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Nintendo Piracy Portables (Games) Games

Nintendo To Take On Piracy In 3-D 249

Posted by Soulskill
from the dee-arrrrrr!-emm dept.
crimeandpunishment writes "Nintendo says when its new handheld game device with 3-D technology comes out, it will have beefed-up anti-piracy measures. For obvious reasons, the company is keeping tight-lipped on the specifics. Nintendo President Satoru Iwata says they're not only concerned about software piracy, but also a growing tolerance for it. He said, 'We fear a kind of thinking is become widespread that paying for software is meaningless.'"
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Nintendo To Take On Piracy In 3-D

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  • Nail on the head (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ginger Unicorn (952287) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @10:51AM (#32138612)
    paying for copies of software is meaningless
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Too true. Hence the movement toward SaaS (Software as a Service).

      • Re:Nail on the head (Score:5, Interesting)

        by SpeedyDX (1014595) <speedyphoenix AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday May 08, 2010 @11:23AM (#32138870)

        I'm kind of hesitant to reply. I see a kind of discrepancy, but I'm not quite sure how to explain it, or how to rectify it. So I'm just going to do my best to describe what I see.

        As it stands, buying software is kind of like buying music. And neither is really anything like buying, for example, cake. While a lot of slashdotters support Software as a Service, very few, if any, would support Music as a Service. Why? We want to own media content, but we don't really care about owning software, just using it. But both are very similar. We can't ever actually own either. Other people own copyrights or patents on them. In both cases, when we "buy" the product, we're actually just buying a license to use that product. We don't own the product, we just have a license to use it under certain conditions. Same goes for games.

        Now I've just described what IS the case, not what OUGHT to be the case. I don't know what the case ought to be. On the one hand, I hate not being able to copy my music across devices. I hate having to be connected to the internet to be able to play a certain game. On the other hand, people who create useful/entertaining/valuable things should be compensated for it, if they so wish.

        SaaS solves the problem by giving control to the software publishers. The client only gets to use the software when he pays for it, and on the publisher's terms. Would the same model applied to music or games not work? Why wouldn't it work? Is it just a conceptual problem (i.e., we have this idea that we should "own" music or games that we pay for)? What if it was marketed appropriately (i.e., just honestly tell people that they're simply paying for a license to play the game or listen to music on the licenser's terms, instead of implying that paying for it = owning it), would that solve the problem?

        Thinking about all of this is making my head hurt. I have no idea what the actual solution should be. There are arguments to be made on every side, and I'm not in a particularly good position to make any of those arguments. I just wanted to get the conversation started.

        What are the benefits and drawbacks of SaaS? How would that be fundamentally different from MaaS or GaaS?

        • by Mr. Freeman (933986) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @12:20PM (#32139342)
          "On the one hand, I hate not being able to copy my music across devices. I hate having to be connected to the internet to be able to play a certain game. On the other hand, people who create useful/entertaining/valuable things should be compensated for it, if they so wish."

          The problems you describe have NOTHING to do with the creators wishing to be compensated. Payment does NOT necessitate absurd DRM.
        • Now I've just described what IS the case, not what OUGHT to be the case. I don't know what the case ought to be. On the one hand, I hate not being able to copy my music across devices. I hate having to be connected to the internet to be able to play a certain game.

          Right. That's why I don't pay for such things.

          On the other hand, people who create useful/entertaining/valuable things should be compensated for it, if they so wish.

          No, there's no right to compensation for creation. The creator may set their work

          • by Theaetetus (590071) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `todhsals.suteteaeht'> on Saturday May 08, 2010 @12:56PM (#32139610) Homepage Journal

            On the other hand, people who create useful/entertaining/valuable things should be compensated for it, if they so wish.

            No, there's no right to compensation for creation. The creator may set their work for sale, and I may choose to buy it, but that's it.

            And if you choose not to buy it, you should not be able to use it. The use and the compensation are thus linked.

            • And if you choose not to buy it, you should not be able to use it. The use and the compensation are thus linked.

              Sure. I don't advocate piracy. I just don't think it's such a big deal.

              As I said earlier, I very prefentially pay for things whose creators aren't obsessed with control. The more controlling, the harder I will try to find an unrestricted alternative (or just go without).

              And then of course I get added to the piracy statistics anyway, because people can't possibly be refusing to buy things with DRM,

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by metamatic (202216)

          While a lot of slashdotters support Software as a Service, very few, if any, would support Music as a Service.

          Funny, I'm exactly the opposite.

          I want to control when I get software upgrades, and not be reliant on someone for access to my data, so software as a service is extremely unappealing to me.

          However, if I could get access to an infinite jukebox with a superset of my music collection for a monthly fee, I'd definitely go for that.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by blahplusplus (757119)

          Your post demonstrates why copyright needs to be abolished, it is nothing more then illegitimate monopoly.

        • by MeNeXT (200840)

          I pay for music so I ca listen to it when and how I choose otherwise I turn on the radio.

          I pay for software so I can use it when and how I choose otherwise I have now use for it. If software is tied into a service then I will pay for the service and not for the software.

          The value that you perceive is not the value that I perceive. If I own a business and say I chose Win 95 as a platform. I invested a lot of resources to implement a custom business tool. Now 15 years later Win 95 has little/less value for Mi

        • by Urza9814 (883915)

          While a lot of slashdotters support Software as a Service, very few, if any, would support Music as a Service.

          The problem with music as a service is either it doesn't work for the customer or it doesn't work for the business. Either you can't get the music on all your devices, or it's easy to copy and therefore you don't really need to pay for it.

          Compare it to subscription software like MMORPGs. When you pay for World of Warcraft, you aren't paying for the software. Software's free. You can load it on as many computers as you want, as many times as you want. Yes, they change for it in stores, but those also come wi

        • by Bert64 (520050)

          Music as a service is actually well established and significantly predates music being sold as recorded media... Someone who plays live music for you is providing that music as a service, as is music which is broadcast on the radio...

          Personally, i have no issue paying for someone who is providing a service, be it software based, music or whatever...
          And i have no problem paying for goods where the price is reasonable...

          However, i STRONGLY object to being charged a ridiculous amount for something that was tri

        • by psnyder (1326089)
          I strongly disagree with trying to turn a "Public Good" into a "Club Good". [wikipedia.org] I do not believe innovation on public goods (such as artistic endeavors) will stop if the artificial scarcity created by IP law is lifted. Others may disagree with me, but the experiment is being done on the internet right now with movies, music, literature, and software. Quality work is being done by people that are not given monetary incentives. The easier it gets to create and distribute, the less current IP law can be justif
        • by Kjella (173770)

          As it stands, buying software is kind of like buying music. And neither is really anything like buying, for example, cake. (...) Now I've just described what IS the case, not what OUGHT to be the case. I don't know what the case ought to be.

          Principally, it is not necessary that we have to have "sales" of anything. I could lease everything right down to the shirt on my back, it'd all be under the EULA (End User Lease Agreement) which gives me a perpetual, irrevocable lease under this and those conditions. Why then do we want sales? Because sales are simple and practical terms, you give me the product, I give you the money and we each walk our separate ways. For the most part, I can do whatever the hell I want with it and it's none of your busin

        • MaaS and GaaS already exist. See radio and arcades. There is a reason why entertainment and productivity tools are looked upon differently. They provide different needs. I use OOo so infrequently as to not care if I have it installed or use Google Docs instead (actually, not entirely true, I like being able to export to PDF). OTOH, you made the argument for music (being able to transfer it across devices you own without restriction, listen to it whenever). Arcades seem to be a niche market, but it does exis

        • Software as a service is more useful than music as a service if only because buying and maintaining a computer costs a lot of money. The less expense and trouble involved in the process, the more valuable SaaS is compared to "owning" your software--as with a lot of open source software, where it's yours, now YOU make it work.

          Today, playing media is something that can be done anywhere on extremely cheap hardware with lots of storage, and many of the devices that play it have no OS maintenance overhead--any

    • by sznupi (719324)

      So sell on the basis of hardware. Nintendo DS already has some examples [wikipedia.org]. Though I kinda doubt they have such direction in mind, a direction of making the sofware irrelevant without customised (and enhancing the gameplay!) hardware accessory; that way I wouldn't really mind.

    • by rxan (1424721)
      Care to elaborate?
    • TFA: 'We fear a kind of thinking is become widespread that paying for software is meaningless.'

      Of course it is! On my GNU/Linux laptop everything was provided royalty free. With exception of Matlab which is payed by my laboratory.

      When better alternatives (IMHO, obviously) exists, it is indeed stupid to pay for software. It is also true that I spend some time helping development here and there (time is money) but that is not really the same, is it?

      • by sznupi (719324)

        And what when there's really no free alternative? (especially when looking not only at the hardware but also at huge library of fine games)

      • by nlawalker (804108)

        When better alternatives (IMHO, obviously) exist

        Well, of course it's stupid to pay if that's the case, but it's not really the case for Nintendo. I'm assuming that "better alternative" refers to free software, as opposed to piracy of software that is not free.

        • by miknix (1047580)

          Well, of course it's stupid to pay if that's the case, but it's not really the case for Nintendo. I'm assuming that "better alternative" refers to free software, as opposed to piracy of software that is not free.

          In the case of Nintendo there are a lot of "better alternatives". If we are talking about the Wii Tenis game, why one wouldn't just buy some rackets (for cheap) and play (for free) with friends?

          OK OK. This is /. after all - I'm just trolling.

          • by JohnG (93975)
            And instead of Manhunt for Wii, why not just buy a lead pipe and run around bashing peoples heads in?
    • by nlawalker (804108)

      That's one reason digital distribution makes sense: it pushes the value of a copy close to zero (as opposed to now, where you have to pay for packaging, shipping and shelf space), and makes payment truly represent a *license*, not a *copy*. Are licenses meaningless too? If so, how do you suggest that the people who spent time making the software be compensated?

    • "paying for copies of software is meaningless"

      Paying for crappy game software is meaningless.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I'm going to let you in on a little-known secret (ssh! don't tell!) The cost of software creation is principally in its development, not in its duplication, or its distribution. You're not paying for the DVD mastering process. You're paying for the three years of work - for the thousands or hundred-thousands of human-hours - of which the duplication was only the final, trivial step. In essence, you are making a retroactive investment in the company's venture. By the time a piece of software hits the ma
    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      To explain it logically: software is the only thing you can buy which has no inherent value and can not be quantified. A "new version" usually isn't - it's something entirely different, more often than not. Unlike physical devices, the release of a newer version makes the older version actually less functional and useful.

      Compare it to a physical device like, say, an ammunition loading press. You buy it once and you'll usually get a warranty against defects. Many of them offer free updates/fixes for an exten

  • by Ceiynt (993620) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @10:59AM (#32138658)
    Well, if they keep allowing the release of 40 different versions of Imagine Babysitter and Pony Lover DS and whatever else crap takes up 90% of the Nintendo sections in stores, they won't have to worry about piracy, cause no one will want the crap. Push Squenix for a FFVI 3D remake and how about a new Kid Icuras, or New Super Mario Bros. 2 with bigger worlds and the racoon suit from SMB3?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Duradin (1261418)

      Some people will (still) use the " 40 different versions of Imagine Babysitter and Pony Lover DS and whatever else crap takes up 90% of the Nintendo sections in stores" as a reason to justify pirating "a FFVI 3D remake and how about a new Kid Icuras, or New Super Mario Bros. 2 with bigger worlds and the racoon suit from SMB3".

      • by Jer (18391) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @11:35AM (#32138978) Homepage

        And interestingly enough, if the folks who are playing "Imagine Babysitter" and "Pony Lover DS" are paying customers and the folks who are playing "FFVI" or "Kid Icarus" are pirating it, that gives the company an incentive to produce more "Imagine Babysitter"-type games and fewer of the games pirates like. Especially if the games that people are paying for are cheaper to develop and produce than the games that pirates like.

        • by nlawalker (804108) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @12:08PM (#32139244)

          Mod parent up.

          "Hardcore" gamers bitching about shovelware and casual games should realize that rampant piracy makes developing a multimillion dollar blockbuster look a lot less attractive. It's a much better financial proposition to create low-budget games that cater to people who are less likely to pirate them.

        • by JohnG (93975) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @12:42PM (#32139504)
          Yep. Piracy advocates like to holler "vote with your dollars." Well, the dollars have been voted with and Imagine Babysitter and Pony Lover DS won.
    • Interestingly, the game released in the US as SMB2 wasn't a "real" Mario game, but a mod of a game called Yume Kj: Doki Doki Panic with Mario characters thrown in.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Mario_Bros_2 [wikipedia.org]

      • by nstlgc (945418)
        I'm quite sure he meant "New Super Mario Bros" 2, not New "Super Mario Bros 2" :-) That being said, SMB2 never really felt like a true Mario game.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      The NIntendo DS has some of the best selection of games. It also has sold more hardware units than the population of Japan and is probably the biggest system ever. That means, like books, movies, etc it caters to everyone and there is a ton of stuff I and most gamers would consider crap along with the the quality titles like Grand Theft Auto, Advance Wars, Mario RPG, Dragon's Quest, Ninja Gaiden, Mario Kart, Another Code, Hotel Dusk, Metroid, Zelda, etc.

      The reason it is so successful is that it does cate
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rxan (1424721)
      If the games are so bad then there's no reason to pirate them, let alone buy them. Or does a product being "low quality" give you the right to steal it?
    • by Jer (18391)

      Well, if they keep allowing the release of 40 different versions of Imagine Babysitter and Pony Lover DS and whatever else crap takes up 90% of the Nintendo sections in stores, they won't have to worry about piracy, cause no one will want the crap.

      Ah yes - that's exactly how retail works. You stock your shelves with crap no one buys, and when no one buys it you buy more crap no one buys. That's the way to be a successful retailer!

      Have you thought that perhaps, just perhaps, those games might just sell really well for the retailers and that's why they have them on the shelves, and restock them when they sell out? Just because you don't want to buy it, that doesn't mean that there aren't a whole lot of people out there who do.

    • by jparker (105202) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @12:12PM (#32139274) Homepage

      Posting anon since I probably shouldn't be this specific, but the market for DS software has totally collapsed in Europe, particularly in Spain and Italy, where you sell virtually nothing. Titles in Europe are moving literally 10% of of what they do in NA. Many, if not most, major publishers are currently abandoning the DS completely, since the loss of Europe knocks out a huge chunk of their projected ROI.

      Now, I'm in the radical camp that actually reads scientific studies and approaches new phenomena with an eye to determine how they work, rather than shut them down, so I think a lot of the focus on piracy as theft is misplaced. An R40, or similar "piracy" device, also makes your DS dramatically more useful since you can carry around a large library of titles at once. Even better for kids, obviously a key demographic, it prevents the tiny cartridges getting lost or destroyed. When they came out, probably 50% of the people I knew immediately got them, and many for their kids as well. (Note that this is a very skewed sample: I work at a game development company, so we're all pretty hardcore, often each of our kids has their own DS, things like that.) Many of these people started off determined not to pirate and just use it for the convenience. (again, skewed sample - we're voracious, hardcore gamers, but we make them for a living, so we take piracy a little more seriously. Doesn't mean we don't do it, but it often does mean we try not to.) Then they were just downloading the titles to try them out. And so on.

      I think piracy is usually as much about convenience as free product. It's just like prohibition: if you try to prevent behavior that everyone sees as reasonable, people will ignore those rules and proceed to behavior they wouldn't have considered reasonable before. The best way to fight piracy on the DS is to give us an easy way to store games on the device digitally. You'll probably want to pair this with a digital distribution scheme, which is fine, and gives you a nice place to ensure that we get free demos of all games. Yes, this will mean that people won't buy the crappy games, which leads to lower licensing revenues for Nintendo, but the DS badly needs to have the wheat cut from the chaff to restore confidence in the platform.

      These are just two examples, and more than this is needed to defeat the piracy problem, but the key is the strategy. Don't focus on preventing piracy, focus on your products delivering the real value that your customers want better than the pirates can. You've got economies of scale all over them, and if you don't know your own products and consumers better than the pirates do, you don't deserve either.

      tl;dr
      Massive piracy on DS ensures fewer risky, expensive titles like The World Ends With You and more of the easy, safe, "40 different versions of Imagine Babysitter and Pony Lover DS". The best way to fix the piracy problem is to give people what they want, which isn't really games for free.

      • by jparker (105202) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @12:13PM (#32139292) Homepage

        Or not posting anon, since the box got unchecked somewhere along the line. Oh well.

      • by metamatic (202216) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @01:14PM (#32139748) Homepage Journal

        The best way to fight piracy on the DS is to give us an easy way to store games on the device digitally. You'll probably want to pair this with a digital distribution scheme, which is fine, and gives you a nice place to ensure that we get free demos of all games.

        I assume that's what they were trying to do with the DSi and DSiware. The trouble is, like Sony they've discovered that download-only games you can't sell second hand have a lower value than regular games, so the people who do pay for games (like me) aren't willing to pay as much for them. That in turn has meant that DSiware has been filled with crappy minigames.

        To put numbers to it, If I can buy Zelda on the DS for $29.99 and sell it used for $20, you need to sell me the full Zelda as a download for less than $10. I don't think Nintendo are willing to do that, which means the digital distribution scheme is a non-starter.

        • by Jer (18391) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @04:15PM (#32141128) Homepage

          I wish I had mod points:

          To put numbers to it, If I can buy Zelda on the DS for $29.99 and sell it used for $20, you need to sell me the full Zelda as a download for less than $10. I don't think Nintendo are willing to do that, which means the digital distribution scheme is a non-starter.

          This isn't restricted to video game companies - ALL content publishing companies underestimate the lure of "right of first sale" has on a good-sized portion of their customer base. The ability to turn around and re-sell a book, game, movie, TV boxed set, comic book, whatever is built into some of their customers' purchase plans right from the beginning. So they don't view that $50 purchase as a $50 expenditure - they see it as maybe a $35 expense and they're going to get back $15 when they eventually sell it. If they can't re-sell it then it isn't worth $50 to them because it was never worth $50 to them in the first place. It was always a $35 purchase in their eyes.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        ...piracy is usually as much about convenience as free product....The best way to fight piracy on the DS is to give us an easy way to store games on the device digitally.

        That hits it pretty much right on the head. People talk of piracy like pirates are a bunch of cheap buggers who just don't want to pay for anything, but often, they pirate because it offers something that is not offered through official channels.

        I bough the M3DS so I can use my NDS as an mp3 player (moonshine has a much nicer interface than my cheap dedicated mp3 player does) the sketchpad of DS organize also came in handy. At first, I was using the M3DS to get those features that I felt should have been

      • by DaAdder (124139) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @05:58PM (#32141904) Homepage

        Pricing might have a little something to do with it as well.

        I believe titles are quite a bit more expensive in at least parts of Europe.
        Picking up one of the latest Pokemons here in Sweden will set me back about $55.
        At those prices I expect a pretty fantastic game as it's more than I've spent on any game in the last 10 years.
        Normally I pick up bargains on Steam or one or two almost-launch titles at just below $50.

        I own a DS and I'd like to sample and play quite a number of games, but the DS for me is a much more casual platform and something I'll mostly use when I travel.
        I gave up sampling games at $55 and gave up the DS altogether, quite a few others went with pirating instead.

        I have no clue why Nintendo thinks this sort of pricing is actually anywhere near the perceived worth for these games.
        We have less disposable income than the average American.

      • by Blakey Rat (99501)

        Dude you have to put the "too long, didn't read" version at the *top*. Otherwise the people who didn't read the wall of text won't read the tl;dr either.

  • by Laser_iCE (1125271) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @10:59AM (#32138660)
    Nintendo Takes On Pirates: IN 3D!
    • by skine (1524819)

      I'll only go see it if it was FILMED in 3D, and not just converted from 2D like Clash of the Titans.

  • So, does this mean their next device will have a lot of games where you get to kill pirates in 3D? Sounds like fun.
  • Q U A L I T Y (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Max Romantschuk (132276) <max@romantschuk.fi> on Saturday May 08, 2010 @11:04AM (#32138686) Homepage

    I don't mind paying for games. I mind paying for crappy games.

    I might pirate a game to try it for five minutes out of curiosity. (Assuming there's no demo.) But I'll gladly pay for games that are high quality and original.

    That being said, I buy only 3-5 games a year. But I'd rather see the industry doing fewer games and putting more effort into them. One great option is downloadable games in episodic format. The recent Tales of Monkey Island for the Wii are a good example. Lessens the risk both for the game developer and myself as a consumer.

    • by hedwards (940851)
      There's also the problem of Nintendo expecting people to buy new copies of games they've already purchased because there's a new console out that doesn't support the old copies. When they've chosen to add additional content to the older games it hasn't been so bad, but expecting people to shell out for a new copy of content they already own is just disgusting.
      • by Duradin (1261418)
        So keep the old console and don't buy the new version.
      • by rxan (1424721)
        I agree. Though I think services like Virtual Console are targeting people who have never played those classic titles, it's a shame that they won't give it to you for free if you own the original.
      • No, Nintendo offers the old titles on systems that no longer have the capability of playing the old cartridges. You are free to play the old version you own on the old system as long as you like. You bought a cartridge/disc of software. If you want it on a different format of cartridge/disc/download that plays on a completely different device, buy the new cartridge/disc/download. If you want to build a converter to play the old software on the new system, go right ahead. Most people will just buy the ne

    • I won't even pirate it. There's no demo? Next! If you're not sure enough of your game to hand me a brief demo to play, it probably sucks so badly that it's not even fun for the 5 minutes I could play your demo.

    • I totally agree with you, Max. I have HUGE library of SNES, N64, and PSX games. My library of GCN and PS2 games is a little smaller, and my library of Wii games is less than 10. I'm tired of shelling out an increasing amount of money for ports of games (Chrono Trigger DS for $40? I bought it because I'm a fanboy, but **** you, too, Square-Enix) and increasingly shitty flagship titles (FFXIII was the my last straw for the Final Fantasy series).

      I've grown cynical of anything that any of the new games that the

  • Pirates will still figure it out. And all it takes is one person to crack it on their system and post the method, and the jig is up.

    Obfuscate it all you want, but in order to let people play the software, Nintendo has to let them decrypt it at some point in the chain, which means there's always a weakness, no matter what.

    • They know they won't stop everyone but it is dead easy to pirate DS games. Most people probably wouldn't bother if it required a bit of effort and Nintendo would be happy in just cutting the numbers in half. It's a shame too that people have ruined one of the most open gaming consoles ever.
    • They have not learned from the music industry. The music industry was all about having audio in locked down DRM protected formats. This was rejected by consumers who found the high loss MP3 format good enough for sound and just worked. Now if you want to sell audio in downloads, you either have to support MP3 or Apple's iTunes format which permits burning to unprotected CD or as an unprotected fire.

      All other formats are pretty much dead. This includes Liquid Audio, Plays for Sure, Protected iTunes, Prot

  • by DaleGlass (1068434) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @11:07AM (#32138720) Homepage

    See this [wolfire.com] for an explanation why.

    Short explanation of the link: Since pirates do not pay, they can download more than they could ever afford. So for a large part of what's pirated you couldn't force payment in any manner, since the money to do so simply doesn't exist.

    I know of people who have enormous collections spanning thousands of movies, games, and music CDs, most of which they haven't even tried once. It seems that once somebody gets into that particular mindset they operate on a "Oh, this sounds interesting. *Adds to queue*" basis, and by the time it's done downloading they often don't remember what it was and why they have it.

    Those people are largely unaffected by all this. If they can't get a copy of Nintendo's latest game, oh well, they have downloaded 20 others last week. And what they download is all pre-cracked already.

    The people who it does affect though are the legitimate customers. I remember getting very angry (which doesn't happen very often to me), when I purchased Neverwinter Nights, and couldn't use it. Turns out the morons printed the CD key in a font that made B/8, O/0 and such indistinguishable. After 15 minutes I finally figured out one that worked, and I still don't know if that's the one I was supposed to use, or just a similar key that happened to work, and that will prevent somebody else from playing. I bet the pirates don't need to put up with that.

    So don't buy into this protection nonsense, and support few people who view this sanely [wolfire.com].

    • by rxan (1424721)

      Piracy is not meaningless. People are still using your product unlawfully. They simply don't have the right to play a game that they are not authorized to. I believe that game companies are implementing DRM not just to help their bottom line but also on principle.

      You're right that most pirates wouldn't have bought the game anyway. But you can't deny that SOME sales are lost due to piracy.

      Why don't you try hinging your livelihood on writing a book and then have people photocopy it instead of buying it? We'll

      • Piracy is not meaningless. People are still using your product unlawfully.

        So?

        The way I see it, businesses don't make games because of a principle. They do so because you want to make money. And, annoying your customers with DRM might well make you less money.

        I stick to one principle: If you make things available under conditions I like (no DRM) I will preferentailly buy it and recommend to other people. On the other hand, the more control the owner attempts to exercise, the more effort I will expend to avoi

      • Piracy is not meaningless. People are still using your product unlawfully. They simply don't have the right to play a game that they are not authorized to.

        Throughout most of video game history you are/were not able to return a game you did not like. This is called the "Open Your Mouth and Close Your Eyes" business model.

        I believe that game companies are implementing DRM not just to help their bottom line but also on principle.

        The do it because they think you, personally, are a thief.

        But you can't deny that SOME sales are lost due to piracy.

        That was directed at the other guy, but I'd like to answer this: 'Some' just means 'greater than two'. The sheer existence of it does not justify DRM for the simple reason that the legit customers are paying for it. Their approach has lowered the value of the software, but they hav

    • That makes sense. I do the same thing with free programming tool/IDE/languages/etc. I was looking through an old box the other day to see what I could get rid of (small hard drive that I will eventually upgrade everything in, but not yet) and I didn't remember installing half of the things that I'm sure I installed (my wife isn't a programmer). If they had even a nominal charge I'd have next to nothing installed on that machine.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by sznupi (719324)

      The way you got at Neverwinter Nights (and surely generally at DRM, "The people who it does affect though are the legitimate customers") doesn't apply in this case. Nintendo DRM doesn't really get in the way...

      • Well, since I object to the entire concept of letting some external force decide what I can or can't do with my hardware, and what I can or can't play, I don't own any consoles at all, or any similarly restricted equipment (like anything made by Apple for instance).

        So for me it's PC gaming only, very preferentially on Linux.

        • by sznupi (719324)

          But it's very frank in the case of Nintendo, you know exactly what you're getting into. No unpleasant surprises as with too large part of PC DRM...so the case is not really comparable.

      • by JMZero (449047)

        Well, it's not exactly the same - but the pirates still get a better deal. A pirate DS card can store like 40 games, meaning you don't have to carry around 40 fiddly little cartridges. Plus you can run homebrew/misc apps/watch movies.

    • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @03:13PM (#32140714)

      Uh, maybe I misread, but wasn't his conclusion that 10% of piracy is probably completely genuine?

      Look, Wolfire doesn't care about piracy because they're a tiny indie studio and they care a lot more about getting their games into people's hands than anything else. That's true of pretty much every tiny indie studio. While it's great that he's running the numbers and figuring out a better estimate for the piracy rate, his opinion on DRM is *not relevant* to studios like, for example, Nintendo.

      And that's assuming you agree with his conclusion. I also think his argument is completely flawed. Whether you could have otherwise afforded the game or not, the fact is you still pirated it. I mean, there's no "oh well he couldn't afford it anyway" clause to any other kind of theft, right? Why should there be one for IP theft?

      • by DaleGlass (1068434) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @04:37PM (#32141246) Homepage

        Uh, maybe I misread, but wasn't his conclusion that 10% of piracy is probably completely genuine?

        Yes, meaning it's not a very big deal.

        10% is certainly money, but it's not the huge amounts being implied in various press releases. It's also an amount that can be easily made or lost through other decisions.

        No company makes 100% of the money it could potentially make. Some potential customers don't know about the product, some are on the wrong platform, some are annoyed by DRM, some are unwilling to pay the price but would buy if it was cheaper, some pay but would be willing to pay more. You can't please absolutely everyone, or make everybody pay precisely the amount they're willing to pay, so you're always missing on some money you could possibly have if everything was ideal.

        And according to their numbers, their time is much better spent on Linux and Mac support.

        Look, Wolfire doesn't care about piracy because they're a tiny indie studio and they care a lot more about getting their games into people's hands than anything else. That's true of pretty much every tiny indie studio. While it's great that he's running the numbers and figuring out a better estimate for the piracy rate, his opinion on DRM is *not relevant* to studios like, for example, Nintendo.

        Don't think it's completely irrelevant. I follow the same logic when buying the games from any studio. DRM will ensure I will not buy it, and that's a guaranteed lost sale right there.

        After getting burned, I got much more careful. So, for me personally:

        • Required internet connection when not required for multiplayer and such: no sale
        • Activation and such schemes: no sale
        • Limited installation attempts: no sale
        • Calling home: no sale
        • Refusal to work with software like Daemon Tools installed: no sale
        • Checking if the hardware changed: no sale
        • Requirement for CD key: Will be treated with extreme suspicion, likely no sale.
        • CD check: Likely no sale
        • Console game only: no sale, I only buy PC games

        If any of the above sneaks through because it wasn't properly disclosed before I bought it: I will call your tech support and complain for as long as possible, after that guaranteed no sale for anything else you make. You can bet I will make every effort possible to return it, as well.

        Things that make it more likely I will buy your stuff:

        • Lack of the things mentioned above.
        • Linux support
        • Buying by downloading an installer.
        • Direct sale without middlemen
        • Ability to make mods

        And that's assuming you agree with his conclusion. I also think his argument is completely flawed. Whether you could have otherwise afforded the game or not, the fact is you still pirated it.

        Sure. And what about it?

        I mean, there's no "oh well he couldn't afford it anyway" clause to any other kind of theft, right?

        Because it's not theft. It's copyright infringement. And unlike with theft, where something is permanently removed, in copyright infringement nothing disappears. The maker possibly fails to gain money, in some cases of it. But doesn't lose it.

        Why should there be one for IP theft?

        First, there's no "IP". There is copyright, trademarks and patents, all of which work differently. In this case we're exclusively discussing copyright, so no need to muddle the issue.

        Second, it's not theft but copyright infringement.

        Third, where did you get that I'm advocating piracy?

        I repeat: I just think it's not a very big deal. It may be illegal, but so is jaywalking. I think a disproportionate amount of time and resources are spent on trying to prevent it, which can be counterproductive when overdone, because it loses more than it gains back.

        If somehow piracy could be entirely prevented, it'd gain mayb

        • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @08:26PM (#32142930)

          I'm saying companies would make more money if they spent less time on DRM, and more time on making their customers happy.

          You haven't shown that at all. Unless you're taking your personal opinion, and extrapolating it to the entire rest of the planet.

          If you want to prove a point, you have to get around to actually providing some evidence to prove the point. You haven't done that at all.

  • Cop out (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ironhandx (1762146)

    Heres a fun fact: One of the most massive reasons for many becoming tolerant of it is the (accurate) perception that many have no choice but to pirate some software to begin with because the legal version doesn't work on their platform with the DRM installed...

    I also think the president is using piracy as a cop out to explain why there aren't more games being produced for the Wii by third party developers. In reality it has more to do with the fact that the gamecube was low in horsepower for its generation

    • I own a Wii. For one single reason: To crack it open. Toying with the Wii is heaps of fun. It has a lot of very interesting hardware, not to mention the controller which by itself is a font of inspiration for projects.

      I don't really know whether I actually played a game on it, though.

    • by sznupi (719324)

      ...because the legal version doesn't work on their platform with the DRM installed...

      That's not the case with Nintendo though, or pretty much any console... (yes, there's still some region coding here and there; but it was always upfront)

      • No, I agree, thats not the case with the Wii et al, however it is affecting the mentality of a lot of people in regards to all software.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @11:19AM (#32138834)

    If you're tight lipped about the nature of your security, you have lost already. Best security is still one where the procedure itself is well known but it's still secure. If you rely on obscurity, you're prone to lose. Especially if you have no option but to give your "enemy" the secured device.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Imrik (148191)

      No, the best security is one where people don't know which procedure you're using AND the procedure itself is well known and still secure. Security through obscurity isn't the best form of security, but it does add an extra layer of strength.

    • PS3? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MasaMuneCyrus (779918)

      The PS3 has done extremely well in the anti-piracy department. As have the newer versions of the PSP.

      Of course, one could then make the argument that the PS3 is protected by an expensive media format, and both the PS3 and newer PSPs are protected by a lack of interest to hack them.

  • by KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @11:54AM (#32139132)

    You lose more to that than you ever did on piracy.

  • This system had better allow for the borrowing and lending of games, and the transfer of games to updated hardware iterations. Imagine if you'd have to re-purchase your games for the Fat DS > DS Lite move. You already can't play the games you purchased using your DSi on your DSi XL.

    I've got all my old games and systems since the NES days. I like to know that if my system breaks down, all I have to do is buy a new system (or one off eBay if I can't find a new one) and I can still play all of my games.
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @12:40PM (#32139480) Homepage Journal

    No, its obscene.

    • by ZekoMal (1404259)
      Where's the money come from to pay the game programmers, the game artists, the designers? The music makers, the script writers, the voice actors? The concept artists, the factory workers, the advertisers?

      Yeah, free flash games are free. But they're usually made by one person, or a small group, in their free time. And no free game is as massive as, say, Bioshock.

      I mean, who's going to pay the team that makes the software? Or the team that made the software that the team used to make the software? If not th

  • Please please don't go all Apple on us Nintendo
  • by spyrochaete (707033) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @12:41PM (#32139496) Homepage Journal

    I stopped pirating PC games when Steam came out. The convenience of ownership outweighed the convenience of piracy.

    I have a few pirated games on my DSi XL because I hate lugging cartridges around. I own several DSiware titles because shopping was convenient and I don't need cartridges. Beef up the DS's storage and make games intangible and they'll have sold me.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by citizenr (871508)

      I stopped pirating PC games when Steam came out. The convenience of ownership outweighed the convenience of piracy.

      This is double plus funny as Steam doesnt let you own anything, you merely borrow software and Steam can take it away at any moment.

  • Dear Nintendo, (Score:5, Informative)

    by maugle (1369813) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @01:19PM (#32139784)
    Dear Nintendo,

    I am a paying customer. I do not pirate DS games. But I do transfer my legally-purchased games to my CycloDS Evolution because there's no way in hell I'm going to carry around 40 different cartridges when I can just carry one (and the ability to use cheat codes comes in handy occasionally, too). Recently, however, I was tempted to just start pirating games again. Do you know why? Because your God damn copy protection on the latest Zelda game left it unplayable on the CycloDS, while the cracked version available online was fine!

    You ridiculous attempt at stopping piracy didn't turn any pirates into customers, it just made your existing customers start considering piracy! Thankfully, the CycloDS team has since released an update to evade your stupid piracy-detecting-game-breaker. But please, Nintendo, don't fall into a situation where the pirated product is better than the legitimate one. Because if you dick me around to the point where I still have to search through the Internet to get the product I bought to actually work, I might just start skipping the step where I buy the game in the first place!

    Oh, and I might as well mention that the only reason I haven't bought your DSi is because the CycloDS won't run on it.
    • by satoshi1 (794000)
      So, buy the real one like you do and instead of ripping it on your own, download the cracked one. I'm not sure if fair use law says you must make your own backup for it to be a vaid backup, but, personally, if I already own a copy or two of the game, I'll pirate the roms for those versions. Especially in cases where it'll cost too much to replace the disc if it's already broken/scratched, but I would really like to finish the game or something.
      • by satoshi1 (794000)
        Or if the game got lost somehow, too. DS cartdridges are tiny and I seem to have lost Mario Kart DS somewhere between my home in Detroit and my apartments and the dorms in Chicago.
  • Nintendo says when its new handheld game device with 3-D technology comes out

    Nobody told me they were remaking Virtual Boy! [wikipedia.org]

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