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New piracy concerns arise for Nintendo 3DS

by William Schwartz

pirate-3ds-games

The Nintendo 3DS has managed to thwart piracy threats since its launch, but that doesn’t mean that hackers have stop trying to circumvent security measures that Nintendo has implemented. A new report from Tiny Cartridge suggests that significant progress has been made in recent weeks, with one hacker managing to run custom code on the handheld, potentially opening the door to piracy on the device.

2012 was a great year for the 3DS. After a significant price reduction on the handheld, Nintendo began selling the devices like hot cakes, and going forward, developers could stand to sell millions to the burgeoning install base. However, one developer sees these recent developments on the 3DS hacking scene as a detriment to developing on the handheld, saying that they would need to reconsider developing for the handheld if piracy once again became widespread.

According to indie game developer Jools Watsham of Renegade Kid, opening the 3DS to piracy will see developers like his company dropping support for the device.

“This may open up pathways for pirates to obtain and distribute game on the black market,” says Watsham on his blog. “The good news is that Nintendo has the ability to put up a good fight against pirates due to 3DS system updates and such… If piracy gets bad on the 3DS, we will have no choice but to stop supporting the platform with new games.”

Watsham also doesn’t believe that piracy leads to more game sales either.

“Some say that piracy leads to more game sales, claiming that it enables players to try before they buy. Bullshit. The percentage of people who will spend money on a game that they already got for free is surely very small – especially with so many free games already in the market. The line between what should/should not be free is getting very blurry.”

As for the hackers that recently discovered this exploit, they’ve made it clear that they do not intend to release these hacks to the public, and are certainly not interested in them for their piracy aspects. Instead, they are looking to help people unlock 3DS devices that are tied to specific regions. However, running custom code on the device is the first step to using unofficial software to play pirated software on the device.

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