Let's all give the pirates out there a series of hard slaps on the back for making eBay purchases of legitimate Nintendo DS games all the more impossible. The astute folks at Assembler Games have taken a good look at the rising number of counterfeit DS game paks filtering through eBay and other online auctions direct from "the factory" in Asia. Note the spotty workmanship and pitiful attempts at labels. Garlm from the Assembler forums explains the sudden appearance of these... these... these "things" nicely:
The reason these exist now, and not earlier, is because in January, the author of no$gba [emulator] broke the DS cart encryption. Which is why you see products like Datel's media [drive] pop up. They don't need passthroughs (messy for an official device). So, naturally games can be re-encrypted and sold. Probably a bit pricier to produce than GBA bootlegs, but I'm sure you can charge a bit more too.
Pirated junk has already made it a poor gamble to purchase used Game Boy Advance titles from eBay, and now the DS is headed the same way. It's such a waste. I don't care what rationalized justification pirates may have to make their products somehow okay to produce. PIRATES, STOP PRODUCING THEM! The crappy knock-offs hurt us all, from the publisher to the developer to the casual consumer to the die-hard fan and all the way down to the clueless grandmother trying to buy a game for little Timmy from "the nice man in the park". The only ones who truly prosper from pirated products are - big surprise - the pirates themselves. Do us all a favor and avoid buying pirated products. Take away the profit incentive and the pirates will switch their attention to something else. Maybe we can't stop piracy, but we can at least try to steer it away from products we often buy.