Nintendo WANTS you to emulate

Nintendo WANTS you to emulate

Wow. So Yuzu completely folded. They didn't try to fight it. They just rolled over and gave up. They agreed to pay Nintendo $2.4 million. And that's a huge blow to emulation.

But I found another company that Nintendo needs to go after. This company has habitually enabled piracy by selling products that are compatible with Nintendo's own software and that enable wanton emulation of Nintendo's own games. Not only that, but the availability of these products entice users to commit piracy. I mean, as we all know, EMULATION IS NEVER ACCEPTABLE. It says so right here. On Nintendo's own website.

supporting emulation… supports the illegal piracy of our products

So what company would so brazenly violate Nintendo's hardline stance against emulation and sell a device that enables end users to emulate Nintendo games?

Nintendo, of course.

Here I have the Super Nintendo Classic Edition. It's a fun little device to mess around with that is complicit in my emulation of Nintendo's copyrighted software.

It's an ARM-powered Linux machine that's got about 300 megabytes of free space available. And all you need to do is plug it into your PC, run some software, and copy over your morally-obtained ROMs.

I say "morally" obtained because, as Jim Sterling puts it, it's always morally acceptable to pirate Nintendo software. It's a form of protest. Civil disobedience, if you will. This isn't an endorsement for copyright infringement, just a statement of moral opinion.

Anyway. Now that we have our morally obtained SNES ROMs, let's get this thing hacked.

The first step is to download Hakchi. Launch Hakchi and then, with this select box, choose the appropriate console.

Now go up here and select "Install Kernel" and follow the instructions on screen. In my case, you need to flip the switch to the on position and then hold the reset switch while plugging in the console. Now Hakchi is going to install and make it reboot a few times.

Once it's done, congrats! You've got a hacked system. Now we can use this button to prepare our ROMs and then this button to copy them over.

But this isn't just an SNES, though it might look like it. No. You can emulate a whole array of other consoles. And if you have the right equipment, namely a micro USB OTG cable, a compatible wifi adapter and a bluetooth adapter, you can do a lot more with this little thing!

Bluetooth controllers? Check! Add new games over the wifi connection? Check! How about add external storage? Yep. That works too. What about full fat retroarch? You got it.

So, thanks, Nintendo, for providing a heck of a little emulation device. I appreciate just how hypocritical you are.

Here's the thing.

Nintendo's not going after the people who are committing commercial copyright infringement. They're not going after the Etsy pages that are selling reproduction carts of out of print games. They're not going after the fly-by-night Chinese vendors hocking hard drives or cheap handhelds preloaded with infringing content. And they're not going after themselves for having weak operational security that allowed the leak of Tears of the Kingdom in the first place—the supposed reason for attacking Yuzu.

See, Yuzu wasn't the problem. Nintendo is. Valve's Gabe Newell said it best.

Piracy is almost always a service problem

As Netflix and Hulu grew and gained more content, torrent sites saw dramatic drops in traffic. And now that everybody and their mother has a streaming service and you can't binge the full series of your favorite show on a single platform for one, reasonable fee? Well, torrent sites have seen their traffic skyrocket again.

Piracy is a service problem.

The facts are clear: if Nintendo truly wanted to address the piracy issue, they'd sell their ROMs on PC. But they don't offer their ROMs on PC… so it's clearly not about software piracy. No. The issue for them is control.

Nintendo wants control. They want a level of control that the law does not grant them and they're trying to achieve that through lies, intimidation, and frivolous SLAPP lawsuits meant to discourage the development of legitimate, wholly legal open source emulators.

This is about Nintendo maintaining a vertical monopoly that they've been told time and time again they have no right to have. If it's lawsuits in the 80's, the 90's, the 2000's and even the 2010's. There's precedent in every decade that they could've learned from. Yet they've chosen not to.

So I'd like to see them tried for antitrust behavior. Now is the time.

Nintendo is an evil company, abusing the law to exercise an unwarranted, illegal authority over their games that goes far beyond what copyright or even the DMCA grants them.

And look. I'm pissed off because I am a huge Nintendo fan. I have nearly every console Nintendo has ever produced. I have tons of amiibo and other Nintendo merch. And after this, I will never buy another new Nintendo game ever again. I will never buy another console of theirs unless it's from the second hand market. I will never willfully give such a corrupt and wicked company my money. Ever. Again.

And I will never publish one of my games on their platform, either.

-- Chapters --
00:00 Yuzu surrendered
01:40 Jailbreak the SNES Classic
02:48 Nintendo's lie exposed
03:48 "Piracy" is a lie
04:36 Nintendo wants extralegal authority over their artificial market
05:16 It's time for anti-trust against Nintendo