Nintendo’s hitting Pokémon pirates with bans

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Nintendo’s DS suffered from some serious, crippling piracy problems. It was too damned easy to load up an SD card filled to the brim with roms and play away to your thieving heart’s content.

That’s changed a little with the 3DS, but only a little. It’s still both possible and easy to pirate games in Nintendo’s current handheld – but for a change, Nintendo’s starting to fight back with more than just firmware updates. They’re handing out bans.

Pokémon Sun and Moon are out for Nintendo’s 3DS, and according to critics it’s great, bringing some real changes to the formula. Because Pokémon is one of the biggest game franchises on earth, it’s natural that pirates have managed to get their hands on it early.

They’re also getting their hands on fat bans from Nintendo. Sites that dabble with this sort of thing have reports from users saying that they’ve been banned for playing illicitly downloaded copies of the games. They’re facing error code 002-0102 when they try do anything online, along with messages saying “This device’s access to online services has been restricted by Nintendo.”

Nintendo has also confirmed the bans to Kotaku.

“As a result of a number of Nintendo 3DS users using unauthorized versions of several games, and connecting to the official game servers in violation of our terms of service, these users’ Nintendo 3DS systems that stored the unauthorized game code have been banned from Nintendo’s online network effective immediately.”

The bans effectively neuter the systems, barring access from the eShop or any other online activities. It seems to be based on the hardware, so those who have been banned – if it’s permanent – will have to buy new 3DS systems to get online.

Naturally, some affected pirates are angry, saying they’ll never buy from Nintendo again. Maybe it was the fact that you tried to avoid buying things that got you in to this mess in the first place?

Last Updated: November 17, 2016

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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