Why 3DS Piracy Doesn’t Worry Me
There’s been a lot of discussion of 3DS piracy and how the console being hacked could lead to the downfall of the retail market recently. First there was developer Renegade Kid going on about how DS piracy caused their games to not sell as well and how any 3DS piracy would cause them to stop developing for the platform, next a discussion on Gamasutra which made little sense and claimed that piracy would cause less ‘original’ 3DS games to be made in favour of safe bets and sequels.
But am I the only one who doesn’t really feel like 3DS piracy is that big of a worry at the moment?
For one thing, despite all the talk of hacking and piracy, we don’t know anything about what kind of exploit was used to hack the 3DS, how easily it could be patched or anything of the sort. So for all we know, the exploit could require a game hardly anyone ever bought and that might not even be in production any longer. And you have to admit, it’d at least be pretty funny if it turned out that to hack the 3DS you needed a legitimate copy of Carnival Games 3D. Seeing the desperate teens wanting to pirate games coming out Walmart or GAME or something with Carnival Games would almost make the whole hacking thing worth it.
And as said, who’s to say Nintendo won’t patch it pretty quickly? Sure people have always found new ways to hack video game consoles and steal games, but one mandatory hardware update and about half the 3DS thieves out there would be stopped in their tracks.
Not to mention that the finders of this hack say they’re not interested in the illegal content part. They outright mentioned they won’t be releasing information on how to play pirated games via the trick they found, just how to run homebrew content, bypass region locking or do various other stuff. So while someone else might decide to go the illegal route and release details of how to get flashcarts and things working with the console, it won’t be the people who have apparently hacked the console already. There’s still time and hope yet.
But even if the console does get hacked and new exploits are found quicker than Nintendo can patch them, I don’t see it as a massive deal. Did all the piracy stop the DS selling by the million? The vast majority of console buyers do not hack their consoles or steal games. Heck, quite a lot of hackers don’t steal games either, so I’d say the general outcome of the 3DS being hacked wouldn’t be that significant a drop in game sales.
Finally, as a legitimate customer who only buys legal copies of Nintendo games and does any kind of modification related stuff purely for the fan content, piracy doesn’t really affect me too much. Is it wrong people are getting games for free and taking people’s hard work and giving nothing in return? Sure, but it doesn’t really hurt the actual video game players. People using illegal copies of Mario Kart 7 or Kid Icarus Uprising to play online may be morally wrong, but they don’t hurt the multiplayer scene unless they’re also hacking for an unfair advantage. Should normal gamers even really care?
If 3DS game sales really do go down by about 90 percent, then yeah, then the’s the time to worry about 3DS hacking and piracy. But at this moment in time, prior to knowing what’s even required or it’s impacts, it seems far too early to judge or panic. Just enjoy the 3DS, enjoy the games you bought for it and don’t lose sleep over something that could be quite a way off and have far less of an impact than some developers imagine.