John Hillier of the European industry group Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) has claimed that 90 percent of Nintendo DS owners in America are using pirated games.
Speaking to the Sunday Post about the R4 "pirate chip" for the DS, Hillier, manager of the association's Intellectual Property Crimes Unit, said, "In America it's thought 90 percent of Nintendo DS users are playing pirated games because of R4s. Takings from Nintendo DS games in the U.S. are lower than any other console and no doubt it will have a similar impact (in the U.K.)."
"That's the real danger - you may think you're getting a good deal but using the R4 is risking the future of the games industry," he continued. "Crucially, the R4 has shifted balance of power in the piracy industry to the consumer - and that is hugely worrying. That's why we intend to stop trade in these chips wherever we can."
The R4, made in China, bypasses the DS' built-in blocks against illegitimate software. "The R4 in effect blinds the console and makes it think it's seeing a genuine game," Hillier explained. The sale of the chip is against the law in the U.K., he said, but purchasing it is not. However, DS owners who use it to download and play illegal software could face civil action from the game's copyright owner.