Coalition of Publishers Take Aim At R4 Distributors

Coalition of Publishers Take Aim At R4 Distributors

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Fed up with rampant piracy on the Nintendo DS, Nintendo and Capcom are spearheading a coalition of 56 publishers intent on putting an end to the R4 flash cartridge.

If you've been living under a particularly ethical rock for the past few years, the R4 cartridge is essentially a rewritable memory card that plugs into your Nintendo DS in the same way a standard game cartridge would. The big difference between the R4 and your average copy of Nintendogs however, is that the R4 can also be attached to your computer where less than scrupulous gamers could install any number of pirated DS games directly to the R4's flash memory.

Nintendo has repeatedly attempted to end the distribution of the R4, seemingly with little effect. The device remains relatively easy to purchase, even for those unfamiliar with the darker, grog-soaked corners of the 'net.

It's unclear exactly what the new coalition of publishers has planned for their attempt at squashing this tiny plastic menace, but there seems to be two distinct ways to view this information.

On the one hand, it's quite impressive that such a large number of disparate companies who would otherwise only ever meet as rivals in the marketplace have set aside their differences, at least momentarily, to rise up against an implacable foe that threatens them all.

On the other, it could be seen as a compliment toward the ingenuity (or brazen chutzpah) of these pirate manufacturers that despite tens of millions of dollars in litigation alone, companies like Nintendo who attempt to dictate to consumers how hardware they have purchased should be used, can not win against the demands of the free, open market.

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Really dumb question, but why R4?

There's several brands of flash cart and since none of them sell within the 'proper' channels surely any of them's as good a target as R4, who've so far proven cockroach resilient.

It seems to me to be a massively wasted effort, why hasn't Nintendo started making downloadable software for flash carts? If there's so many they're a menace there's enough for a business opportunity as well.

As it is this is just like illegal downloads, trying to kill a fly a sledge hammer springs to mind.

Why R4, when theres so many more advanced ones out there. R4 is like way old.

It seems too futile, R4 is like way old. Why target them when there is more advanced ones out there?

fix-the-spade:
Really dumb question, but why R4?

There's several brands of flash cart and since none of them sell within the 'proper' channels surely any of them's as good a target as R4, who've so far proven cockroach resilient.

It seems to me to be a massively wasted effort, why hasn't Nintendo started making downloadable software for flash carts? If there's so many they're a menace there's enough for a business opportunity as well.

As it is this is just like illegal downloads, trying to kill a fly a sledge hammer springs to mind.

I agree if they made their own flashcart and sell their own games with a shop I think there would be a market for that.

I believe R4 is the market leader, hence the most visible and most theoretically dangerous.

Earnest Cavalli:
I believe R4 is the market leader, hence the most visible and most theoretically dangerous.

true, its easier to hit somehting that you can see rather than an unmarked cart that you got from a friends friends uncles friends contact. Though, quick question, is the R4 only used with the DS? or does it happen to fit in just right to the DS slot?

Earnest Cavalli:
I believe R4 is the market leader, hence the most visible and most theoretically dangerous.

Actually, it's seen as the cheap card that you buy if you don't want to spend a lot of money. Also, it has already stopped manufacturing. (All the R4s currently available are "fakes" made by many, many various companies*, but they work just fine.)

CycloDS is the real top dog of the flashcard circles.

*This means it will be nigh on impossible to stop them.

Nintendo apparently forgets that all major developers now started as homebrew/indie developers once. That or they are trying to stamp out competition when they are still weak, which atari tried, and atari nearly killed gaming altogether with it.

Asehujiko:
Nintendo apparently forgets that all major developers now started as homebrew/indie developers once. That or they are trying to stamp out competition when they are still weak, which atari tried, and atari nearly killed gaming altogether with it.

Yes clearly it's not about the fact that the same methods for homebrew are also being used to pirate games being sold at retail, it's all about that no-good Nintendo trying to stifle the creativity of homebrew developers.

Do you ever read the whole article or do you assume that every company actively hates the independent scene and go from there?

AceDiamond:

Asehujiko:
Nintendo apparently forgets that all major developers now started as homebrew/indie developers once. That or they are trying to stamp out competition when they are still weak, which atari tried, and atari nearly killed gaming altogether with it.

Yes clearly it's not about the fact that the same methods for homebrew are also being used to pirate games being sold at retail, it's all about that no-good Nintendo trying to stifle the creativity of homebrew developers.

Do you ever read the whole article or do you assume that every company actively hates the independent scene and go from there?

I read the whole article. And banning something important because pirates use it too is wrong. For example, pirates put sugar in their coffee, should we ban sugar too because pirates use it? No and monopolizing something to a private corporation with a single goal (profit) is an excellent way to produce shit by lack of competition.

Nimbus:

Earnest Cavalli:
I believe R4 is the market leader, hence the most visible and most theoretically dangerous.

Actually, it's seen as the cheap card that you buy if you don't want to spend a lot of money. Also, it has already stopped manufacturing. (All the R4s currently available are "fakes" made by many, many various companies*, but they work just fine.)

CycloDS is the real top dog of the flashcard circles.

*This means it will be nigh on impossible to stop them.

You don't quite grasp this "market leader" concept, do you?

@Kalezian: It doesn't "just fit" the DS slot, it's built to be a DS cart that just so happens to be able to be rewritable.

Asehujiko:

AceDiamond:

Asehujiko:
Nintendo apparently forgets that all major developers now started as homebrew/indie developers once. That or they are trying to stamp out competition when they are still weak, which atari tried, and atari nearly killed gaming altogether with it.

Yes clearly it's not about the fact that the same methods for homebrew are also being used to pirate games being sold at retail, it's all about that no-good Nintendo trying to stifle the creativity of homebrew developers.

Do you ever read the whole article or do you assume that every company actively hates the independent scene and go from there?

I read the whole article. And banning something important because pirates use it too is wrong. For example, pirates put sugar in their coffee, should we ban sugar too because pirates use it? No and monopolizing something to a private corporation with a single goal (profit) is an excellent way to produce shit by lack of competition.

Yes because only Nintendo makes games for the Nintendo DS, oh wait they don't. They have licensing. Something that initially Atari did not have when they attempted to monopolize their own game production, which is what makes this situation different. Do you honestly think that Nintendo is doing this to crack down on independents? To "eliminate competition" as you put it? What competition could there be? A guy who blamed Nintendo for his 100-day self-imposed exile and subsequent but hilarious breakdown? Please. Homebrew is not competing with anybody right now and as innocent a bystander it is in all of this, Nintendo and the other publishers involved in this are not at fault for protecting their own property from software pirates.

Furthermore your incredible chop-logic doesn't do anything to disprove my own, in fact it just makes you look silly. You might as well have said "I guess since pirates breathe air we should stop breathing too, huh?" There's a vast difference between basic needs and rewritable digital media, but unfortunately you can't seem to grasp that concept. The R4 is the digital media card to go to for both homebrew and outright software piracy, and if it's enough of a problem that a large number of publishers are taking action, then I fail to see what the big deal is. There are other formats to make games for besides the DS. And I doubt you can legally profit from homebrew DS development anyway.

My point is that they have every right to do something about it.

Furthermore your incredible chop-logic doesn't do anything to disprove my own, in fact it just makes you look silly. You might as well have said "I guess since pirates breathe air we should stop breathing too, huh?" There's a vast difference between basic needs and rewritable digital media, but unfortunately you can't seem to grasp that concept. The R4 is the digital media card to go to for both homebrew and outright software piracy, and if it's enough of a problem that a large number of publishers are taking action, then I fail to see what the big deal is. There are other formats to make games for besides the DS. And I doubt you can legally profit from homebrew DS development anyway.

My point is that they have every right to do something about it.

Let's assume Nintendo & Company successfully ban R4 because it 'can be used for piracy.' The RIAA then points to this decision and manages to successfully bans CDRs because they 'can be used for piracy.' MPAA follows suit and successfully bans DVDRs because they, 'can be used for piracy.' Then the US government bans computers because they 'can be used for cyber crime.' When all is said and done, we go into our plastic isolation bubbles where we can't hurt each other and bore the whole of human civilization to death.

brewbeard:

Furthermore your incredible chop-logic doesn't do anything to disprove my own, in fact it just makes you look silly. You might as well have said "I guess since pirates breathe air we should stop breathing too, huh?" There's a vast difference between basic needs and rewritable digital media, but unfortunately you can't seem to grasp that concept. The R4 is the digital media card to go to for both homebrew and outright software piracy, and if it's enough of a problem that a large number of publishers are taking action, then I fail to see what the big deal is. There are other formats to make games for besides the DS. And I doubt you can legally profit from homebrew DS development anyway.

My point is that they have every right to do something about it.

Let's assume Nintendo & Company successfully ban R4 because it 'can be used for piracy.' The RIAA then points to this decision and manages to successfully bans CDRs because they 'can be used for piracy.' MPAA follows suit and successfully bans DVDRs because they, 'can be used for piracy.' Then the US government bans computers because they 'can be used for cyber crime.' When all is said and done, we go into our plastic isolation bubbles where we can't hurt each other and bore the whole of human civilization to death.

Slippery Slope fallacy, eat your heart out.

What's hilarious is that I have not said whether or not I fully agree with what they're doing anyway. Part of me doesn't simply because of people who quickly jump to conclusions that banning one form of rewriteable media will suddenly ban all of them. That's like saying we should ban peanuts because "you could kill someone who has an allergy to them with them". It doesn't hold up. At all.

But my point is not whether or not what they're doing is 100% right. My point is that they are not overstepping their bounds at all, and to act like Nintendo is somehow committing some sort of fascist pogrom on Homebrew developers is laughable. And since that's what the people against this are claiming, that is why I'm taking up the devil's advocate position.

Plus it's hilarious to see what kinds of explanations they struggle to come up with.

Why target the R4?

It's running on community support at the moment to get new games to run on it with their new fangled software anti piracy measures, R4 stopped getting firmware updates about a year or two ago.

In the long run it would be better to go after any other company that still supports their flashcard, in my opinion.

Nintendo would get less piracy rates if they just released a mastercart of their own so we don't have to lug around a case full of games when we want to play something else.

If Nintendo had a brain they would just buy the company that makes R4's and shut them down, or, even more intelligently, sell them at a higher price and sell downloadable games online.

They could make on profit on this idea if only they had the balls to do it.

 

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