Everybody likes to get something for nothing, but leave it to the software pirates to cross the line into unacceptable territory. Japan has become something of a haven for the R4, a little unauthorized Nintendo DS MicroSD-equipped game card that allows players to download DS titles via the Internet's dark underground to play on the handheld console without actually purchasing the game. It has other uses, of course, but the real emphasis is on snagging free games through improper channels. Nintendo is working overtime to crush brazen Japanese retailers that sell the R4 alongside official Nintendo products and, as Kotaku details, the company is calling on its fans to assist.
Nintendo launched a website devoted to collecting information about R4 sellers. "It's getting increasingly difficult to track down R4 sellers as day by day they get more ingenious, flourishing online and complicating matters," said Nintendo in a written statement. Because of this, Nintendo is calling on the strength of the masses to eradicate the sale of these devices.
The website Nintendo has set up has an anonymous form that can be filled out. Selectable choices include retail stores, internet shops, online auctions selling R4 devices. Another choice includes "game software uploads" - or those sites or individuals making DS games available online. There's also spaces for dates and time, a box for details and another box for the shop's address or home page.
Nintendo has such an ardent fan base that I'm not surprised that the company is relying on their customers to snitch on stores that help enable pirates. I've even turned in a few of those fly-by-night businesses that operate out of shopping mall kiosks to sell those cheap controllers that plug directly into the television in order to play a few dozen pirated games. Nintendo really inspires a special kind of brand loyalty among its fans. It makes perfect sense to mobilize that loyalty in this instance.