Nintendo Company Limited will be reeling today as it sees widespread plundering of its Nintendo DS handheld platform explode across the Internet with the sad news that full-scale piracy is now well underway.
Nintendo DS Flash cards are now available, along with USB writers. This situation is compounded by the fact that ROMs of DS games have become widely available on Internet piracy sites and, private FTP servers, and via peer-to-peer networks - a damaging blow to Nintendo’s new handheld console.
Nintendo has struggled with piracy for its portable products since the first Game Boy launched almost 15 years ago. Within months of the original machine’s launch, cartridges from China and Taiwan offering up to 30 games each were available for around the price of a single official game. This problem continued through the days of the Game Boy Color and persisted on the Game Boy Advance, with card writers and associated peripherals remaining available throughout Nintendo’s battle to regain control of the situation.
As you may remember, Nintendo acted aggressively and successfully against Hong-Kong-based Lik-Sang, forcing the well-known online games store to withdraw its line of Game Boy ‘development’ tools. Nintendo DS emulation software is also now widely available, with reports claiming to have a near perfect clone of Nintendo’s machine running on PC with software to boot, as it were.
A typical package being offered to potential home pirates consists of a 512MB card, a USB card reader, a Game Boy Advance Flash card and associated software, including emulators for Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, NES, PC Engine and GameGear. The asking price is generally a shade over £100 for this package, a worryingly tempting proposition for technically-minded gamers, already with a proven appetite for such systems.
SPOnG contacted Nintendo for clarification of its position on this news but was unable to get comment at time of going to press. We expect feedback later on today and will update this news piece accordingly.