Are DS pirates losing the war?

Less than 12 months later, and all three of the websites have pulled these cards from the virtual shelves. And Nintendo has revealed the extent of its ‘aggressive’ battle against the R4 menace.

It’s certainly great news. However, this isn’t the time for champagne and backslapping.

A quick search on Google brings forth an army of websites that continue to sell R4 devices, while GTA: Chinatown Wars appears to be the latest victim of intense piracy.

Scan through torrent websites and you will find hundreds of files for Rockstar’s masterpiece, many of which have been downloaded thousands of times.
Don’t get me wrong – today’s front page is great news for the industry. But we still have some way to go before piracy on the DS becomes a thing of the past.

Portable mysteries

Sony, on the other hand, has a different solution
to combating the piracy problem – by removing media formats and turning to DRM instead.

The mere idea of a digital-only console is enough to strike fear into the hearts of many a retailer. But what exactly Sony has in-store for its UMD-less PSP, and its plans for retail, still remains a mystery.

For example, what can High Street retailers
expect in terms of margins? And what other opportunities are there for accessories, points cards and in-store promotions?

One thing that’s certain is that this is a brave new step for Sony, a company that’s never been afraid to push the boundaries.

Put simply, the success or failure of this new PSP could be an indication of what to expect from the future of video games.

Original Vision

Another company unafraid to take a few risks this year is Activision Blizzard.

MCV was privileged to see some of the publisher’s 2009 line-up at its pre-E3 event in London last week – and the firm appears to have spent the cash it’s obtained from Call of Duty and Guitar Hero sales on some impressive-looking new IP.

Blur, DJ Hero and Singularity were among the stars, while even Tony Hawk has been given a significant re-boot, which just goes to show that even in the face of recession, we’re still one of the few industries willing to take risks in order to grow our business. Here’s hoping it pays off.

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