Authorities in Japan have for the first time arrested a man for selling the banned R4 cartridge that allows gamers to play pirated copies of games on their Nintendo DS. While the little memory cards have been banned in the country for over three years, this is the first time that anyone has faced legal action over their sale and distribution.
However it was likely that someone would get in trouble this year, since in December 2011, the country’s unfair competition laws were tweaked to make breaching it a criminal offence.
There’s no news on what sort of sentence the man will face if convicted, but as the first to be targeted, it could end up being a nasty one in an attempt to deter similar salesman. However he won’t necessary be found guilty, as the argument he’s likely to push for is that R4 cards allow gamers to use home-made software, similar to the Other-OS system that the PS3 originally had.
While the laws are a little lighter elsewhere in the world, the devices are also banned in the UK and have been so since 2010. Despite this though, the R4 cards are still incredibly popular among gamers, allowing them to download hundreds of games from torrent sites and play them for free.