Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has claimed that anti-piracy measures will be stepped up substantially into the company's upcoming 3DS handheld system, but refused to go into specifics.
Talking to Business Week, Iwata said, "We fear a kind of thinking is become widespread that paying for software is meaningless. We have a strong sense of crisis about this problem."
Although piracy on the Nintendo DS is not a huge problem in the US, it has become rampant in parts of Asia and is even causing a significant decline in software sales in Europe, said Iwata.
Hackers are able to make specialized DS cartridges that run pirated games. The cartridges cost only a couple bucks to consumers and the hacked game files are free to download.
Iwata said the 3DS team is working hard to make the device as iron-clad as possible and thwart potential hacking attempts, but he didn't want to give any specifics, because he's worried that any leaked details could be fodder for the large crowd of game pirates.
It has become a sobering time for Nintendo, the company that was gliding above the competition with ease ever since the Wii console debuted in 2006. However, Nintendo is now showing declining profit for the first time since the Wii launch, and DS piracy problems are only making things worse.
"I'm not pessimistic," said Iwata, although his forecast for the next fiscal year is a 12.5% decrease over the previous year.
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