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DS Flash Carts Deemed Legal By French Court

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the not-open-like-all-the-french-consoles dept.

Hardware Hacking 267

Hatta writes with a snippet from MaxConsole: "Nintendo has today lost a major court case against the Divineo group in the main court of Paris. Nintendo originally took the group to court over DS flash carts, however the judge today has ruled against Nintendo and suggested that they are purposely locking out developers from their consoles and things should be more like Windows where ANYONE can develop any application if they wish to."

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First Post FLAMENGO HEXA! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30320340)

lol[2]

Excellent. (3, Interesting)

Seriousity (1441391) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320342)

This is a precedent I approve of, and would like to see the trend continue in the consoles market - if we make access to the tools easier for game devs, we'll end up with better games... win-win so far as I can see.

Re:Excellent. (3, Informative)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320398)

AFAIK French legal system doesn't use this "precedence" the same way you USAers do.

SACRE BLEU !! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30320432)

Le DS nintendo le garbage le stinko !!

Any Application they want to? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30320430)

It is not true that you can develop any application you want to for Windows. People who develop WGA cracks get hounded like crazy. Linux is the platform that lets you do ANYTHING.
 
Speaking of which, does anybody have a link to a working WGA crack?

Re:Any Application they want to? (1)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320530)

Actually entities have occasionally (though it is rare) been sued by the FSF for doing "anything" with Linux; violating the GPL. I think that actually BSD is the platform that lets you do ANYTHING.

Re:Any Application they want to? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30320710)

The FSF doesn't sue over GPL violations that relate to the Linux kernel. They don't have standing, as they do not hold any copyrights over that code. Now the GNU toolchain that typically lives on a Linux system - that they can sue over.

Kernel developers, however, do have standing, and hence can sue over copyright infringement.

Re:Any Application they want to? (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321406)

Simple logic here;

If it has a license, it limits you in some way.
The limit may be trivial or unenforcable, but it's still a limit.

Only public domain allows you to do anything.
Well, atleast anything within the limits of law.

Re:Any Application they want to? (2, Insightful)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320662)

People who develop WGA cracks get hounded like crazy.

Actually, it is the distribution of the WGA cracks that will get you hounded. If people only developed these cracks for their own use then Microsoft would bother trying to stop them.

Similarly, Nintendo wouldn't care about the DS flash cartridges if people only backed up games to which they physically had access, because that kind of piracy doesn't have a great impact on sales. But when the ROMs are so easy to find on the net, it has got to make them pay attention.

Mind you, DS titles feature very well in the game charts, so they still make a hell of a lot of money. It's hard to feel too sorry for the publishers.

Re:Any Application they want to? (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321320)

Similarly, Nintendo wouldn't care about the DS flash cartridges if people only backed up games to which they physically had access, because that kind of piracy doesn't have a great impact on sales.

I'd say that wouldn't have any impact on sales.

Re:Any Application they want to? (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321420)

How about people having to replace a cartridge because the specific damage isn't covered by warranty? Not much sales, but I dare bet it's more than "not any". Rather it'd be "not a great impact", which is coincidentally what the GP said.

Re:Any Application they want to? (2, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321452)

I can go with that.

Re:Any Application they want to? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30321328)

Perhaps if Nintendo gave us hardware that was easier to back up, they wouldn't have these issues. I could go out, find the appropriate hardware to do so myself, but that's a lot more work than "Hey, here's a download of the ROM!" The problem of course being, where there's one ROM, there are bound to be more nearby. Then it becomes "well, one more game can't hurt..."

Re:Any Application they want to? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30320700)

If WGA stands for "Wildly Greased Ass" then I think you will find many people willing to provide what you seek, you might want to state a gender preference to thin down the volume of responses a bit.

Re:Excellent. (2, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320626)

Wider availability of development tools will allow more developers to develop, that doesn't mean that the games ecosystem will be automatically better.

There may be more games out there, but the ratio of crap vs gold will still be the same.

Re:Excellent. (2, Interesting)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321122)

A 100:1 ratio of junk to gold with 100 games on the market is a far different environment than a 100:1 ratio of junk to gold with 1,000,000 games on the market. In the first case there's only 1 good game out there, in the second there's 1000. Same ratio, far different result. All you need is the ability to ferret out those gold game from the junk, which is entirely possible, and then the more games on the market (with the same or better ratio) the better.

Re:Excellent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30321264)

Well, except that 1% of 1 million is 10000. The problem is that people have only so much money to spend on games, so 10x as many good games would probably be fine, 10000 and the revenue per game drops too much to pay development costs.

Re:Excellent. (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321378)

Given that gamers are now largely in their 20's and 30's, money is no longer the big issue

The big issue is time. When games are 40 and 50 hour magnum opuses, it says a lot.

A bigger issue with time is online. when games like Borderlands and Modern Warfare 2 are largely geared for online play, you can't just simply put one down and pick up the other later and get the same experience.

Re:Excellent. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30320742)

Not true by a long shot.

The entire reason that Nintendo is so selective in which games it licenses is because of the flood of games that came out for all consoles in the 80s, and the video game crash shortly after. Companies like Quaker Oats were actually trying to publish games. The market became so over-saturated with games that the public became disgusted with them.

When nintendo finally released the Famicom in the US they had to market it as a home computer rather than a video game system due to the negative connotations that 'video game' still had. You'll notice that every legitimate game that came out for nintendo and super nintendo ( I stopped looking after that) came with the nintendo seal of approval. That's because they started making certain that only reputable publishers were releasing games for their system, to keep their reputation intact. There's a lot more about it if you search for the video game crash of 1983 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_video_game_crash_of_1983

Opening up the console to anyone who wants is definitely not guaranteed to increase the quality of games. In fact, history tells us that the exact opposite will happen. But hey, who knows! History doesn't repeat itself all that often, right?

Re:Excellent. (5, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320832)

As someone who actually was part of the video game crash, let me offer you a different perspective. If Atari had been able to legally keep out competitors, the best Atari 2600 games would never have seen the light of day.

The tactic that Nintendo eventually used had been considered by the industry earlier, but was not adopted because it was thought to be illegal. That's the way it should have stayed.

Re:Excellent. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30321208)

I certainly agree that it may not have been the best course of action, but it was an effective defense against the flood of bad games that were unprofitable. It's definitely a good example of a company clinging to a possibly obsolete business practice, but I wanted to illustrate that there was a very good reason for Nintendo to take this stance, and it has worked well for them over the years. In fact, I think they're still around.

Re:Excellent. (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321346)

The tactic that Nintendo eventually used had been considered by the industry earlier, but was not adopted because it was thought to be illegal.

That seems unlikely considering that it actually took a court battle to have 3rd party games deemed legal, The NES was one of the first examples of DRM technology ever.

Re:Excellent. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30320978)

The tale about a glut of games causing the crash fails the litmus test when you look at computer games. Anyone can develop, no fees required. Hasn't ruined PC gaming.

Re:Excellent. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30321056)

Anyone can develop, no fees required. Hasn't ruined PC gaming.

DRM and unreasonably high system requirements, on the other hand...

Re:Excellent. (5, Insightful)

Miamicanes (730264) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321100)

> The market became so over-saturated with games that the public became disgusted with them.

Not quite. At the lowest point after the crash, members of the public were no less enthused about them than they were a year or two earlier. It was MERCHANTS who wouldn't touch videogames with a dirty twenty-foot pole, let alone sell them.

I've noticed that the perception that videogames "died" after "the crash" is strongest among people who were already adults when it happened. For those of us who were in middle school, the "crash" was an irrelevant abstraction. We got C64s, then Amigas, and were largely oblivious to the perception that videogames had somehow "gone away". Most of us had more games than we knew what to *do* with, and probably had more game discs laying on the floor around our beds than the total number of unique game cartridges for the Atari 2600, Intellivision, Atari 5200, Odyssey 3, *and* Colecovision that had ever existed since the dawn of the videogame era. If videogames went away in 1983, someone forgot to tell us ;-)

Re:Excellent. (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321482)

I agree with your point, but should mention that when people talk about the "game crash", they usually refer to the gaming-only consoles, not general purpose computers.
Computers have never died, and whenever there's a computer, there's games.
Also, to the best of my knowledge, when talking about sales figures, videogames in general did indeed take a major blow.

We're currently in a financial crash, but that doesn't mean that money no longer exists or that there are no millionaires or even billionaires any more.

Re:Excellent. (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321462)

Have you ever played DS games?

Most are crap, from both a production value standpoint and a playability standpoint.

Nintendo's licensing program does nothing to prevent bad games being sold for it's platform.

Mostly it's just meant to keep applications from the market which could hurt Nintendo's bottom line, like, for instance, flash carts. Same way that Apple does with their iPhone.

Sad (3, Interesting)

mi (197448) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320770)

win-win so far as I can see.

If this is done against the wishes of the console-maker, than you can claim, that they are "winning" too. However unreasonable their wishes may be, they ought to be respected, period. They created the product, they licensed their use to others (of whom nobody was unduly coerced into agreeing) on certain conditions.

You — or this judge — then coming around and saying, you know, we think, those conditions should be changed, and we are going to force you to change them, is just not how things ought to be done in a free society.

Re:Sad (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30320870)

So now we don't own our physical products either, they're licensed? Please.

Re:Sad (5, Insightful)

Nar Matteru (1099389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320910)

win-win so far as I can see.

If this is done against the wishes of the console-maker, than you can claim, that they are "winning" too. However unreasonable their wishes may be, they ought to be respected, period. They created the product, they licensed their use to others (of whom nobody was unduly coerced into agreeing) on certain conditions.

You — or this judge — then coming around and saying, you know, we think, those conditions should be changed, and we are going to force you to change them, is just not how things ought to be done in a free society.

But its completely OK for a console maker to force me NOT to do things with something I outright purchased with my own hard earned money? Since when should their wishes be law?

Stockholm Syndrome (4, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321050)

> If this is done against the wishes of the console-maker, than you can claim...

What in the wide wide world of sports does the 'wishes' of the console maker matter? I have never understood how this came to be. I though we (here in the US at least) had already had this fight. Atari v Activision supposedly settled this matter. Atart couldn't decide who could or could not sell software for their system. Case closed, the Supremes had SPOKEN.

Then the video bust came and a few years later Nintendo introduced the NES and it was like nothing had ever been decided, they blessed your title or you didn't ship, and f**k the Supreme Court if they don't like it. And they got away with it and it has since been thus on the console market and now the handset market, the home video market and if the major players ever thought they could get away with it on the PC as well.

And now on the console (but especially Nintendo fanbois) and with Mac the users have been abused so long they have fscking Stockholm Syndrome or something and not only accept it they LIKE getting hosed by their vendor now.

Clue time. When I BUY a computing device off the shelf I BOUGHT it, I didn't LICENSE it and I couldn't give a good god damn what the vendor of that product WANTS me to do with it. If I want to hack it up and use the individual components in a project I'll do that. If I wanna put NetBSD on it thats exactly what I'll do and screw em if they don't like it.

Re:Sad (2, Insightful)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321072)

I am relatively sure that Nintendo never licensed me to do anything. I *purchased* a piece of hardware from them. It is now mine to do with as I please, within the confines of the law. That law being set by the legislature and later by judges, as this judge is doing.

Re:Sad (1)

autophile (640621) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321136)

They created the product, they licensed their use to others (of whom nobody was unduly coerced into agreeing) on certain conditions.

You may not drink from this fountain if you are black.

Some things are just morally repugnant and should not be allowed in a free society. I think your definition of free is anarchy.

Re:Sad (1)

rayharris (1571543) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321154)

So let's see...

You didn't buy your car, you licensed it from Toyota. Therefore, you can only take it to Toyota for parts and service.

You didn't buy your coffee maker, you licensed it from Mr. Coffee. Therefore, you can only use Mr. Coffee brand coffee.

You didn't buy your printer, you licensed it from HP. Therefore... um, bad example. Moving on.

You didn't buy your monitor, you licensed it from Acer. Therefore, you can only connect it to an Acer desktop PC.

Do I need to go on?

Re:Excellent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30321182)

I'm not sure you're quite aware of what these companies are up against.
http://www.giantbomb.com/robert-pelloni/72-90348/
http://www.joystiq.com/2009/02/06/nintendo-denies-official-ds-developer-status-to-bobs-game-cre/
Though it's an extreme example.

And even with "full throated" support, well, Microsoft XNA hasn't produced anything more exciting than the PSP homebrew community, which has been a sales driver of PSPs for years.

Windows as the standard? (5, Funny)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320344)

When someone holds up Windows as the standard for openness that you should strive for, you have to be really messing up!

Re:Windows as the standard? (1)

sponga (739683) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320390)

Hmm I wonder why they didn't mention Apple....

You shouldn't be really care (3, Insightful)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320404)

At least the result is right.

A famous Chinese proverb: "I don't care if it is black cat or white cat. If it catch a mouse, it is a good cat."

Re:You shouldn't be really care (4, Funny)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320778)

A famous Chinese proverb: "I don't care if it is black cat or white cat. If it catch a mouse, it is a good cat."

A true Chinese proverb: "I don't care if it is black cat or white cat. You can still pass it off as Kung Pao Chicken"

Re:You shouldn't be really care (3, Informative)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321436)

A true Chinese proverb: "I don't care if it is black cat or white cat. You can still pass it off as Kung Pao Chicken"

FYI, cat meat does not taste at all like chicken (light or dark meat). The texture and flavor of cat meat is quite different, and even a liberal dose of spices cannot mask this difference.

Re:You shouldn't be really care (1)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321468)

A famous Chinese proverb: "I don't care if it is black cat or white cat. If it catch a mouse, it is a good cat."

A true Chinese proverb: "I don't care if it is black cat or white cat. You can still pass it off as Kung Pao Chicken"

Pshaw. That's terrible. Any Chinaman worth his salt knows you don't make Kung-Pao Chicken from felines. You make General Tso's Chicken from felines!

. . .

BTW, I am really amused that Firefox tells me "Chinaman" is spelled incorrectly.

Re:Windows as the standard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30320426)

The judge probably meant 'more like computers...'

Windows must have become a generic term for a computer over there. Just think, if this spreads Microsoft may loose their trademark.

Re:Windows as the standard? (3, Funny)

deprecated (86120) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320636)

"Lose," not "loose," for Christ's sake!

Re:Windows as the standard? (1)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320708)

"Lose," not "loose," for Christ's sake!

Don't be so sure. Imagine if Steve switched from chairs to pointy cornered Windows logos...Ouch..

Re:Windows as the standard? (4, Insightful)

brxndxn (461473) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320448)

I am usually not one to ever stick up for Microsoft.. But you HAVE to admit this is a cheap shot..

Besides free OS's, is there one more open? Mac?

Windows is infinitely more open than all the major consoles across all spectrums.. even legally. Too bad Xbox just doesn't run regular Windows..

Re:Windows as the standard? (2, Informative)

ChronosWS (706209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320590)

Actually the XBox is also very easy to develop (XNA anyone?) The only real restrictions there are that if you want your game to go out to everyone as a full game on Live, you have to pass a certification process to ensure you abide by the rules for how apps are supposed to behave. But the tools are all there and MS does a good job of encouraging their use.

Re:Windows as the standard? (-1, Flamebait)

cyber-dragon.net (899244) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320702)

Visual Studio $450 (cheapest legit license on CDW)
XCode $0

So yes, I consider the Mac more open :)

Re:Windows as the standard? (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320726)

And wtf does that have to do with 'openness' of a OS?

And just so you know, there are lots of free, and even open source, development environments for Windows.

Re:Windows as the standard? (1, Funny)

dem0n1 (1170795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321194)

And wtf does that have to do with 'openness' of a OS?

And just so you know, there are lots of free, and even open source, development environments for Windows.

Notepad?

Re:Windows as the standard? (2, Informative)

MaximKat (1692650) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320754)

http://www.microsoft.com/express/product/ [microsoft.com] looks free from here and it's not like you are required to use VS to develop for Windows

Re:Windows as the standard? (4, Informative)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320810)

While technically not Visual Studio, you can download Visual Basic/C++/C# Express Editions for free. [microsoft.com]

Re:Windows as the standard? (4, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321062)

Yep. MS doesn't really lock down Windows at least from most people's way of thinking. The only ways it is "locked down" are:

1) The source isn't available to anyone who wants it. Contrary to Slashdot beliefs, it isn't a huge secret. There are organizations like governments, universities, and such that have copies of it. However any person who wants it can't get access to it.

2) They want you to pay for every copy. You are not legally allowed to distribute it to anyone you wish, each copy of it needs to be paid for.

That is really it. Development is unrestricted. They have documentation available on how to do whatever you'd like. They also don't bind it to any given hardware or function. While there are some limits imposed by the basic design (like you need to run on an x86, x64 or IA64 processor) they have the resources for you to develop drivers for the platform of your choice.

They really don't limit you much at all, at least not from a normal user's perspective. No, they don't give you the source but if you aren't a programmer, and most people aren't then it doesn't matter at all.

Also, as a practical matter, I find many people who whine about open source really just want to not pay for software, but won't admit that is their main motivation easily.

Re:Windows as the standard? (1, Insightful)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321138)

And even as a programmer having the source to your OS isn't all that useful or needed. I've got both linux and windows machines, and I do most of my development on windows, because the end user doesn't care if your code is perfectly integrated with the source code of some distro of linux, they care if it runs on windows. And with the current trend towards cross-platform code having the OS code is only going to get less and less important to programmers.

Realistically the only people who care about having the source to their OS are in the open-source community. Your average individual, and even your average programmer doesn't care because it doesn't matter on a day-to-day basis.

Re:Windows as the standard? (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321296)

I completely agree. I was simply pointing out that anyone who isn't a programmer automatically doesn't care because it is useless to them, and that accounts for probalby 99.99% of the population or more. You are correct that the number that care is even less than that. Not only do you have to be a programmer, but you have to have the time and the reason to wish to use the code for something before it would matter at all to you. It is an extremely limited set of people who it matters to. While there's nothing wrong with that, you can't very well then say that it is a major openness issue when it isn't available.

Re:Windows as the standard? (3, Informative)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321146)

Just a side note, it is also possible for individuals who wants the Windows source code [microsoft.com] to get it. They simply have to become an MVP (most valuable professional) and be in good standing and sign a few NDAs. I consider that as any person who wants it *bad enough* can get legal access to it.

Re:Windows as the standard? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30321192)

Cheap shot? Are you on Crack? Windows is as open as a cold war missile silo in 1963 whhen they are at DEFCON5, the missile has already been fueled, the codes have already been sent, received, verified, the safe unlocked, the keys removed from the safe, the keys have been inserted, turned, and there is just that last big red button to push. Thats how open microsoft is to development outside of their silo. To say otherwise, means YOU ARE SO ON CRACK YOU CAN"T EVEN TELL ANYMORE THAT YOU ARE ON CRACK! Judgement is THAT impaired. Now go type in your license key, throw away all of the old ones, make sure you destroy all old copies as per the license agreement, send in the monthly cheque, phone in with the authorisation number to get help with the problems you've been having, tell them the cheque number you sent them so that they will help you, and get an ETA from them on when you think they will have processed your cheque, and then later when your call in window (for the help queue) will be up --when you can call in and hope to get help. Remember to tell them your version is double-gold certified (not that cheap stuff they sell at best buy), and you have more than a million dollars per month of their business, so you can get help a bit quicker.

Re:Windows as the standard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30321480)

You're complete right, Mac isn't open at all: http://opensource.apple.com/release/mac-os-x-1062/

Re:Windows as the standard? (3, Interesting)

DigDuality (918867) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320586)

Windows might not be Open Source and MS business practices may be something to be desired, but they are an open platform. And when you look at the platforms that were around when Windows came to light, there really wasn't much that was that successful where just anyone could develop for it. Even today, companies like Apple, Nintendo, Amazon, Sony, (the list is rather lengthy) want to sell you a solid product. They want everything to be an appliance to you, like a dvd player or your tv.. where you don't notice, nor care about the software on it. An article a while back was describing why Windows Mobile and Android will, in the long run, destroy Apple in the phone market, and in the end, it will be because of the availability of applications for them. Apple and Nintendo and Amazon and so forth, want to be the gatekeepers of software and content, and frankly.. looking at the success of MS on the desktop, that approach doesn't seem to be a successful one. Video game systems will be the last bastion of this mentality though, i can promise you that.

Re:Windows as the standard? (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320656)

When someone holds up Apple as the standard for openness that you should strive for, you have to be really messing up!

There, fixed that for you.

Copy Apple & Google (2, Interesting)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320354)

Maybe its time that Nintendo opened up the market to game developers such as those currently targeting the iPhone and the Android platforms. Yes they will loose profits, especially when the DS is still working so well, but maybe forcing them to open up will encourage more innovation?

Re:Copy Apple & Google (3, Funny)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320374)

Ya, the iPhone is a great example. The DS definitely needs 500 "iFart" applications for $10 each.

*cough*

Re:Copy Apple & Google (3, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320550)

Nintendo open? Their WiiWare approval process makes the iPhone development process look easy by comparison, especially when you realize that to be a developer you have to pay a $2,000 fee. Heck, they censored crosses in NES games!

Re:Copy Apple & Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30320806)

uh, $2,000 is nothing if you are serious about developing a game.

Re:Copy Apple & Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30321034)

It is if you're an indie developer working on a game by yourself because that's what you love to do.

Re:Copy Apple & Google (2, Informative)

LtGordon (1421725) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321124)

And yet $2000 is a serious barrier to entry for a small start-up or a hobbyist developer. Who says that only big name game studios produce quality games?

Re:Copy Apple & Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30320814)

Implying that Nintendo's NES era censorship is still in practice today when they're currently the most lenient company in regards to censorship? That's a paddlin'.

Re:Copy Apple & Google (2, Insightful)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320800)

I would not call the iPhone platform "open" in any sense of the word. The software is proprietary, you have to use Apple's tools, and you can only distribute your application* if Apple gives you the go-ahead.

*I'm not counting jailbreaking and alternative locations here. Apple disables this kind of thing by default, so your users will be required to take extra steps that complicate things for them both now and in the future.

Re:Copy Apple & Google (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321412)

You really shouldn't have to even say that, as jail-breaking is just the name for modding being used on the iPhone, and the point is comparing systems that need to be hacked for development vs. systems that are open for development.

Re:Copy Apple & Google (1)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320844)

Nintendo locked down the original NES for quality control. Crappy games where killing the video game market (see the Atari 2600, among many others). Over time, they've gotten used to subsidizing their hardware with licensing fees as well as game sales.

Opening the platform and losing that means less R&D money and higher hardware prices. That is quite a hole they've dug for themselves, let's hope they find a way out that makes everyone happy.

Excuse my ignorance (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30320368)

Please excuse my ignorance, but what exactly is a flash cart?

Re:Excuse my ignorance (5, Informative)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320414)

A game cartridge where the ROM is replaced with flash(and possibly other hardware) so you can put whatever code you want on it.

Used for developing and homebrew software, as well as just plain copying games.

Re:Excuse my ignorance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30320506)

That explains it. Thanks!

Re:Excuse my ignorance (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320758)

Used for developing and homebrew software, as well as just plain copying games.

Exactly, although it is the copying of games that gets the most use of these cards. The unfortunate part (for Nintendo) is that flash cartridges offer a much better experience for gamers, because you can download multiple games to one cartridge (so you don't need to carry around extra games). You also can get access to in-game menus to added functionality play in slow motion, change the screen brightness and I think even saving at any stage (although I might be wrong about that one).

Re:Excuse my ignorance (1)

atheistmonk (1268392) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320856)

Indeed you can (at least with my CycloDS). Seems fairly bug-free too.

Vive la France libre! (4, Informative)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320370)

If you've read the initial requirements for getting a Nintendo dev kit, you know this is a Good Thing!

Re:Vive la France libre! (1)

godrik (1287354) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320508)

I never thought this would happen in France. Judiciary system might not be as fucked as I thought it was.

Apple vs. Hackintosh (1)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320386)

So my big question is, how is what Nintendo does anything different than Apple with OS X and "Apple Branded" hardware?

I don't speak/read french, maybe someone who does can chime in. In France is it legal for Apple to lock OS X to Apple computers?

Re:Apple vs. Hackintosh (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30320420)

You can buy an Apple with OS X and program on it. You can't (couldn't) do that with Nintendo.

Re:Apple vs. Hackintosh (1)

Hazard X (1580273) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320482)

Hackintosh seems to be more along the lines of hacked hardware to get apple software running. This is the reverse, its hacking into nintendo's hardware (admittedly hacking is limited to custom add-on hardware) to get non-nintendo software to run. Apple allows you to run whatever you want on their computers (handhelds is a different story).

Re:Apple vs. Hackintosh (1)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320660)

I realize it's not the best comparison, but I think it still illustrates my point.

Why is it legal for Company A to lock down Program B to Computer C, but illegal for Company X to lock out Program Y from Computer Z?

Nice to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30320444)

Nice to know that you can run some of the very cool DS emulation software without running the risk of federal police busting down your door. Well, at least in france

DEVELPERS DEVELPERS DEVELPERS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30320452)

to much marketing from dancing monkey boy.

Maybe not the best solution (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30320484)

Having worked in the game industry, I can attest that this may not be the best solution. The current measures are in place to hoard revenue for Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony, but a side benefit of this is usually higher standards of quality in the games (not content, but code...trust me, you'd be surprised). First party requirements for many of these new systems are very stringent and help, in many ways, to protect consumers and the products they buy. As it stands all games published for an Xbox 360, a PlayStation®3, or a Nintendo system must be tested and approved by the companies' own QA team. Does this catch all bugs and potential issues in a game before it hits market, hell no. It does, however, ensure that a lower number of games are released with game-crashing bugs, progression stoppers (bugs that leave a player unable to finish the game no matter what they do), and bugs that can damage the system's internal software. If the format is opened to anyone who can make a flash cart, etc., you will, most likely, begin to see a higher number of games with these show-stopping bugs hitting the market in the rush to lower standards in order to maximize profit.

Does one automatically follow the other, not at all. The chance, however, is a high one. Potential backlash from this could see a return of the "Nintendo Seal" type of licensing for other game companies for games that were actually published through the first party, which would cost more to pass through QA process and in turn raise the price of the game. Opening the field for other companies isn't a bad thing, but people will definitely have to be more careful as to what software they buy for their game consoles. With fewer first party blocks in place I would expect to see a game on the market within six months that at least corrupted system software. I've seen software like that in my job already, and the companies may not be willing to fix things like that on their own.

Re:Maybe not the best solution (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320596)

Systems that impose costs and delays in exchange for higher quality/safety arguably have their place. I'm quite happy, for instance, that the aircraft that is supposed to be taking me from Boston-Logan to London-Heathrow has been well vetted. Same goes for the anesthesiologist, and whatever curious compounds he is injecting.

Here, though, we are talking about video games running on cheap consumer hardware, in the era of the internet, where bad reviews and news can spread very quickly. I'll take the risk of having a glitched quest on level 15 if that is what it takes to avoid the system producer taking its pound of flesh. If the system producer wants to have an endorsement program, where compliant titles receive the smiley gold star of approval, that is fine by me. If the system producer wants to cryptographically enforce that endorsement program on hardware I have purchased, and own, they can take that idea and shove it somewhere anatomically implausible.

Re:Maybe not the best solution (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320666)

The current measures are in place to hoard revenue for Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony, but a side benefit of this is usually higher standards of quality in the games (not content, but code...trust me, you'd be surprised)

You mean the fact that Star Ocean III managed to fail to work on some PS2s? (http://www.rpgamer.com/news/Q1-2003/030803a.html) the general bugginess of most games, etc. Yeah, they might have better code, but for $60+ I'd better hope it works with any software, from an iPhone app, to an OS, to a game.

I'd settle for a simi-buggy game for free compared to a $50 game with a few bugs.

If the format is opened to anyone who can make a flash cart, etc., you will, most likely, begin to see a higher number of games with these show-stopping bugs hitting the market in the rush to lower standards in order to maximize profit.

Yes, but with flash carts come patches and cheaper games. Yeah, I'd like a bug free game, but paying less for a game and getting more (ability of patches, etc) may be a good tradeoff.

Opening the field for other companies isn't a bad thing, but people will definitely have to be more careful as to what software they buy for their game consoles

Because they don't already? How many people are conned into buying the $50 video game from $MOVIE that is complete crap. Yeah, they are generally less buggy, but that doesn't mean that they are good games. A buggy game with a good plot, storyline, price, and enjoyability is much better than a bug-free crap game.

With fewer first party blocks in place I would expect to see a game on the market within six months that at least corrupted system software.

And if you look at home console homebrew which is a whole lot more risky, you can see that its generally safe. Plus, with the opening up of the consoles, you can actually fix some of the software, and over time console makers will use failsafe firmware that is found in most newer devices.

Re:Maybe not the best solution (3, Informative)

rm999 (775449) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320744)

Nintendo isn't necessarily worried about the quality of third party games on their system; they make a profit off hardware sales either way. With the iPhone, Apple has proved that people can perceive hardware as high quality despite an overabundance of shitty software.

The main problem to Nintendo is flashcarts make it ridiculously easy to pirate games. Almost too easy - it's far easier to lug around a tiny flashcart than 10 game cartridges. The loss in game sales affects their quality in the long run, and hence the system's chances of success.

They are also worried about unlicensed devs (3, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321096)

Consoles make very little money on the hardware. In fact, some of them even take a loss. If you look at the money made through hardware sales, they'd really not be a worthwhile proposition. Way to risky given the meager returns when they succeed compared to other consumer electronics.

Where consoles make their money is games. Every copy of every game sold generates licensing revenue for them, because you need to be licensed to produce games. That's where the cash is. Game sales far outstrip console sales and the license fees they collect are little cost to them.

So, unlicensed development would be a real problem. Previously, it might not have been such a big deal. You could probalby strong arm a lot of retailers in to not carrying unlicensed games. Ok but now, those games could be sold over the Internet. You buy the game online, download it to your flash card and go. It would be rather easy to bypass Nintendo entirely.

Yes I realize people can and do use the carts to copy games but who really cares? All systems suffer from people doing that, back in the SNES days people did it with cart to floppy copiers. Copyright infringement is a fact of life on all platforms, and they do fine even so. Look at the PC, the one that is the easiest. It still has over double the games revenue of the biggest console platform.

The real concern for Nintendo is that they'd lose control on their platform and lose out on license fees.

Re:Maybe not the best solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30321130)

Hasn't much harmed their success thus far.

Re:Maybe not the best solution (1)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321158)

Hasn't this argument been used before? Last I checked there was still no empirical evidence that pirating = less sales, and plenty of circumstantial evidence that it either correlates negatively with lowered sales (more pirating = more sales) or has no correlation at all.

Pirating does not automatically equate to less sales, no matter what the RIAA would have you believe.

Re:Maybe not the best solution (1)

222 (551054) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321184)

Maybe they could update their software distribution model to match what consumers want? Hello, mp3 players, take 2. I gave it away, but I did have an R4 that I used for this very reason. I'm not going to lie about not pirating any titles, but I do have a *very* large legit library of DS games, and I was much happier playing them off of an 8 GB micro SD card instead of lugging around a bunch of carts.

Re:Maybe not the best solution (1)

dowlingw (557752) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321052)

My understanding of console games markets is that most consoles are sold as a loss-leader, and the profit is made by the manufacturers by what's known as an 'attach rate', the number of licensed accessories and games released for the platform. If Nintendo wanted to push out an open platform for unlicensed content (not under the Nintendo seal and guaranteed to work on the console), then the business analysts at Nintendo would be forced to put a bigger price sticker on the unit - which is already a stretch for what is seen as an underpowered console. From this point of view, I can understand exactly why controls like this are put into place. That being said, if they made a readily available 'community' developers kit available that allowed you to mess with the platform but not commercially release anything - this could actually work in their favour. They could encourage indies and whatnot to get familiar with the platform and do the groundwork on their product before needing to buy a commercial license. This could lead to an INCREASE in titles for the device, increase attach rates and be win-win for everyone. So it sounds to me like indies are having trouble getting what they want, and this should be the issue!

Re:Maybe not the best solution (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30321234)

Nintendo never sold the wii as a loss-leader. (like the ps3 or the 360 did). I believe the ps3 and 360 are no longer loss leaders. (or if they are, it is by choice and price drops to encourage greater adoption).
The DS has so far been through 3 hardware revisions, and is effectively an augmented GBA. Many years after release I believe the DS is no longer a loss-leader (if it ever was to begin with being a hardware upgrade on already years old designs).
This generation Nintendo have come up with a really different method, augment old technology to be better, but not a generational leap better and sell cheaper (yet still at a profit) makes for a remarkably healthy market when done right.

Also, the argument that "there could be heaps of trash games!!!!" fails utterly. The PC has no restrictions on who can develop / market / sell games. People aren't quite as stupid as many seem to imply by constant references to the game-crash of the 80s.

Here's a few things that people forget:
- Do you have to pay microsoft for a windows devkit.
- Does the lack of such a devkit equate to a market so full of computer games you couldn't tell which you wanted to play?

PSST heres a tip; theres this new fangled thing called the internet, that lets people find out whats good, and whats shit. (the fundamental difference between now and the 80s)

Don't think it's done (3, Funny)

Sterops (1655353) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320566)

When the decision will be appealed, everything will change: French judges uses RNGs to decide which one is right (except if you attack the government; in that case, you're always wrong).

Thanks to the purse-string holders (3, Insightful)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320614)

Somebody should thank the folks who write these judges' paychecks, thank them for having the ethics to not make them sing somebody else's tune in return for their supper.

What's stopping Nintendo from crippling hardware? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30320634)

They're legal, as are modchips in some other countries, but it doesn't stop Nintendo or anyone else from deploying updates that cripple hardware that legally has modchips or whatever. This law isn't really a solution unless it compels Nintendo or any other console manufacturers from treating customers with modchips or whatever differently.

Interesting (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30320852)

And not too long ago in Spain, a case against a flashcart seller was dismissed since it was rationalized the hardware had legitimate uses. link [joystiq.com]

Arguments for (0, Offtopic)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30320998)

"You don't frighten us, Japanese pig-dog!"

(pffffpfpfpfpfpfffpfpfp) tap-tap-tap-tap-tap

"I fart in your general direction!"

Re:Arguments for (0, Offtopic)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321156)

Offtopic!! A slashdot mod without a Monty Python bias!!

...

...

I fart in your general direction!!!

What's next (0, Flamebait)

microbee (682094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321170)

All systems should be like Linux and open source!

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