Nintendo will be using new anti-piracy technology with the release of their new 3DS handheld gaming system, entertainment publisher THQ revealed in an interview last week.
Details about what safeguards Nintendo is putting in place to thwart hackers are scarce, but the manufacturer has reportedly said that the technology will be “foolproof” against cracks from illegal downloads.
The increased security for the 3DS is being put in place in response to successful hacking of the Nintendo
DS, which has cut deeply into game publisher’s revenues. As we reported in May, Nintendo has blamed piracy for a drastic 50 percent sales drop in a 12-month period in Europe. Also, a recent study by the Computer Entertainment Suppliers Association (CESA) claimed that online piracy of DS and Sony PSP games cost the handheld gaming industry a total of $41 billion USD between 2004 and 2009.
“The problem with the DS market in the last few years, particularly with the DS Lite, is that it’s just been attacked by piracy. It’s made it almost impossible to shift any significant volume,” THQ’s executive VP of global publishing Ian Curran told CVG. “The DSi combated it a little bit, but the 3DS has taken that a step further.”
Additionally, the 3DS will include a new feature called “Tag Mode”, which will allow two 3DS owners to share game data from the system’s internal memory via wireless connection. No actual game cartridge will be required. Nintendo and game producers are hoping that Tag Mode will extend the life of games and slow the used market.
It seems that hackers can eventually crack any anti-piracy technology, but they may have a challenge on their hands this time. The new 3DS safeguards are a step beyond what Nintendo has implemented with the DSi, which they believe has yet to be cracked.