Although the headline oversimplifies Nintendo UK’s James Honeywell’s comments on piracy (what are headlines for?), it’s more or less what he said, and Nintendo seems to actually think that its steps to curb piracy are going to be effective. To be fair, Honeywell also described crowing about piracy countermeasures as being “like a red rag to a bull,” which mirrors my own thoughts. It’s the basis for the following diagram, which I don’t expect to ever go out of date:
Now, the 3DS has plenty of undocumented (but surely very sophisticated) anti-piracy measures on it, but in the end that’s just catnip for hackers, who will certainly want to run whatever software they want on the hardware they own (a reasonable position), and will at the same time open the system up to piracy (a necessary consequence).
I respect Nintendo’s attempts to secure their hardware, though at the same time I have no faith in them. However, they are taking steps in the right direction by having cloud-based content, always-on internet, and features that maximize the value of being a paying customer.
The challenge they’ve issued to hackers will be interesting to watch as it plays out, but hopefully would-be pirates will acknowledge the benefit of going legit.
I actually would tend to agree, though, that the “heyday” of pirating is over. That would be the free-for-all of the early 90s, when Napster, Audiogalaxy, newsgroups, warez sites, and dozens of P2p programs made piracy nearly unavoidable. The specialized hardware and sophisticated mods of today’s piracy scene make it hostile to noobs. But any ideas of eliminating piracy altogether are, shall we say, also “cloud-based.”