Even the current generation of consoles is not immune to piracy. The Wii especially is a big target for pirates, thanks to a large user base.
Just months after the launch of the Wii in November 2006, crafty developers had created a modchip that allows the console to run bootleg game copies. Nintendo responded by making its hardware more difficult to interface with modifications, though not impossible.
Up to this point, however, most piracy occurred on the physical media level. Pirates would create near-duplicates of retail discs.
The latest development is now in digital downloads. Last month, the console hacking community successfully extracted Wii Virtual Console titles. Through the use of a special WAD packer that would make the Virtual Console download installable on a Wii that did not originally purchase the title.
The ability to rip and install Virtual Console titles led to the latest effort this month to bring WiiWare titles onto unauthorized Wiis. Thus far, only a couple of WiiWare titles from Japan (a ping pong game and Pokemon game) have been ripped and released on the Internet.
With the use of a patching tool, the Japanese WiiWare titles are made playable on North American Wii consoles.
While it’s safe to say that most of the recent Wii hacking will lead to piracy of paid downloads, a segment of console modders will put their efforts towards homebrew applications. In fact, modders have posted a YouTube video showing off an early version of a homebrew channel that could run applications such as ScummVM.
quote: Game and software piracy has existed ever since there were games and software. What's labeled as piracy today is really no different than what people have been doing all along with regards to games. Back in the 80s and 90s, it was common to swap game cartridges with your friends...sometimes temporarily and sometimes permanently. You may not have had the "license" to do so, according to the publisher, but really, who cares? If some misguided politicians pass legislature that was pushed forward by self-serving corporate interests, it may give said corporations a legal shield but it does not make the act of sharing media wrong.
quote: The only piracy that should be considered a crime is piracy by definition - when you steal something and resell it or otherwise profit from it. Piracy can also include unauthorized duplication of electronic circuitry that is sold at a lower price than the product it was copied from. Happens all the time to companies who outsource their manufacturing overseas. That aside, merely sharing games and other media to make them more accessible IS NOT piracy, and has never had an adverse effect on any industry.
quote: Main Entry: pi·ra·cyPronunciation: \'pi-r?-se\Function: nounInflected Form(s): plural pi·ra·ciesEtymology: Medieval Latin piratia, from Late Greek peirateia, from Greek peirates pirateDate: 15371: an act of robbery on the high seas; also : an act resembling such robbery2: robbery on the high seas3 a: the unauthorized use of another's production, invention, or conception especially in infringement of a copyright b: the illicit accessing of broadcast signals
quote: Then 200,000 ppl who were looking at buying the game, decide to download it from me instead. You telling me this wouldn't affect the company? At $50 a copy, that's $10 million dollars lost.