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Nintendo DS R4 cartridge banned in UK

Nintendo scored a legal victory over game pirates today, as the High Court effectively banned the R4 cartridge made by Playables Limited.

The insanely popular R4 device enabled owners of Nintendo's handheld DS system to read Micro-SD cards, which could then be loaded up with games downloaded from the Internet, or copied from another computer. A 2GB Micro-SD card can store masses of DS games, which generally have small file sizes.

Following the ruling, it's now illegal to sell, import or even advertise the R4 in the UK, although some retailers (opens in new tab) clearly haven't been given the memo yet.

In a statement, the Japanese games giant said it "promotes and fosters game development and creativity, and strongly supports the game developers who legitimately create new and innovative applications".

The quirky games company also says it started legal proceedings "not only on its own behalf, but also on behalf of over 1,400 video game-development companies that depend on legitimate sales of games for their survival."

Officially, the R4 was sold as a device to enable DS owners to listen to music, watch videos and view photos on their handheld gizmos, as well as create their own homebrew software systems. However, at a cost of just £12.99 (and you can generally pick them up for less than that), the R4 cartridge also provided a cheap and easy way to pirate several games in one go.

Although the R4 can be used for legitimate purposes, the High Court ruled that the device was illegal because it had to circumvent Nintendo's own anti-piracy measures in order to work.

Via Develop (opens in new tab). monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.