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Hardware Hacking Nintendo The Courts Build Games

DS Flash Carts Deemed Legal By French Court 267

Hatta writes with a snippet from MaxConsole: "Nintendo has today lost a major court case against the Divineo group in the main court of Paris. Nintendo originally took the group to court over DS flash carts, however the judge today has ruled against Nintendo and suggested that they are purposely locking out developers from their consoles and things should be more like Windows where ANYONE can develop any application if they wish to."
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DS Flash Carts Deemed Legal By French Court

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  • by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara...hudson@@@barbara-hudson...com> on Thursday December 03, 2009 @11:11PM (#30320370) Journal

    If you've read the initial requirements for getting a Nintendo dev kit, you know this is a Good Thing!

  • Re:Excellent. (Score:3, Informative)

    by gzipped_tar ( 1151931 ) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @11:16PM (#30320398) Journal
    AFAIK French legal system doesn't use this "precedence" the same way you USAers do.
  • by Zerth ( 26112 ) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @11:17PM (#30320414)

    A game cartridge where the ROM is replaced with flash(and possibly other hardware) so you can put whatever code you want on it.

    Used for developing and homebrew software, as well as just plain copying games.

  • by ChronosWS ( 706209 ) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @11:42PM (#30320590)
    Actually the XBox is also very easy to develop (XNA anyone?) The only real restrictions there are that if you want your game to go out to everyone as a full game on Live, you have to pass a certification process to ensure you abide by the rules for how apps are supposed to behave. But the tools are all there and MS does a good job of encouraging their use.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 03, 2009 @11:59PM (#30320710)

    The FSF doesn't sue over GPL violations that relate to the Linux kernel. They don't have standing, as they do not hold any copyrights over that code. Now the GNU toolchain that typically lives on a Linux system - that they can sue over.

    Kernel developers, however, do have standing, and hence can sue over copyright infringement.

  • Re:Excellent. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04, 2009 @12:05AM (#30320742)

    Not true by a long shot.

    The entire reason that Nintendo is so selective in which games it licenses is because of the flood of games that came out for all consoles in the 80s, and the video game crash shortly after. Companies like Quaker Oats were actually trying to publish games. The market became so over-saturated with games that the public became disgusted with them.

    When nintendo finally released the Famicom in the US they had to market it as a home computer rather than a video game system due to the negative connotations that 'video game' still had. You'll notice that every legitimate game that came out for nintendo and super nintendo ( I stopped looking after that) came with the nintendo seal of approval. That's because they started making certain that only reputable publishers were releasing games for their system, to keep their reputation intact. There's a lot more about it if you search for the video game crash of 1983 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_video_game_crash_of_1983

    Opening up the console to anyone who wants is definitely not guaranteed to increase the quality of games. In fact, history tells us that the exact opposite will happen. But hey, who knows! History doesn't repeat itself all that often, right?

  • by rm999 ( 775449 ) on Friday December 04, 2009 @12:06AM (#30320744)

    Nintendo isn't necessarily worried about the quality of third party games on their system; they make a profit off hardware sales either way. With the iPhone, Apple has proved that people can perceive hardware as high quality despite an overabundance of shitty software.

    The main problem to Nintendo is flashcarts make it ridiculously easy to pirate games. Almost too easy - it's far easier to lug around a tiny flashcart than 10 game cartridges. The loss in game sales affects their quality in the long run, and hence the system's chances of success.

  • by MaximKat ( 1692650 ) on Friday December 04, 2009 @12:09AM (#30320754)
    http://www.microsoft.com/express/product/ [microsoft.com] looks free from here and it's not like you are required to use VS to develop for Windows
  • by TangoMargarine ( 1617195 ) on Friday December 04, 2009 @12:23AM (#30320810) Journal
    While technically not Visual Studio, you can download Visual Basic/C++/C# Express Editions for free. [microsoft.com]
  • by LtGordon ( 1421725 ) on Friday December 04, 2009 @01:24AM (#30321124)
    And yet $2000 is a serious barrier to entry for a small start-up or a hobbyist developer. Who says that only big name game studios produce quality games?
  • by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Friday December 04, 2009 @01:29AM (#30321146) Homepage Journal

    Just a side note, it is also possible for individuals who wants the Windows source code [microsoft.com] to get it. They simply have to become an MVP (most valuable professional) and be in good standing and sign a few NDAs. I consider that as any person who wants it *bad enough* can get legal access to it.

  • by AliasMarlowe ( 1042386 ) on Friday December 04, 2009 @02:36AM (#30321436) Journal

    A true Chinese proverb: "I don't care if it is black cat or white cat. You can still pass it off as Kung Pao Chicken"

    FYI, cat meat does not taste at all like chicken (light or dark meat). The texture and flavor of cat meat is quite different, and even a liberal dose of spices cannot mask this difference.

  • by Belial6 ( 794905 ) on Friday December 04, 2009 @02:59AM (#30321542)
    That is revisionist at best. Up until Activision started up from ex-Atari employees, all systems only had first party games. When Activision became the first third party game developer, Atari tried to sue them out of existence. Nintendo, coming after Atari, could see that third parties could make good games, and that MORE games made the system appear more attractive to consumers. They then came up with the idea of trying to use copyright and patents to force every developer to pay them a , and implemented lock out methods. Just review the library of NES games to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was not for quality control.

    Crappy games did not kill the video game market. The video game market was plenty strong. The 'video game crash' is a myth. What happened was that everyone started moving to more open platforms C64. These systems had both better and worse games, but they did have plenty of games.
  • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Friday December 04, 2009 @03:43AM (#30321680) Homepage

    Activision was the first group of game developers to think of making and selling games for a system created by someone else. Atari hadn't put any protections on the console. Hence, Activision (and everyone and their uncle) could sell games for the Atari 2600 with impunity, and the market was flooded with crap.

    Tengen (a division of Atari) tried this with the NES. However, Nintendo *had* put protections on the lockout chip. Tengen acquired a schematic of the chip under false pretenses, and released their games bypassing the lockout chip. Nintendo sued, and it was settled out of court without precedent being set.

    Accolade tried this with the Genesis. That one, Accolade one, on the strength that they had properly reverse-engineered the lockout protection, and that reverse-engineering for interoperability was legal.

    Then came the DMCA, which was a monkey's attempt to understand the internet, and makes basically everything illegal. But you get the idea. Basically, the courts *had* been ruling that any software company can put out for any system, so long as their software didn't break any laws or patents to do so. However, software these days is intricate enough (and the cryptography strong enough) that no company large enough is willing to do so. Also, they would lose marketing / favor with the console makers, who retain a lot of promotional and other sway.

  • Re:Sad (Score:2, Informative)

    by KillShill ( 877105 ) on Friday December 04, 2009 @05:06AM (#30321974)

    You sound like an App£€ supporter (zealot).

    Their (corporate) rights end at my front door.

    Once the system is in my house, i own all of it, including but not limited to, the software, the hardware and the firmware (aka everything).

    Copyright only protects unauthorized distribution, not granting companies immoral monopolies over things they sell you (the public).

    I own the chips and i have the right to reprogram them to my needs.

    I own the software (yes own, that particular copy, not the copyright) and i can, with the help of 3rd parties, change it to meet my needs.

    I now advocate for less corporate rights and more personal/public/customer rights.

    95+ years of copyright length, DMCA, DRM will/needs to die a horrible fiery death.

  • by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Friday December 04, 2009 @10:42AM (#30323544) Homepage

    Visual Studio is not the only development environment for Windows.

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.