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Japan cracks down on piracy, outlaws R4 carts

No homebrew for you, Mr Roboto

Product: DS news | Manufacturer: Nintendo
DS news DS, thumbnail 1
Ah yes, the infamous flash cart - bane of Nintendo’s mega-profits. Only the other day we were musing on Nintendo’s appeal to the US Trade Representative to put pressure on other countries to make a more concerted effort to curb piracy, and now it seems Japan is listening.

Last year, Nintendo and a party of 53 other companies petitioned the Tokyo District Court to put a stop on sales of the R4 flash cart, and it seems their call has now been answered.

Japan has now banned the sale of the R4 device, which, among many other (legitimate) things, allows gamers to play pirated DS games.

What’s a bit unusual is this ruling essentially only seems to prohibit that particular brand, while similar flash carts bypass the ruling. At least, for now.

Nintendo apparently intends to chase the entire flash cart industry into extinction. To be fair to Nintendo, one of the most prominent uses of DS flash carts is indeed piracy, though such a ham-fisted pursuit of a device that’s also used to unlock the console’s potential won’t do it any favours in the technophile arena.

And right now, cutting off a passionate hardware customer base (on the dawn of a new system release) isn’t a particularly wise move for a games system that, it has to be said, is wilting in the sun of a changing industry.

We’ll have to wait and see how this Japanese ruling affects the rest of the world, but for the time being Japanese DS gamers are going to have to look elsewhere for their homebrew DS apps.


Reviewer photo
Spanner Spencer 27 February 2009
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Anonymous | 18:00 - 2 March 2009
When the phone gets a d pad and buttons then i will see it as a handheld games console til the its a mobile phone that can play games of a handheld quality
Jul 2008
Post count:
Spanner | 10:30 - 2 March 2009
Admittedly there are some negative connotations to the phrase
Anonymous | 10:07 - 2 March 2009
I think the obvious thing for nintendo to do here is to allow a certain type of app file to to be uploaded to the SD card of new NDSi.

Problem is when people create an app that is worthy of a price rather than just a free one.... to get round this they would ned an apple style app store in order to get their hands on a percentage of sale, and maintain approvals of content....

Anonymous | 09:16 - 28 February 2009
:facepalm: jesus christ such moronic posts...i mean...jesus christ
Anonymous | 15:54 - 27 February 2009
You guys on pocket gamer what the f*ck is wrong with you condoning the R4
it sounds like you condone piracy shame on you good for Nintendo the sooner the HomeBrew market and piracy dries up the better