Nintendo sues unauthorized Wii, DS games seller HackYourConsole.com
Nintendo announced today that it has filed a lawsuit against the owner of HackYourConsole.com, a site that promotes and sells unauthorized Nintendo games and devices that allow pirated games to be played on Nintendo systems.
"The site blatantly promotes and sells unauthorized Nintendo games along with devices and services that circumvent the security in the Nintendo DS system and the Wii console," Nintendo said in a press release. "The operator of HackYourConsole.com has developed a global business focused on selling unauthorized copies of Nintendo games and game-copying devices (such as the R4 device) used to circumvent the technological protection measures contained in the Nintendo DS family of hand-held systems. The website operator, for a fee, also provides services to hack and modify the Wii console and allow the play of illegal software."
While the R4 device, which Nintendo specifically mentions, has legitimate uses like playing games and applications that have been developed by users and distributed on the internet, it can also be used on DS to play games that have been illegally downloaded.
In addition to the R4 devices, Nintendo claims the website is also an authorized distributor of the yet-to-be-released 3DS Gateway cards, which reportedly mimics the functionality of the R4 on 3DS.
“Piracy on the Nintendo DS system has a huge impact on games sales,” said Jools Watsham, co-founder and director of Renegade Kid, a popular DS and 3DS indie developer. “It can affect everyone involved, including the many honest players out there. If independent studios, like ours, are unable to recoup the money they invest into game development, through the sales of their games, we will unfortunately see fewer independent games developed in the future.”
I don't know specific sales numbers or how much this one site contributes to piracy, but if Nintendo wins the case it could send a message to other like-minded websites.