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THQ: 3DS will "really combat piracy"

Tue 13 Jul 2010 8:22am GMT / 4:22am EDT / 1:22am PDT
Hardware

Nintendo "hurt" by game copying says Curran, but can't explain portable's anti-piracy tech

THQ has claimed that the upcoming Nintendo 3DS will best the piracy problems that have dogged the DS range to date.

Executive VP of global publishing Ian Curran told website CVG that what most excited him about the new handheld was that "there's technology built in that device to really combat piracy."

Nintendo "know they've been hurt across the world, and they believe the 3DS has got technology that can stop that."

He argued that rampant use of copied game tech such as the notorious R4 cartridge had "made it almost impossible to shift any significant volume" of THQ games, but that the new copy protection systems in the 3DS presented "the opportunity for people to invest more in product development and bring more 3DS products to market."

Piracy on portable consoles (also including the PSP) is estimated to have cost the industry $41.5 billion over the last five years, although that figure was based on the unproven presumption that every illegal download of a game equates directly to a lost sale.

Unfortunately Curran was unable or unwilling to describe just how the 3DS would combat piracy. "I actually asked Nintendo to explain the technology and they said it's very difficult to do so because it's so sophisticated," he claimed.

15 Comments

I hope it is true, but equally I am sure every console/handheld that has come out in recent years has been said to be "piracy proof" and only the PS3 really has been....for now.

Posted:4 years ago

#1

Kingman Cheng
Illustrator and Animator

952 180 0.2
What do you mean? Someone hacked it like over half a year ago Glenn. George Hotz not ring a bell?

I don't see how the 3DS will combat piracy, I can't see a 100% way to combat piracy with hardware alone.

Posted:4 years ago

#2

robert troughton
Managing Director

220 93 0.4
"I can't see a 100% way to combat piracy with hardware alone"

Gaikai/OnLive/...

Also, the current-gen of consoles did quite well at combating piracy - I would say that it's certainly not as rampant as it was on the PS1/PS2 generations. But any system that has code & data locally can be hacked eventually. Both PS3 and 360 did pretty well this time to hold back the hackers, I reckon - the original 360 hack was so long-winded and tricky to do that 99% of PS2 modders wouldn't bother with it.

Posted:4 years ago

#3
I can think of a 'foolproof' anti-piracy method that something like the 3DS could use - but I'm not going to go into it here. The only way around it would be for pirates to essentially rewrite the firmware - but it would turn the device into a 'dumb' device that would not get any firmware or other updates. Even then, it might require custom hacks to every game to be played on the device.

Nintendo could also embed 'kill-switches' into each 3DS, which would allow them to disable devices shown to be cheating or carrying our piracy - and use the wireless 'push' mechanism to trigger it.

If gamers know there is a chance their hardware could be 'disabled', there will be a much smaller audience risking pirated titles.

Posted:4 years ago

#4

Kingman Cheng
Illustrator and Animator

952 180 0.2
Oh I know about Gaikai and Onlive Robert, but with things like Gaikai there would be ads and wouldn't some people just pirate for the sake of not having ads there? Although I'm sure it would have an impact, like how 4oD, Five.Tv etc do high quality streams so why go pirate when you can get a good copy from them?

I think the whole piracy battle thing will take some new turns but it'll be far from over. Pirates find their way around basically anything. If it's made by man it'll eventually be hacked by man! Personally I don't think people would ever completely win against pirates but they can probably reduce the impact it's got on the market.

Posted:4 years ago

#5
Here is a cunning plan... it's so cunning you can brush your teeth with it.



That ultimately the publishers gains profit (not mass profits), the developer gains some profits, the whole concept of piracy is muted (but not eliminated) and overall the increased revenue via bulk makes it a win for all.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Dr. Chee Ming Wong on 13th July 2010 12:13pm

Posted:4 years ago

#6

Josef Brett
Animator

296 0 0.0
Here Here Dr. Wong!

You say developers won't get massive profits, which is true per unit, but offset that against the current losses from piracy and everybodies laughing!

It would have a much wider positive effect also, because sales figures across the board would sky rocket and help to legitimise the industry to outsiders (it would look like gaming had a massive surge in popularity)!

Posted:4 years ago

#7

Antony Cain
Lecturer

263 21 0.1
"Nintendo could also embed 'kill-switches' into each 3DS, which would allow them to disable devices shown to be cheating or carrying our piracy - and use the wireless 'push' mechanism to trigger it."

What if hackers hacked the switch and blew everyone's DS up? :)

Posted:4 years ago

#8

Kingman Cheng
Illustrator and Animator

952 180 0.2
Dr Wong, I think that's a brilliant idea but I believe it is also employed by Steam which I think is nothing short of fantastic. Top titles you can get on digital download, that can cross platforms to a Mac, install and play anywhere, with great deals on all the time. I think that's fantastic.

Top titles are on there for dirt cheap prices, even the poorer of games can't argue with some of the value there. I think Valve have nailed something with Steam which a lot of people can learn from.

Posted:4 years ago

#9

robert troughton
Managing Director

220 93 0.4
Does anyone know how the hackers have got through the 360's protection by the way...? The original hack was to do it through the DVD drive... Microsoft had protected the hell out of the rest of the 360 and some clever hacker had already got a hack waiting (he'd developed it on the Xbox 1 close to the end of its cycle and had sat on the hack until MS released the 360 in the hope that they wouldn't fix the loophole - which they didn't)... as I remember, the original hack required a lot of work though - hooking the 360's DVD to your PC to extract a hash key, encoding copied game discs specifically for your Xbox, etc. Presumably hackers now have a "proper" hack for the 360...?

MS/Sony/Nintendo just need to push further with their methods for reducing hacking - MS came very close to beating the hackers this time I reckon. No idea how well Sony fared. One thing that they could do, for example, is to heavilly protect the cases of the consoles... make it difficult for the modders to get inside (without totally destroying the look of the console). That would make modding more expensive and, in turn, greatly reduce the number of people doing it. Implement the "device kill" systems on top. Push more games to be Live enabled (and disable Live for those found to be using modded kits). And make games digital-download-only with level data etc only downloaded as needed.

Together, these would make modding pretty pointless.

Posted:4 years ago

#10
Another subversive cunning plan is to name/shame piraters.

It worked in times ancient, and its pretty simple (in principle)

OK, so hackers want to hack - eventually when their accounts are brought to notice, you can opt to instill some heavy forms of punishement from humiliating to public like days of ole.

Eg. Hacked account symbol/icon

- IN game trade is 300% more expensive
- All city/home guards attack player on sight
- Transport/movement is 1/4th normal speed
- All friendly/hazadrous foes get +200% bonus against said enemy

And alot more in game subversive methods that can either make life for the known pirater hell on cyberspace or so unbearable they either get a legit copy or quit.

This way, you dont have to worry about piracy code, yoru in game population who opted to pay for it will do the job of policing 60% of the piraters :)

Posted:4 years ago

#11
""Nintendo could also embed 'kill-switches' into each 3DS, which would allow them to disable devices shown to be cheating or carrying our piracy - and use the wireless 'push' mechanism to trigger it."

What if hackers hacked the switch and blew everyone's DS up? :) "

To do this, hackers would need to gain control of the Nintendo owned servers which service the 3DS traffic. It wouldn't just be a simple "kill me" message to a unit - rather a series of encoded discussions between 3DS and server. Worst case, Nintendo could "unkill" hardware units.

Posted:4 years ago

#12

Kingman Cheng
Illustrator and Animator

952 180 0.2
Dr. Wong for Prime Minister! ;D

I think that's a bloody brilliant idea in all honesty, the idea of 'normal gamers' being able to point and laugh at them I think is fantastic.

Posted:4 years ago

#13

Shane Sweeney
Academic

365 292 0.8
@Kingman Cheng, the PlayStation 3 has never been hacked in any real sense. No PlayStation 3 game has ever been pirated. I might be running on outdated info, but the PSPGo hasnt been either.

As a big advocate of not locking down hardware who has been enjoying his Nintendo DS as an MP3 player for years I dont see it as a possitive step.

Posted:4 years ago

#14

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,266 2,404 1.1
Shane, the PS3 has been hacked but it has the indirect piracy prevention method of being Blu-ray based. Pirating 25 GB's of data and requiring a Blu-ray burner are huge deterrents that make it more work than pirates prefer to deal with.

And the PSP Go has also been hacked.

Posted:4 years ago

#15

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