68 posts tagged piracy
Super Famicom “Game Doctor” devices. These devices are meant for nefarious, swashbuckling purposes, allowing you to copy SNES games to, and then play from, 3.5” floppies. They’re still piratey now, of course, but I think the vintage of the system and the devices makes them more “cool old things” than “items you should feel like a jerk for owning.” I really like these crummy logos and the super utilitarian, gray-box product design.
Buy: SNES system, games
As predicted, today’s portable Virtual Console release is Kirby’s Dream Land, the debut of the pink character (or white, if you go by the Game Boy box). It’s not Gargoyle’s Quest, but Tinkle Popo is well loved here, too.
Other eShop/DSiWare releases today: Chillingo’s Trials HD knock-off Moto eXtreme, Skyworks’ Boardwalk Ball Toss (really?), Circle’s curious action RPG The Lost Town: The Dust, and Cosmigo’s Hearts Spades Euchre.
Nintendo put out something else last night: a new DSi V.1.4.3 update promising the predictably vague “behind-the-scenes improvements to system performance”. Those behind-the-scene changes include new measures to block a selection of popular flashcarts, including the SuperCard DSTwo, Acekard 2i, and iPlayer.
It’s interesting that even with the 3DS out, Nintendo hasn’t scaled back its efforts to fight piracy on the DSi models, slowly hacking away at known exploits. Now if only the company would include substantial improvements to the DSi experience with these firmware releases.
See also: More eShop news
Alleged Nintendo 3DS “Panda” development system on eBay. This looks an awful lot like the real 3DS dev system, with red accents on the back and a red 3D slider, and that sure does look like debug-type stuff on the screen, but of course there’s no way to be absolutely certain.
I suppose it’s possible the release of a system like this, which can play pre-release code, could lead to the discovery of a method of playing unsigned code (like homebrew) on retail systems? Maybe? Or it could just lead to having an awesome black and red 3DS.
If you see a blue notification light on your 3DS this morning, don’t get your hopes up, as the new firmware isn’t available yet; it’s just a message from Nintendo letting you know that the eShop/browser/DSiWare migration update releases this evening.
The note also warns Ridge Racer 3D owners that the game can freeze in the Grand Prix/Single Play mode it they “[press] the B button to return from Race Selection or Machine Selection.” Nintendo will put out another system update to fix the problem later this month — I wonder if there will more items in that release (e.g. Netflix)?
One other change mentioned in the memo: automatic system updates, which Nintendo has talked about previously in regards to the 3DS’s anti-piracy protections.
See also: More eShop news
[Image via Player’s Pulse]
Jurry-rigged device for dumping 3DS games. Scene group Legacy claims to be the first to dump ROMs from 3DS carts, backing up (and posting online) copies of Super Monkey Ball 3D and Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars.
This doesn’t mean rampant piracy like we saw on the DS is now possible on Nintendo’s new system, as there currently are no flashcarts or emulators that can run 3DS ROMs — even if emulators could, it would be difficult to display the stereoscopic 3D effect without an appropriate monitor.
Nor does this mean that we’ll see 3DS flashcarts soon. Two years passed after the DSi’s release before manufacturers put out devices with DSi-mode compatibility, and those carts still have their quirks, from what I hear.
As usual, we do not condone seeking out these ROMs or pirating any games. We’re just keeping you abreast on the latest in the war between Nintendo and hackers!
See also: More piracy news
Nintendo has put out a new 1.4.2 update for DSi models, and while it’s unclear if the new firmware adds any new functionality to the system (e.g. DSiWare migration), many report this release blocks several popular flashcarts.
Scoffing at these new anti-piracy countermeasures, at least one flashcart manufacturer, R4iDSN claims to have found a workaround and will release an update for its device this week. Expect other teams to follow with similar news.
Flashcart allegedly working with Nintendo 3DS. Well, that was quick! Despite promises of increased anti-piracy measures and early reports of flashcarts no long working with the 3DS, the team behind the R4iDSN (AK2i clone) claims to have found a way around the system’s security and posted this video as proof.
As of now, the device will not play 3DS games or even DSi-enhanced titles, only DS releases, but this is still an impressive feat considering the system just launched in Japan (and has been available in China for a few days).
This doesn’t bode well for Nintendo and third-party publishers, who hoped increased protections would prevent the piracy problems we’ve seen on the DS/DSi.
Nintendo could theoretically release a mandatory firmware update — an automatic one, even — but the company better act quick, as the Acekard team also claims that its flashcart now works with the 3DS (Code Freak’s cheat device appears to work with it, too).
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Testing flashcarts with the Nintendo 3DS. As expected, DS and DSi flashcarts will not work with the new system due to new and "sophisticated" measures meant to stem the piracy rampant in previous models. So, don’t expect to run any homebrew games or apps with your new 3DS!
Some manufacturers of these devices are confident they will eventually circumvent these barriers, but for now, the carts show up on the 3DS’ main menu and refuse to launch. For reference, hackers managed to break protections introduced with the DSi in just over a month.
If you don’t understand why Nintendo and third-party developers feel these measures are necessary, these informative Megwin videos clearly explain piracy’s dangerous effects on the DS:
Preorder a 3DS with: Our Nintendo 3DS Buyer’s Guide
Last week, we talked about how people are somehow ripping the ROMs for Nintendo demos, archiving hundreds of U.S. and Japanese trials for others to download after they’re no longer available through “traditional” channels. I recently discovered that someone’s done this for the Nintendo Game Seminar projects, too!
In case you’ve no idea what I’m talking about, Nintendo holds a ten-month development program every year that takes dozens of students through courses on game design, direction, programming, and sound. The students are eventually split into groups, in which they develop small and original Nintendo DS games.
Monday’s release for Ghost Trick's new downloadable trial reminded me about the clumsiness of DS demos — the norm for almost everything Nintendo does online.
Even if you have a Nintendo DSi, downloading one of the few demos Nintendo offers each week requires a Wii and a series of steps to transmit the game from the home console to your handheld. And if you decide to shut off your portable or play another game, you need to re-download the demo to try it out again later.
Why is the selection of demos so limited? Why is it still such a pain to download one? Any why can’t I keep the demo on my DSi’s internal flash memory or an SD card?
There is a solution to all three of those problems with DS demos, but it’s either piracy or very close to it.
What this means is that homebrew software running on a CycloDS iEvolution can potentially access a DSi’s camera, SD card, extra processing power, and more. The company promises to “supply legitimate homebrew application coders with a free iEVO unit to aid development”.
Team Cyclops says the flashcart will eventually support DSi features in commercially released DSi-enhanced games, so that homebrew victory also unfortunately benefits pirates.
It’s unclear if the 3DS and its "sophisticated" anti-piracy measures will defeat whatever workaround iEVO uses, but Nintendo has only a few months to come up with a way to shut the flashcart down (assuming whatever protections it already has in place can’t neutralize the device).
Oh, and for those wondering about that round white gadget, I believe it’s for updating the iEvo’s firmware.
Marcelo Oliveira on implementing the vuvuzela anti-piracy prank in Michael Jackson: The Experience DS (Google translated from Portuguese, then edited by myself).
Oliveira worked at Ubisoft São Paulo, which, according to this NeoGAF forumer, added this cheeky protection without consulting Ubisoft. That’s pretty fantastic if true!
[Update: Oliveira tells us, “I would like to clarify one thing, the vuvuzela idea was properly reported and Ubisoft was aware of the taken approach all the time. As a professional game developer I’ll never do such a thing as hiding something from my employer.”]
Don’t expect more funny anti-piracy measures from the developer, though, as that same forum post claims this was the last game from the São Paulo location. Last September, Ubisoft announced plans to ramp down its South American operations due to “market conditions” — blame it on the dwindling popularity of the publisher’s Imagine series, which the São Paulo studio primarily developed for.
So, yeah, that’s super depressing. I’m gonna try to cheer up with this Sexy Synthesizer and Chihiro tribute performance to Michael Jackson (“ABC” and Human Nature”):