If you're not a fan of homebrew applications, or getting paid software for free, then an R4 card may not be something you're familiar with. Nintendo, though, is very familiar with them, as they've been a nuisance to their way of business for a few years now. Getting your hands on some pirated Nintendo DS titles is actually remarkably easy, and using an R4 card to play it on your mobile video game console used to be just as easy. But, not anymore, thanks to the high courts in the UK, who have just decided to ban them from the country.
According to Nintendo, there's been over 100,000 game-copying devices seized since 2009. R4 cards would be part of that number, so you can see how that would be a problem for the Japan-based company. Of course, defendants within the court case argued that the cards themselves are not the problem, as many people just use them to have access to homebrew applications, and don't steal software. The courts disagreed, apparently just agreeing with the "other side," in saying that getting rid of the source will fix the problem.
An R4 card is an easy way for someone to load any type of software they want onto it. It's a blank Nintendo DS game, essentially, and someone in the know can easily put whatever they want onto it. As Nintendo points out, one title in particular gets utilized quite often: Dragon Question IX, as they've seen plenty of copies of that game find their way into the illegal market.
So that's one giant win for Nintendo, even if it is just in the UK at the moment. Will other countries follow suit? Who knows. And, considering the new laws put forth by the DMCA here in the States, things could get very interesting. We'll have to wait and see if Nintendo stays on a winning streak with this one.
[via MCV UK]