Not everyone’s happy about the 3DS hacking news
Opponents of the Nintendo 3DS’s region-locking and homebrew-blocking welcomed yesterday’s news that hackers have made great strides in working around the system’s security. You can see evidence of that in the above image posted this morning, which shows a custom 3DS notification (with a nod to The World Ends With You).
Though hacker Neimod is against allowing his 3DS exploit to be used for loading commercial software, some are worried about the piracy implications of this latest development. Jools Watsham, head of Mutant Mudds maker Renegade Kid, believes this could nonetheless pave the way for 3DS piracy:
“Piracy on the Nintendo DS crippled the DS retail market, especially in Europe. … If piracy gets bad on the 3DS, we will have no choice but to stop supporting the platform with new games. …
The good news is that Nintendo has the ability to put up a good fight against pirates due to 3DS system updates and such. Let’s hope this is enough to stop piracy.”
1UP’s Jeremy Parish voiced similar concerns:
“The underlying intent of hacking a machine like this is to open the door for piracy. … The advent of 3DS software piracy seems likely to be the worst possible thing that could happen to the system, especially in the U.S.
I can’t help but worry that the only thing helping to prop up the 3DS’s meager U.S. software sales so far has been the fact that you have to buy them to play them. Take away that limitation, and will we see the 3DS market implode the same way the DS market did? It’s hard to imagine otherwise.”
NeoGAF’s Duckroll, however, has a great argument for why cheering on 3DS hacking isn’t necessarily wrong, despite its potential ramifications:
“If somehow the advent of piracy is tied to something which also makes buying customers who do not pirate rejoice, this means you’re doing something wrong. That does not mean buying customers are cheering for piracy, it means that either the feature set in the base package is not satisfactory, or that somehow in the pursuit of preventing piracy something has been implemented which has an adverse effect on paying customers. Neither of these factors are good.
Ideally, a company should keep consumers happy because they are what keeps the company alive. If no one buys anything, then the company dies. It is often better to put resources towards keeping customers who you know exist happy, rather than being stubborn and believing that by preventing piracy completely, you will automatically make money. This is why in general every draconian DRM scheme has largely failed.”
As for where we stand on the controversial topic of hacking the 3DS, we’ve decided that we’re neutral on the issue — a brave and bold stance, we know! We’ve mentioned in the past that there is a lot of value to homebrew capabilities and devices add to consoles, but we believe Parish and Watsham’s concerns are valid. Piracy on the DS was no joke, and that likely affected what publishers ended up releasing for the system.
So, while we would love a region-free 3DS, we wouldn’t want it to come at the cost of developers abandoning the system because they can’t make a buck off it anymore.