Nintendo thinks that the golden age of piracy is slowly coming to an end – and that pirates will have a hard time cracking its 3DS.

Piracy: Mentioning the word alone in a news post is all but guaranteed to spark controversy in the discussion thread. It’s a big problem in the industry and everyone knows it – whether you’re on the developers’ side and think they should be paid for their work, or whether you’re on the other side and think that anti-piracy restrictions have gone too far and catch legitimate customers in their wake.

Speaking with CVG at the Nintendo 3DS event in Amsterdam, Nintendo UK general manager David Yarnton and marketing manager James Honeywell said that not only did the 3DS have Nintendo’s most sophisticated anti-piracy deterrents yet, the age of the pirates had peaked.

“People are aware that video games, music and movies make massive contributions to the economies of countries,” said Honeywell. “They need to make sure they start protecting those things.”

“I think perhaps there’s been a ‘heyday of piracy’ and we’ve now seen a lot of rules come in to stop it.”

“Recently there have been a couple of rulings with R4s where people have been found guilty and had quite significant sentences against them,” added Yarnton. “This now makes a precedent that potentially in the future it won’t be a viable thing for people to do.”

Yarnton mentions the R4 by name, which isn’t surprising – the infamous flashcart was perhaps the single most damaging blow dealt to Nintendo’s popular DS platform, as it enabled quick and easy piracy of DS software. The 3DS, however, would be more resistant to devices like the R4, said Yarnton, echoing statements made by THQ back in July.

“We can’t divulge any technical details on that but needless to say this is probably one of our best pieces of equipment in that respect,” said Yarnton. “There are a lot of things we’ve learnt over time to try and improve the security and protection – not only of our IP but of our third-party publishers’ IP as well.”

Of course, Yarnton’s reluctance to speak on the matter was partially due to him being rather savvy to the ways of the pirate community – any boasting about one’s electronic security is likely to be taken as a challenge to be bested.

“It’s always like a red rag to a bull isn’t it? I almost don’t want to comment on that sort of thing.”


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