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New Hardware Models Highlight Nintendo's No-Transfer Policy

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the inconvenience-is-an-art-form-these-days dept.

Nintendo 116

An article at Wired discusses the difficulties involved in transferring games that were purchased and downloaded online when users replace their Wii or DSi. "Neither the Wii nor Nintendo’s portable DSi consoles have an upgrade path for downloadable content, since games are tied not to user accounts but to specific machines. It’s impossible for a user to copy content from an old console to a new one. Even some Wii owners whose machines have malfunctioned said it was difficult, or impossible, to get Nintendo to transfer the software licenses at its headquarters." One gamer, who bought the recently released black Wii console, explained that she got Nintendo to transfer her games, but needed to "mail both of her Wii consoles to Nintendo, and wait two weeks," hardly a convenient solution.

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Blarg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32190416)

In Soviet Amerikka, Nintendo doesn't care about customers.

I can do it too. (1)

ScottySniper (1699386) | more than 4 years ago | (#32190432)

Gooood evening ma'am, my name is George Agdgdgwngo. All I require is your bank account details and sort code, along with your mothers maiden name. And ship me your Wii's. My address is The National Bank of Nigeria, Republic of Adgdgdgwngo, Nigeria.

2weeks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32190450)

How did she have time to get the new system, argue with nintendo, ship them both back, wait two weeks, and get her wii's when it just came out like 4 days ago?

Re:2weeks? (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32190498)

The black Wii has been out for months. Are you thinking of the DSi XL?

Re:2weeks? (1)

nmg196 (184961) | more than 4 years ago | (#32190588)

It depends which country you live in. Some places have only just got it.

Re:2weeks? (1)

risinganger (586395) | more than 4 years ago | (#32190504)

She hasn't had time, but then the article made no suggestion that she had received the units back, merely how long it would take once they were sent. RTFA would seem to apply here.

Re:2weeks? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#32190662)

The black Wii has been on sale in the UK for a very long time, so probably the same in other countries.

Re:2weeks? (1)

DWRECK18 (1796294) | more than 4 years ago | (#32191660)

The black Wii has only been on sale for maybe a month or two in the US. I don't know why but it's true. They released it as a bundle package for one of their new games here.

Bad Policy (5, Insightful)

syrce (944994) | more than 4 years ago | (#32190496)

This is simply just bad policy on Nintendo's part, this will only serve to drive people to piracy.

Re:Bad Policy (4, Interesting)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 4 years ago | (#32190524)

I'm surprised that there aren't hacks available yet that would take care of that issue.

But at least Nintendo could have resolved this in a more user-friendly manner if they wanted to make it easy and still limit piracy. HASP [aladdin.com] modules is one solution. Each console equipped with a key allowing the user to move the key to another console in case there is an upgrade or a warranty problem.

Re:Bad Policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32190978)

There are actually hacks available for this. But the use of them is still dangerous. You got a 2/10 chance to brick your Wii. And a 7/10 chance that it simply won't work.

Re:Bad Policy (1)

atamido (1020905) | more than 4 years ago | (#32191580)

There are actually hacks available for this. But the use of them is still dangerous. You got a 2/10 chance to brick your Wii. And a 7/10 chance that it simply won't work.

I'm not sure where you got your numbers from, but the chances of bricking your Wii are at least an order of magnitude smaller, like 1/100. Done properly, the first thing you do is install a new boot loader, and then make a backup of your system's flash. That way, should a "bricking" occur, you simply perform the alternative boot and restore you NAND.

As for extracting WAD files, I've never done it, but I can't see why there would be a high failure rate. Heck, there are even hacks out there to load all of your discs onto a USB drive and run them from there.

Re:Bad Policy (1)

mzs (595629) | more than 4 years ago | (#32192110)

Good luck installing a new boot loader on the new Wiis, like the ones sold for 1.5 years. You can replace the third stage basically, while you can replace the second on older units. I agree though, done carefully installing something like the homebrew channel has very little chance of bricking your wii, less than some of the recent Nintendo updates. Now the stuff from groups that let you pirate stuff, it generally uses more fragile tricks patching lots of IOSs and what not that is more dangerous.

Re:Bad Policy (1)

atamido (1020905) | more than 4 years ago | (#32192308)

I just bought a Wii a month or so ago, and had no problem. Holding down reset while powering it on brings up the alternate loader which allows me to backup/restore the NAND. I installed the Homebrew channel, and a few utilities, but nothing else (done out of curiousity). At this point I simply disable the auto-updating and I don't have to worry about any changes I make to the system as I can just restore.

Re:Bad Policy (1)

mzs (595629) | more than 4 years ago | (#32192966)

Recent Nintendo updates (for a few months back) have been updating the same boot loader that you installed into, the one that you would use to restore with. You have disabled the network update, but at some point one of these situations will occur:

You will want to use the Shop Channel, but it will ask you to update to the new version with the network update.

You will buy a game that requires a newer IOS, there will be an update on the disc.

At that point the update may over write that bootloader you installed into.

Re:Bad Policy (1)

atamido (1020905) | more than 4 years ago | (#32193180)

It actually includes an option to prevent update, including from updates included on the disc. It's all academic for me right now, so I'm not that concerned. Although, back to the original point, installing the Homebrew and using that to make backups of your games is a pretty benign and safe method.

Re:Bad Policy (4, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#32191494)

I'm surprised that there aren't hacks available yet that would take care of that issue.

There are, but if you use them, you're accused of being a pirate.

This is true even if you extract the WAD files from your own machine, delete them from that machine, and then reimport them to your new machine.

But at least Nintendo could have resolved this in a more user-friendly manner if they wanted to make it easy and still limit piracy.

And why would Big N resolve this in a user-friendly manner? They want the money of forcing people to re-purchase everything should a Wii die out of warranty. They hate their customers and have crazy-insane people who see "pirates" in every shadow designing their consoles - it's why they had insane licensing schemes as far back as the NES, why they stuck with cartridges on the N64 which turned that into a pretty-much-forgettable box, why they continued to burn developers with the Gamecube, and why the only developers developing for the Wii right now are pretty much Nintendo's in-house studios, Sega (and let's face it, they might as well just get bought out by Big N anyways now), and a bunch of shovelware guys making aerobics games and button mashing Mario Party ripoffs.

Re:Bad Policy (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32192306)

Yet another reason (among many) why I only buy physical objects (CDs, DVDs, books) rather than download content. I want the content to be transferable any time I feel like it, not have to go begging or pleading to move it to another platform (new wii, new MP3 player, whatever).

And somebody commented "this is just nintendo" but they are forgetting that when Microsoft or Sony ban users, you lose all your content then too. They have the power to make your life miserable, and I don't want to give that power to anybody. I'll stick with the physical objects that are in MY control.

Re:Bad Policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32192538)

> I'll stick with the physical objects that are in MY control.

And within the next decade or so, that means you will not be able to play *any* new games.

Re:Bad Policy (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#32193846)

You say that like it's a *BAD THING*!!

Look, I'm with Commodore. I'm not sending money to anyone, just HOPING that I can do what I want with whatever they might decide to send me. I've never payed for an online service. My dollars are to valuable to spend on a hope and a prayer.

I get the disk that I payed for, or I'm not paying. And, I'll certainly not buy anything from Sony, seeing that they still "own" your box after you unpack it at home. If I want an update, I'll go LOOKING for it. Include a "README" file or something, so that I can decide if the update is right for me. Phhht.

Re:Bad Policy (1)

radish (98371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32192752)

but they are forgetting that when Microsoft or Sony ban users, you lose all your content then too

That's not true (at least for MS). Downloaded content on the 360 is tied to both the downloading account and the downloading machine. You can play it either on that machine with any account, or on any machine with that original account. So to lose the content entirely you'd need to have your account banned (cheating/scamming) _and_ your machine banned (modded console) - in which case to be quite honest you're almost certainly not someone who pays for games anyway. You can even transfer licenses between machines using their website, so it might be possible to move DLC licenses off the banned hardware onto a new one.

Re:Bad Policy (2, Interesting)

mzs (595629) | more than 4 years ago | (#32192332)

I have bought 2 Wiis, requiring a total of 4 repairs. I have to say that Nintendo was one of the easiest companies to deal with. One repair was out of warranty. The price was very reasonable, at the time a new Wii cost $250 and the repair was $90. I simply sent them the broken Wii and they sent back a new one. All the downloaded stuff was copied over. I have never had to pay any shipping directly, it was always free in warranty and included in the repair price when not. It has never taken more than 10 days for the turn-around.

In fact the DRM is not ideal. It would be nice to be able to redownload when you buy a new Wii. You can send them two Wiis and they will do it for you, so it is not impossible. But at least when their support was based near Seattle they were incredibly nice. I had one Wii break, I sent it in for repair and then they sent me a replacement. Then after a couple of hours that one broke. The person on the phone was very sympathetic. They arranged a this setup:

They expressed a new Wii to me. I had one 2 days later.
In that box I returned the broken Wii, that took about 4 days.
Then when they had it I called back, they added back the Wii Points and I was able to redownload the games that I had before.

So I had a working Wii in 2 days, and a week later I had all my downloaded VC titles again. From dealing with many companies over the years, this was handled very well. You might wish that there was no DRM, but I wish I had a pony for my daughter. The compromise was pretty decent.

A week later! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32192656)

People like you make me sick!
This is why companies are getting away with shit like this!
You have new hardware, but it takes a week to get your software working, and you think it is just fantastic!
This is just plain wrong! I shouldn't even need analogies (car or otherwise) for anyone to see this is wrong, and you're all smiles! If you think being treated like shit is great, you deserve to be treated like shit! Unfortunately, so many people like you cause the rest of us to get treated like shit, and we're a bunch of whiners for complaining about it. *sigh*

Re:A week later! (1)

mzs (595629) | more than 4 years ago | (#32193132)

Get real, my Wiis cost me $250 each, not $2500. I have bought maybe $100 of VC, averaging something like $7 each most likely. I treat it a lot like a movie or something like that. I expect that when the next generation of console comes-out I will not have those games anymore, at $7 a pop I'm okay with that.

Nintendo needs to know that the copies I downloaded are gone before I get new ones. I think it's a decent compromise. Should they have wired $250 to a courier that zipped to Target and raced over with my new Wii to satisfy you? Even 10 days is not something to get worked-up about.

The thing that bugs me is that if I send in my Wii now that I had the homebrew channel installed, it is likely that the repair will cost extra. They were doing that a while back, they may still. I can see that as something to get worked-up about. But that I need to send in my Wii for repair to get games copied over if I care enough about it? Come-on at this point I may be interested in only downloading 1/4 of those again, so it may not even be worth it anymore. You need to get some perspective, or at least don't spend your money on this if you don't agree with how it works.

Re:A week later! (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#32193570)

They're actually refusing to repair any console that had Bootmii or HBC installed on it now, period. Or anything else that they can claim was "unapproved." The official response is "too bad, go buy a new one in the store."

Re:Bad Policy (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 4 years ago | (#32193236)

I have bought 2 Wiis, requiring a total of 4 repairs.

Nintendo may be easy to deal with, but requiring 4 repairs is inexcusable. After the second failure I'd get rid of the system and get another console. No console is worth putting up with that kind of nonsense.

Re:Bad Policy (1)

mzs (595629) | more than 4 years ago | (#32193458)

I also bought two 360s, that has been more painful. I have had three breakages in a third of the time-span. Ever since the NetFlix streaming disc came-out for Wii, I have left the most recent dead 360 be. So I guess I just had a little bit higher thresh hold than you.

Re:Bad Policy (1)

scot4875 (542869) | more than 4 years ago | (#32195826)

They hate their customers and have crazy-insane people who see "pirates" in every shadow designing their consoles - it's why they had insane licensing schemes as far back as the NES, why they stuck with cartridges on the N64 which turned that into a pretty-much-forgettable box, why they continued to burn developers with the Gamecube, and why the only developers developing for the Wii right now are pretty much Nintendo's in-house studios, Sega (and let's face it, they might as well just get bought out by Big N anyways now), and a bunch of shovelware guys making aerobics games and button mashing Mario Party ripoffs.

Oh you've got to be kidding. They had the lockout chips on the NES to prevent *third party manufacturers* from producing games. They stuck with the cartridge format on the N64 because, despite people's tolerance for awful load times on the PlayStation, the CD just was not ready for the kind of experience that Nintendo provides. They bled developers on the Gamecube because Microsoft and Sony waved wads of cash at dev studios to get themselves exclusives, while Nintendo was content to stick with the (sustainable) model of, "make whatever games you want and sell them, and it's up to you to be profitable." The bleeding continues on the Wii because of some inexplicable desire by the major studios to compete with each other at the ultra-high end HD segment in some sort of pissing war, rather than going with the platform with a 50% market share.

That said, I don't buy DLC. From anyone. I don't pay for bits streamed across a wire unless I get to negotiate the price -- and because there's no mechanism for this from Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft, they get nothing from me.

Your rant about Nintendo and piracy is just inane.

--Jeremy

Re:Bad Policy (1, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#32197144)

Oh you've got to be kidding. They had the lockout chips on the NES to prevent *third party manufacturers* from producing games.

Nope. The lockout chip had a minor impact with forcing development companies to use Nintendo's fabrication plant at highway-robbery prices, but it was conceived with the idea that "pirate companies" (based in locations like Russia, Hong Kong, and Brazil [nesplayer.com] or even showing up in places like Akihabara [wired.com] right in Japan) would be unable to copy the cartridges easily. Today, these same companies Nintendo was worried about can slap quite literally the whole NES/SNES library into a small memory card, jack it into one of a dozen NES/SNES-on-a-chip implementations inside a cheap knockoff playstation-ish controller with a battery bay and a set of RCA leadouts, and you get shit like this [wikipedia.org] .

They stuck with the cartridge format on the N64 because, despite people's tolerance for awful load times on the PlayStation, the CD just was not ready for the kind of experience that Nintendo provides.

By which you mean what, precisely - games that have crappy polygon outputs with no textures? A dozen pokemon turdbombs?

They bled developers on the Gamecube because Microsoft and Sony waved wads of cash at dev studios to get themselves exclusives

BZZZZT! Try again. They bled developers on both the N64 and Gamecube because developers were tired of getting jerked around Nintendo, tired of Nintendo trying to charge them out the yin-yang for proprietary fabrication plant usage. Here's a hint: Final Fantasy VII went to the Playstation not because of the media, but because Squaresoft was fed up with Nintendo's wanting them to censor the fuck out of their games, and it's no coincidence that the only bones they've thrown Nintendo since have been the kiddyfied crap-tastic "Crystal Chronicles" series.

The bleeding continues on the Wii because of some inexplicable desire by the major studios to compete with each other at the ultra-high end HD segment in some sort of pissing war, rather than going with the platform with a 50% market share.

Nope. The bleeding continues on the Wii because it's a gimmicky console. They can make games for a pair of consoles that, collectively, carry higher penetration than the Wii does singularly. They can make games for a pair of consoles between which porting is actually rather simple these days. They cannot, *easily*, backport the same games to the Wii's "two gamecubes duct-taped together" architecture, and nobody really knows what to do with the Wii's motion controller, as evidenced by the fact that the various games with motion controls either do it (a) really badly or (b) attach a stupid fucking gimmick to it, like having you shake the controller instead of just hitting Button B in order to launch a special move.

Sure you could claim it has "50% market share." The problem there though is that it has the wrong kind of market share. Want to know the average number of games bought a year by a Wii owner? TWO. Average games bought by a 360 or PS3 owner? SIX. Most of the "market penetration" of the Wii is units bought by grandparents who just keep it around either to use Wii Fit or Wii Tennis, and that's all they play when their 6-year-old grandkids come over.

Hey speaking of which - tell your grandparents hello and give your grandma a big kiss on the cheek when you visit them to use their Wii, wouldja?

Re:Bad Policy (3, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#32191522)

But at least Nintendo could have resolved this in a more user-friendly manner if they wanted to make it easy and still limit piracy. HASP [aladdin.com] modules is one solution. Each console equipped with a key allowing the user to move the key to another console in case there is an upgrade or a warranty problem.

You don't really need to make it that complicated though.

You've already purchased those games on-line, through Nintendo's storefront. You've got to have an account or a credit card on file or something. Why not just use that information to authenticate and download the games to new hardware?

It's simple enough to do... It isn't some technical hurdle that Nintendo just can't get over...

The basic problem is that if they let you re-download your games, you don't have to buy new ones.

Re:Bad Policy (1)

mzs (595629) | more than 4 years ago | (#32192866)

The problem with that approach is that they have no way of knowing if the games on your white Wii have been erased before you download them again to the Black Wii.

Re:Bad Policy (2, Informative)

radish (98371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32192942)

Well Microsoft have managed to figure it out. You can use their website to transfer DLC licenses from one machine to another, I assume it just invalidates the original licenses and pushes that invalidation down to the old console next time it connects but I don't know for sure. Works fine though, I've done it a couple of times.

Re:Bad Policy (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#32193102)

The problem with that approach is that they have no way of knowing if the games on your white Wii have been erased before you download them again to the Black Wii.

Do they really need to?

They can issue a unique license each time you download the game, that invalidates the old one. Or they can only allow you to be signed in from one device at a time.

Re:Bad Policy (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32193350)

Unlike some XBLA and PSN games, WiiWare and VC games doesn't require you to connect to the Internet to start a single-player or couch-multiplayer game. Only if you use Wii Shop Channel, in-game WFC, or friend messaging on the Wii Message Board does it access the Internet.

Re:Bad Policy (1)

mzs (595629) | more than 4 years ago | (#32193392)

I much prefer the approach where I do not need to sign in to play my VC like now. With modding Nintendo has no iron clad way to know that the old license will-be/was invalidated. They also did not do this when they made their system, instead only offering ways to transfer content when you send in a unit for repair. I guess it made sense to them, while your approach makes sense to others. I wish I could simply redownload, but I guess that was too frightening to Nintendo that there was no other way to guarantee that the old copies would no longer play.

Re:Bad Policy (1)

Whyte Panther (868438) | more than 4 years ago | (#32195034)

The Wii already has an option on it to wipe it's memory of all downloaded games and ties to the Wii shop, which is intended to be used before giving the console to a new owner (Anyone who does this currently is a fool, sell the games with the system, you might as well)... All they need to do is through that process, provide a code allowing you to download your now erased library to a new Wii. Just send me that code by e-mail, and when I get my replacement, put that in and get it all back. Easy enough to do, works in the framework that's already there, and Nintendo knows that barring hacking the console, that all existing games have been deleted.

Re:Bad Policy (1)

mzs (595629) | more than 4 years ago | (#32195798)

That's a very clever approach to making it work easily with what is there, wow. If Nintendo was interested in this that would be the right way to do it. Unfortunately with the dark half of the modding community shortly there would be a program to generate the code without wiping the memory. Just put yourself in Nintendo's shoes for a moment and realize how the flashcarts have hurt them on NDS. It's so bad that other parents are buying these for their kids here and bragging about it to me. It really upsets me.

So the first step might be to see which channels are installed and disallow it if the Homebrew channel is. Too bad for all the non-pirates I guess. Then there might be hashes of IOSs computed. What's next? Does Nintendo want to get into the escalating war between modders tha MS is in? I am very happy that I only very rarely connect the Wii to the wireless, basically when I want to buy something from WiiShop.

Re:Bad Policy (0, Flamebait)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32193472)

Yeah, but if they do it that way then you don't give them more of your money. Surely you can see the problem there.

Re:Bad Policy (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 4 years ago | (#32195030)

You might not have CC info. One of things I like about Nintendo's store is they don't need to have anything other than your Wii Number and your IP. They don't even need to know your name. You can go over to Target or Wallmart and buy a Wii points card with cash. They might have some additional info attatched to those numbers like geographic region, year issued, but nothing that personally identifies you. If you want with Nintendo you really can be just a number.

Re:Bad Policy (2, Interesting)

shoemilk (1008173) | more than 4 years ago | (#32191652)

I had no problems when I sent my Wii in for repairs and they replaced it with a new system. When I connected the new Wii they replaced my old one with to the net, I could easily redownload all the games I had previously bought. Hell, it even took me a year to do that because I was internetless at home for two years.

This was Nintendo Japan, however, and no country beats Japan for customer service.

Re:Bad Policy (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 4 years ago | (#32192094)

I'm surprised that there aren't hacks available yet that would take care of that issue.

There are, they're just not kosher to Nintendo. Once you've got homebrew running, you can do all sorts of things with your channels and savegames, including move them between consoles.

Further, Nintendo's proprietary way of doing this has also been leaked [wiibrew.org] , and basically they just change the WiiID of the new console to match the old, so the Wii Shop Channel believes it's the same console and allows free redownload.

Re:Bad Policy (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32192188)

Each console equipped with a key allowing the user to move the key to another console in case there is an upgrade or a warranty problem.

Problem there is that there's a very real possibility that whatever kills the console could kill the key module or render it inaccessible. Fire obviously would, as might flood, or theft.

In that case the only logical solution would be to make the key stored and retrievable at Nintendo's servers (ie, a key per account), at which point - why bother with the physical key at all?

Re:Bad Policy (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#32190584)

Will ye be wanting express delivery sir?

Re:Bad Policy (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32191342)

This is simply just bad policy on Nintendo's part

It sure is.

Come on, Nintendo. You were just getting your reputation back with the Wii.

You really have to wonder sometime just how hostile the corporate world can become to consumers.

Re:Bad Policy (1)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 4 years ago | (#32192252)

Alternatively, it's Nintendo's policy to discourage people from purchasing downloadable content from them.

If faulty hardaware results in the loss of purchases, it seems entirely reasonable that Nintendo be sued for the loss incurred. Small claims court. Assuminng there isn't some law about this on the statute covering this sort of thing.

Re:Bad Policy (1)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 4 years ago | (#32192998)

Pirates have been getting not only a low or zero price, but actually a product that is vastly superior to a "legit" copy. Have been for years.

Actually, people are now glad to actually PAY for un-jailed, un-protected, user-operation-un-prohibited goods.

Supply and demand are kickass tools to show the DRM-infested crapware companies the door. People ARE voting with their wallets and they're not choosing the pirated merchandise for being "free as in beer". It's not free as in speech, but at least free as in "mind your own damn business and let me use what I bought".

Re:Bad Policy (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32193732)

Actually, people are now glad to actually PAY for un-jailed, un-protected, user-operation-un-prohibited goods.

Then let them buy a PC and PC games. The main thing they'll miss out on by switching to PC is couch multiplayer.

Re:Bad Policy (1)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 4 years ago | (#32196900)

This is simply just bad policy on Nintendo's part, this will only serve to further drive hardcore gamers to avoiding the games and system.

This is simply just bad policy on Nintendo's part, this will only serve to drive people to piracy.

Damn, you make video games sound like beer and alcohol. :-)

On a serious note, the top post on this slashdot article (which is modded 5 insightful) says that people will immediately go to piracy. You guys are just as bad as the industry people who say that all piracy equals lost sales 1 to 1.

There is a third option guys, and I am not talking about Linux this time. Not buying something should come as an option before pirating the game for most people.

Good business? (1)

wiplash (787883) | more than 4 years ago | (#32190502)

' “It shows extreme lack of foresight on their part,” says Wii owner Nathan Gillmore. '
or does it? Perhaps this is one of those additional revenue streams that Microsoft and Sony can't tap into because they happen to handle their store downloads The Right Way (TM). All three companies need all the help they can get, and this certainly doesn't hurt Nintendo... just their user-base.

Re:Good business? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32190532)

Well if it hurts their user base enough that they stop buying Nintendo's products, then it will certainly hurt Nintendo. DRM on things like DVDs has been in the realm of "who cares" because most non-pirates usually don't have any practical problems with it, and pirates (and people who want to legitimately copy/recode the disks) have been able to break it relatively easily. When the problem starts to affect the majority of users, it changes from a theoretical problem that "complainers" bitch about to an actual problem that normal users will get pissed about. That's when the company will start to be seriously hurt.

You can talk about the "Slippery Slope" all you want, but the reason that Apple's DRM has been reasonably successful is that it doesn't annoy the majority of its users. The 5PC limit is high enough that most people don't notice it, and you can even reset those 5 PCs every so often to make up for old PCs you forgot to deactivate, etc.

Re:Good business? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32190680)

I guess at that point those of us who have been arguing against DRM for years can at least say "I told you so", but it'll seem like a pretty hollow victory.

Backups on the DSi (4, Informative)

Mornedhel (961946) | more than 4 years ago | (#32190560)

The not so funny thing is, you can back up your downloaded DSiWare games to the SD slot, but you can't restore them to just any DSi, they're tied to the one you downloaded them from.

About the only use I can see for this is if you have bought a lot of DSiWare and want to free some of the internal storage. Even then, since you can re-download them as many times as you want (still on the same console), it's not very useful.

Re:Backups on the Wii (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 4 years ago | (#32192956)

The not so funny thing is, you can back up your downloaded DSiWare games to the SD slot, but you can't restore them to just any DSi, they're tied to the one you downloaded them from.

Same thing with the Wii and its downloadable games. It'll tell you that you're not allowed to play that game if you try to play it on a machine that didn't buy it.

Re:Backups on the DSi (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32193760)

Even then, since you can re-download them as many times as you want (still on the same console), it's not very useful.

It could be useful if you either 1. have high-speed Internet access for only one day every two weeks, or 2. have to share a 5 GB per month transfer cap with the rest of your family.

drm (1)

tris203 (1768578) | more than 4 years ago | (#32190572)

reminds me on the PS3 market place stuff up. where games stored achievements per console not per player.

Digital Distribution is the wave of the future... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32190578)

And this is why I'm stuck in the past. As long as the corporations control the data, I'm not going to buy it. I still buy all my crap on disc so that if my hardware fails, or the corporation suddenly decides to be a dick and disable some of it due to "losing the rights to distribute" or whatever on some stupid song embedded in it, I don't have to worry about it being taken away. If it's only available via digital distribution, then I guess I'm not the target audience, no matter how much of a gamer I am.

I'm also never going to pay for the "privilege" of playing online. XBox Live can fuck right off, and EA's premium pass bullshit means I won't ever be buying any of their games again. I'm not just talking about their premium pass titles, either. I'm talking about all of it. I won't support their fight against the used games market in any way whatsoever.

I've even sworn off of Blizzard with their announcement that they're killing LAN play on the sequels to the games that practically MADE LANs proliferate. I'm not going to say that the original StarCraft and Diablo games singlehandedly made LANs popular, but they sure as hell helped, and they were so supportive of it that they'd let you install spawns on your friends' computers so they could play too. Now that Blizzard is ALREADY filthy rich, they're just getting greedier? Fuck that.

Yeah, I guess I'm a curmudgeon. But dammit, I've got a gaming PC, an NES, SNES, Genesis, Sega CD, Sega Saturn, Playstation, Playstation 2, GameCube, Wii, GBA, DS, and PSP. If the current crop of systems/companies piss me off enough, I'll just give them all the middle finger and go back and find the games I missed, or find some indie titles on PC that interest me.

If everyone else who gave a damn did the same thing, maybe it'd make enough of a dent in the bottom line for the companies to notice.

Re:Digital Distribution is the wave of the future. (1)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 4 years ago | (#32190644)

Most games that you buy in the store require online activation these days anyway, and some even require you to be connected all the time (ala Ubisoft). So if you're not going to do use any cracks etc. at all, then you're just as screwed with physical purchases. If you're going to use cracks to allow you to play games if you can no longer activate it for whatever reason, then you have the same ability to play your downloaded games forever as well.

The only advantage of the physical media is that if your hard drive dies, you don't lose your purchased game (you just reinstall from disc). But that advantage is pretty much completely mitigated by the fact that it's very easy to back up digitally-distributed things, so if you're concerned about losing it there's no reason you can't put a copy on a USB stick, burn it to DVD/BluRay, put it on an external HDD, etc. And if you store it a different location, it's even protected against physical loss like fire or theft.

Kudos for taking the financial stand, I'm not sure it'll have the desired effect though. Big media seems to put any drop in revenue down to piracy, and never seem to consider even for a moment if they might be selling a product in a form people don't want to buy.

Re:Digital Distribution is the wave of the future. (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#32191766)

Most games that you buy in the store require online activation these days anyway
S/Most games/Most PC games/

For all their other faults console games seem to have mostly avoided that crap so far.

Re:Digital Distribution is the wave of the future. (1)

ChristofferC (1025109) | more than 4 years ago | (#32190986)

You're not alone. I do the same thing. Old classics and indie games give me plenty of entertaniment. But unfortunately most people are ignorant about the issues with DRM or simply don't care.

Re:Digital Distribution is the wave of the future. (1)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 4 years ago | (#32193194)

People ignorant about upholding their rights will lose them. In DRM and in democracy. Same reason, same course.

Upholding rights is costly and entities ignoring or waiving rights can always undercut the exchange that preserves more rights.

Therefore, unneeded or unwanted rights will quickly erode. Gaining them back is extremely costly. Arm, leg, first born or life costly, sometimes.

But people are currently giving away their on-the-job passwords (whose secrecy protects their jobs and livelihood) for bars of chocolate, so any fight is helpless.

Ignorance benefits the mass media (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32193942)

People ignorant about upholding their rights will lose them.

Worse yet, it is in the interest of the mass media to keep the populace ignorant of their rights. Here's why [pineight.com] .

Re:Digital Distribution is the wave of the future. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32191696)

Well I do the same, but the problem is that for each person like you or me, there are 1000 who don't give a crap. And that, in a nutshell, is why you and I don't matter.

Re:Digital Distribution is the wave of the future. (2, Informative)

Ragnarok89 (1066010) | more than 4 years ago | (#32191794)

I couldn't have said it better myself. That's why the most recent games I play are almost a decade old. I can play them when, how, and where I want. Period. No way in hell am I going to pay some company to tell me how I can play their game.

Re:Digital Distribution is the wave of the future. (2, Interesting)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 4 years ago | (#32192150)

Well put, mate. I've come to the same decision myself.

It seems like every day another company is showing up on my "No Buy" list, but you know what? Who cares? Just like you, I've got a gaming PC and consoles going all the way back to Pre-NES. Just on the PSX and PS2, I've got over 300 games I could replay.

Re:Digital Distribution is the wave of the future. (1)

radish (98371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32192880)

On the flip side, it's nice to be able to redownload anything I need (rather than trying to find the disc). It's nice to be able to fire up steam on a new laptop and just have it install everything automatically. I've never heard of any game or game content being remote disabled (XBLA recently stopped selling a few titles due to licensing changes, but people who already bought them are unaffected). I've had a hardware failure, but the DRM didn't give me any problems as the licenses were automatically transferred to the new box.

To be honest DRM in games has never really caused me any problems so I just don't care about it. DRM in music on the other hand, that drives me nuts.

Re:Digital Distribution is the wave of the future. (1)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 4 years ago | (#32193246)

"On the flip side, driving drunk has never really caused ME any problems, so I just drive drunk and not care about it."
"I have never been shot, so it's okay that everyone gets a machine gun to play with"
"I have never fallen off that bridge, so a handrail is clearly not needed. Only fools would fall off from a bridge with no handrail"

Re:Digital Distribution is the wave of the future. (1)

mzs (595629) | more than 4 years ago | (#32193742)

I largely agree, that's why the only downloadable content I buy has been very inexpensive so I don't care enough. I did have one ugly experience that soured me. I bought "Lost Cities" for xbox 360 from the downloadable arcade (don't know if those are the right words, but you get the idea). That was a great game, but then one day my HD died. I bought a pretty expensive replacement and then I went to download all the things I had earlier. It was mostly okay, pretty much all the games I cared about I was able to redownload, there were some videos I could not find again or had been free before and now cost something, so I skipped those. None of that bugged me enough to be upset at all. But I simply could not find "Lost Cities." It was easily the game I had played the most before but I had not played it in a while.

After a bunch of google searches I learned that when Activision bought Vivendi/Universal there was some fall-out that prevented people from buying "Lost Cities" anymore. This was many pages in of google results. So I called Microsoft and they could not do a thing. I expected them to refund the MS points but they said they could not, I could to fax a letter the fellow suggested, but I did not, I assumed it would just get ignored or rejected. (Maybe I should have tried, that might be unfair.) Also they could not do anything like extend my Live Gold for a free month or anything like that. That really surprised me since I have bought two 360s and have had 3 repairs and it was pretty routine for MS to throw in a free month of Gold card as a band aid.

So that really irked me. It dawned on me then how they could take something away like that game. I just assumed that with the MS approach I would be able to redownload whatever I wanted for a few years at least, but it seemed like that was not the case in practice. Admittedly it's rare though. So I just treat anything l download as pretty ephemeral to me and do not download anything that may be too valuable (so no more $10+ downloads for me, only up to $6 now, I buy a lot of TG16 VC). I was also upset about the customer service too, I could sort of see MS not being able to refund the MS points, seeing as they gave a cut to Vivendi/Universal already which they could not get back, bit to not even give a free month of Gold, something I had bought two years of already, that was pretty low. It's like they wanted to drive home how ugly this no media/download only stuff really can be.

I thought indie games were sold as downloads (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32193910)

If it's only available via digital distribution, then I guess I'm not the target audience [...] If the current crop of systems/companies piss me off enough, I'll just [...] find some indie titles on PC that interest me.

I thought most indie PC games were sold as downloads, not as retail disc+instruction+box bundles. And PC games tend to lack couch multiplayer; what do friends visiting your home do while waiting for a turn?

I'm also never going to pay for the "privilege" of playing online.

Will you also refuse to pay the one broadband ISP for your area to unblock inbound ports so that you can play online?

If the current crop of systems/companies piss me off enough, I'll just give them all the middle finger and go back and find the games I missed

Unless the games you missed are unsupported in modern operating systems. Sure, DOSBox can run MS-DOS games, but games for Windows 3.1 don't run on 64-bit Windows, games for Windows 95 or 98 that didn't consider NT 4 have problems under Windows XP and Windows 7, and Apple no longer sells anything that can run games for Mac OS 6 through 9. Sure, the Retrode can copy Atari 2600, Genesis, and Super NES carts to your computer for use in Stella, Gens, and Snes9x, but a lot of classic consoles remain with no convenient UMG v. MP3.com-compliant cart dumper.

Re:I thought indie games were sold as downloads (1)

SCPRedMage (838040) | more than 4 years ago | (#32197112)

Unless the games you missed are unsupported in modern operating systems. Sure, DOSBox can run MS-DOS games, but games for Windows 3.1 don't run on 64-bit Windows, games for Windows 95 or 98 that didn't consider NT 4 have problems under Windows XP and Windows 7, and Apple no longer sells anything that can run games for Mac OS 6 through 9.

But Windows 3.1 will run in DOSBox, even on 64-bit Windows, and you can easily run Windows 9x and even older Mac OS's in virtual machines.

Wii stores downloads locally? (2, Interesting)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 4 years ago | (#32190590)

I've heard that the Wii may store information about which games you have purchased locally, on the Wii itself. Pirates have reported that after installing pirated games, they did not need to pay to get a free re-download from the Wii Shop Channel.

I have not confirmed any of this though.

Re:Wii stores downloads locally? (3, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32190634)

Pirates have reported that after installing pirated games, they did not need to pay to get a free re-download from the Wii Shop Channel.

obligatory bash quote [bash.org]

Solution: don't buy Wii games (-1, Troll)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32190592)

What's that you say? Nobody buys Wii games anyway? Well, solution achieved.

This is why I will never own a console (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32190602)

With all three game console makers treating their customers like dogshit, there is no way I am going to bother with a console.

Microsoft bans people if they think their console is modded.

Nintendo calls piracy a "crisis" and appears jacks their paying customers around.

Sony puts out ROM patches to disable functionality and allow ninja-updates.

Hell with them all. Maybe someone can make an indie console that doesn't suck, get some non-name brand game makers and go to town. I don't know if an open console would sell, but I wonder these days.

Re:This is why I will never own a console (1, Troll)

drej (1663541) | more than 4 years ago | (#32190830)

Enjoy your Ubisoft DRM then, sir.

Re:This is why I will never own a console (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#32191904)

Ubisoft? Please. They haven't made a game that interested me since Beyond Good & Evil.

Re:This is why I will never own a console (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 4 years ago | (#32192916)

A sequel is coming....supposedly.

Re:This is why I will never own a console (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#32191744)

The big PC game houses are also treating thier customers like shit with online activation, forced updates and in some cases even continuous checking with the mothership.

It's such a pity, I want to play the big hit games and am quite happy to pay for them but I resent being treated like a potential criminal for doing so.

Re:This is why I will never own a console (2, Informative)

radish (98371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32192804)

Microsoft bans people if they think their console is modded

No, Microsoft bans _consoles_ which are modded, not users. Those consoles can still be used offline and you can still login to a new console with your account and play online. Modded consoles are often used by people to cheat at games (and thus spoil the experience for other players). IMHO it's perfectly reasonable for them to prevent you from spoiling the service which other people pay for, and as someone who doesn't mod his console I welcome their attempts to limit cheating which have ruined so many online PC games.

Consider the Acer Aspire Revo (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32194058)

Maybe someone can make an indie console that doesn't suck

Three words: Acer Aspire Revo. It's a Windows PC with a fairly weak CPU like netbooks and the Wii, but like the PS3, it has an NVIDIA GPU. Hook it up to your HDTV with VGA or HDMI, put the included mouse and keyboard on a TV tray, plug in a USB hub for optional gamepads, and you're set. Add an optical drive and it'll play PS1 games; add the Retrode adapter and it'll even play your Super NES and Genesis cartridges.

Hey, Nintendo... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32190618)

...I got an idea: build an individual processor into each console. Generate the instruction set (and the corresponding compiler back-end) *randomly* for each individual console. So no binary would ever have the chance to run on another console.

/me runs off to the European Patent Office (they seem to be outdoing the USPTO in nonsense-patents these days).

WTF (-1, Troll)

carcosa30 (235579) | more than 4 years ago | (#32190628)

Well. Guess I won't be buying a wii. Not that I have ever bought a Nintendo product, or would be likely ever to buy a wii or any of their japanese kiddie software.

Even from their inception I've never been able to stand Nintendo. Don't like anything about them: none of their games, none of their hardware. And then you have this sort of policy.

Re:WTF (5, Funny)

theeddie55 (982783) | more than 4 years ago | (#32190952)

unless you're over 120 years olds, which i doubt, you weren't around for nintendo's inception.

Re:WTF (0, Offtopic)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#32191362)

Oh you're so manly! Japanese kiddie software? Wow! You must have a really large penis!

Pirates win again (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32190656)

Did you know, that if you install a mod chip, you can buy games on one console, and transfer them to another?

It's probably a violation of Nintendo's clickwrap EULA, but it's still legal, because Nintendo's EULA is unenforceable. Hey, you payed for the console, so you own it. You can do whatever you want with it, including click "agree" to a EULA you don't agree to.

Agreeing to the EULA might give you the right to click the "agree" button - but you already had that right, being the owner of the console, and all the contained software.

When you agree to the EULA, Nintendo gives you permission to click the button. But, you don't need Nintendo's permission to click a button on your own hardware.

It is Nintendo's misconception that the customer agreed to the EULA. If the customer really did agree, wouldn't they have signed it? Until the customer signs the EULA, they have all the regular fair use rights granted by copyright law, including the right to copy it to an unlimited number of their own devices, for their own use.

Nintendo's technological locks can't stop copying, and neither can their legal locks. Installing a mod chip in your wii doesn't take 2 weeks, like sending it to Nintendo does, and probably costs less than the shipping (my modchip was only $20).

Re:Pirates win again (1)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 4 years ago | (#32190794)

But isn't the EULA for the downloadable content itself, not the hardware? Sure, you can mod your console freely, but Nintendo doesn't have to grant you a license to play games on said console.

Re:Pirates win again (1)

Jedi Strke (1686100) | more than 4 years ago | (#32191000)

Thanks, Atari.

Who needs a mod chip (1)

wernox1987 (1362105) | more than 4 years ago | (#32191524)

With bannerbomb it can be done using just software, it takes just a few minutes. The DS has the same problem, a $12 flash card will allow you to play pretty much any game ever produced. Nintendo's got two problems, their stuff is retardedly easy to pirate, and there is so much shovelware out that people are almost conditioned to try a game before they buy it.

Link accounts (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32190670)

Just link your shop account with your Nintendo.com account and you can re download anything. Simple as that. It's an ounce of prevention. NEXT.

Re:Link accounts (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32191128)

Just link your shop account with your Nintendo.com account and you can re download anything. Simple as that. It's an ounce of prevention. NEXT.

Well, as long as the USAF want to upload all their software to the nintendo shop that's a great idea.

Sorry my last post was rubbish! (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32191198)

Ah ignore that post .... I confused two threads sorry

Itunes seems to almost have the right idea (1)

voss (52565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32190730)

If you cant allow unrestricted access then allow the USER to decide which of a certain number of machines
to authorize the software/music/games/etc. Tie the accounts to the user and allow the user to redownload
their purchased content on their new upgraded machine.

Apple doesn't do the last part...yet but if they were smart they would.
Why? Its adds value to purchasing music from Apple, if you dont have to worry about backups. It adds value
to the concept of authorizing machines beyond apple simply being a control freak.

Re:Itunes seems to almost have the right idea (1)

inpher (1788434) | more than 4 years ago | (#32191500)

They do the last part too, but you have to call support and ask for it.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32191746)

Funny how I've NEVER had any transfer problems with my DS flashcart.

Way to go Nintendo, keep encouraging your users towards piracy!

Nintendo is a company about maximizing profits (1)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 4 years ago | (#32191806)

They waited to release the black Wii until the white Wii sales started to stutter. But if people want to get a black Wii, there is no way in hell they are going to rebuy all of their previously downloaded content. It's a PR disaster in the making.

The only possible outcomes are people really are: People with no downloadable content will not notice, people who no about the problem will not buy the new Wii, Nintendo is going to have to deal with a surge of deathmatches on technical support with the final outcome of a lot of returned Wiis.

Now Nintendo like a lot of companys like to try to maximize profits, but it seems like they are just walking into this like blind idiots. I just can't see how this will turn out well.

I personally have not bought any virtual console games and have only spent $20 on WiiWare. If I want a SNES game, most of them I will just get off of Ebay or a local flee market. Regardless, I am considering calling into Nintendo to talk about the plight, making sure to frame the argument that so that I'm basically saying, "I have money to give you guys, but you apparently don't want it." After all, we all know that Nintendo makes money off of the sales of their systems too well.

Or you could... (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 4 years ago | (#32192064)

Or you could just do what I did and hack the WII and back everything up to USB hard drive. I think hacking it was more fun than any of the games I've got for it.

this is a good thing (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#32192140)

The more these companies shoot themselves in the foot and piss off the average Joe, the sooner this nonsense will be over.

"Impossible" is such a strong word... (1)

kikito (971480) | more than 4 years ago | (#32192550)

It would be more correct to say "it would be very difficult to copy the games legally".

How can steam get this right and the big N can't?? (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32192828)

How can steam get this right and the big N can't??

Seriously guys, It's not just Nintendo (1)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 4 years ago | (#32192964)

I've purchased many cell phones over the years. Have you ever tried to take a ringtone you purchased for one and re-get it for another? It doesn't happen. You have to call the carrier and bitch until they give you credit or something of the sort.

Same goes for games, etc. Even with my Blackberry storm, after wiping it clean and updating the firmware (wiping out all of my apps etc), you aren't able to get the apps again without paying. This happened to me for a Garmin produced weather program I purchased. After cleaning my BB out (to regain room and speed.. thing sucks after a few months) I couldn't just download it from the App World. It was a $10 or $15 application.

Knowing I couldn't just re-download and activate via the App World on the SAME PHONE with the same BB pin and all, I knew there was no way it was going to happen with a replacement BB after mine went bad.

Nintendo DOES transfer, I've had it done (1)

salahx (100975) | more than 4 years ago | (#32195790)

I've posted this before [slashdot.org] but it bears repeating here. I my case, my apartment was burgled, and my Wii was stolen. I bought a new one and called Nintendo. I did not have to re-mail both Wiis like in the story (which would have been impossible, of course). I explained the situation, and I was instructed to write a small letter with the police report and serial #'s of both Wiis. They transferred it. Now, I admit the certainly not very convenient, but its a far cry from shipping a pair of Wii's to Nintendo.
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