Nintendo develops low cost ‘piracy proof’ console for China

November 2003

Record Labels, Internet

Nintendo has revealed plans to market a cheaper version of its Game Cube console in China, with a flash memory card instead of the optical disc reader found on models sold in other countries. Game Cube software is normally stored on proprietary 1.5GB optical discs. Optical discs, such as DVDs and music CDs, are routinely counterfeited in China.
Chinese users will have to take the Game Cube card to a shop and pay for the download of new games. The data cannot be extracted or cloned from one card to other cards, nor can a card for one console be used on other consoles.
Nintendo hopes that the modified Game Cube overcomes to two obstacles holding back console makers from the potentially lucrative China market – the spending power of the consumer and rampant software piracy. The game device – dubbed iQue Player – is said to be capable of playing both SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) and Nintendo 64 titles, and will sell for 498 yuan (US$60), including the memory card, according to games web site Total Video Games. It will be sold from mid-October in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu in an effort to enable the efficient distribution of goods, the protection of copyright and smooth collection of revenue in China.


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