Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 5th Nov 2007 23:14 UTC
Games Nintendo has reportedly decided to stop all repairs of the original Nintendo after 24 years of support, Agence France Presse reported on Friday. A spokesperson said that the company has decided to end support due to increasingly short supplies of replacement parts. The iconic game system was sold as the Nintendo Entertainment System in the US and Europe, and as the Famicom in Japan. Nintendo's Ken Toyoda said that while the company is sad to turn its back on the NES, the company wanted its legions of loyal fans to focus on the Wii, currently the best selling next-generation console worldwide.
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24 years?
by Almafeta on Mon 5th Nov 2007 23:29 UTC
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

I think the amazing thing is that they were still supporting it 24 years later.

And parts? Nowadays, you could probably fit the NES and a few hundred choices from its games library into a single chip. Heck... that'd be a fun project to do someday; fit a NES with games into a single NES cart...

Reply Score: 7

RE: 24 years?
by Laurence on Mon 5th Nov 2007 23:50 UTC in reply to "24 years?"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I think the amazing thing is that they were still supporting it 24 years later.


Indeed I thought the same. In fact I'd have been impressed if they were still supporting the N64 let alone a retro 8-bit console.

Reply Score: 2

RE: 24 years?
by Michael on Mon 5th Nov 2007 23:51 UTC in reply to "24 years?"
Michael Member since:
2005-07-01

My iPaq is a NES, SNES and Gameboy rolled into one. Well, it was before the battery died...

I'm not sure if you could fit every NES game ever into a 2GB SD card, but you could certainly fit the best of them and plenty more besides.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: 24 years?
by Zoidberg on Tue 6th Nov 2007 00:10 UTC in reply to "RE: 24 years?"
Zoidberg Member since:
2006-02-11

"I'm not sure if you could fit every NES game ever into a 2GB SD card"

I doubt every NES game would take up 200MB, let alone 2GB.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: 24 years?
by sorpigal on Tue 6th Nov 2007 01:01 UTC in reply to "RE: 24 years?"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

I'm not sure if you could fit every NES game ever into a 2GB SD

There were around 1000 games produced for the NES. Even counting official and unlicensed releases, and counting each variant of each game released in each market (including Famicom games), there could not have been more than 3000, I think.

The largest NES ROM image I have is 1.1M in size. Most are less... 513K and 385K seem to be common sizes.

Even if every ROM were 1.1M you could fit close to 2000 in 2G, but given than most will be half this size or less I am willing to say that every NES game, ever, in 2G would be very possible.

If you want to throw in every edition of every SNES game, plus every edition of every N64 game, every edition of every Game Boy game, including all game boy variants prior to the GB Advance, plus while you're at it throw in every Virtual Boy game... now you're talking serious disk space.

I think some kind of "Nintendo Legacy" console system equipped with a hard disk containing all ROMs available for all discontinued Nintendo systems, and capable of emulating them and allowing you to play them natively, would be quite popular, if only it were possible to produce such a thing legally.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: 24 years?
by Majorlag on Tue 6th Nov 2007 04:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: 24 years?"
Majorlag Member since:
2007-11-06

The no-intro rom sets are probably the most accurate in terms of only including commercially released games without hacks, translations or other modifications. The current sizes for the various no-intro Nintendo sets (compressed) are:

NES: ~300MB
FDS: ~7MB
GB: ~180MB
GBC: ~650MB
VB: ~10MB
SNES: ~3GB
N64: ~11GB

These could be cut down a bit through localization and only using the latest versions. Then Nintendo could probably squeeze them all on an 8GB SD card.

But why would they do that when they can sell them individually for $5 a piece on the Virtual Console?

Reply Score: 4

RE: 24 years?
by fernandotcl on Tue 6th Nov 2007 00:17 UTC in reply to "24 years?"
fernandotcl Member since:
2007-08-12

Nowadays, you could probably fit the NES and a few hundred choices from its games library into a single chip.

Correct:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NES-on-a-chip

Reply Score: 1

I Wonder...
by noamsml on Tue 6th Nov 2007 00:03 UTC
noamsml
Member since:
2005-07-09

Does this mean they still support the SNES?

Edited 2007-11-06 00:03

Reply Score: 2

v ...
by Hiev on Tue 6th Nov 2007 00:19 UTC
RE: ...
by KLU9 on Tue 6th Nov 2007 00:24 UTC in reply to "..."
KLU9 Member since:
2006-12-06

since when has copyright been dependent on hardware support????

Reply Score: 3

v RE[2]: ...
by Hiev on Tue 6th Nov 2007 00:43 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
RE[3]: ...
by JonathanBThompson on Tue 6th Nov 2007 00:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ..."
JonathanBThompson Member since:
2006-05-26

Copyright doesn't end until some number of years after the death of the author, or at least a very long time (I'd have to verify what it currently is, and there's some variation amongst the signature countries, which is most of the planet) and has zero to do with whether or not it's "supported" as that has no legal merit whatsoever towards copyright. Trademarks that aren't defended are potentially lost, and if they're defended properly and renewed, can go on indefinitely: copyright is something that's given, and can't be merely swept aside because you don't care that the originators of the work don't "support" it anymore.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: ...
by jebb on Tue 6th Nov 2007 18:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ..."
jebb Member since:
2006-07-06

OK, so Hiev here obviously has trademark and copyright mixed up. Like anybody is going to argue the IP-related legalese is the easiest stuff on earth to understand...

Honestly, since when is this a good enough reason to mod a comment down into oblivion?? Modded up.

Reply Score: 1

RE: ...
by sorpigal on Tue 6th Nov 2007 01:09 UTC in reply to "..."
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

The parent poster is entirely incorrect.

Perhaps in some countries with loose copyright laws this might be the case, but not for most countries on the planet.

Certainly in the USA the ROMs for NES games will be subject to copyright for 95 years, or for 120 years if for some reason they were never formally published.

Yes, that's 95 years after publication date.

The NES was released in the USA in 1985, so this means that the first NES games will probably be out of copyright in 2080. Even in a best-case, where you use Japan's copyright law of 50 years and the Famicom's issue date of 1983, no Nintendo game ROMs will be out of copyright until 2033.

Yep, copyright sucks!

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: ...
by elsewhere on Tue 6th Nov 2007 05:49 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

The parent poster is entirely incorrect.


He may be, erroneously, referring to the idea that dead or unsupported software should become public domain. There was some push on this in the past in a few jurisdictions, but copyright law still rules for the most part.

Reply Score: 3

Whoa!
by archeas76 on Tue 6th Nov 2007 00:52 UTC
archeas76
Member since:
2006-01-25

What's surprising is not that they canceled support....is the fact they HAVE been supporting it for 24 years!!! Had I known that I would have had mine fixed!!! That is amazing and testament to the fact that Nintendo cares about their products and customers.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Whoa!
by JonathanBThompson on Tue 6th Nov 2007 01:02 UTC in reply to "Whoa!"
JonathanBThompson Member since:
2006-05-26

It is indeed, admirable, if even perhaps commercially slightly foolish, to support such a product that long that's so technologically transient.

Now, the question is, not that they supported them, but was it worth it to the customer for whatever price Nintendo asked outside of the warranty period? I previously worked for a Sony subsidiary, and was in charge of maintaining the hardware/software of the CD ROM premastering department, and I was tasked with finding out what it'd cost to replace/repair vital CD ROM drive hardware, etc. and while the parts were available for the older models, due to supply/demand and things likely no longer mass produced for the older parts (combined with it being Sony) it was actually notably cheaper to get a new unit entirely (new model) than attempt to get replacement parts. I strongly suspect that's the reality that's existed for a long time with Nintendo, if only because once again, the system is THAT old, that few parts of that type are used in new production, period. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if they decided to terminate support largely because there were some parts that were no longer made, period, and they completely ran out.

That being said, I've seen enough evidence that NES fans are loyal to a fault, and if Nintendo supports all their old gaming hardware a similar (even less than half!) that time frame, they'll always have a bunch of fans that will keep using it until either they die or the hardware dies, and no replacement parts exist for them ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Whoa!
by Nossie on Tue 6th Nov 2007 05:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Whoa!"
Nossie Member since:
2007-07-31

guys, remember we might not be the target audience..

2nd and 3rd world countries still sell these kinda consoles supported by the manufacturer as new because there is not a market for $400 next gen machines.

I'm not even too sure if when they said support ended for the NES after 24 years if America and western Europe applied?

Reply Score: 1

exception to DMCA
by TechGeek on Tue 6th Nov 2007 01:30 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

The library of Congress passed an exception to the DMCA in the last review of that law (2005 or 2006 I believe, the law gets reviewed every 5 years). The exception to copyright applies for any obsolete system where the game depends on the hardware to play. The only hitch is if the company is still making the game available. Most mame games are now perfectly legal. As are most NES games. Nintendo might be able to claim some are still distributed due to Wii console, but those are only a few. Otherwise its pretty much open season.

Reply Score: 2

RE: exception to DMCA
by Zoidberg on Tue 6th Nov 2007 02:44 UTC in reply to "exception to DMCA"
Zoidberg Member since:
2006-02-11

Sorry but you've completely misunderstood that exception. It is referring to being able to legally bypass copy protections in order to preserve the piece of work in question. It most certainly does not mean that everyone can legally copy NES roms. Some of the key phrases being:

"Persons making noninfringing uses"

"when circumvention is accomplished for the purpose of preservation or archival reproduction of published digital works by a library or archive."

So no, downloading Mame and NES roms is not legal.

Edited 2007-11-06 02:50

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: exception to DMCA
by Almafeta on Tue 6th Nov 2007 02:52 UTC in reply to "RE: exception to DMCA"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

"when circumvention is accomplished for the purpose of preservation or archival reproduction of published digital works by a library or archive."


Which I hope means somewhere, a library is quietly making archival copies of old games for future reference.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: exception to DMCA
by Zoidberg on Tue 6th Nov 2007 02:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: exception to DMCA"
Zoidberg Member since:
2006-02-11

I'm sure they are, whether it's music, books or TV shows they've always been allowed to preserve them. When the DMCA came along though the way it was written unintentionally made it illegal for them to do so, which is why they had to go back and add the exception.

This isn't going to make them freely distributable though, they are still copyrighted and it will still be illegal for people to share or download them.

Edited 2007-11-06 02:58

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: exception to DMCA
by matthekc on Tue 6th Nov 2007 21:45 UTC in reply to "RE: exception to DMCA"
matthekc Member since:
2006-10-28

I swear your honor it's a historical archive. I never play them.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: exception to DMCA
by WyldStylist on Tue 6th Nov 2007 22:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: exception to DMCA"
WyldStylist Member since:
2006-12-30

My favourite of that historical gaming chronicles was Bionic commando the revival of hitler (you are a bionic soldier in a quest to destroy nazi forces in a post-apocalyptic future.

Reply Score: 1

link to exception
by TechGeek on Tue 6th Nov 2007 01:33 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

here is the link to the exceptions passed for the DMCA:


http://www.copyright.gov/1201/index.html

Reply Score: 2

v Wii?
by BSDfan on Tue 6th Nov 2007 01:37 UTC
RE: Wii?
by Zoidberg on Tue 6th Nov 2007 02:54 UTC in reply to "Wii?"
Zoidberg Member since:
2006-02-11

"The Wii is crap.. It reminds me of sports.. which are crap.."

What an intelligent post...

Reply Score: 9

v RE: Wii?
by BSDfan on Tue 6th Nov 2007 03:05 UTC
RE[2]: Wii?
by Zoidberg on Tue 6th Nov 2007 05:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Wii?"
Zoidberg Member since:
2006-02-11

I wasn't talking about your "literacy skills", but your childish implication that the Wii is crap and "sports are crap" just because you don't happen to like them. You're right though, when you look at the Wii's sales it must really be terrible.

Edited 2007-11-06 05:33

Reply Score: 6

*sigh*
by Nossie on Tue 6th Nov 2007 05:06 UTC
Nossie
Member since:
2007-07-31

go back to digg and /. if your gonna fight ;)

Reply Score: 1

v DMCA Gay-Culture
by WyldStylist on Tue 6th Nov 2007 20:53 UTC
RE: DMCA Gay-Culture
by Ravyne on Wed 7th Nov 2007 02:47 UTC in reply to "DMCA Gay-Culture"
Ravyne Member since:
2006-01-08

Why pay a fortune for some alluminium discs when you can download them and burn them and thereby save some cash?

Because hundreds of people spent roughly 2 years producing a non-essential product for the enjoyment of others, yourself included, and they should be compensated for their efforts.

When you pirate a game, movie or album its always the the people at the far end that get hurt the most. The publishing models in these industries basically put the studio on the line, the publisher withholds royalties until the production advancement is repaid, and only then do the studios see any profit. Out of that, the studio takes its operating capital, pays its stock-holders, etc. and finally, if they're lucky, the talented folks who actually toiled away or provided their artistic skills might get a raise or a bonus or maybe some much-needed vacation time. Keep in mind that most of those folks are already earning less than what their skill-set would get them in other industries, but they keep at it because they love producing games for people to enjoy.

There are plenty of bones to pick with the publishing model itself, but think of that the next time you justify your actions believing that you are only stealing from a big, faceless corporate publisher.

Just because you can quote Marx in your Che Guevara T-shirt doesn't make you intelligent. In fact, the undeserving sense of self-entitlement you've displayed is in large part (but by no means the only reason) why socialism fails.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: DMCA Gay-Culture
by Phil on Wed 7th Nov 2007 15:48 UTC in reply to "RE: DMCA Gay-Culture"
Phil Member since:
2005-07-06

Firstly, socialism doesn't fail, that makes no sense. Socialism is a whole range of ideas, many of which are implemented almost universally. The USA would do well to occasionally take a look at the size of it's public holdings - the state is utterly enormous - and realise that socialism is part of what holds the place together.

Of course that isn't why we are here, so I'll get back to the point. If a product isn't being manufactured (or new copies being made legally available another way,) no royalties are being paid regardless of how many copies are being exchanged. If a film is out of print it is not possible to pay the artist for a copy, you can only but a license from someone who did once pay the artist.

Also, a lot of developers are paid for work done, not profits generated, so they might as well be working under a full blown communist economy. Throwing in a suggestion that there are lots of factors involved that you aren't mentioning doesn't mean you can avoid thinking about them.

Reply Score: 1

hmmm
by zhulien on Wed 7th Nov 2007 02:35 UTC
zhulien
Member since:
2006-12-06

since the NES has a larger number of great games than the Wii, why would anyone who loves their NES want to get rid of it in favour of a Wii?

Reply Score: 1

archival uses
by thebackwash on Thu 8th Nov 2007 22:31 UTC
thebackwash
Member since:
2005-07-06

Say you WERE a library and you wanted to maintain a collection of video games where the hardware is no longer supported. Could you take the individual games and burn each of them on an individual CD, and then distribute a single copy of each game at a time? It seems like this would be legal, perhaps as long as you distribute the CD with the original cartridge at checkout time, and maintain some kind of proof of ownership of the original work.

Also, what about software that must be installed to be used? Can libraries distribute it? The DMCA protections don't say anything about it. Do regular copyright, and software licenses have a say in this?

As an aside, does anybody know if there are special legal requirements to be considered a library, or if they have to register as libraries, or if any individual citizen can distribute his personal collections as if he were a library?

I'm thinking of opening my collection of seminal video games, as well as my book and music catalog. Who'll be my first patron? ;)

Reply Score: 1