Could Nintendo give us legal backups?

Discussion in '3DS - Games & Content' started by McHaggis, Jan 11, 2012.

Jan 11, 2012
  1. McHaggis
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    Member McHaggis Fackin' Troller

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    Convenience of backup loaders has always been a long standing argument when it comes to games consoles; having all your games immediately at your disposal does make things easy for quickly switching and you don't have to worry about a faulty disc drive or disc. I think this argument applies more so to handheld consoles because there are additional downsides to the format that you can factor in:
    • your handheld can be used in any room of the house, so if you want to switch game it may not be as simple as just walking across the room to get a different game.
    • if you go anywhere you have to take your games with you, meaning you're carrying extra bulk.
    • cartridges are small, and much easier to misplace than discs.
    These are the reasons I bought a Cyclo DS Evolution for my original DS, it's so much more convenient to have all the games on a single card and you never need to worry about removing the card from your DS.


    Of course, there are even downsides to using those cards:
    • you're breaking the law in many countries.
    • incompatibilities can arise with certain games, or game devs can try and create ways to prevent the games from working with flash cards.
    • you can't immediately update your console's firmware in case Ninty have blocked your cart.
    • there's always the temptation of downloading games instead of buying them, even if you claim to be using the cart for games you own.
    So this got me thinking, is there a way that Nintendo could allow us to legally back up our carts to SD? Many DVDs and Blu-Rays now come with a "Digital Copy" in a bid to combat piracy and reward loyal consumers for purchasing genuine products, why can't console manufacturers do the same for us?


    There are a couple of seemingly plausible methods I came up with myself:-

    Idea 1: Flipping a bit to temporarily disable the cartridge after copying it to the console
    Warning: Spoilers inside!


    Idea 2: Free Digital Copy
    Warning: Spoilers inside!

    Of course, I know the likelihood of Nintendo actually doing something like this are slim, but any implementation of legal backups would give them several benefits, such as:
    • Fewer people are tempted to break the law by buying flash carts for backups and downloading games as a side effect.
    • They'd reduce the number of hackers interested in creating a backup loader when the console is eventually hacked.
    • There'd be no legitimate reason for piracy software to exist, potentially clearing up grey areas and fully outlawing such software for their console.
    So what do you guys think? Do you have any better ideas of how legal backups could be done?
     


  2. indask8

    Member indask8 New Member Forever

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    The second idea "Free Digital Copy" is the best and the most probable.

    -Valve/Steam already do this (my PS3 copy of portal 2 came with a steam key to legally download the game on PC, not for the PS3 but still, you have a "backup").

    -Some Blue rays come with a voucher to download the film.

    But the main problem is... it's Nintendo..., they really don't like the word "free" (what happenned with 3DS is the exception, they were on their knee anyway) :sleep:
     
  3. Cyan

    Global Moderator Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

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    Your idea 1 has some flaws.

    To "swap a bit" in the cartridge and lock it, you need a rewritable memory.
    The current rewritable memory is used to store the savegame, and that memory can be reseted with tools like (3)DS card readers.

    So, locking the cartridge is not free_renting-proof .



    Though, I liked your idea to temporarily transfer the game to the SD.
    It could be a limited time, for example a time set by the publisher or the developer.
    You need the cartridge again to re-activate the backup's playable period.

    You store games on your SD, they are valid for 1 week. either you play them or not is not a problem because you still have the original cartridge to expand that period by one more week.

    If you sell the cartridge, then too bad for you, you can't reactivate it unless you buy/rent it again.
    Renting/retracting the rent every week can be suspicious.


    The downside : You can store one cartridge on many consoles at the same time, to all family and friends.
    It could lead to piracy business :/

    Another solution :
    Activate the play period through eshop. Each cartridge could have a unique markup and eshop only can grant playability period.




    The best idea would be to provide all the games on the eshop, cheaper than the cartridge (no plastic material, no booklet to print, etc.).
    You buy them and download them at will.
    We are on an online era, a lot of users can afford fast downloads.

    If you can't afford the download, then buy the cartridge.
     
  4. McHaggis
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    Member McHaggis Fackin' Troller

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    That's true, and it did occur to me but I wondered if they could do something like lock write access during the time period.

    Yeah, I had thought of that, but I'd like both and would be torn between the two. With downloads you're definitely restricted to the game working on a single 3DS and there's no possibility of game sharing. Perhaps an alternative idea would be to allow consumers who buy the cartridge to buy the download version at a severely reduced rate.
     
  5. spinal_cord

    Member spinal_cord Knows his stuff

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    I wouldn't mind it if most 3DS games were available through the eShop. However, I imagine they'd only be savable to the internal storage, meaning there'd be a limit on how many you could get.

    Still though, Nintendo probably wont do anything like that, they like their carts and wont give them up easily.
     
  6. NES SNES V.B. N64 G.C. Wii WiiU

    Member NES SNES V.B. N64 G.C. Wii WiiU Now with extra redundancy!

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    Idea #2 sounds cool, #1 wouldn't happen.
     
  7. jalaneme

    Member jalaneme Female Gamer

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    nope, because gaming companies want you to buy the game again and again for profit so they can make as much money as they possibly can from you, just look at the new wiis that can't play gamecube games? we all know the reason for nintendo doing it, so they can charge us again for play them with "HD graphics" and achievements OMG1!!
     
  8. McHaggis
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    Member McHaggis Fackin' Troller

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    Fixed.
     
  9. Jennyfurr

    Member Jennyfurr GBAtemp Regular

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    Idea #2 sound good to me. It would be great to have the digital copy of your games as well. I hate having to switch carts/losing carts/etc.
     
  10. Psionic Roshambo

    Member Psionic Roshambo GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    I like the idea of the game being linked to the system, would require some sort of on the cartridge encryption with writable memory... Hardware encryption that could be software written too, so that each carts encryption key is different from the next. The encryption would need to be RSA time based.... So if for instance some one decided to back up the encrypted data and think "Oh now that I have installed the game on my friends system its time to install it on mine from the restored copy!.... Why isn't it working...." due of course to the time stamps on the cart not matching. This would require the addition of a clock and battery in addition to the encryption chip and the flash RAM.

    This would be super expensive but it would be pretty much 100% secure, at least I can't think of an easy way around it. Short of cracking the encryption?
     
  11. Janthran

    Member Janthran Solarian

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    Or you can simply download any CN registered games onto your SD card, encrypted to your 3DS.

    And locks the original cartridge, of course.
     
  12. Ammako

    Member Ammako GBAtemp Guru

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    Locking the 3DS cartridges once the game has been registered to your 3DS?
    Once someone makes a homebrew program that would unlock the cartridges, we'd be able to unlock them at will.
     
  13. gameandmatch

    Member gameandmatch GBAtemp Fan

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    Idea 2 is great. Pretty convenient to have all the games you bought on your sd card and don't have to worry about carry around the cartridges
     
  14. Janthran

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    Which is why Nintendo take precautions to keep that from happening.
    Something like disable that cartridge so that if you've ever connected to WiFi, it knows that specific cartridge shouldn't be run.
     
  15. Ammako

    Member Ammako GBAtemp Guru

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    If you've ever connected to Wi-Fi.
     
  16. McHaggis
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    Member McHaggis Fackin' Troller

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    That's why I suggested the idea of time-limited backups that needed re-arming. It would be harder to abuse, because you'd always need the cartridge to re-arm the backup.
     
  17. Janthran

    Member Janthran Solarian

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    The 3DS is made for WiFi.
    It can also lock the cartridge itself, so you'd have to not connect AND have a way to bypass the lock.
    That'd be pretty unlikely.
     
  18. ficarra1002

    Member ficarra1002 GBAtemp Regular

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    I think it would be better to never have to buy a cart in the first place. I think it'd be cool to just download it straight from eshop.
     
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  19. Janthran

    Member Janthran Solarian

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    Sony had that idea first.
     
  20. ficarra1002

    Member ficarra1002 GBAtemp Regular

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    So? Doesn't mean they are the only ones allowed to it.
     

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