Nintendo Loses Flashcart Legal Battle!


x68000

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From CandVG.com

Nintendo has lost a major court battle today over the production of flash cartridges for its DS handheld, according to reports, after a judge ruled that developers should be allowed to develop applications for the platform at their own free will.

Nintendo apparently filed a suit against the Divineo group over the production of flash carts for the handheld.

It's reported that the judge, however, ruled against Nintendo, accusing it of locking out developers from its consoles, and suggesting that the platform should be more like Microsoft's Windows operating system, on which applications can be developed freely by anyone.

This, as Maxconsole notes, is a huge blow to Nintendo in the fight against flash cart-based piracy, as it could suggest the distribution of such devices should be deemed completely legal.

Nintendo has been embroiled in an epic struggle against widespread DS piracy, particularly threatening action against sellers of the popular R4 flash cart.

Full court documents are expected soon.
 

second exodous

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Well, I don't know if I agree with the judge, if anyone could develop for it then how would Nintendo make money? Sales of hardware is a fraction of their profit. Maybe they should rethink their stratagey? I don't know.

However, I don't think Flash Carts should be made illegal, just not for the reason of the courts conclusion. It's Nintendo's responsibility to make sure you can't be copyrighted games for free on it's console by work within it's labs. They fixed this with the DSi, the firmware updates disable flash carts. Reverse engineering should never be illegal, companies just have to deal with it.

I get a little sad when a current console is emulated so perfectly or in this case current games are played for free but that doesn't mean that game companies should go after people who reverse engineer, they should fix their security.
 

OrR

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second exodous said:
Well, I don't know if I agree with the judge, if anyone could develop for it then how would Nintendo make money? Sales of hardware is a fraction of their profit. Maybe they should rethink their stratagey? I don't know.
Nintendo profits on hardware as well as software. So they still have a business model. Making money on software other people make for your platform was always a shady kind of business model and I wouldn't be sad to see it go.
 
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second exodous

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OrR said:
second exodous said:
Well, I don't know if I agree with the judge, if anyone could develop for it then how would Nintendo make money? Sales of hardware is a fraction of their profit. Maybe they should rethink their stratagey? I don't know.
Nintendo profits on hardware as well as software. So they still have a business model. Making money on software other people make for your platform was always a shady kind of business model and I wouldn't be sad to see it go.
But 99%, well, that might be exaggerated, but well over most of every console makers profit comes from licensing fees. Sony and Microsoft loose money on the PS3, PSP, and 360(or they did when they were new) but make that up and more off of licensing fees.

A company can't be as big as the big 3 and not have the income of licensing fees.

I feel it is in the platform designers right to lock out un-licensed 3rd party but I don't agree on going after people that reverse engineer their platform. It's their responsibility to make sure that can't happen, when it does fix the problem somehow but it's not legal to go after those that reverse engineer it.
 
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OrR

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My opinion is the opposite: Locked down platforms should be forbidden. They lead to monopolies and thus make a working free market economy impossible.
 

second exodous

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OrR said:
My opinion is the opposite: Locked down platforms should be forbidden. They lead to monopolies and thus make a working free market economy impossible.
I agree, I don't like locked consoles, but without them I think consoles would disappear completely. PCs aren't locked and have games, but they are multi functional. I don't think you'll see any un-locked consoles any time soon. Handhelds but never consoles.

EDIT: Basically there is no incentive to make a console that isn't locked, if anyone can make games for it then no one would ever pay them licensing fees. I doubt a company could make much on hardware alone, like I said above usually companies loose money on consoles.
 
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second exodous

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With DRM it's like you don't even own the PC games you buy any more. I gave up on PC and console gaming a long time ago, I'm all handheld now. I'll play all the new games years from now on a handheld.
 

darkblu

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OrR said:
You are right, but what's the point of consoles, anyway? I'd rather play all the games on a PC.
and i would rather play all games on a console. i guess that justifies them now, doesn't it?

also, i'm all for open platforms as the next guy, but why for the love of pete should closed platforms be forbidden? if vendor X decided they did not want unauthorized code on their hw they have all the moral rights to do their technical best to ensure that. what i disagree with, though, is when the efforts to ensure closeness move to court. again, if vendor X tried to lock down their system but hacker joe outsmarted vendor X then vendor X should suck up and improve their hw's security, not take hacker joe to court. unless, of course, hacker joe tried to steal somebody's commercial product in the course - then it's plain old trademark/product infringement/theft, i.e. hacker joe using somebody else's product as if it was theirs (e.g. distributing commercial iso's) - punishable in most civilized trade jurisdictions in the world.
 
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second exodous

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darkblu said:
If vendor X tried to lock down their system but hacker joe outsmarted vendor X then vendor X should suck up and improve their hw's security, not take hacker joe to court.
That's what I was trying to say but you put it a lot clearer. It's the console makers responsibility to make sure it's not hackable. If it's hacked then it's time to release a firmware update or release the next console. Taking people to court for reverse engineering is pointless. Here in the US it's also covered by some law also, people are allowed to reverse engineer, I want to say part of fair use but I don't think that's it.
 
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PoisonedV

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OrR said:
My opinion is the opposite: Locked down platforms should be forbidden. They lead to monopolies and thus make a working free market economy impossible.
this is the most unintentionally dumb thing i have ever read on the internet, congratulations, you managed to beat every racist 9 year old on youtube
 
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Exophase

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Allowing flash carts to be used by developers isn't going to destroy Nintendo's software licensing model. All Nintendo loses is licensing fees for development kits, which I'm sure is a very small percentage of their income. Until someone offers an alternative source for mass producing game cards Nintendo is going to continue to make a majority of their profits on this. Buying hundreds of thousands of flash cards and bundling them with SDs isn't going to be a financially attractive solution; flash cards aren't developed in the kind of quantity that allows them to be this profitable.

Or at least I think they aren't. The truth is, Nintendo grossly overcharges for game cards. They cost several times what SD cards that are much higher capacity, and Nintendo's gamecard format isn't more complex than SD - actually, probably less so since it's read-only, although cards usually add a small NVRAM of some sort for game saves. This is probably the main reason why DS games haven't grown substantially in size and why they don't go down on cost as aggressively as PSP games. But Nintendo needs to get with the picture because their next generation handheld is going to suffer if it doesn't have > 1GB games. My opinion, anyway.

Interestingly, if unofficial/unlicensed DS games do start being made then it'll mean that they can do things that current DS games can't. For instance, whatever they want on the ARM7. For commercial emulators (you know, those game packs being sold all the time these days) this can make a huge difference. It could also potentially mean that they end up doing dangerous things. I don't know if there's anything you can do on a DS that can damage it, but I do know that the original Gameboy exposed such flaws. It was Nintendo's licensing and quality control that prevented any such games from being released.

Normally DS games are encrypted, but actually that's just to protect those that are (and it was easily defeated). DS is fully capable of running unsigned code w/o hardware modifications or, as far as I know, any kind of software exploits. If Nintendo were more serious about this they should have made it harder to run unsigned code like Sony has. Even if you could burn a UMD, good luck actually running it. Not that it really matters with all the exploits that have been found, but those have certainly won Sony more time and thus sales.
 
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