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ELSPA: DS is least profitable console thanks to piracy

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 31 Jan 2008 16:22 User comments (37)

ELSPA: DS is least profitable console thanks to piracy The Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) has made a new claim that 90 percent of all North American Nintendo DS users play pirated games via the now infamous R4/M3 cartridge.
John Hillier, manager of ELSPA's Intellectual Property Crime Unit, stated that the cartridge, which plays downloaded Roms via a microSD slot, harms sales for Nintendo and it has actually made it the least profitable console on the market.

"The implications are massive. In America it's thought 90 per cent of Nintendo DS users are playing pirated games because of R4s,"
said Hillier.

"Takings from Nintendo DS games in the US are lower than any other console and no doubt it will have a similar impact here,"
he added in reference to the UK.

What makes the R4/M3 so popular is its easy accessibility from overseas and the fact that there is no need for any hardware modifications.

Hillier also added that the cartridge is one of the biggest threats to the gaming industry.

"That's the real danger - you may think you're getting a good deal but using the R4 is risking the future of the games industry."

"Crucially, the R4 has shifted balance of power in the piracy industry to the consumer - and that is hugely worrying,"
he finished.

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37 user comments

131.1.2008 16:41

So if I were to ask 9 out of 10 DS owners if they have an "R4", how many will look at me in bewilderment? 90% is a bit drastic, and I'd even say that it's not 50/50 either.

It's true that piracy may threaten the gaming industry, but do we really need to pay $35 for a dog or pony game? Do not insult our intelligence with your greed for money. Make more quality games such as Mario Kart, New Super Mario Bros. or Zelda, and less EA Sports "micro-sized" ports and other kiddie crap.

The R4 only exists because 90% of DS are junk. It sucks that gamers need to be cautious with their hard earned money.

231.1.2008 16:49

Originally posted by SProdigy:
So if I were to ask 9 out of 10 DS owners if they have an "R4", how many will look at me in bewilderment? 90% is a bit drastic, and I'd even say that it's not 50/50 either.

It's true that piracy may threaten the gaming industry, but do we really need to pay $35 for a dog or pony game? Do not insult our intelligence with your greed for money. Make more quality games such as Mario Kart, New Super Mario Bros. or Zelda, and less EA Sports "micro-sized" ports and other kiddie crap.

The R4 only exists because 90% of DS are junk. It sucks that gamers need to be cautious with their hard earned money.
I also agree that 90 percent is a huge over exaggeration as I know 10 people that have DSs and not one of them has an R4/M3. 9/10 of them dont even know what it is.

331.1.2008 17:01

I know many people. I know many people with a ds. I know one person besides me who knows that you can actually pirate ANYTHING, let alone ds games. That percent is completely wrong.

431.1.2008 17:05
nobrainer
Inactive

if this was the case there wouldn't be several ds games in the US charts ever week!

http://www.n4g.com/News-103265.aspx

Originally posted by linkage:
Famitsu reports via VGChartz, that the weekly sales between Jan 14th to Jan 20th in Japan were the following:

Console :

DSL : about 91k
Wii : about 76k
PSP : about 65k
PS3 : about 32k
PS2 : about 13k
360 : about 4.4k

Software:

1. Wii Fit (Wii) : about 108k (total about 1.11m)
2. Mario & Sonic at Beijing Olympics (DS): about 91k
3. Mario Party DS (DS): about 38k (total about 1.53m)
4. Wii Sports (Wii): about 31k (total about 2.65m)
5. Wii Play (Wii): about 19k (total about 2.14m)
6. Monster Hunter Portable 2 (PSP): about 18k (total about 1.57m)
7. Professor Layton and Pandora's Box (DS): about 17k (total 714k)
8. Mario & Sonic at Beijing Olympics (Wii): about 17k (total 474k)
9. Super Mario Galaxy (Wii): about 17k (total about 844k)
10. Mario Party 8 (Wii): about 15k (total about 1.15m)
11. Mario Kart DS (DS): about 14k (total about 2.80m)
12. FF4 (DS): about 11k (toal about 559k)
13. School Days L x H (PS2): about 11k
14. DQ4 (DS): about 10k (total about 1.15m)
15. Prof. Layton and the Mysterious Village (DS): about 10k (total813k)
16. New Super Mario Bros. (DS): about 10k (total about 5.06m)
17. Animal Crossing: Wild World (DS): about 10k (total about 4.56m)
18. Winning Eleven 2008 (PS2): about 9.6k (total about 605k)
20. Rune Factory 2 (DS): about 8.8k (total about 83k)
21. Everybody's Golf Portable 2 (PSP): about 8k (total about 202k)
23. Call of Duty 4 (PS3) : about 7.8k (total about 58k)
24. Star Ocean 1 First Departure (PSP): about 7.7k (total about 183k)
25. Power Pro kun Pocket 10 (DS): about 7.7k (total about 215k)
i count ten there! oops i mean 11. omg that is the japan charts where the r4 is in wide use and is legally sold!

here is the US chart dated Week Ending 26th January 2008

http://www.vgchartz.com/aweekly.php

Quote:
No.7 Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games week1 59,161
no.12 More Brain Training week23 42,171
no.14 Advance Wars: Days of Ruin week1 40,572
no.16 Mario Party DS week10 37,841
no.21 Nintendogs week127 29,802

i only count 5 in the top 20!

Software Totals:
Console Weekly
Wii 1,018,129
360 888,977
DS 721,387
PS2 559,885
PS3 385,656
PSP 226,002
Total 3,800,036

so even with 90% piracy the ds still managed to outsell ps2, ps3 and psp software sold!
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 31 Jan 2008 @ 17:19

531.1.2008 17:40

Well count me in the 10% I had no idea what those were until now... Now off to do some research.

631.1.2008 18:18

The wife and i each have a ds, no hacking going on here.. And yeah $35. for some of those titles out there!! Thats mighty high! We get the 3 or 4 in one games like sorry, battleship, trouble, connect4, all on one chip for $20. Wife has a Harry Potter game and i have a Starfox wifi game. Theirs cool looking titles that i might try like Transformers but it's hard to part with the green without knowing if it's going to be money well spent on a good game...

731.1.2008 18:29

90 percent is a big exaggeration! Common who is going to believe that? If it was the case, nintendo DS as a system would be over by now. I do have an R4 and yes I download games, but I'll tell you what, more than most of the games I've downloaded I've deleted because it was crap. And I'm left little more with about 5 games I'm really happy with. Cna you imagine how much money I would have wasted trying to find a game that I would like. Sheesh!

831.1.2008 18:44

90% is not correct at all.

I just bought 30 R4's and sold them all to people who didn't even know you could 'backup' DS games ;)

931.1.2008 19:01

I've never heard of ELSPA. They must have done their research on a website that talks about the R4/M3, which explains why 90% of the people said that they use them.

I made the following post on a different thread, but I think it applies to this as well.

I'm sure that devices such as the R4 and M3 have a negative impact on the number of games being sold. However, I also think that these same devices will lead people to buy a DS that normally wouldn't. In the end, what may result in lower game sales may lead to higher hardware sales. I guess someone will have to do an official study. Just remember that those that only buy a DS because of the R4, M3, etc... wouldn't have bought games anyway.

1031.1.2008 19:21

90% Is A Little Crazy I Would Say more like 10-15% of People playwith R4S I Know Like 30 people who never even Heard of the R4/M3

Shummyr

1131.1.2008 21:16
qpakdh367
Inactive

One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?

[url=http://gameboy.ign.com/articles/683/683738p1.html ][/url]

121.2.2008 1:23

This guy is even more ridiculous than the MPAA/RIAA. At least there out of proportion numbers are not this exsadurated.

First point, I know about two dozen people with DS's. I am the only one in the group that has a device, I own a DS-X, at the moment.

My other friends either don't want to spend the money on it or just don't see the purpose of getting one.

Second, my buying of DS games has actually increased at least doubled since I bought my DS-X. Before buying it I had maybe 5-10 games in my DS collection.

After getting the DS-X I have tried out a few games that I thought looked good and have ended up buying another 10 games as a result of trying them out first.

Sure, there are those that simply buy such a device and never buy a game again but those are the people that make laws get passed that make such devices illegal for anyone to use, legitimate (aka Backups) or not.

Peace

131.2.2008 2:08

Yaaaa......... maybe if it was the PSP I would believe it..... but the DS is the top selling portable world wide....

141.2.2008 4:54
Jalathole
Inactive

i know about 10 people who have DS and about 5 of them have R4. i think it is quite a cool thing to have besides the obvious bad side of ruining the games industry. i reckon nintendo should start selling an official version of R4 and sell the roms online for half the price of a real game. that would stop some of the piracy.

151.2.2008 8:48

Originally posted by Jalathole:
i reckon nintendo should start selling an official version of R4 and sell the roms online for half the price of a real game. that would stop some of the piracy.
What you're suggesting makes too much sense. Why would they want to reduce production costs and increase profits? Besides, we all know those "ROMS" would need DRM...

161.2.2008 11:03
smoobies
Inactive

Originally posted by SProdigy:
So if I were to ask 9 out of 10 DS owners if they have an "R4", how many will look at me in bewilderment? 90% is a bit drastic, and I'd even say that it's not 50/50 either.

It's true that piracy may threaten the gaming industry, but do we really need to pay $35 for a dog or pony game? Do not insult our intelligence with your greed for money. Make more quality games such as Mario Kart, New Super Mario Bros. or Zelda, and less EA Sports "micro-sized" ports and other kiddie crap.

The R4 only exists because 90% of DS are junk. It sucks that gamers need to be cautious with their hard earned money.
If it's 90% I wonder what % it is on th PSP.

171.2.2008 11:04
smoobies
Inactive

Originally posted by SProdigy:
So if I were to ask 9 out of 10 DS owners if they have an "R4", how many will look at me in bewilderment? 90% is a bit drastic, and I'd even say that it's not 50/50 either.

It's true that piracy may threaten the gaming industry, but do we really need to pay $35 for a dog or pony game? Do not insult our intelligence with your greed for money. Make more quality games such as Mario Kart, New Super Mario Bros. or Zelda, and less EA Sports "micro-sized" ports and other kiddie crap.

The R4 only exists because 90% of DS are junk. It sucks that gamers need to be cautious with their hard earned money.
If it's 90% I wonder what % it is on th PSP.

181.2.2008 11:47

way over exaggerated. only about 5 people in my school have heard of them and thats only because one person told them about his.

Saying that its threatning the whole gaming industry is a bit far aswell

191.2.2008 14:58

Originally posted by weedude99:
way over exaggerated. only about 5 people in my school have heard of them and thats only because one person told them about his.

Saying that its threatning the whole gaming industry is a bit far aswell
Speaking about hearing about this, referring to the R4, the first time I heard about it was by reading a news article similar to this one. Of course, I had to go out and buy one after I read about it. I'm just curious if articles like this are more prone to cause more people to buy them as opposed to stopping it.

201.2.2008 16:00
nobrainer
Inactive

Originally posted by silk42:
Originally posted by weedude99:
way over exaggerated. only about 5 people in my school have heard of them and thats only because one person told them about his.

Saying that its threatning the whole gaming industry is a bit far aswell
Speaking about hearing about this, referring to the R4, the first time I heard about it was by reading a news article similar to this one. Of course, I had to go out and buy one after I read about it. I'm just curious if articles like this are more prone to cause more people to buy them as opposed to stopping it.
if you can create a citation by highlighting it, then the DRM makers and pro clampdown lobbies (sony being party to both) have a job to do, and make mega bucks!

211.2.2008 16:13

Originally posted by Jalathole:
i know about 10 people who have DS and about 5 of them have R4. i think it is quite a cool thing to have besides the obvious bad side of ruining the games industry. i reckon nintendo should start selling an official version of R4 and sell the roms online for half the price of a real game. that would stop some of the piracy.
you know, that's so true... the R4 or whatever is good for trying out games, most of the DS games are so pointless that i gave up in less than five minutes. However, when i see a worthy game, i actually buy it from the store. Now, if the games are offered on ROM format and cost like a third of the actual game, hell, i even buy the games i gave up in 10 minutes...

222.2.2008 3:41
duke8888
Inactive

I agree game makers are getting greedy and they rush a product out that is nothing but crap. In these days of hard finances consumers will not shell hard earn money out for a bad product. Wa wa wa big game makers cry on somebodys shoulder who gives a s_ht!

232.2.2008 11:37

I think the ELSPA was misquoted about the actual percentages, but even if the figures were true, it still would not be the least profitable console. Most consoles are loss leaders, they are sold below cost and hope to make it up on game sales, the old give away the razor but charge for the razor blades strategy. Both the PS3 and 360 cost more to manufacture than their actual selling price, so it would seem to me that they would be the least profitable console. Nintendo makes a profit on every DS sold even if they don't sell a single game.

242.2.2008 15:34
varnull
Inactive

It's all the whining again because unlike sony and M$ ol' tendo have got themselves another winner.

How they can make these things at a profit I can't explain.. you can't replace both screens for the price of a new one.

I think the least profitable console of all time was the saturn.

253.2.2008 3:44

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=32676

GamesIndustry.biz that a recent story about DS piracy in North America contains false quotes attributed to a company spokesperson.

The Sunday Post quoted John Hillier, manager of ELSPA's Intellectual Property Crime Unit as saying "In America, it's thought 90 per cent of Nintendo DS users are playing pirated games because of R4s," while discussing the notorious chip that allows easy piracy on Nintendo's handheld.

However, a spokesperson for ELSPA told GamesIndustry.biz that, "[John] didn't quote The Sunday Post on any figures whatsoever."

"ELSPA would certainly never presume to comment about America or anywhere else outside of the UK," added the spokesperson.

The report, said ELSPA, is a hatchet job consisting of facts from an article from Singapore, false quotes and a genuine conversation with Hillier on the availability of the R4 cartridge in the UK.

"The quotes from The Sunday Post were ascribed to his name from another article which originates from a website in Singapore. This, it appears, is where The Sunday Post first found out about the supposed R4 situation and for some reason unknown to John have quoted him on what this article said."

The spokesperson also stated that Nintendo views the reported facts in The Sunday Post article as completely false.

"As far as Nintendo are concerned, the facts are completely spurious."

263.2.2008 16:53
RNR1995
Inactive

I am getting a little tired of the LIES of these corporations
PLEASE STOP PLAYING GAMES so these companies quit losing all this money!
PLEASE STOP WATCHING MOVIES so these companies quit losing all this money!
PLEASE STOP LISTENING TO MUSIC so these companies quit losing all this money!
PLEASE STOP USING PRPRIETARY SOFTWARE so these companies quit losing all this money!
GEE see how easy that is............
Now I will just run my Linux on my 5 year old PC, just watch TV and listen to the radio........HMMM I think that's what I do already! F the media mafia!

273.2.2008 21:23

if anything, hardware sales would go up because of the R4.

i dont own a DS, but now that i know you can download roms, i'd be tempted to get one just because of this. but i'm not going to. i just dont feel like spending the money right now.

so am i hurting the gaming industry by NOT owning a DS and not buying the expensive crappy games??

284.2.2008 11:57
hm577
Inactive

I'm all about pirating but people C'MON!!!!!!!!!!!

There needs to be some use of the brain by establishing a line sometime and somewhere.

Modding systems like the PS2, PS3, XBox 360 and all others is a big "F YOU" to everything that is good and true. First, it's going to an EXTREME EXTREME to alter your hardware to get something or EVERYTHING for free. In addition, the warranty is voided and often systems are busted by doing this and the RISK is always there. Second, don't people have enough integrity and fortitude to appreciate the notion of earning the money for a long-awaited and sought after game and THEN going out and buying it, opening the box and then playing it??

I mean I take some things for the pc but I BUY PLENTY TOO!

Took COD4 - going to buy for MP online
Bought RAINBOW 6 Vegas
Bought Doom 3
Bought FEAR
Bough FEAR Exp. Pack
Took FEAR Perseus mandate.

People are just constantly showing that they're worthless leaches who should be hung because they contribute NOTHING TO SOCIETY and take take take, therefore, if you contribute nothing then you're useless. If you're useless then the world has no need for you and may you die a quick lonely death because you won't be missed.

Key word here people....................IN-TEG-RI-TY. It's what makes the world go 'round.

294.2.2008 12:07
hm577
Inactive

Originally posted by SuperXL:
if anything, hardware sales would go up because of the R4.

i dont own a DS, but now that i know you can download roms, i'd be tempted to get one just because of this. but i'm not going to. i just dont feel like spending the money right now.

so am i hurting the gaming industry by NOT owning a DS and not buying the expensive crappy games??

No...........you're hurting society with you painfully lame misunderstanding of how the world works. Procreation should be outlawed for you and others that think the way you do. How sad!

304.2.2008 13:03

Quote:
No...........you're hurting society with you painfully lame misunderstanding of how the world works. Procreation should be outlawed for you and others that think the way you do. How sad!
i guess you were too stupid to comprehend what i was saying. please re-read the post, and try to get more of an understanding of what i said. what i said was that i'd be tempted to get a DS because of the R4. but i have no intention of getting a DS/R4 or anything related to it. that is what you were supposed to understand. and since i do not plan to get a DS, does that mean i'm hurting the industry?

i'm not supporting piracy. and at the same time i'm not contributing to the game industry's recent string of disapointments. how does that hurt society? if i choose not to spend my hard earned money on something that will disappoint me, and i choose not to steal anything, then who does that hurt?

outlaw procreation for people who think like me? wrong. there's nothing sad about people who are sensible, responsible and choose not to waste their money on something useless or ultimately disappointing.

314.2.2008 13:41
hm577
Inactive

Quote:
Quote:
No...........you're hurting society with you painfully lame misunderstanding of how the world works. Procreation should be outlawed for you and others that think the way you do. How sad!
i guess you were too stupid to comprehend what i was saying. please re-read the post, and try to get more of an understanding of what i said. what i said was that i'd be tempted to get a DS because of the R4. but i have no intention of getting a DS/R4 or anything related to it. that is what you were supposed to understand. and since i do not plan to get a DS, does that mean i'm hurting the industry?

i'm not supporting piracy. and at the same time i'm not contributing to the game industry's recent string of disapointments. how does that hurt society? if i choose not to spend my hard earned money on something that will disappoint me, and i choose not to steal anything, then who does that hurt?

outlaw procreation for people who think like me? wrong. there's nothing sad about people who are sensible, responsible and choose not to waste their money on something useless or ultimately disappointing.
Rereading changes nothing about your comment...............MY LAST REMARKS STANDS............in fact...........it stands STRONGER THAN EVER NOW!!!! HA HA HA

324.2.2008 13:44
hm577
Inactive

And your credibility is SHOT now that you have labeled yourself as sensible and UGGGGGHHHHHHHHH.............."responsible". I guess the temptation of buying one solely because you can jack games falls under the "responsible" category. If I had to guess your age, I'd say ..................Hmmmmmm..............under 25. No procreation for you!!

334.2.2008 17:42

you're still not understanding the point i'm trying to make with the question i brought up. you're probably not even trying, but whatever. i was not looking for credibility. just simply stating that there's better things to waste hundreds of dollars on. and you guessed wrong.

344.2.2008 18:35
hm577
Inactive

Just yankin' your chain! No harm no foul mate. Sorry for misjudging.

3522.2.2008 15:56

Where is the research to back up this outragoues bunch of numbers.

3623.2.2008 18:15

After reading this article, I feel like actually buying a Nintendo DS now! lol. I didn't know that this existed until Nintendo complained about it! Thank you Nintendo for giving R4 publicity. More people pirating roms with R4 = more hardware sales anyway (since R4 stimulates interest in buying a DS) so just how much is Nintendo losing in profit anyway? The only ones who should be complaining are the non-first party software publishers and developers for DS games since whatever Nintendo loses in software sales, they make up for with increased hardware sales. Nintendo should be greatful that pirates actually want to buy their hardware now.

Also piracy was a much bigger problem with GBA than NDS so I don't understand why DS piracy is such a big deal for them. Most people didn't buy a GBA to pirate games, they just got an emulator like VisualBoyAdvance. Not long after the GBA was out, they a emu released quite quickly that ran just about every GBA Rom perfectly. GBA Roms were also small and very easy to obtain online. NDS Roms are easy to find too but there isn't a reliable emulator for one yet so Nintendo isn't as screwed by piracy since at least people are buying the hardware to play the roms.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 23 Feb 2008 @ 18:24

3729.7.2008 18:51

There's no way there is more piracy on the DS than on the PSP you don't even have to buy extra stuff to play iso's on it, there's only a few people who I know with psp's that aren't hacked and that's just because they almost never use them for anything but a giant mp3 player.

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