Nintendo Can Disable a Pirate's 3DS Remotely

Logan Westbrook

Transform, Roll Out, Etc
Feb 21, 2008
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Nintendo Can Disable a Pirate's 3DS Remotely

Nintendo is getting really serious about piracy, perhaps more serious than any other platform holder to date.

Aside from those pesky moral considerations, there's another reason to think twice about trying to play pirated games on the 3DS. It's emerged that Nintendo will disable the device and prevent the pirate from playing anything on it, legitimate or not, if it detects that something untoward is going on.

The 3DS makes a note of pretty much everything that its owner does with it, from the games that he or she plays, to the number of steps that he or she takes. This means that if a 3DS has something like an R4 cartridge plugged into it, there's a record, and if Nintendo gets wind of this, it can disable the device with a software update.

With the 3DS's "always-on" Wi-Fi capabilities, this can happen automatically, although presumably you can just turn the function off. There's also a suggestion that this might affect people who try to play games from other regions, although that seems rather unlikely, as a regional lock out seems a much easier solution.

Japanese retailer Enterking has already started warning consumers about Nintendo's policy, and says that it won't accept 3DS units as trade-ins if they have a history of being used to play "illegal" games. Enterking suggests that customers format their devices before trying to sell them, but says that it isn't responsible for any lost data if it elects not to buy the hardware.

You can't really blame Nintendo for wanting to tackle piracy, but this seems a very heavy-handed way of doing it. It's one thing to blacklist a console and bar it from online services, which is what Microsoft and now Sony does, but it's quite another to disable the device entirely. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Nintendo has to fight one or more lawsuit over this decision sometime in the future.

Source: Destructoid [http://www.destructoid.com/using-piracy-devices-could-brick-your-nintendo-3ds-195895.phtml?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+Destructoid+(Destructoid)] and Go Nintendo [http://www.gonintendo.com/viewstory.php?id=152082]






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Triggerhappy938

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Dec 10, 2007
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Wow. On one hand, I had no plans of pirating 3DS games, but now I'm really considering just not getting one. This is just a bit too Orwellian for my tastes.
 

DTWolfwood

Better than Vash!
Oct 20, 2009
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Round 1 FIGHT!

cant wait to see cases pop up. Always fun to read them. Plus it could just be an idle threat.
 

vrbtny

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Sep 16, 2009
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All the overbearing, completely OTT control freak/anti-piracy thing aside..... can I say?

Pirates are gonna get Owned.
 

Denamic

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Aug 19, 2009
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Isn't that kind of illegal in some countries?
Like, more so than piracy?
 

Asuka Soryu

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Jun 11, 2010
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All it will take is for Nintendo to disable someones 3DS accidentaly and a lawsuit will slam them up the butt.
 

Salmaras

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Sep 5, 2009
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It does seem a little bit overkill but at least they're being frank, anyone who does it anyway and complains when their console stops working kind of had it coming
 

Odjin

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Nov 14, 2007
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Untrue. Nice if people don't inform themselves properly. Flashcards run already on the 3DS. Furthermore the "always-on" Wifi is in the description but not reality. In "certain" (and not the smallest) countries an "always-on" Wifi is illegal by law so the Wifi is usually disabled. Also blocking updates is no new hat. The PSP has a similar problem and the update-bricking didn't work either. Furthermore everything that can be written can be deleted, especially logs as the memory to store logs is not endless.

So all in all in "reality" the anti-piracy of 3DS horribly failed so far. I'm not pro-piracy here but I'm against hyping the security of a device which obviously fails at it. Even the NDS has not been hacked as fast as the 3DS and the 3DS claims to be superior in anti-piracy. Granted for the 3DS they had a head-start (the NDS and NDSi) but still Ninty has not managed to secure 3 of their handhelds in a row. You still think they can handle anti-piracy? I definitely would not.
 

Chaoswin1

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Nov 18, 2010
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Ah sure if any lawsuit does come up nintendo can just brush it off considering they're rolling(and swimming) in money at this point. Still it would be an interesting read if any cases do come up.
 

Asuka Soryu

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Jun 11, 2010
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vrbtny said:
All the overbearing, completely OTT control freak/anti-piracy thing aside..... can I say?

Pirates are gonna get Owned.
Careful, they might take that as a challenge and then one day will hear some hackers bragging they finally broke it as Nintendo goes nuts.
 
Apr 28, 2008
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It'll be funny to read about the first time they accidentally brick some innocent guy's 3DS.
 

Enkidu88

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Jan 24, 2010
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vrbtny said:
Pirates are gonna get Owned.
More likely they'll just crack whatever security firmware their using, and they'll continue to pirate anyway. Legitimate customers will be the ones having to deal with the inevitable false positives that will undoubtedly appear, and any other problem inherent in to overly intrusive DRM. Also the legitimate customers will be having to fork over the legal fees when they sue Nintendo for vandalizing their product (Read: breaking it).

So really the only ones getting owned will be Nintendo's customers and Nintendo itself when it finally gets hit with a class-action suit.
 

mattttherman3

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Dec 16, 2008
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I wasn't going to get a 3DS anyway but this seems a bit harsh. I guess don't fuck with Nintendo.
 

Salmaras

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Sep 5, 2009
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Enkidu88 said:
vrbtny said:
Pirates are gonna get Owned.
More likely they'll just crack whatever security firmware their using, and they'll continue to pirate anyway. Legitimate customers will be the ones having to deal with the inevitable false positives that will undoubtedly appear, and any other problem inherent in to overly intrusive DRM. Also the legitimate customers will be having to fork over the legal fees when they sue Nintendo for vandalizing their product (Read: breaking it).

So really the only ones getting owned will be Nintendo's customers and Nintendo itself when it finally gets hit with a class-action suit.
To be fair to Nintendo, this particular Brand of DRM doesn't really impact the customers, only the pirates. No one likes DRM, but at least it's not all that intrusive as others.
 

Scars Unseen

^ ^ v v < > < > B A
May 7, 2009
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I am not a criminal. I will not pay for the pleasure of being put under surveillance like one. Sorry, Nintendo. It's been fun. Maybe I'll buy one used when the system has been hacked to death and I can disable your ridiculous DRM. Either way, you won't see a cent from me while this policy persists.
 

Booze Zombie

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Dec 8, 2007
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I can imagine the pirates now.

"Oh no, what do we do? They've got a wireless connection! How will we ever stop that, I mean, could we, illegal modifiers of technology and software take out a wireless transmitter? Naaah..."

Heaps and heaps of sarcasm, by the way.
 

Samwise137

J. Jonah Jameson
Aug 3, 2010
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This is interesting. My buddies are indy games designers for DS using a pair of cycloDS cartridges and microSD cards. I wonder if they're going to have to register with Nintendo or something to prevent Nintendo from shutting them off...