Nintendo is reportedly attacking piracy on the hardware front by releasing updated firmware for the Wii console and the DSi/DSi XL handheld units. Although the release notes for the latter devices don't offer any clues as to the new security measures, notes for the latest Wii firmware--which updates the Wii Menu to v4.3--gives a clear warning to those with homebrew installed.
"Because unauthorized channels or firmware may impair game play or the Wii console, updating to Wii Menu version 4.3 will check for and automatically remove such unauthorized files," the company said. "In addition, there are some behind the scenes enhancements that do not affect any prominently-used features or menus but will improve system performance."
As for the DSi firmware, forum posters at GBATemp report that the new v1.4.1u firmware now blocks a number of popular flash cards including the Acekard 2i, Supercard DSTwo, M3i Zero, iPlayer, and DSTTi. Three popular flash cards still remain unblocked: EZ-Flash Vi, iSmart DS, and Hyper R4i. That's likely to change in the next firmware release.
"This update provides behind-the-scenes improvements to system performance," reads the update's description.
Piracy is a huge issue for Nintendo, especially in regards to the Nintendo DS platform and the R4 cartridge. According to THQ's Ian Curran, the rampant piracy as caused studios to pull back on game development in fear of losing even more profit. But despite Nintendo's attempts to crack down on the issue from a legal standpoint, the problem continues to grow. The release of the DSi helped address the issue by allowing Nintendo to distribute updated firmware.
The upcoming release of the Nintendo 3DS, slated to hit shelves sometime before March 2011, is expected to cause even more grief for pirates. "I actually asked Nintendo to explain the technology and they said it's very difficult to do so because it's so sophisticated," Curran said in July. He added that the company really needed to tackle piracy head on, as it will cost developers even more to produce games on the new device.