90% of US DS games are pirated?

Up to 90 percent of North American Nintendo DS owners are believed to be using the infamous R4 chip to play pirated games, according to the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association.

John Hillier, manager of ELSPA's Intellectual Property Crime Unit, told The Sunday Post that the R4 chip, which bypasses the DS's security system allowing users to play pirated games illegally downloaded from the internet, is hampering Nintendo's software sales and "risking the future of the games industry" by putting legitimate retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers at risk.

"The implications are massive. In America it's thought 90 percent of Nintendo DS users are playing pirated games because of R4s.

"Crucially, the R4 has shifted the balance of power in the piracy industry to the consumer - and that is hugely worrying. Takings from Nintendo DS games in the US are lower than any other console and no doubt it will have a similar impact [in the UK]. That's why we intend to stop trade in these chips wherever we can."

Use of the chip is not only rife in the US. As previously reported, the R4 has already become one of the most sought after items amongst Japanese consumers in Tokyo's Akihabara electronics district.

You really have to take this news with a Texas-sized grain of salt. 90%, really? How many DS owners are children who have no idea what an R4 even is? How many people do you know with R4 chips compared with legit purchases? Piracy is a problem, no doubt, but we're going to need some serious evidence to believe this.

Courtesy of Next Generation.

Jan 31, 2008