22 March 2008

Piracy on consoles...

It seems the original post was eaten so i'll just write an approximation here. :)

Basically, the premise of the post was that the PC is always decried for its ease of piracy and levels of pirating ongoing. However, my experience in real life is the opposite for games (while ringing true for people downloading media such as music and movies/TV episodes).

I've known only one hardcore PC gamer in the reality that surrounds me outside of this glowing screen called Internet. He used to download quite a few games - but would also usually buy the AAA games. Now, considering that most of the people i know who play games (literally 4-5 of them) only play on consoles and i was surprised to find that there were many of them who were consciously pirating lots of games.

The 360 has been hacked a few times and those 4 people i know who have the console all have it hacked and all download games and burn them to DVD. They are also able to play online due to the ability to switch between 'pirate mode' and non-pirate mode. Of course, their warranty is void and with the 360's failure rate being so high they will undoubtedly have to buy another console and have that one hacked to be able to play the games they bought.

Again, another person i am barely familiar with has a son for whom he bought a Wii and DS. He also recently bought an R4 cartridge and downloaded a ton of games.

I'm quite shocked. No one ever goes on about the piracy percentages on consoles but knowing that the Xbox, Gamecube, PS2 and Dreamcast's security features were easily circumvented along with the fairly easy 360 work-arounds this must also be quite an issue on the console side as well as PC side.
Another thing i'm confused about is rentals and rental services. I'm not sure how much a copy of a game costs for buying to rent (i know that films tend to be hundred of pounds) but the number of people (especially in America where these services are prevalent) who rent games must remove a large percentage of a game's potential revenue.

Now, i don't rent games... nor do i pirate games (though i have played pirated versions of PC games that other people have downloaded) and i would like an R4 - for the homebrew application 'Colors' - but i'd really like to know the theoretical monetary loss that the consoles suffer due to piracy, region-locking and staggered release dates.

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