Nintendo have taken umbrage at the distribution of backup devices aimed at their DS handheld, and have, together with a massive alliance of 54 other companies, many of them big players, opted to hound the offending companies out of existence with a lawsuit.
The device they are targeting is the R4 Revolution (actually a flash cartridge), and their strategy is to sue five of the companies involved in the Japanese distribution of the device.
They offer the following statement:
“We are of the opinion that the health and growth of the entire industry will be adversely affected if the disease of these so-called ‘majikon’ is allowed to spread. Accordingly, we have launched firm legal actions against the devices”.
The companies targeted are all based around the Tokyo area, but what stands out, and has been, rather predictably, made much of on 2ch and the like, is that all the directors of the five are either Korean or Chinese, or at least of such ancestry (easily visible from their one character surnames).
This isn’t really surprising given where the chips are made, or considering that zainichi Koreans are generally said to be disproportionately involved in the yakuza and other untoward lines of business, but it certainly seems to have had an interesting PR consequence – Nintendo is being hailed in some quarters for taking a stand against these wicked foreign importers, overshadowing the question of their interfering with the availability of “backup devices”.
It goes without saying that it is mostly Japanese buying and selling these devices…
The economics of the situation are also not surprising – there are reports of a sudden jump in sales for the devices in question.
Knowing Nintendo, this may be a prelude to further action both domestically and overseas, though the legality of such devices across territories is as ever a complex matter.
Get yours before they take action? It may be that this has an unintended positive effect on the sales and prominence of the R4…