-media.com] for more info and a picture of one in a case--how hard would it be to get it out of there if your the "Big N"?) and encode it in such a way that only a specially modified firmware would read the discs.

        Just like the dreamcast (which did use some special hardware... and the price of the Devkit was high... No games (in USA)... pattern?) did. Its all a matter of TRICKING the GC into thinking whatever disc you put in there was supposed to be there, and then either making it read the discs as normal, or formatting your discs to use the same layout as the real discs.

        And anyone with a oscilloscope (and a fair bit of skill with it) can see what lines are being pulled high/low to see what the disc is reading at a given time. How do you think these 'mod chips' actually work? All they do is feed the processor/DSP a code of 'This disc is ok--just play the game' and then the processor does what itâ(TM)s been designed to do.

        Its like cracking a videogame on the computer--all we do is make the 'Disc bad/not present--no play' instruction jump to the 'Disc present--play' instead. Its so elegantly simple, and its mind-boggling how stupid game developers think that anything they make will never be cracked, just because they have some 'proprietary' disc/code/hardware.

        Let me make this as clear as possible to game hardware developers out there:

        So long as your processor supports the jump assembly command, or your hardware uses standard CMOS/TTL voltages/IC's, your program/game can be hacked. I said 'can', because its all a matter of who wants to put the effort into it and not just the plain and simple fact that they can do it. Ok... maybe thereâ(TM)s a little of that in there too. ;)
        • (which did use some special hardware... and the price of the Devkit was high... No games (in USA)... pattern?)

          Ah, so the 53 games I have (not burned copies...the actual discs) don't exist! As well as the hundred or so others I haven't gotten my hands on yet, or just don't want. These are USA released games. Last count I made, the Dreamcast had more than twice the number of US releases as the Nintendo 64.
      • Re:Hard to do (Score:5, Informative)

        by Doomstalk (629173) on Monday June 16, 2003 @11:43AM (#6212954)
        I have no actual proof to back this up, so it's heresay, but interesting nonetheless. I've read from a number of sources that the disc doesn't spin backwards, but is structured in a backwards fashion, with the lead-out on the inside of the disc, and the lead-in on the outside. Additionally (this part is confirmed by myself and others), the information identifying it as a legitimate disc is a barcode around the center of the disc just past the data area, making it extremely hard to fool the system without a hardware mod, since the barcode is nigh on impossible to duplicate at home (unless you live in a professional mastering plant). Both of these phenomena can be observed if you hold in the switch that tells the Cube the drive is open, it goes to the inside of the disc beyond the data region to the barcode, then travels to the outside of the disc before it starts loading. Confirming that the barcode is necessary to load the game is quite simple: take a small piece of tape, or use a dry erase marker, and cover it up. The Gamecube laser will travel to the inside of the disc and then refuse to load. Finally, the Gamecube will not read CDs. If you try obstructing the barcode like I mentioned earlier, the Gamecube will still spin up the disc and attempt to read it. However, if you put a CD in, it will stop spinning immediately. The implications of this in relation to Gamecube piracy are these: First of all, unmodified Gamecubes will have no way of reading copied discs, as it's not a simple matter of disc structuring like the Dreamcast. Secondly, I'm not sure how easy it will be to get a DVD burner to write a disc in such a fashion, as they're geared towards making standards compliant DVDs. Finally, even the smallest games will have to be burned to DVD, meaning the vast majority of would-be pirates will be left out in the cold, as they're too cheap to buy DVD burners.
    • Re:Hard to do (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Chris_Jefferson (581445) on Monday June 16, 2003 @08:58AM (#6211150) Homepage
      There have already been multiple people who have made unoffical discs, like Datel's action replay and freeloader (disc for allowing the playing of games from a different region) so clearly it isn't too hard (or they don't really spin backwards)
    • Re:Hard to do (Score:5, Informative)

      by Mr_Silver (213637) on Monday June 16, 2003 @08:59AM (#6211161)
      Getting an ISO wouldn't be impossible - the real problem is that you have to rig your 'Cube to read it, as GCN discs spin *backwards*.

      Not quite. Rather than writing data to the discs normally from the inside to the outside of the disc, Nintendo does it vice-versa and write the data to the disks from the outside in. Therefore the data is written to (and read from) the disk backwards. But the disk itself spins the normal way around.

      To play a burned disc, you'd have to either heavily modify your computer or your 'Cube, and in the end it would be cheaper to just buy the game rather than pirate it.

      I'm no expert on chipping, but I would assume that you'd just need to chip your GC and then write the games ISO out differently than you would normally (specialised software?). But even if this thing cost £200, you'd still be saving money after your 5th game.

      • Re:Hard to do (Score:2, Insightful)

        by JonoPlop (626887)

        Not quite. Rather than writing data to the discs normally from the inside to the outside of the disc, Nintendo does it vice-versa and write the data to the disks from the outside in. Therefore the data is written to (and read from) the disk backwards. But the disk itself spins the normal way around.

        Is this true? If so, I'm thinking it's a good idea with today's optical drives; If I'm not mistaken, the RPM is constant (well, pretty much) in modern drives. Does this mean that by writing the data that is rea

        • Re:Hard to do (Score:3, Informative)

          by abiogenesis (124320)

          Dreamcast drives are CAV (Constant Angular Velocity) and have a hard time reading the inner tracks. That's why when you backup a game, you should use specialized software like DiscJuggler that can calculate where to start writing so that the data ends at the outer edge of the CD. I believe it then fills the inner tracks with dummy bytes.
      • by hrieke (126185)
        But even if this thing cost £200, you'd still be saving money after your 5th game.

        That is, until you get busted for wazes and have to pay a £20,000 fine.

      • Re:Hard to do (Score:3, Insightful)

        by muffen (321442)
        But even if this thing cost £200, you'd still be saving money after your 5th game.

        IMHO, you didnt save any money, you stole it.
        Why is it that people don't consider pirating stealing?

        Arguments for pirating such as: "I wouldn't have bought the game if I hadn't pirated it, so they didn't loose any money of me" simply do not hold. I rarely hear someone say: "I stole a game today by downloading it of the net, but I have no moral problems with this"
        If you wouldn't have bought the game, then
        • Re:Hard to do (Score:5, Informative)

          by Computer! (412422) on Monday June 16, 2003 @10:09AM (#6211785) Homepage Journal
          Why is it that people don't consider pirating stealing?

          Because it's not. It's copyright infingement. It's still a crime, but it's not stealing. Theft deprives the original owner of the property use of said property.

        • Re:Hard to do (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Azureflare (645778)
          I think it's not even thought of as piracy by the pirater; Games are strange like that. Games are strange because you pay a lot of money for something that you get mindless entertainment from for a few hours, while you press little buttons and little dots on a screen move around. It really is completely pointless, and paying money for it, to some people, seems utterly ridiculus.

          You also need to realize that there are some people in the world who have real addictions to video games, and seriously need to g

        • Re:Hard to do (Score:4, Insightful)

          by ChaosDiscord (4913) on Monday June 16, 2003 @02:06PM (#6214498) Homepage Journal
          IMHO, you didnt save any money, you stole it.

          Theft of product is an excellent way to save money. For example, shoplifting is a traditional way for kids to save money. Just because it's illegal doesn't mean it doesn't save you any money. Heck, that's why you steal it.

          Why is it that people don't consider pirating stealing?

          Because it's not really theft. It's copyright infringement. When you infringe copyright you do not deny the original property owner access to their property. (If you steal my book, I can't read it any more. If you copy my book and return it, I can still read it.) If you get caught you'll be in civil court instead of criminal court. You'll only face fines instead of jail time. They're very different beasts. By using language that implies that these two very different things are the same you're encouraging incorrect and silly comparisons like the RIAA's extremely silly "Downloading music off the internet is just like stealing a CD from a store."

          To be fair, that's why I refuse to consider the two thing equivalent. Some people don't see an equivalence because they want to justify to themselves doing something that is illegal and widely considered immoral. Don't get me wrong, I support copyright law and am against copyright infringement. But we need to educate people on why copyright infringement is wrong, not incorrectly label it as identical to theft.

    • Getting an ISO wouldn't be impossible - the real problem is that you have to rig your 'Cube to read it, as GCN discs spin *backwards*.

      Only in the southern hemisphere...
  • News? (Score:5, Funny)

    by richie2000 (159732) <rickard.olsson@gmail.com> on Monday June 16, 2003 @08:51AM (#6211099) Homepage Journal
    So, there's an unconfirmed story that there may be illegal ISOs floating around that may or may not actually be playable at some time in the future. Or possibly already is, on some hardware. Maybe. Riiight.

    Cmdr Taco, the NY Times has hacked your site!

  • by Chris_Jefferson (581445) on Monday June 16, 2003 @08:54AM (#6211115) Homepage
    Opinion on IRC seems to be this was done in the same way as the Dreamcast, ie someone produces some method of getting code onto the gamecube which reads the disk and sends it out. Getting code onto the gamecube without Nintendo's permission has been previously shown to be possible by a number of cheat and "region avoiding" cheats. Therefore this part isn't too hard and to be honest it was only a matter of time. The much more serious problem is getting a disc of reasonable size that a gamecube can read to burn the games onto. Obviously it can be done but perhaps only on a large scale. I wouldn't hold my breath to the point where we are all burning gamecube games to be honest. Of course, in 4 or 5 years we'll all be playing gamecube emulators and then these rips will be in hard demand! Start hoarding now! :)
    • by edwdig (47888) on Monday June 16, 2003 @10:52AM (#6212316)
      The rumor I've heard is as follows:

      1. Get a GameBoy Player and a GBA Flash Rom cartridge
      2. Load a special ROM onto the GBA cart
      3. Run it on the GBA Player like a normal GBA game
      4. The GBA cart will transfer data to GC's main memory
      5. Press the reset button on the GC - this is a soft reset, it simply jumps to a fixed memory address, without reading off the disc at all
      6. Game data can then be transferred thru the serial port on the bottom of the GC

      The question is, is step #4 possible? The rest of the story is definately possible (if you don't believe step 5, put in Animal Crossing, wait til the title screen comes up, take out the disc, and press reset. You can still play, without any need to put the disc in again.)
      • (if you don't believe step 5, put in Animal Crossing, wait til the title screen comes up, take out the disc, and press reset. You can still play, without any need to put the disc in again.)
        I've had the same game booted on several GCs before with that little trick. It comes from being an N64 game originally, so it's small enough to be entirely loaded in the GC's memory.

        Which also explains why the graphics look a bit like canned ass.. Great game, though.
    • Do you think we'll see GC emulators? The more complex the hardware gets, the more difficult it is to write an emulator.

      ~Berj
  • Remember (Score:5, Informative)

    by shaklee (631847) on Monday June 16, 2003 @08:55AM (#6211129)
    The same thing happened to xbox, the games were ripped for a while and then finally the modchips were made. Look where the xbox is now.
    • Re:Remember (Score:3, Informative)

      by Oakey (311319)
      Erm, correct me if I'm wrong, but PC's won't read X-Box games. I thought the only way to rip X-Box games was with a mod-chip, and then ftp into yout X-Box and copy the files over?
  • emulator? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gTsiros (205624)
    Isn't it funny that there is still no emulator for the gamecube? I mean, it must be the only console without an emulator (and ps2?)...

    writting emulators has become increasingly difficult over the years.

    Gameboy emulators are a breeze (mostly due to the rather generic hardware). NES/SNES more difficult. N64 is very challenging.

    Has anyone heard of even plans for a GC emulator?
    I'm itching to play Metroid:Prime @1024x768 :DD
    • Re:emulator? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Chris_Jefferson (581445) on Monday June 16, 2003 @09:01AM (#6211170) Homepage
      There is no real N64 emulator (only high-level ones which don't really work on most games).

      The Saturn has only just recently got emulators that work well enough to play the games and modern computers are (almost) fast enough to play them.

      Screen shots of DC are getting quite far along but the emulator isn't released or anywhere near playable speed.

      There is no PS2 or X-box emulator that does much beyond display a title screen or two (this is still a major accomplishment, but not really good enough to play games)

      So to be honest the fact there is no GC emulator isn't that suprising :) Now that there are isos floating around and espically if people can put their own programs on the GC (which REALLY helps in emulating machines) then we may see them start. I'll be very suprised if you can play GC games on your PC within 3 year tho
      • Re:emulator? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Echnin (607099) <[p3s46f102] [at] [sneakemail.com]> on Monday June 16, 2003 @11:01AM (#6212419) Homepage
        Eh... There are [url=http://www.zophar.net/n64.html]plenty[/url] of N64 emulators that work fine. Just a PSA. UltraHLE 2064, Project 64 and Nemu are the best ones. There are also a couple of open-source emulators out there.

        Playstation and Nintendo 64 emulation is VERY easy. I managed to run Mario Kart 64 well enough to be playable on a machine with a Pentium 166, 32 MB of RAM and a Voodoo Banshee with UltraHLE in early '99...

    • by tuffy (10202) on Monday June 16, 2003 @09:04AM (#6211192) Homepage Journal
      Has anyone heard of even plans for a GC emulator?

      Here's [francois.free.fr] a very preliminary one. Of course, any current console requires *much* faster PC hardware than is currently available in order to emulate it properly. Even the existing N64 emulators use lots of "accuracy optional" HLE hacks in order to achieve decent speed. I'm sure by the time Gamecube emulation becomes viable, acquiring hacked ISOs of the mini discs won't be necessary - and Nintendo won't care quite so much since most everyone will have moved on to far better consoles than are now available.

    • Re:emulator? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by McCart42 (207315) on Monday June 16, 2003 @10:04AM (#6211744) Homepage
      I agree with you that it's gotten a lot harder for emulator programmers. However, I think the situation is even more bleak than you realize.

      I have heard of emulators for these systems: MAME, NES, Gameboy, SNES, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, several minor consoles and N64. I don't know of workable emulators for any console released in the past 10 years aside from the N64 (correct me if I'm wrong on this) - I've heard of projects for dreamcast and gamecube, but neither one actually works for anything significant yet.

      So I'd say the current situation is far from Gamecube being the _only_ console which hasn't been emulated--rather, it seems to be a trend that it takes much longer for modern consoles to be successfully emulated due to their complexity. Even consoles as old as the Sega Saturn have proven very difficult to emulate. I mean, when you're working with single 8- and 16-bit processor architectures, you're dealing with a project for emulation that is similar to projects most students might tackle in their first college computer architecture class. However, more sophisticated architectures present enough of a challenge that most wouldn't even bother with the task.
  • by rickthewizkid (536429) on Monday June 16, 2003 @08:56AM (#6211140)
    ...I only buy a system when I can get Zelda for it for less than retail. For some reason, the Funco's near where I live don't have any used copies yet.

    Of course, I can see it now;

    ......UCF Presentz.......
    ...A Gamecube Release....
    ...Zelda: Wind Walker....
    ....For [ ]PC [ ] MAC....
    ....[ ]PS2 [ ]X [X]GC....

    but then, I haven't been on the warez boards for a long, long time. Do they still use the FILE_ID.DIZ?

    ...Just my can't-logon-unless-you-have-a-14.4-modem's worth
    RickTheWizKid
  • by messiuh (206505) on Monday June 16, 2003 @08:57AM (#6211149) Homepage
    I didn't know Slashdot was getting into the warez scene! Finally, S/ashd0t 1s l33t!

    6/15/2004: AIDs has been cured with new mega-computer cluster kept cold in Bill Gates' refrigerator.

    6/16/2004: New Lemmings ISO released by raz0r. Check it 0ut at is0z.slashdot.org!

  • Seems real (Score:5, Informative)

    by ymgve (457563) on Monday June 16, 2003 @08:59AM (#6211157) Homepage
    It has to be, since nForce has its own category for them now [nforce.nl].
  • by stephenry (648792) on Monday June 16, 2003 @09:00AM (#6211164)
    I loved Nintendo when i was a kid, and i still think they release some of the best games on the market. But when it comes to shooting themselves in the foot, they never learn.

    They released the N64 as a cartridge based system to prevent piracy; but in doing so alienated their 3rd party developers and customers. Not only where the games far more expensive to produce, they could not support the wealth of Video and Music easily contained on a CD.

    With the GameCube, they decided -again- not to go for the mainstream option and instead use small psuedo-DVD's -and for what? The only thing the have been successfull in achieving is eliminating any wavering interest in the gamecube as a competitor to the "home-entertainment style" PS2, whilst at the same time, retaining the piracy that they went to so much effort to prevent.

    Steve
    • by Viewsonic (584922) on Monday June 16, 2003 @09:17AM (#6211279)
      For games that are released on all three systems, sales figures have been showing that most of the sales are on the GameCube platform. It's hard to believe the PS2 with nearly 3 times the user base is selling LESS than the Cube, but it's true. Of course, this is false for sports games, as Cube owners tend to dislike sports for some reason. Take a look at some of the last years sales figures from Sega, Capcom, etc ..
      • Please give an example. Any EA or Sega Sports game? No. Any action sports game [tony hawk, ssx]? No. Need For Speed HP2? No. Crappy licensed movie games? No. Sega Soccer Slam? Maybe.

        I like the Gamecube and all but I honestly don't think there's a single game that was released on the PS2, XBox and Gamecube that has sold best on the cube.
      • by mattACK (90482) on Monday June 16, 2003 @12:54PM (#6213761) Homepage
        Please give us a source for your information. Frankly I don't believe it. The so called "Attach Rate" is higher for Xbox than for GC, the sales are far higher, so forth. Look up your own source for this: everyone knows it. Given that the user base in the USA is at most 1/6th the base of the PS2, I believe that you are entirely and completely wrong.
    • Sorry no. Gamecube piracy has been and still is nonexistant. This is after what, 2 years from release? Meanwhile the Xbox and PS2 have warez scenes that are so big they compete with porn on sheer volume sent over Usenet. I would say that Nintendos plans for keeping piracy off of the Cube has worked. The only question is how did it affect sales...
    • by LordZardoz (155141) on Monday June 16, 2003 @03:38PM (#6215535)
      Nintendo did not choose the cartridge to only prevent piracy. They did it because doing so generated more profits per game sold. Nintendo owned the patents on their cartridge's. The real reasoning was probably along these lines.

      1) More profits per game
      2) More difficult to Pirate
      3) No loading times.

      The reason that the publishers did not support the N64 is that producing a playstation game (Or saturn game for that matter) was cheaper. A cd is cheaper to manufacture then a cartridge.

      Nintendo's use of the miniature disks also has less to do with piracy and more to do with manufacturing costs. First, since they dont play DVD's, they do not have to pay any fee's to use that technology. The cost per console is cheaper as a result. Nintendo figured that people who want to watch DVD's are going to buy a DVD player.

      Assuming that the choice of avoiding or reducing piracy will win out over econimics for any console developer is just stupid. Its an important secondary concern, but not the primary concern. At least not right now, and certantly not 7 years ago.

      END COMMUNICATION
  • Blanks? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bowdie (11884) on Monday June 16, 2003 @09:01AM (#6211172) Homepage
    www.hobbymagic.com [hobbymagic.com]

    3" Mini DVD-R, 1.5GB/25min
    Write-once format DVD, For Data / Audio / Video use, Full compatibility with all writers and players w/ 650nm laser, High capacity and data transfer rate, portable and easy to transport, Long-term data archiving, compatible with Nintendo Game Cube, Playstation 2, Xbox. Price start from $8.00/pc.
    • Re:Blanks? (Score:3, Funny)

      by cybermace5 (446439)
      Maybe another approach: clamp a stack of regular DVD blanks together on a length of all-thread, place in an engine lathe, and spin down to mini-DVD size.

      Of course I don't know if any special configuration of the media is required on the outer edge of the disc.
  • by wfberg (24378) on Monday June 16, 2003 @09:02AM (#6211179)
    Proprietary Copy Protection System Announced "Broken" By Nefarious Hackers!

    Film At 11.
  • by emo boy (586277) <hoffman_brianNO@SPAMbah.com> on Monday June 16, 2003 @09:03AM (#6211181) Homepage
    On one hand this could help make the GameCube more popular, which it is bound to do if mod chips and ripped games are released, then this could mean more games available and better games available due to the increased interest.

    On the other hand this could kill sales of the GameCube because of the piracy and the already small library of decent games for the system. I for one hope the first is true because I think the system has amazing potential.

    • "On one hand this could help make the GameCube more popular, which it is bound to do if mod chips and ripped games are released, then this could mean more games available and better games available due to the increased interest."

      I think you're being overly optimistic here. Modchips may increase interest in the physical console hardware, but the increased hardware sales likely won't be backed up with increased software sales. If someone goes through the trouble of modchipping their console, then they're

  • Change of pace (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mikey-San (582838) on Monday June 16, 2003 @09:03AM (#6211185) Homepage Journal
    I usually don't bitch about what the Slashdot editors run, be it duplicate stories or typos--we're all human, we all make mistakes.

    But I have to wonder what the hell was going through Hemos's mind when he decided to post this story. It seems like he posted a story about illegal copies of an unreleased game.

    What was the point? Are you trying to get Slashdot shut down? Piss off the readers? Game developers? It's stuff like this that makes all computer geeks look like skeezy software pirates, and it's on the front page, no less. This stuff makes everyone here look like hypocrites and asshats when we preach about fair use and how the content publishers and distributors should treat us as their customers.

    So this story didn't link to an illegal ISO. It didn't give a BitTorrent link. But with no real reason why it should have been posted--this stuff happens /all the time/ in the console world these days--coupled with the write-up that got posted, it seems like a 1337 plug for the ISOs.

    If we /act/ like pirates, the big content companies will /treat/ us like pirates.

    Or did I miss something at 9:00 in the morning?
    • by op51n (544058) on Monday June 16, 2003 @09:23AM (#6211331)
      There is the question of whether it is worth discussing the issues you put forth, if they are the opinions you hold. What's wrong with that? /. isn't condoning it or condemning it in the article, just making people aware of this.

      Not only is it an interesting topic of discussion, but for geeks, it is interesting to discuss and explore the possibilities of emulation - being able to create something that can not only play the games of a console, with completely different hardware, at a playable rate.

      But as people have pointed out, it's not even really an issue at the moment given the computing power it would take to do so with this gen of consoles. So we have the questions of modifiying the consoles themselves, also interesting.

      It's not wrong to make people aware of the changes in technology and what people are capable of doing. If you are worried about the illegality of the act itself, don't partake of it, but you can't preach that we don't mention it somewhere where the majority of readers would find it at least interesting to hear.
      • /. isn't condoning it or condemning it in the article, just making people aware of this.

        In general I agree with your post wrt free speech, but the above is just not reality -- by posting it (esp. on the front page, which is how I got here), Slashdot is implicitly condoning this.

    • It seems like he posted a story about illegal copies of an unreleased game.

      What's wrong with that? Slashdot posts stories about unreleased games all the time!

      coupled with the write-up that got posted, it seems like a 1337 plug for the ISOs.

      Well, they were the first to announce that they've ripped the games. The real /. story here that you're not seeing is "How long until we can get Linux running on it?"

  • by peterprior (319967) on Monday June 16, 2003 @09:04AM (#6211193)
    "As of yet (6/14/2003) there is no way to.."

    I wonder why that post was written 2 days ago... hmmm
  • by SwellJoe (100612) on Monday June 16, 2003 @09:07AM (#6211211) Homepage
    I just sent a letter to the NY Times yesterday because they framed the argument about SCO in the same terms as SCO, saying that OSS developers "shun intellectual property". I asserted that we rely on intellectual property to defend our GPL rights just as much as the proprietary software market relies on proprietary software to defend their rights, and that OSS developers in general had no interest in shunning intellectual property.

    Guess I was wrong about some OSS folks, huh? Mod chips and making your own games...that's cool and nerdy. Warez...that's doofus leet bullshit. I'm not interested in leet bullshit. Too bad I can't mod the original story.

    • Guess I was wrong about some OSS folks, huh? Mod chips and making your own games...that's cool and nerdy. Warez...that's doofus leet bullshit. I'm not interested in leet bullshit. Too bad I can't mod the original story.

      What's really too bad is that you were modded up to 5, Insightful, when you should be at -something, troll.

      There is such a thing as making copies of games for your own use. They are called either archival backups or... hell, I don't know what you call it specifically when you store t

    • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Monday June 16, 2003 @11:36AM (#6212858) Homepage
      Umm... explain to me again how these crackers represent the OSS population?

      I have a feeling the article was posted on Slashdot because it demonstrates how even the strictest copy-control mechanisms can be defeated (in this case, very specialized media on a fairly closed piece of hardware), something which has been said (and demonstrated) time and again. This is obviously interesting to Slashdot, since this is just an example of the wider problem of copy controls and their effect on the public domain (see the myriad articles regarding CD protections, DeCSS, etc, etc). However, I personally don't get the impression that Hemos is somehow value-judging these people (either supporting or criticising them). It's simply a technically and philosophically interesting news piece.

      So, please, quit overreacting. If people make the mistake of associating these law-breaking crackers (whose actions I neither respect nor condone) with members of the OSS population, that's a problem we'll have to deal with. But if that happens, it speaks more to the general misconceptions in society about the difference between crackers and hackers (a subject which has been beaten (and beaten (and beaten)) like the dead horse it is).
  • os X freezing up (Score:2, Interesting)

    by eskimo232 (681800)
    Well i don't want to play devils advocate and start this up again, but I admit that os X has frozen on me once....it's when I put in a gamecube disc, the cd-rom drive just kept spinning for like 10 minutes and i couldn't do anything, like forcequit or relaunch the finder, so...I had to reboot....ruining my months and months of hard work building up my uptime stat......it ended at 3 months and 8 days......:-( stupid friend who suggested i put it in........ (on a side note, windoze freezes to, so don't get
    • it's when I put in a gamecube disc, the cd-rom drive

      Well, first you need a DVD drive.

      Second, it doesn't freeze the finder on me..*shrug* Just doesn't read the disk.

  • by Frozen-Solid (569348) <frozen@frozen-solid.net> on Monday June 16, 2003 @09:16AM (#6211269) Homepage
    I find it funny how this article is on so many different sites, yet there is no proof of anything.

    So what? Therea are a few cd dumps of the Wind Waker. The only way possible to get them on an actual system would be to totally replace the drive with one that doesnt just read Nintendo's pseudo-DVDs. It's just like those DVD players that ONLY read dvds, they dont have the physical capability of even reading anything but the GameCube Disc, no audio-cd, video dvd, nothing.

    Someone said that GameCube piracy would be much like the Dreamcast, but they forgot that the Dreamcast has the built-in ability to read any kind of disc, the GameCube's laser can ONLY read Nintendo's custom DVD-like discs. So, without a GameCube SDK it's not possible.

    Other people are comparing it to the Xbox, with ISOs being released and modchips later. There's an issue with this as well. Every other system has legit, somewhat legal reasons for using modchips: importing games from other regions. It just so happened that those modchips had an alternative "feature" of letting the system read burned discs as if they were real games. The Nintendo has the ability to play other regions built-in, just a little jumper change on the inside and you have a Japanese Cube, change it back and you have a US cube. There is no legal reason for a company to make modchips and therefore anyone mass producing them can be shutdown by Nintendo in a second.

    Let's say for a second that these ISOs do exist, and that some moron figures out how to play them on the Cube. It will be more expensive to mod the system, burn the game (10 bucks for a normal sized blank DVD, not sure how much mini-dvds are or if they even exist yet), etc than it would be just to buy the damn thing.
    • Just to let you know, you can buy normal blank DVDs for around 1$/ea if you buy in bulk. And even if you buy just a couple, it's definately not 10$/ea. I've seen those mini-DVDs around for under 10$/ea. The purpose of the modchip or running unauthorized code would be game development. This is /. after all, open source is a pretty big thing here.
  • Prices... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Flabby Boohoo (606425) on Monday June 16, 2003 @09:20AM (#6211302) Journal
    I just saw at Sam's Club the GC with Starfox and a memory stick for $148, Target's GC deal is $150 with a mail-in coupon for 1 free game (Zelda was one of the games).

    The gamecube is the cheapest system, games are reasonably priced, so what drives this? Is it the thrill of the hack?

    • no, actually you get the free game in the store at time of purchase. no coupons.

      I bought a Gamecube at Circuit City for $130 new (one week sale price) and got Metroid Prime free, at the time of purchase. This is the promotion as Nintendo intends.
      • ok, stand corrected. The end result is the same, and that does not really answer the question...

        Although, people steal music which is even cheaper... I guess I aswered my own question.
  • by msgmonkey (599753) on Monday June 16, 2003 @09:23AM (#6211323)
    Was analyse the signals going to/from the GameCube and the read head/head motor control.

    Once you have figured out how the raw bits are stored you can actually build your own controller to read off the information ready for transfer to CD/Hard disk/etc.

    I suspect the problem they will have is getting a gamecube to read the data off some other medium. The GC is very integerated and you can't intercept the commands to the drive controller (eg read sector number xxxxx) because those signals are inside a chip and not tracks on the board.

    You would have to build something that connected directly to the read head/head motor control pcb tracks and attempt to calculate where on the disc it wanted the bits to stream in from. It's not impossible but it is far from trival.
  • by TrollBridge (550878) on Monday June 16, 2003 @09:33AM (#6211420) Homepage Journal
    Because information wants to be free!
  • Misconceptions (Score:5, Informative)

    by jerkface (177812) on Monday June 16, 2003 @09:36AM (#6211453) Journal
    There are, and always have been, a massive amount of misconceptions on this topic, so I'll try to cover most of them in one post.

    1. Gamecube discs spin clockwise, just like almost every other drive. Try opening the lid while a game is being read so you can see for yourself.
    2. The small (8cm) physical size of the Gamecube discs has nothing to do with copy protection; Nintendo just liked small discs. 8cm discs are not new, and writable discs of this size are not hard to acquire. 8cm DVD-RAM discs are popular for digital recording applications, although that may be 100% irrelevant if the GCN's laser doesn't read that type of medium in the first place...
    3. The copying of Gamecube disc images is NOT done by just popping the disc in a computer's drive and reading it. If this is even feasible or practical, it is NOT how dumping is being done right now. Dumping is being done by tricking the only networked Gamecube game (PSO) into reading the disc's contents and sending it out over the network.
    4. This still leaves MANY mysteries as to the precise format of the disc:
      1. So far as I know, it's still not confirmed whether the tracks spiral differently on Gamecube discs
      2. It's not known how well the dumps reflect what's really on the disc at the low level - when the system reads the disc, it might be decrypting, as well, or ignoring other information that the BIOS will strictly require to ensure the disc is legit. IOW, perhaps the dumps are hopelessly different from the format a GCN disc needs to be in
    5. One of the important (and well-known) copyright mechanisms is a barcode-like section of the far innermost track of GCN discs (look closely at a game and you can see it - no, not that one, further to the inside). It is probably just not possible to replicate this on any writable DVD format.
    And just to reinforce the point, since many people won't understand it - this DUMPING does NOT allow anyone to play pirated games. It is not even clear what steps are necessary to get to that point. It's rather impressive, really - the PSX, Dreamcast, PS2, and Xbox were all cracked by the time they'd been out this long, yet the Gamecube remains a mystery. A good thing, IMO.
    • Re:Misconceptions (Score:5, Interesting)

      by b1t r0t (216468) on Monday June 16, 2003 @10:17AM (#6211867)
      5. One of the important (and well-known) copyright mechanisms is a barcode-like section of the far innermost track of GCN discs (look closely at a game and you can see it - no, not that one, further to the inside). It is probably just not possible to replicate this on any writable DVD format.

      The patent for this was linked to in some article back in late March or so. I seem to recall that the barcode is an encrypted value related to the relative angular position of the start of the barcode and the start of the game data track. Sounds like some kind of Apple ][ copy protection, except using stuff that you can't record.

      And of course the only way to get any of this (and Linux) to boot is probably going to be a hacked boot ROM with support for standard DVD-R discs. Time to bone up on your mad surface-mount s01d3r1ng sk177z!

  • Let's face it. The GameCube is losing behind PS2 and XBOX. Both PS2 and XBOX are "piratable" or "backupable" whatever you like to call it. I doubt the XBOX would have taken off so fast if it would not have been for all the moddings made available for it. I doubt the PS(1) would have overtaken the others so quickly if it wouldn't have been for chipping. Allowing a core of hard-core (otaku) to release and trade GC games would definately lead to more Base-systems being sold. More base systems lead to a better
    • If systems really sell because of modding, than the Dreamcast Wouldn't be dead today now would it? I really hate when someone tries and makes this arguement because it makes piracy look like a good thing. All piracy does is take money from the developers who are struggling to make a buck to begin with.
  • Yes, I am a Pedant. (Score:3, Informative)

    by EnglishTim (9662) on Monday June 16, 2003 @10:02AM (#6211715)
    Firstly: ISO stands for the 'International Organsiation of Standardization'. Some people seem to have co-opted the term to mean an image of an ISO 9660 CD. However, the gamecube has its own propietary format which is on no way an international standard, therefore the term 'ISO' cannot possibly apply.

    Secondly: An apostrophe is not required when referring to the plural of an object.

    Have a nice day.

    Tim

    • by praxim (117485)
      Actually, ISO doesn't stand for anything. It's from the Greek for "equal," chosen over a real acronym because the acronym would be different in different languages.

      I think you've been out-pedanted. ;-)
  • How can I burn these so my XBox can play them? :-( I know, I know, no replies needed. I just want to be able to finish my Metroid Prime game I started on my brother-in-laws GC on my XBox (and can't really warrant buying a GC to finish one game - I hardly play my XBox).
  • Good and bad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Apreche (239272) on Monday June 16, 2003 @10:45AM (#6212224) Homepage Journal
    Piracy on Nintendo systems has always been a fickle topic. Back in the day Nintendo dropped the CD and stuck with the cartridge right up through the N64. Their choice to stick with proprietary optical media on the cube is obviously because they want to have the ultimate defense against piracy.

    This seems pretty good for Nintendo. Nintendo makes more profit per unit on games and systems than either MS or Sony. This is how they stay in business despite not being number one. However, I think one of the reasons they aren't number one is because you can't pirate their games.

    I know lots of people with Playstation 1's and 2's. It's hard not to. Almost all of these people have modded a system for various reasons, import games, piracy, etc. However, they all have one thing in common. They bought the hardware legitimately, and they all have at least a few legitimate games. Everyone who owns a gamecube has had to buy all of their games and hardware legitimately. People who can't afford to do so, don't buy a cube.

    I'm not advocating piracy. I think that if you want to have the privalege of playing all the great cube games you should have to pay for it, like I do. However, I think piracy does increase market share a great deal. By having pirateable games your system becomes prevalent in low income countries and households. Outside of US, Europe, Japan and Australia getting video games is difficult. Often the only option is to get a PS1, which is easily acquireable and pirate games which are un-affordable.

    By switching to a pirateable media format like CD or DVD Nintendo will lose some money to decreased software sales to suburban kids and college students. But they will make that money back by selling hardware to low income households who will pirate all their software.

    In summary. No piracy causes lower market share, but higher software sales figures. 2 million copies of Zelda as opposed to 1.5 million otherwise. Pirating allows higher market share through more hardware sales, but causes fewer software sales.

    The other reason is that Nintendo makes a lot of first party titles. Piracy would cause direct loss of dough to Nintendo. The other systems thrive mostly on third party software. So piracy doesn't hurt Sony or Microsoft as much as it hurts Capcom or EA.
  • Excuse me, but isn't posting to a majore news outlet the details of video game piracy a little, well, dumb?

    Not dumb in the sense that it is going to get /. in trouble, but none of you all should disagree about this type of activity (pirating GameCube games) being illegal.

    It's just stupid that it seems that the /. crowd is pro-piracy when this shit gets posted, and it gets posted at least once a month.

    You are associating yourselves with illegal behavior by posting this crap. Leave the warez posts to warez sites.
  • useful (Score:3, Funny)

    by poot_rootbeer (188613) on Monday June 16, 2003 @12:31PM (#6213495)
    ISO images of Gamecube games that can't be played or used in any way, huh? Wow, that's MEGA USEFUL!

    Here, I have something that's just as useful:
    $ dd -if /dev/urandom -of /dev/cdrw
    Enjoy!
  • The real reason this was done was to get Linux on the GameCube, right?

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