Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Nintendo Businesses Entertainment Games

Piracy and the Nintendo DS 261

Posted by Soulskill
from the portable-but-not-too-portable dept.
Graffitiwriter writes "With the average DS game weighing in at about 30-60MB (well within the reach of anyone with a half-decent broadband connection) gamers now have an alarmingly easy route to free games — a fact that Nintendo is all too aware of. Pocket Gamer takes a look at how piracy affects the Nintendo DS console, along with the reasons so many gamers turn to piracy to play their games — including the slew of inferior games, availability of flash carts and industry greed."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Piracy and the Nintendo DS

Comments Filter:
  • by powerspike (729889) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @02:31AM (#26444835)
    People are going to pirate your software, no matter how hard you try to protect it, there was even devices for the original gameboy.

    People are going to copy software, and find an excuse for it, they always have, and always will.
    company X is bad, Company x charge to much...
    • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatmanNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @03:07AM (#26445045) Homepage Journal

      People are going to pirate your software, no matter how hard you try to protect it, there was even devices for the original gameboy.

      Thus the release of the DSi. Not only will it lock out R4 cards for classic DS games, but Nintendo has added significant upgrades to the protection on DSi games. They've even added region coding to round out the new protection bundle. (Thanks a lump, ya bunch of pirates!)

      I doubt these changes will completely eliminate piracy. As you said, there are always those who will make the effort. However, it may stem the rather rampant degree of DS piracy and bring it back down to reasonable levels.

      I imagine these protections are particularly important for the DSi since it has downloadable titles that can be saved to an SDCard. If Nintendo failed to encrypt these games like they did with the Wii, everyone could give their friends copies just by swapping SD Cards.

      • by calmofthestorm (1344385) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @03:45AM (#26445251)

        It's kind of naive the way you blame pirates for the excesses of the industry. As if any kind of "lock out" can stop people in it for the thrill combined with nearly endless freetime, or an audicence of many people who are willing to pirate because they just want nice things for free.

        On the other hand, such lock out can easily prevent honest customers from exercising their rights (first sale), and create difficulties for them that they just won't easily resolve. May even drive some to piracy to avoid all the headaches.

        Region codes have nothing to do with piracy, they exist solely to support price discrimination by region and prevent first sale doctrine. There's a reason Australia's otherwise-draconian DMCA-equivalent explicitly allows disabling DRM to eliminate such structures.

        My solution to the crap the industry pulls is more on the stop playing games side than the piracy side, but it's pretty easy to see how this goes.

        Way to drink the flavor-aid.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by AKAImBatman (238306) *

          It's kind of naive the way you blame pirates for the excesses of the industry.

          Excesses of the industry? We're talking about Nintendo handhelds here. You're probably the only one in history who has considered that market "excessive". (Whatever that's supposed to mean.)

          On the other hand, such lock out can easily prevent honest customers from exercising their rights (first sale), and create difficulties for them that they just won't easily resolve. May even drive some to piracy to avoid all the headaches.

          Did y

          • Nintendo has produced seven generations or so of handheld game consoles. Not a single one supported region codes until the DSi. It stands to reason that if Nintendo wasn't trying to lock out pirates with new protection technology, there's a good chance the region codes never would have made it into this system.

            DSi is also the first Nintendo handheld to enforce parental controls based on a rating system, and each region has a different rating system. For instance, ESRB ratings are meaningless in the European market, which largely uses PEGI.

          • by Sancho (17056) *

            It's kind of naive the way you blame pirates for the excesses of the industry.

            Excesses of the industry? We're talking about Nintendo handhelds here. You're probably the only one in history who has considered that market "excessive". (Whatever that's supposed to mean.)

            http://www.thefreedictionary.com/excesses [thefreedictionary.com]
            He's referring to the fourth definition. The implication is that Nintendo is greedy and trying to make as much money as possible at the expense of its customers.

            Did you miss the part where we were talking about a handheld console? Right of first sale is NOT impeded by encryption of DS game cards any more than the NES lockout chip impeded the right of first sale.

            But first sale rights are impeded by region locking. In this global market, I ought to be able to sell my DSi cartridge to someone in Europe. Unfortunately, they won't be able to play it.

            Normally they don't. But in this case, they do. Nintendo has produced seven generations or so of handheld game consoles. Not a single one supported region codes until the DSi. It stands to reason that if Nintendo wasn't trying to lock out pirates with new protection technology, there's a good chance the region codes never would have made it into this system.

            Why does this stand to reason? You're begging the question here--presupposing the conclusion as its own explanation.

        • by Goaway (82658)

          As if any kind of "lock out" can stop people in it for the thrill combined with nearly endless freetime

          Stopped them pretty well on the PS3.

        • by Lumpy (12016)

          how about the fact that over 75%... yes 75% for the nintendo DS games sold are utter and complete crap.

          Then add in that some Japanese games that are incredibly good, NEVER get sold here in the states.

          Nintendo is further causing the problem by not reducing the price on older but good games. Mariokart DS is over 2 years old, and still sells for full retail price it released at.

          Finally, it's not like it's new. I had a Gameboy advance flash cart, this is not new.

          P.S. it's not limited to the DS. the PSP has

      • by KiwiRed (598427) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @05:17AM (#26445657)
        Well, the card developers have already come up with a working flashcard for the DSi, so Nintendo has lost that battle. http://www.dsfanboy.com/2008/12/02/acekard-produces-first-dsi-flash-cart/ [dsfanboy.com]
      • They've even added region coding to round out the new protection bundle.

        Gee great, like this wasn't already a needless PITA with DVDs - needless because de-zoning happens anyway, so in the end it's just there to piss off people who aren't tech savvy.

      • Thus the release of the DSi. Not only will it lock out R4 cards for classic DS games

        Locking out R4 cards and comparable cards locks out amateur developers. From the article:

        (let's not forget that many people who use pass-through carts are actually doing so because they wish to experiment with the system and not play pirated games)

        What handheld platform should homebrewers be developing for instead?

        • What handheld platform should homebrewers be developing for instead?

          Perhaps the GP2X [wikipedia.org] or one of its related devices?

          • by tepples (727027)

            Perhaps the GP2X or one of its related devices?

            That would work in countries where GPH has a distribution agreement. But which handheld platform marketed in the United States should homebrewers who live in the United States be developing for instead?

            • by gauauu (649169)

              But which handheld platform marketed in the United States should homebrewers who live in the United States be developing for instead?

              Alas, there isn't one.

        • by Goaway (82658) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @09:25AM (#26447341) Homepage

          The vast majority of people who use flash carts use it for piracy, plain and simple. Trying to deny this is just naÃve. They may also try a homebrew app or two, but they would never have bought the thing if it wasn't for piracy.

          Furhtermore, Nintendo has absolutely no obligation to support homebrewers.

          And I say this as a homebrew developer myself.

        • by cgenman (325138)

          What handheld platform should homebrewers be developing for instead?

          GP32 [wikipedia.org] and the GP2x [wikipedia.org]. They are korean handheld consoles running linux specifically developed for homebrew. There is an american version in development with keyboard and joysticks, but I can't seem to find any links online.

          Alternatively, develop for the iPhone or Android. They're both perfect systems for home development.

          As another alternative, the XGameStation [xgamestation.com] is a game console they can develop on from soldering the chipsets to implementing

    • by rm999 (775449) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @03:48AM (#26445263)

      Its a very wide spectrum. I know very few people who modded their Xbox 360s, because if they get caught MSFT disables them from playing online - a pretty severe punishment. Most consoles are similar - they require you to hack hardware (i.e. soldering) with expensive mod chips that void the warranty.

      The DS, on the other hand, is ridiculously easy to pirate. A 15 dollar cart from dealextreme, a 10 dollar microsd card, and a 1 hour bit torrent download can get you 50 of the most popular DS games - built into your DS. It's more convenient, far cheaper, and you can play games even before they come out. It doesn't void your warranty and isn't traceable.

      I personally bought the DS because of its ability to be hacked, but not for pirating. I run a lot of homebrew on my DS, including a very capable Nintendo emulator, an e-book reader, and a few open source games.

      • by KiwiRed (598427)
        People tend to forget that emulation, possibly even if you own copies of the software you're using, can still count as piracy. Just because the platform's obsolete, and the games are no longer sold by your average retailer, doesn't mean the roms are in the public domain.
        • by calmofthestorm (1344385) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @07:14AM (#26446355)

          True. But morality and legality never have been identical and never will be. One more case study of how the best we can only hope for is a crude approximation.

          But then again, pretty much everybody is committing hundreds of "crimes" per day, the justice is all in the enforcement.

          There's nothing immoral with ROM dumping a game YOU own and playing it on your computer, no matter what industry propaganda may claim otherwise.

          • by Goaway (82658)

            There's nothing immoral with ROM dumping a game YOU own and playing it on your computer

            Are you actually claiming any measurable number of people do this?

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              There's nothing immoral with ROM dumping a game YOU own and playing it on your computer

              Are you actually claiming any measurable number of people do this?

              That all depends on whether you believe all game developers either never dump their own bought games or are hypocritical pirates. We could also pretend that things like the Wii Virtual Console aren't a big financial hit, when certainly piracy is a significantly cheaper (although a more complex) option.

              Perhaps the answer is more along the times of, if it'

              • by Goaway (82658)

                That all depends on whether you believe all game developers either never dump their own bought games or are hypocritical pirates. We could also pretend that things like the Wii Virtual Console aren't a big financial hit, when certainly piracy is a significantly cheaper (although a more complex) option.

                I'm not sure what you are trying to say here, or what any of the rest of the post has to do with what I said.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by LWATCDR (28044)

          "People tend to forget that emulation, possibly even if you own copies of the software you're using, can still count as piracy."
          I have never heard that. Breaking copy protection under the DMCA is but even then I think you would be hard pressed to convict someone playing games they own on an emulator.
          I have been meaning to pick up a flash cart for my DS. I do not want to pirate any games. What I want is to not have to carry around a bunch of carts with me every where I take my DS! If I can carry all my games

          • by Kimos (859729)
            Lots of info on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo_DS_storage_devices [wikipedia.org]

            Either the CycloDS or Acekard seem to be best. Your best bet would be an Acekard 2i, which will work on the new DSi hardware. Not having to carry around carts pretty much makes the console for me. There's no good reason to for everyone to be carrying around the little plastic boxes other than copy protection. Not to mention being able to audit games. There is an overwhelming amount of terrible games for the DS, even with
      • by bryansj (89051)

        Its a very wide spectrum. I know very few people who modded their Xbox 360s, because if they get caught MSFT disables them from playing online - a pretty severe punishment.

        Not that big of a deal since the ban only bans the console and not the account. You can replace it now for $200. I'd say the biggest drawback to modding a 360 is the fact that you have to void your warranty by breaking the seal and opening the box. Then again, now it is only a $200 cost to replace. Pirate 4 games and you've already more than covered the cost of getting banned or a RROD failure. Also, who cares about being online in single player games such as Fallout3, Mass Effect, Bioshock...?

    • by NorQue (1000887)

      People are going to pirate your software, no matter how hard you try to protect it, there was even devices for the original gameboy.

      These devices cost a hell of a lot more back then, though. *cough*Someone I know*cough* bought his first flashkit for the GBC for more then 200 EUR. And those devices weren't exactly easy to use, parallel port introduced a lot problems and they were quite picky on the power supply. Today you shell out 5 EUR and you get a device that plays nearly all games without any effort fro

  • R4 cards (Score:3, Informative)

    by ilovegeorgebush (923173) * on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @02:35AM (#26444861) Homepage
    It's called an R4 card [r4ds.cn], though there are others too.
    • by Bios_Hakr (68586)

      I got tired of carrying around 10+ individual carts. Last time I was in Tokyo, I stopped by Akihabara and grabbed a R4DS card and 8gb micro-SD card.

      Now I can consolidate all my games and, just as importantly, try new games before I buy them. Works great. The only down side is that you have to download the firmware from the site and copy that to all the MicroSD cards. I wish they'd burned it onto the R4 itself.

      Also, I sometimes have to try the card 3 or 4 times to get it to read properly. This is only a

      • I sometimes have to try the card 3 or 4 times to get it to read properly. This is only an issue if I remove the card to play a normal cart and then swap back.

        I have the same trouble with my R4 which is a few months old, but my wife has no such trouble with hers which is about 18 months old. We showed our R4 cards to someone who told us that mine was a cheap knockoff and hers was original. Mine still works but it's a little sensitive - if I accidentally jostle the card my game freezes and I lose my progress. It works great otherwise, and the only other difference is that my wife's SD slot is springloaded while mine just slides relatively uninhibited.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by rsmith-mac (639075)

      It's worth noting that the original R4 is no longer sold, and the company that made it is long gone. The R4's sold now are all poor knock-offs with no support. If you're a pirate they won't work with future games, and if you're a homebrewer the compatibility is absolutely terrible thanks in part to shoddy DLDI patching. There are other, better flash carts (AceKart, CycloDS, M3, etc) that can meet your needs, whichever side of the spectrum you may go.

      • I've got a knockoff R4 and not only does it work fine, it also gets occasional firmware updates which enable it to work on the newest games. For example I was curious about the new Chrono Trigger game but wasn't sure whether it was worth buying once again so I tried it on my R4 but it didn't work. I found a recent firmware update and installed it, and then the game worked. I thought the new Chrono Trigger was a far better reinterpretation of the original than the lame Playstation version so I bought it.
  • flash carts

    /standard rant about Slashdot editors

  • As a CycloDS owner (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Duradin (1261418) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @02:36AM (#26444873)

    As a CycloDS owner, I can say that exactly zero (0) of the roms I have are pirated.

    Why did I get a flash card if not to pirate?

    Primarily, my upgrade to the lite left the gba cart sticking out, which made it less than convenient to carry with anything but the plug in the gba slot. Next was the convenience of not having to bring anything more then the DS itself while still having access to all my carts. Also some used games can't easily be restored to a clean state. The ripping process and separate save files solves that problem.

    • by pembo13 (770295)

      Good for you, as I get older, and FOSS meets more and more of my needs, I am finding my self decreasingly impartial to software piracy.

    • Does the DS run off of USB sticks, CD's or DVD's?

      If not, I don't think they have too much to worry about.
    • by Snodgrass (446409)

      Also a CycloDS owner. I own bunches of games and they all sit in their cases in the closet, but I can play any of them any time I want.

      So nice.

      Also, the Realtime Save feature alone is almost worth the cost.

  • Missed one (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dexmachina (1341273) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @02:45AM (#26444929)

    Pocket Gamer takes a look at how piracy affects the Nintendo DS console, along with the reasons so many gamers turn to piracy to play their games â" including the slew of inferior games, availability of flash carts and industry greed."

    Which sort of leaves out the obvious. People are cheap, and given the choice between having something for money or for free, many opt for free.

    • Re:Missed one (Score:5, Insightful)

      by calmofthestorm (1344385) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @03:47AM (#26445259)

      Yes. But rather than focusing on the needs, wants, and desires of those who would never give you money and will get it for free no matter what you do, the companies would do better to make better products.

      Though I've always wondered how even the most pro-piracy people could claim 'slew of inferior games' is a justification to pirate...if it sucks, wouldn't you /not/ want to waste time playing it?

      • Re:Missed one (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dexmachina (1341273) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @04:10AM (#26445381)
        I agree with you, I just get a little annoyed when people say things that make it sound like piracy is a natural and defendable consequence of the actions of the industry, ie "industry greed". It's true, there are definitely measures companies could take to try to minimize piracy, ie making great products that people will think are worth the cost. But at the end of the day, there's no reason why anyone has to have (insert hot name game title here), and so citing industry greed is just dumb.
        • err...(insert end of italics tag after "has"...)
        • Naah, I don't intend to /justify/ it. I just object to claiming piracy is no different from theft (deprivation of sale/versus deprivation of a good AND a sale). Most of my objections are on a PC market, where you have to worry about tons of viri on legally purchased games. I usually "justify" my own piracy, when I do it (not common) by spending an equal amount of money on DRM-free companies' products, and playing both. This way I can protect myself from dangerous malware, ensure I can always play the game i

      • Though I've always wondered how even the most pro-piracy people could claim 'slew of inferior games' is a justification to pirate...if it sucks, wouldn't you /not/ want to waste time playing it?

        Assuming there is no option to try before you buy, I guess the piracy has already occurred as a precaution, prior to discovering aforementioned suckage. Money saved.

        That is the justification. Obviously, the bit where they realise the game is good and still don't actually buy it (in most cases, I'd imagine) is the actual contradiction to the idea.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by VShael (62735)

        Though I've always wondered how even the most pro-piracy people could claim 'slew of inferior games' is a justification to pirate...if it sucks, wouldn't you /not/ want to waste time playing it?

        Come on, you're just deliberately misunderstanding the situation there.

        A slew of inferior games on the market, implies a few good ones at least. And if the only way to tell is to play, then you're going to statistically spend a fortune on duds, before you get a gem.

        Why can't the people who buy games just read review

        • Re:Missed one (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @09:10AM (#26447221)

          Why can't the people who buy games just read review magazines?

          I stopped taking reviews serious when I started working for a computer magazine. Take a wild guess why.

          It's not so much that you're outright "bought" to write a good review for a shitty product. It's more the psychological pressure. After all, you get nice stuff from them, ya know? You get all those "test samples" and other goodies. They sit down with you for a lenghty interview. And you got to fill those pages, you really, really have to, because first of all, you're paid by the page and you have to provide some content for your reader or they'll wonder why they should drop their five or even more bucks on a mag that's more the thickness of a leaflet and contains a few full page ads with little in between them.

          And then there's this super-nice company that gives you all that for free. Free! You don't have to go out and buy their crap to write a review, no, they hand you a ton of pics and even an interview that's good for a page or even two, and they also give you those test samples so you can easily (and cost free!) write a couple more pages.

          And then you should go and call it a stinker? Where do you think you'll get your next test sample from? Certainly not from those guys, that much I can tell you!

          • I believe that the media is also run that way, which explains why one's national media outlets tend to be overly patriotic and a bit uncritical of politicians. It's why the debates are softballs and why the only time tough questions are asked is when it's the more fringe candidates running.

            When they need you to make content, they're nice because they know that if you're hard on them they'll never come back.

            • The worst is when you see the press statement being verbatim copied and sold as "news". Those press statements get more insidious and more tempting, too. Just recently I got one that was written like an article, complete with questions and answers, just like a real interview. How much more tempting can it be to just do the good ol' copy/paste routine and you fill another 2-3 pages without work (but for good money)? No research necessary, no digging for information necessary, hell, you don't even have to wri

      • Though I've always wondered how even the most pro-piracy people could claim 'slew of inferior games' is a justification to pirate...if it sucks, wouldn't you /not/ want to waste time playing it?

        I don't try to justify it that way, but considering that that is EXACTLY the case...

        The baaaaad eeeevil way:
        See game advertised
        Read glowing review of game
        Steep in game hype for two weeks.
        Bittorrent Game onto Flash cart.
        Fire up DS
        Game Sucks after 10 minutes.
        Delete Game

        The good little consumer way:
        See game advertised
        Read glowing review of game
        Steep in game hype for two weeks.
        Drive to gamestop
        Shell out $40 for game
        Game sucks after 10 minutes
        Drive back to gamestop
        Attempt to return game
        Be laughed at by smarmy li

      • I've always wondered how even the most pro-piracy people could claim 'slew of inferior games' is a justification to pirate...if it sucks, wouldn't you /not/ want to waste time playing it?

        I assume there is a "try before you buy" reasoning here. Nobody wants to drop $35 on a new DS game only to find out it's a piece of crap, and be left with no recourse but to sell it back to GameStop for a quarter of its price as a 'used' game.

        If the consumer can instead download a ROM image and spend a few days playing it

    • Which sort of leaves out the obvious. People are cheap, and given the choice between having something for money or for free, many opt for free.

      Okay. So let's see the income graph that is the inverse of the piracy graph.

      • That's kind of a non sequitur. I didn't say people pirate because they don't have money. I said people just don't like spending money, and so there will always be people in every income bracket who will go to any length to avoid doing so.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          I hear ya. The question isn't about whether or not there are people who will go out of their way to avoid spending money, it's whether or not the number of people is very big. There's this industry-wide suggestion that a downloaded game equals a lost sale. I've yet to see anything that actually supports that. Well, I take that back. There was one number that I thought raised a few eyebrows. This isn't exact, mind you, but it was something like 800,000 DS's were sold in Korea and 200,000 units of softw

      • by pla (258480)
        Okay. So let's see the income graph that is the inverse of the piracy graph.

        Inverse? No.

        I would predict such a graph would look like a flat line, with little or no correlation whatsoever between income and piracy - I have X dollars of disposable income to use on entertainment. I will spend those X dollars. I will also do as I damned well please and not let such details as "physical possession" limit my choice of what games I play.

        The key point here - Whether or not I have the ability to play more
    • by Duds (100634) *

      Or in the case of Slitherlink, and the other excellent games they NEVER F'ING RELEASE in Europe, given the choice between not playing a game and playing a game...

  • Learn and evolve (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Thanshin (1188877) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @02:51AM (#26444963)

    It won't help much, but it would be a step in the right direction to offer the comodity of having all games in a single cartidge (or simply to a static internal memory).

    Maye a system like Steam that downloads any game you own to your DS from any computer with internet access.

    Just an idea.

  • by TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @03:04AM (#26445033) Journal

    along with the reasons so many gamers turn to piracy to play their games -- including the slew of inferior games, availability of flash carts and industry greed.

    Not to mention consumer greed. It's all the industry's fault, or at least those damn flash cart manufacturers. They provide a product like that, how could we possibly have the free will to say no?

  • by ChienAndalu (1293930) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @03:14AM (#26445095)

    If someone wants more games than he or she can pay for, isn't it fair to call that consumer is greedy?

  • by Plazmid (1132467) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @03:19AM (#26445127)
    Do I really want to download "Strawberry Shortcake: The Four Seasons Cake?" I think not.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by andi75 (84413)

      What about American McGee's Strawberry Shortcake [smugmug.com]?

  • by VinylRecords (1292374) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @04:13AM (#26445403)

    People pirate X-Box 360 games, PS2 and Dreamcast games, and emulate Game Boy Advance and Super Nintendo games. From a 750kb ROM to a full 4.9 gig ISO file.

    Anyone with a 'decent' broadband connection can leave a torrent or PSP program on overnights and grab any game they want relatively easily.

    Size has never stopped most people from pirating games before who want to pirate.

    People segmented PC games into .rar/.zip files and shared them on IRC or USENET well over a decade ago. Those games were ten times the size of a single DS game and that was then.

    I purchased Golden Sun I and II for my Game Boy Advance when they came out but only opened them for the manual, the games are sitting in a box never used. I downloaded the ROMS that same week and played them off of an emulator. Full screen, my own controller, save states, etc.

    Yes piracy sucks for game companies but for keeping old cartridge games alive I use ROMS always. And I own the original game at least.

    • Size has never stopped most people from pirating games before who want to pirate.

      Well, that was the rationale of the first CDROM games for PC. The copy protection was the fact that one would have to pay exorbitant sums in order to duplicate CDs. It worked for a short while.

      Today, you have to admit it's pretty compelling to be able to start downloading a handheld RPG that takes 30 hours to complete and have it downloaded and ready to play before you're even finished reading the review.

      • Well, that was the rationale of the first CDROM games for PC. The copy protection was the fact that one would have to pay exorbitant sums in order to duplicate CDs. It worked for a short while.

        CD-ROMs really had the 'CD Key' as their main form of copy protection. No one had to pay any amount get a pirated CD if they couldn't download it. You could even purchase a CDR for pennies and burn a copy if there was no CD Key. That's hardly exorbitant amounts of money. My friend lived in Turkey for five years from 1997 to 2001, and he would send me pirated PC games on CD every other month. All of those CDs came with hacks and custom patches that disabled or overwrote the CD Key check. The bootleg CDs even

        • CD-ROMs really had the 'CD Key' as their main form of copy protection. No one had to pay any amount get a pirated CD if they couldn't download it. You could even purchase a CDR for pennies and burn a copy if there was no CD Key. That's hardly exorbitant amounts of money.

          CD games didn't always have CD keys. The earlier games like Myst and The 7th Guest had no product key or copy protection at all. That's because CD burners cost over $1000 for a 2x burner and blank media cost $15/disk. This was back in 1993, mind you, and obviously prices plummeted before long. At the time this seemed like the perfect copy protection, and it was a welcome change for end users who had to endure manual lookups, code wheels, and other obnoxious activities before they could play floppy-based

  • by muel (132794) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @05:51AM (#26445813)

    The Slot-1 Secret [escapistmagazine.com] -- this piece from early December '08 looks not only into rampant DS game piracy but how Nintendo rendered this piracy moot by shifting toward new audiences. The latter point is far more interesting, as the R4 topic is otherwise old hat.

  • When the Nintendo DS came out, RSA made it well known that its code protected the games [rsa.com] Now I don't hear so much from them about this. Maybe it's not their best example of protecting data?

  • by R3 (15929)

    Second paragraph of the TFA: "It's a sad fact of human nature that people tend to want things for as low a price as possible."

    Huh?
    Why would that be sad part of human nature?
    Aren't all living organisms essentially opportunistic?
    I know this is not really live or die kind of situation, but.....

Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem. -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

Working...