Over at GBATemp, a member of their magazine staff, Rydian, has put together a list of things for people to consider when wondering about whether Nintendo would actually want to do such a thing. I’ve put a source link at the bottom of this article that you should jump to for the full version of his considerations. His list has six main reasons with which to help people better understand how Nintendo would view bricking consoles.
Rydian goes on to say, regarding point number one, that since US/ UK law recognizes the differences between goods and services, Nintendo cannot legally destroy your game system. They could, however, revoke your usage of their online services because they are exactly that, services. The good in which you purchased, the 3DS, cannot operate without the proper software updates, so if Nintendo maliciously bricked a system, it would be against the law. He also talks about how Nintendo has used “scare tactics” and “fear-mongering” in the past, recalling a recent Wii game, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, which flat-out tells you that if you have unauthorized third-party devices, an update may render your machine inoperable. No doubt some Wii consoles have mods, could possibly be detected, and haven’t been destroyed by Nintendo, clearly.
All-in-all, it doesn’t seem likely that Nintendo would be that hardcore in their pursuit against anti-piracy activities, but these are some good things to consider before you freak out and assume your 3DS is heading to paperweight status.
[Source]: GBATemp – Rydian’s thoughts on Nintendo bricking your 3DS
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