Nintendo is combating piracy on its 3DS handheld games console through a new system in the bowels of the device. It is understood that the new machine logs all activity, including the use of illegal or hacked cards and flash carts, including the R4 card that's apparently been modified to work with DS ROMS.

The use and sale of such flash cards has already been deemed illegal in the UK, but their distribution continues to be a worldwide problem for Nintendo. Therefore, the Japanese company has deemed it necessary to take extreme action.

One consequence for use of the devices has already become clear... Play pirated games in your 3DS and it's unlikely that you'll be able to sell or trade it in a games store.

Kotaku is stating that one Japanese retailer, Enterking, is already refusing pre-owned 3DS consoles that exhibit signs of misuse; it will not be buying back "illegal or unauthorized devices". Many are expected to follow.

Nintendo itself could theoretically also be able to tell when a 3DS has been used with a piracy device, possibly via the Wi-Fi connection, and could ban the user from its online services.

Some even speculate that Nintendo could disable the device remotely, although that seems extreme, and possibly not actually legal.

The Nintendo 3DS will be available from 25 March in the UK, for around £230.

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