Hardware

Stung by low DS Lite sales, THQ looks to Nintendo 3DS for anti-piracy salvation

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THQ is excited about the Nintendo 3DS, but not because it may open up new gameplay possibilities. Heavens no. THQ is excited about the Nintendo 3DS because it will help forestall the effects of piracy, at least for a little while. You know what else would discourage piracy? Creating good games. Just an idea.

Before I get into this, for approximately the 900th time this year alone, it should be pointed out that THQ may well have a point, at least a superficial one.

The company, in an interview with CVG, said that the 3DS’ anti-piracy-ness has evolved a fair bit from that of the DSI’s. (And, in turn, the DSI’s anti-piracy-ness is an evolution of the DS Lite’s, as evidenced by the fact that flash cards are slightly more difficult to get a hold of for the DSI. At this point you can practically walk into a bodega and buy a DS Lite flash card.) That’s almost certainly true, and it’s to be expected. Each successive piece of hardware is tougher to crack than its predecessor. Well, unless we’re talking about the Xbox 360—pretty sure that was cracked before Elijah Wood cashed his MTV paycheck.

How long will the 3DS stay “hack-proof”? Who knows? But you can bet that people will be trying to pick the lock from the very moment is comes out.

Now, onto what THQ says about how DS piracy affects its bottom line…

The problem with the DS market in the last few years, particularly with the DS Lite, is that it’s just been attacked by piracy. It’s made it almost impossible to shift any significant volume. The DSi combated it a little bit, but the 3DS has taken that a step further.

First, no gamer wants to hear the phrase “shift any significant volume.” It might make sense to use that type of terminology if you’re talking to the Financial Times, but not when you’re talking directly to a gaming site. Looks like a job for my budding pubic relations firm, Mad Good PR.

That aside, rather than relying on new hardware with fancy new anti-piracy technologies, why not focus your energies into creating decent games? What does THQ have planned for the rest of the year? On the DS side of things there’s Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. And you wonder why you’re having a hard time “shifting” “volume”? The only other game set for a 2010 release is WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011. Have you played any of the previous games in this series? Well congratulations, you don’t have to spend $60 when the 2011 version comes out.

It’s really not that hard to figure out, this piracy thing.

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