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Nintendo Upset Over Nokia Game Emulation Video

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the super-mario-takedown dept.

Emulation (Games) 189

An anonymous reader writes "Nintendo is investigating potential copyright infringement by Nokia during some video demos of their N900 phone, which can be seen emulating Nintendo games. Nintendo spokesman Robert Saunders says: 'We take rigorous steps to protect our IP and our legal team will examine this to determine if any infringement has taken place.' In the video, Nokia says, 'Most publishers allow individual title usage, provided that the user is in possession of the original title.'"

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189 comments

Anyone ever read the instruction manuals? (1, Informative)

FrostDust (1009075) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280080)

Look in the back of the instructional manual for your old Nintendo games. I remember that SNES games (and probably others up until the Gamecube) allowed you to make "one backup copy for archival purposes", or something to that effect.

Two caveats here:

I don't remember the exact wording, but I'm pretty sure "make" implied ripping the cartridges yourself, not downloading them from a ROM site.

Also, playing the game on your phone doesn't seem like an "archival purpose" to me.

Re:Anyone ever read the instruction manuals? (1)

Psaakyrn (838406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280108)

[Citation Please]

Somehow I doubt that, considering that cartridges aren't exactly the most "backup-friendly" hardware I've seen.

Re:Anyone ever read the instruction manuals? (3, Informative)

PakProtector (115173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280130)

You must be pretty damn young, then. I remember the machiens for copying NES, SNES, and Genesis carts being very, very common in the late '80s and early '90s. Pretty much every video store that rented games had 'em.

Re:Anyone ever read the instruction manuals? (1)

Psaakyrn (838406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280192)

That or I don't live where you do; There wasn't any game rental stores in Singapore back then as far as I know. Not that there was any purpose for such, considering the piracy rates back then.

Re:Anyone ever read the instruction manuals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30281546)

Not much fun these days.. It was briefly a store in Changi Village about two years ago and there are some street sellers from time to time.

I saw some street sellers outside MRT stations from time to time when I lived in Singapore.

Never seen a illegal software shop in any Nordic country :-)

Re:Anyone ever read the instruction manuals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30282440)

WTF... I rented more than my share of NES games back in the day from several stores (US Midwest), and I don't remember anything like this. Were these machines you speak of in plain sight, or behind a curtain like the naughty movies?

Re:Anyone ever read the instruction manuals? (1)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30282706)

I rented almost every NES and Genesis game within 20 miles of my home (at least 5 different rental stores) and never heard of a cartridge copier except vague notions of epic machinery at Nintendo HQ until I read your post.

Did you live in Akihabara or something?

Re:Anyone ever read the instruction manuals? (5, Informative)

wParam (162415) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280232)

I checked the book for Mario Paint and the SNES Mario Kart; I didn't see anything obvious one way or the other on this topic. However, systems more recent than that (N64, gamecube and wii) definitely DO have something to say. It actually says the exact opposite of what you suggest:

"Copying of any Nintendo game is illegal and is strictly prohibited by domestic and international intellectual property laws. "Back-up" or "archival" copies are not authorized and are not necessary to protect your software. Violators will be prosecuted."
-Inside front cover of Smash Brothers: Brawl for wii.

They actually manage to make the message even more infuriating by telling outright lies. (Not necessary? Are they seriously implying that their disks can't ever be scratched by anything? Or that an N64 cart can't be killed by ESD?)

So, while they may have once been cool about it, at some point they decided that being jerks was the way to go. It's been this way since N64, so I'm sure the DS games say the same thing.

Note: I looked in the book for Mario Kart 64, and found this exact message there, too. It's possible that third party titles don't have a message this ridiculous. I remember it being in the gamecube manuals, too, but don't have one at hand to check for sure.

Re:Anyone ever read the instruction manuals? (5, Informative)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280302)

"Copying of any Nintendo game is illegal and is strictly prohibited by domestic and international intellectual property laws. "Back-up" or "archival" copies are not authorized and are not necessary to protect your software. Violators will be prosecuted." -Inside front cover of Smash Brothers: Brawl for wii.

I see the same notice in Super Star Wars for the SNES, and Pokemon Yellow manuals. It is older than N64 but I don't have a NES manual handy to see if it older than this.

Re:Anyone ever read the instruction manuals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30281164)

Try something like the manual for the original Legend of Zelda. I remember what he said about making a backup copy and it used to be in there, but we're talking a LONG time ago, like in the NES and early SNES/Gameboy days. I, for one, sold my consoles long before the N64 even existed and if you wanted a color Gameboy, you used that Gameboy-to-SNES adapter cartridge.

Not necessary to protect software??? (1)

PMBjornerud (947233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30282226)

"Copying of any Nintendo game is illegal and is strictly prohibited by domestic and international intellectual property laws. "Back-up" or "archival" copies are not authorized and are not necessary to protect your software.

Emphasis added.

Is that a written guarantee that no 7-year-old kid could possibly manage to destroy a game disk?

Re:Not necessary to protect software??? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#30282778)

I read it as a guarantee that they'll replace every disk no matter how it's destroyed. They even imply they'll pay shipping.

Re:Anyone ever read the instruction manuals? (3, Informative)

thetartanavenger (1052920) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280304)

The thing is some countries have copyright laws that explicitly allow copying for backup purposes. I'm pretty sure the UK is one of these, pretty certainly for software. Would a SNES cartridge constitute software or firmware and does it make a difference?

Of course Nokia aren't exactly a UK company and they clearly aren't using it for backup purposes, but frankly I don't see anything wrong with what they did (provided they own the actual cartridges).

Re:Anyone ever read the instruction manuals? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30280460)

Laws always trump the wishful-thinking fine print of corporations. I don't even read what some company wants to tell me, because it's usually bogus.

Germany has even less strict laws in some respect. You are allowed to copy for private purposes, if the copy is made from a legitimate source. That doesn't include spreading it on the internet but making a copy for your friends (real friends not twitter/myspace/facebook "friends"). We even pay a certain amount of money on blank discs, scanners, etc. for this purpose. Funny enough it is not allowed to bypass "effective" copy protection (whatever effective may mean).

No worries though, lobbyists are already bribing politicians to ban this right.

Re:Anyone ever read the instruction manuals? (1)

supernova_hq (1014429) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280616)

Same here in Canada (except that last part about copy protection).

On that note, my guess is that if you were able to bypass it, it wasn't very "effective" now was it? :D

Re:Anyone ever read the instruction manuals? (3, Informative)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280586)

The thing is some countries have copyright laws that explicitly allow copying for backup purposes. I'm pretty sure the UK is one of these, pretty certainly for software.

The US is also one of these. 17 USC 117 [bitlaw.com] applies to any "computer program", even one for a special-purpose computer like a game console.

Re:Anyone ever read the instruction manuals? (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280650)

Actually in the UK you have zero rights to create archive or backup copies of copyrighted media, at least you used to, this may have changed. There was actually a push by music companies to give you the right for a backup copy ( on the basis that a single company suing for a tape/mp3 copy to play in a car stereo would make them all look incredibly bad and force a much more liberal fair use law).

I believe UK law permits one workable version of anything you've a licence for (you can copy a SNES cart but you have to destroy the original and you can't circumvent copy protection measures). Also allows for recordings of broadcasts, provided you delete them after viewing or a reasonable time period.

Re:Anyone ever read the instruction manuals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30281688)

Yeah, even making a mix CD with iTunes is technically an infringement although they helpfully announced they wouldn't prosecute for it. Just one more area of UK law where the deck is stacked against the proles.

Re:Anyone ever read the instruction manuals? (1)

Wooky_linuxer (685371) | more than 4 years ago | (#30281554)

In Brasil there is also an explicit provision for a single backup copy of computer programs (they might try and argue that a videogame is not a computer, though).

Protection breaking too (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 4 years ago | (#30282776)

The thing is some countries have copyright laws that explicitly allow copying for backup purposes.

And some countries (like Switzerland) even have their local clone of DMCA containing an exception giving authorisation to break encryption/protection if it stays in the way, as long as you're only making copies which abid the "fair use" exception of copyright law.

Back to the current case :
There's basically nothing wrong in what Nokia did in most jurisdiction - as long as the salesperson or someone else at Nokia *bought* said nintendo game cartridge.
The person made (or obtained) a copy - which *was not* given to other people. It's considered as a *private copy* destined only for the *private usage* of the original owner - something falling under the "fair use" of most jurisdictions' copyright law. The copyright law would have been infringed if Nokia subsequently distributed/sold or otherwise made those copy available.
But that's not the case, the copy was used by the original owner, although not in the original equipment for which it was intended for - but that has nothing to do with copyright law (except in some country like the US with its broken DMCA law, if there's some encryption involved in the process).

Also, the usage of the game it self was within a demo and should fall again under the citation part of "fair use".
(Unlike say, for example, recording absolutely all audio & graphical assets of the game and releasing them as a video without clearing broadcast rights-related problem first - but that's more commonly a problem associated with public display of *movies* not public display of *games*)

The only thing that Nintendo is pissed about is the effect of this demo on their public image, and there isn't much they can do about this -specially not with the copyright law.

Re:Anyone ever read the instruction manuals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30281024)

That is in direct violation of my consumer rights according to the norwegian constitution so I'll backup as much as I very well please.

Re:Anyone ever read the instruction manuals? (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#30281266)

i love that it says "your software" and still go on about things you cant do...

Re:Anyone ever read the instruction manuals? (1)

stiggle (649614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30281370)

Except that certain countries copyright law states that you have the right to make a backup copy of computer system media. A console is still a computer system.

So national law trumps Nintendo EULA.

Re:Anyone ever read the instruction manuals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30280402)

I only remember the old manuals saying that copying cartridges was copyright infringement. The new ones say the same. The ROM dump sites were the ones pretending there was a 24 hour rule.

Not that Nintendo was or is telling the truth. Copyright is a complicated animal but in general if you are not distributing anything you don't have to worry. They could write in the manual that you have to call them before you use the bathroom, that doesn't mean it's actual law.

Re:Anyone ever read the instruction manuals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30280838)

Apparently you didn't

The game manuals for NES, SNES and N64 games explicitly said that making backup copies was not only unnecessary but illegal.

Oh, Nokia.. (2, Insightful)

Psaakyrn (838406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280096)

"Most publishers allow individual title usage, provided that the user is in possession of the original title."

This might explain why their platforms failed so much (well, other than side-talking and whatnot). I have not really heard of any major publisher that allows copies of their titles (disregarding software officially released free) so I don't know who gave Nokia that info.

Not to mention this is NINTENDO. If there's a single game company who is most likely to oppose emulation, it's Nintendo.

And for reference, Nintendo's Policy (5, Informative)

Psaakyrn (838406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280152)

http://www.nintendo.com/corp/legal.jsp#roms [nintendo.com]

How Does Nintendo Feel About the Emergence of Video Game Emulators?

The introduction of emulators created to play illegally copied Nintendo software represents the greatest threat to date to the intellectual property rights of video game developers. As is the case with any business or industry, when its products become available for free, the revenue stream supporting that industry is threatened. Such emulators have the potential to significantly damage a worldwide entertainment software industry which generates over $15 billion annually, and tens of thousands of jobs.

What Does Nintendo Think of the Argument that Emulators are Actually Good for Nintendo Because it Promotes the Nintendo Brand to PC Users and Leads to More Sales?

Distribution of an emulator developed to play illegally copied Nintendo software hurts Nintendo's goodwill, the millions of dollars invested in research & development and marketing by Nintendo and its licensees. Substantial damages are caused to Nintendo and its licensees. It is irrelevant whether or not someone profits from the distribution of an emulator. The emulator promotes the play of illegal ROMs , NOT authentic games. Thus, not only does it not lead to more sales, it has the opposite effect and purpose.

How Come Nintendo Does Not Take Steps Towards Legitimizing Nintendo Emulators?

Emulators developed to play illegally copied Nintendo software promote piracy. That's like asking why doesn't Nintendo legitimize piracy. It doesn't make any business sense. It's that simple and not open to debate.

People Making Nintendo Emulators and Nintendo ROMs are Helping Publishers by Making Old Games Available that are No Longer Being Sold by the Copyright Owner. This Does Not Hurt Anyone and Allows Gamers to Play Old Favorites. What's the Problem?

The problem is that it's illegal. Copyrights and trademarks of games are corporate assets. If these vintage titles are available far and wide, it undermines the value of this intellectual property and adversely affects the right owner. In addition, the assumption that the games involved are vintage or nostalgia games is incorrect. Nintendo is famous for bringing back to life its popular characters for its newer systems, for example, Mario and Donkey Kong have enjoyed their adventures on all Nintendo platforms, going from coin-op machines to our latest hardware platforms. As a copyright owner, and creator of such famous characters, only Nintendo has the right to benefit from such valuable assets.

Re:And for reference, Nintendo's Policy (1)

planetoid (719535) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280186)

Nintendo is famous for bringing back to life its popular characters for its newer systems, for example, Mario and Donkey Kong have enjoyed their adventures on all Nintendo platforms

WHAT ABOUT EARTHBOUND?

Re:And for reference, Nintendo's Policy (1)

DreadPiratePizz (803402) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280228)

Mother 3 is for the GBA. There's even an english patch out there.

Re:And for reference, Nintendo's Policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30281488)

And if you believe Nintendo's "all ROMs are illegal", there is no legal way to use it, because you can't apply the patch to your cartridge (it's called ROM for a reason).

Re:And for reference, Nintendo's Policy (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 4 years ago | (#30281988)

Good luck applying an English patch to your original Mother 3 cartridge.

Re:And for reference, Nintendo's Policy (4, Insightful)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280260)

The introduction of emulators created to play illegally copied Nintendo software represents the greatest threat to date to the intellectual property rights of video game developers.

Wow, self-centered much? So piracy of Nintendo games is the greatest threat to date to the IP rights of video game developers as a whole?

Re:And for reference, Nintendo's Policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30281978)

How else are companies like Sega meant to milk another few purchases of Sonic 2 out of their customers.

So wrong it wraps around to correct (4, Insightful)

Rix (54095) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280454)

Emulators developed to play illegally copied Nintendo software promote piracy. That's like asking why doesn't Nintendo legitimize piracy. It doesn't make any business sense. It's that simple and not open to debate.

They're right that it's not open to debate. Piracy is going to happen, and there's absolutely nothing Nintendo or anyone else can do about it. They can accept that, and find a way to profit from it, or turn away people who want to be paying customers.

Re:So wrong it wraps around to correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30281794)

They can accept that, and find a way to profit from it, or turn away people who want to be paying customers.

What, you mean like constantly re-releasing their classic games for modern platforms, like what they've been doing? Sounds like yet another excuse for pirates to legitimize their piracy. "They're not doing what they should be doing, even though they are."

Re:So wrong it wraps around to correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30282112)

Furthermore, Nintendo pretty much encourage copying games on the Wii and NDS to get the game unit sales up very fast. Only once they'd made a killing on the devices do they slowly start to close the blatant holes. The only reason these two devices sold so well is the massive library of games available, easily accessible, and effectively free.

Re:And for reference, Nintendo's Policy (1)

tagno25 (1518033) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280468)

How Come Nintendo Does Not Take Steps Towards Legitimizing Nintendo Emulators?

Emulators developed to play illegally copied Nintendo software promote piracy. That's like asking why doesn't Nintendo legitimize piracy. It doesn't make any business sense. It's that simple and not open to debate.

So thy are just saying that they do not want to make an emulator that works like the Wii VC for computers. (have encryption and sell the roms themselves)

I lol'd (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 4 years ago | (#30282232)

That article's Q&A format is quite funny. It has good questions, and then they're all answered with "IT'S ILLEGAL, IT'S ILLEGAL, IT'S ILLEGAL GODDAMMIT!!! Also, $corporate_fluff_pity_speech." Reminds me of John McCain's debate style - "HE'S GONNA RAISE TAXES!!! Also, $argument_for_smaller_government."

Re:And for reference, Nintendo's Policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30282758)

please, learn something from e e cummings

Re:Oh, Nokia.. (3, Interesting)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280338)

Not to mention this is NINTENDO. If there's a single game company who is most likely to oppose emulation, it's Nintendo.

Allow me to introduce you to the Nintendo Gateway System [panasonic.aero] for IFE's (In Flight Entertainment systems). Such systems have been in place on many airlines for some time now, this one is uses GameBoy roms but the one's I've used on Singapore Airlines used NES and SNES roms.

Nintendo aren't against emulation, they are all for it (after all the whole virtual console thing is emulation) they just want to sell it. Nintendo's problem isn't that the emulators exist it that they are competing commercially (I.E. Nokia wants to make money for itself by advertising Nintendo's products without permission).

MS and Sony are far more hostile to emulation, they just haven't been in the game long enough to be affected by it. MS has released 2 generations of console, Sony 3 generations whilst Nintendo have had 6 generations released.

Re:Oh, Nokia.. (1)

Psaakyrn (838406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280394)

By your definition, Sony and Microsoft isn't that hostile to emulation, since they did use emulation to maintain backwards compatibility for a while. (granted they did stop them some time later).

But we're not referring to those kinds of emulation. Refer to that handy link I added.

Note that they haven't accused yet (4, Insightful)

coppro (1143801) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280120)

It's worth pointing out that Nintendo merely wants to find out if infringement occurred - they're almost certainly as aware as every other game company that emulation is legal. It's quite possible, however, that there was indeed some copyright infringement, such as in acquiring the game, and they want to be sure that their competitors are playing by the book.
This is reasonable, in my opinion.

Re:Note that they haven't accused yet (4, Insightful)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30281742)

Nintendo: I don't want you to emulate our games on your phone!
V!NCENT: Dear Nintendo, can I buy a 8bit GameBoy then?
Nintendo: No we don't sell them anymore.
V!NCENT: Ehm... ?

Mario is Copyrighted? (2, Interesting)

feedayeen (1322473) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280126)

How many Mario clones have been made using flash/java web applications this last decade alone? Answer: 2.35 * 10 ^ 34

Re:Mario is Copyrighted? (4, Insightful)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280148)

Yeah but Nintendo chooses to ignore those because they are not from direct mobile competitors. If MS or Sony put up a Mario flash game on their site Nintendo would sue the shit out of them.

Re:Mario is Copyrighted? (1)

Psaakyrn (838406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280162)

There is a difference though, most of those clones would fall under fair use, since they're non-commercial and can possibly be argued to be educational (for the programmer) as well. Nokia has no such argument.

Things are copyrighted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30280226)

How many copies have been made using computers this last decade alone?

Most publishers... (1)

Zedrick (764028) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280268)

I really don't care what most publishers says, I only care about what the laws in my country says. That's what matters, unless you live in some place where the publishers owns the government and make their own laws (or licenses that supersedes the law). And in my country I have every right to play what I own on any device I feel like.

(don't know for how long though, given the current copyright jihad.)

Re:Most publishers... (2, Insightful)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280358)

Precisely. Even more important is that emulators do not themselves constitute copyright infringement (unless they contain a ripped BIOS or the like), nor do they bypass copy protection (that's the job of the game ripper, not the emulator), so Nintendo can do squat about the application itself. At most, Nintendo is pulling a PR move here. The only real claim they have relates to whether some employee at Nokia illegally downloaded games that he does not own for the purposes of this demostration.

Re:Most publishers... (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280574)

No, they can make a copyright infringement claim over the video itself. It would be the same if a microsoft commercial had someone playing half-life without Valve's authorization.

Re:Most publishers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30280964)

How do you associate an ingame video recording with copyright? Copyright on Halflife means they have the "Exclusive right to make copies of the game's files". Maybe you meant trademark? Or perhaps their EULA?

Re:Most publishers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30280670)

Bypassing copyright protection for compatibility purposes is also legal in most EU countries.

Dear Nintendo (2, Insightful)

Random5 (826815) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280360)

Either start selling copies of these roms (or licenses to play them) on your website or shut the hell up. You're not losing profit on games for consoles which are 3 and 4 generations obsolete if you're not selling new copies of those games. Charging people say $1, $2 a pop to download 1meg roms off your site would have a pretty damn high profit margin I think.

Re:Dear Nintendo (1)

Psaakyrn (838406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280440)

The games demonstrated in the video (Super Mario World and Super Mario Bros 3) are both available as a Wii download, so there is no excuse for Nokia still.

Re:Dear Nintendo (-1, Flamebait)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280466)

Why the fuck should we have to buy a Wii to play old nintendo games when we already own perfectly good computers?

Re:Dear Nintendo (1)

Psaakyrn (838406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280482)

A better argument would be why buy the games that you already own, but that isn't the point here. Parent asked Nintendo to sell games or shut up, Nintendo is already selling games.

Not to mention your perfectly good computers can't emulate Nintendo hardware perfectly last I checked.

Re:Dear Nintendo (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280546)

Uh, have you ever used ZSNES? I'm fairly sure it runs just about every SNES game ever made with the same accuracy that a Wii would, if it had someone tweak every single 'ROM' for the platform as is done for Wii.

Re:Dear Nintendo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30280740)

Correct, ZSNES and the Wii VC both have countless issues, see https://zsnes.bountysource.com/development/bug_report just for the common ones. The VC system distributes a custom emulator with each game, and is usually patched to work around any bugs.

Re:Dear Nintendo (1, Informative)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280942)

Why the fuck should we have to buy a Wii to play old nintendo games when we already own perfectly good computers?

The law? Any rom of a game you haven't bought is CLEARLY illegal; a rom of a game you've previously purchased may or may not be, it's a little bit of a grey area (in the US).

Re:Dear Nintendo (2, Insightful)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280970)

You're missing my point. It's a dick move for Nintendo to try and force me to buy a second, proprietary computer in order to play their games when they could just sell them to me on the computer that I already own. I already know it's illegal to pirate games, that's a no-brainer.

Re:Dear Nintendo (1)

masterzora (871343) | more than 4 years ago | (#30281342)

You could say that about consoles in general, and yet there are three major ones making money right now.

Re:Dear Nintendo (1)

stiggle (649614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30281442)

No-one is forcing you to buy additional hardware - if you have the games already then you have the hardware to play them on - the original handheld consoles.

Want to play Tetris - play it on your GameBoy - it uses less power than your PC and its portable too. Golden Sun - play it on your GameBoyAdvance.

Re:Dear Nintendo (1)

berglin (846569) | more than 4 years ago | (#30281018)

Because owning a computer doesn't give you any inherent rights to anything. Why would owning a generic piece of hardware entitle you to anything Nintendo at all?

And, perhaps most importantly, because the software owners say so.

Re:Dear Nintendo (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30281082)

Maybe you missed my point because I didn't express it clearly enough, but I am drawing attention to the fact that what they have "said so" is bad for us and bad for them. There's no way I'm going to buy a Wii, so they'd stand to make more money by selling me NES and SNES roms on the computer that I already own.

It's a dick move for Nintendo to artificially restrict access to their product in the way that they've decided to do so. If all I want is to play old videogames, $200 for a Wii doesn't make much sense. It also doesn't make sense for me to buy a bunch of old game consoles and clutter my living room with 4 or 5 different computers when just one would suffice.

I'm not advocating piracy here, I'm just saying that forcing the consumer to buy "special" hardware in order to play a game that would work rather well on any PC on the market is a dick move.

Wooosh!

Re:Dear Nintendo (1)

masterzora (871343) | more than 4 years ago | (#30281354)

I'm not advocating piracy here, I'm just saying that forcing the consumer to buy "special" hardware in order to play a game that would work rather well on any PC on the market is a dick move.

And yet we have three major consoles on the market right now.... Interesting.

Re:Dear Nintendo (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30281504)

If you want to play old video games then $200 for a Wii is a lot less than $1500 for a full arcade cabinet with an original circuit board in it.

No-one if forcing you to buy anything. No-one is forcing you to pirate the games - except you.
You're the only one forcing yourself to do these things.

To take your argument to an extreme(*) - Sony are such dicks for not releasing their games for the XBox. Why should I have to buy a Playstation to play those games when I have an XBox already.
Why should I have to buy a PC to run Office when I already have an XBox. If it can play Resident Evil then it should be powerful enough to display sodding Clippy - and I know which is more evil(**).

(*) I don't own a Playstation or an XBox - I was just using it as an example.
(**) Clippy is more evil than anything in Resident Evil

Re:Dear Nintendo (1)

Archaemic (1546639) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280446)

That's basically what the Wii's Virtual Console is. Only caveat is that you have to have a Wii to play them. And, well, you're not SUPPOSED to be able to copy them, but there are hacks that let you.

Re:Dear Nintendo (2, Informative)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280476)

Nintendo are selling some of the more popular titles via Wii shop (and some DS shop?). Of course, they are not at all obliged to do this to keep their copyrights; they're free to cash in from their work whenever they like.

In fact, it's very possible that there would be more classic titles on sale if less people were downloading them beforehand. Some games, thanks to their demand drying up, might no longer have the demand necessary for Nintendo to be bothered making them available.

Re:Dear Nintendo (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280888)

I think most 10-20 year old games are popular precisely due to the availiblity to download them over the past years.

Re:Dear Nintendo (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#30281374)

You know what? I think Nintendo doesn't require pirates to handle their marketing. I'm pretty sure they can make good games popular without people ripping them off.

Re:Dear Nintendo (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30282116)

You misread me if you thought I said that.

I am just refuting your point about some games not being available due to the accessibility of questionable downloads.

Re:Dear Nintendo (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280478)

Uhh, Doesn't the Wii have an online marketplace where you can get those games from systems past and play them on your new Wii under emulation?

I'm sure they aren't making these [amazon.com] two items [amazon.com] just to look pretty on a shelf.

Re:Dear Nintendo (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30281288)

You're incredibly stupid. Property rights mean that Nintendo can do whatever they want with their intellectual property - including lock it in a nuclear bunker so nobody can play it.

You don't think that Nintendo's rights are "fair"? Tough - you don't own Nintendo's property. The same way that I don't own yours.

For example, I'll pretend to be you, you be Nintendo:

Your house is not used while you're not home. Therefore, you must have no objection to me sleeping in your living room while you're not home. So either let me into your house, or shut up about me breaking in while you're not home.

(Also, I'll be around tomorrow to use your computer while you're watching TV.)

So, in short: just as I can't use your property without your permission, you can't use Nintendo's intellectual property without their permission. That's the way it works. Period.

All this talk of sharing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30282268)

All this talk of sharing makes me think you must be a dick-sucking commie faggot.

Here in America, this is how we roll: I'll take whatever I want because your little bitch-ass can't stop me.

It worked on Afghanistan, worked on Iraq, and it will work on Iran and Nintendo.

Yours In World Domination,
G. W. Bush

nintendo emulators on Nokia Phones (2, Informative)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280398)

There's a company that made commercial console emulators for Nokia Series 60 phones:
Vampent - http://vampent.com [vampent.com]
Their products are: VNES = NES Emulator
VBOY = Gameboy Color Emulator
VSUN = SNES Emulator
VBAG/VBAGX = Gameboy Advance Emulator

Re:nintendo emulators on Nokia Phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30281490)

Then Vampent had better watch out, Nintendo have taken out a patent for emulation of Nintendo hardware on other systems.

Nokia Management Are Retarded (-1, Troll)

mrpacmanjel (38218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280682)

Actually, the "launch" of the N900 has been shambolic to say the least!

For Nokia (a global company!) to actually sanction a video showing the N900 running software in a "legally-gray" area is typical of the brain-dead decisions made by Nokia "management".

What if Nintendo decided to pursue this legally?

I know that emulation in itself is legal but I imagine Nintendo have much deeper pockets that Nokia and could use a court case to make an example of Nokia.

*IF* Nintendo *had* an actual case they could halt the sale of the phone or demand changes to the software?

At the very least financial compensation?

Using emulation of software as an "official" selling point of the phone is just typical of the wierd decisions made by Nokia and seems a bit desperate.

Nokia a *European* company decide to ship the N900 in the USA first (nothing wrong in itself) but considering thier market share is less than 9% and no carrier willing to subsidise the phone is pretty stupid - will you have to pay for the phone upfront?.

Here in the UK Nokia have a 40% share (and losing it to iPhone) of the market and launching in the UK last!
Also the release of the N900 was supposed to be at the end of October then delayed over three times (now 4th December) - people pre-ordered it in October (expecting it at the end of the October) and just maybe will get the phone this week - it's the first week of December - *if* you pre-ordered early!

*Many* people were pissed-off about this and some of cancelled thier orders.

I think this was an under-handed tactic to delay the consumer's purchasing decision - it's now December, wait a couple more months and some sexy mobile phones will be hitting the market (e.g. Motorola Droid and se X10 Android phones)

Oh and originally the phone would not work with the "3" network in the UK without a "pending" update - a major oversight and....
Portrait mode only worked on the "phone call" application - other apps *only* worked in landscape!

Re:Nokia Management Are Retarded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30280752)

So Nokia may not be doing anything legally wrong, but they're threatening the concept of infinite copyright, which justifies what you imply to be a frivolous lawsuit?

I've seen reasoning that insane before, but rarely are the failures in it so explicit.

Re:Nokia Management Are Retarded (1)

mrpacmanjel (38218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30281110)

what you imply to be a frivolous lawsuit?

That is *exactly* what I am saying - if they actually did it.

I don't think Nintendo would be stupid enough to start some sort of legal proceedings but I think Nokia took at unnecessary risk but *offically* and *actively* promoting a video that basically said "Look Nintendo - our hardware can run your computer games" - the video even has a "Nokia.com" watermark over it.

I think to risk the time, effort and money in marketing and developing the N900 over something as "legally charged" like this is insane.

Realisticly, Nintendo will probably do nothing maybe issue a stern warning or something.

But then again it comes down to "common-sense" which everyone knows are "amply abundant" in corporate law and motivations behind many lawsuits.

Re:Nokia Management Are Retarded (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30282246)

That is *exactly* what I am saying - if they actually did it.

Then stop saying it. It makes you sound stupid. Everyone can toss out improbable scenarios, but you're actually advocating on making important business decisions on something exceedingly unlikely to happen, and even further, claiming that not doing so is BRAINDEAD? Jeez.

IF your imagination would shape the world and Nintendo actually was the bigger one, sure, they just might do it, even though they know they don't have a case, but since like the other AC said, Nokia has three times deeper pockets, Nintendo will do squat. Nada. Zilch. There's nothing in it for them, and a whole lot to lose, they could very well establish a high profile court case that deems emulation perfectly legal...

Re:Nokia Management Are Retarded (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30280896)

Nokia Corporation is three times as large as Nintendo by revenue and assets, although Nokia's market cap is only 50 % larger.

Nintendo should use this to their advantage (1)

cfriedt (1189527) | more than 4 years ago | (#30280864)

True, it was kind of dumb that Nokia demonstrated something in a video that was obviously in violation of copyright. However, Nintendo hasn't been supporting those systems for what, like a decade now? There was a large generation of people (myself included) who preferred the classic NES or SNES over today's consoles.

This video demonstrated that there still is a market for the work that Nintendo did over 10 years ago, and they should pursue a strategy with Nokia to monetize that if they're so concerned.

Re:Nintendo should use this to their advantage (1)

Kashgarinn (1036758) | more than 4 years ago | (#30281626)

I'm against Nintendo for this kind of crap.

They're complaining about an emulator for old crap they've long time ago stopped selling. If they really had been interested in making a profit of the symbian/Iphone/Android cellphones, they'd have been themselves making emulators so that they could have an online store they could sell games for the phones.

They didn't, and someone else gave his free time to make a kickass emulator, and I think Nokia is right in showing what the phone can do. If nintendo gets their act together, realize it's not about having total-control-of-the-platform, but about the games and enjoyability, and want to create a marketable gaming product for the various cellphone OSes, they should stop whining like little bitches, and make something cool for the platforms, instead of whining about it and shitting on other peoples creativity.

I don't buy games for the wii/DS because I have some affinity for the platform or nintendo, I buy them for the games sake. If I can enjoy them on my cellphone, so much the better.

Re:Nintendo should use this to their advantage (2, Insightful)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 4 years ago | (#30282024)

The problem is that Nintendo is selling both an emulator for their older consoles (the Wii, via the Virtual Console) and those older games as well. They most likely plan to release a number of games not on the market yet. Essentially, if a game has even been released on a Nintendo platform, they actually expect to sell it until the heat death of the universe or their bankuptcy, whichever comes later.

emulators (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30281156)

I don't remember if I've seen the video in question, but I think it has just been a human mistake, not their marketing department plan to promote the device with nintendo game, otherwise it would have most likely been pointed out by the legal department. Hopefully they can just apologize and possibly pay a small fine to Nintendo and be done with it.

What comes to emulation itself, I think there is lot of potential for emulation of dead platforms in general, but Nintendos old systems are not among them. They just are too zealous about their products and just like all console manufacturers they want to keep as much of the games as possible exclusively on their consoles to increase their consoles attraction. So there is no sense for Nintendo to start supplying ROMs to competitors devices, when people know they can access those games if theyl buy DS or Wii. After all, they are in business for money, not to make everybody happy.

On the other hand there are many other platforms like Sega perhaps and old computers such as C64 or Amiga. Even some DOS games would run nicely with DOSBox or ScummVM. If there was a legal and easy way for users to download these for various devices such as iPhone, Android, S60 or Maemo, that would most likely make lot of money to the copyright owners ( if those can still be found..) with little effort and people wouldn't have to piratise them.

Think Geek should be next in line to be sued... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30281314)

Hey look, Think Geek (a sister company to Slashdot) is doing exactly the same with this product. [thinkgeek.com] The video for that item demonstrates piracy in action.

And if you think that it's okay because of the "nudge, nudge, wink" attitude - consider how incredibly hypocritical that is when there's a copyright notice at the bottom of every GeekNet page (including this one.) Clearly they think that copyright laws apply to other people, but not themselves.

Still waiting for decent Pokemon iPhone app! (0, Troll)

ad454 (325846) | more than 4 years ago | (#30281518)

I would gladly pay for any app that would let me run something similar to the Pokemon DS/DSi games on the iPhone. I had high hopes for the DS emulator on the iPhone, but it did not allow one to run any real DS game roms on it, and Apple immediately yanked it off the app store soon after it was released.

Maybe, the authors of the DS emulator would eventually consider putting a non-crippled version of their DS emulator onto the Cydia store. Or better yet, maybe Nintendo might release their games to the iPhone/iTouch platform, since they are no longer interested in making any non-trival (DS, DS Lite, DSi, ...) changes to their existing outdated handheld gaming platform in more than 5 years since the original DS was launched in Nov 2004.

Definitely worth a few bucks to avoid having to carry separate Nintendo game and Apple phone devices for my Pokemon fix.

Re:Still waiting for decent Pokemon iPhone app! (2, Interesting)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 4 years ago | (#30282598)

since they are no longer interested in making any non-trival (DS, DS Lite, DSi, ...) changes to their existing outdated handheld gaming platform in more than 5 years since the original DS was launched in Nov 2004.

Actually it's pretty much been confirmed that Nintendo is working on a new handheld using Tegra technology.

What a load horse****! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30282000)

Better start laying into Murat Fayazallin for writing the best Nintendo NES/Gameboy emus. Better start going after GamePark holdings for having emus in their adverts!

What a crock! Just 'cos it's Nokia and everyone has heard of them!

So.. (1)

dgr73 (1055610) | more than 4 years ago | (#30282082)

What does Nintendo get out of this? Probably nothing but a hit on their rep and an apology (maybe) from Nokia. However, Nintendo making a big fuss about this is a goldmine of free publicity for Nokia.. Nintendo angry because a Nokia phone that can do a lot of stuff can also emulate their legacy games? Good for Nokia :)

missed opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30282096)

I don't understand why Nintendo doesn't leverage the emulator market in their favor. The source is open, perhaps they could improve it to run more roms perfectly and open a rom store. If the pricepoint was right, say $1.49 or $1.99, they could probably do pretty well. These games along with the save state feature would be perfect for mobile phones because you could jump back in the game right where you left off.

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