Densha de gone

I enjoyed playing a Japanese import of Densha De Go (an accurate Shinkansen train simulator) on my old Nintendo Wii. I played this legally (albeit expensively) imported game using some other software called Wii Freeloader. Since Nintendo does not like people using software from outside the “right” places, “Freeloader” had to exploit a bug in the firmware to allow Densha de Go to play.

Today I upgraded the firmware on my Wii console.

I am no longer able to play Densha De Go at all. Nintendo have successfully covered all options and there is no way to play my legally purchased and imported software from other “regions” of the world.

So today I learned my lesson. Never absolutely never buy or get involved in proprietary software. Never buy anything ever again from Nintendo. Never buy another phone from Apple, or Microsoft, or any computer with proprietary software no matter how convenient it may seem in the short term.

Enough is enough.

If I bought the hardware, I want to do whatever I want with it.


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5 responses to “Densha de gone

  1. df

    I agree. It’s hard because they do make such nice hardware (apple, Nintendo, etc) — but it ends up being a Faustian bargain. This will actually be one of my last posts from Windows as I’m backing everything up right now to switch my desktop over to Fedora (I’ve been running it on my laptop for years, but always had the Windows PC safety net for dodgy/closed peripherals).

    Sorry you got burned.

  2. red

    Well, this really isn’t about it being a proprietary product but about doing something with the product that the producer obviously didn’t want you to do. The same can be true for non-proprietary products! Okay, you could always fork open source software that doesn’t behave like you wish it to.

    As for your problem don’t buy freeloaders and all that stuff. There’s freeware for that: the homebrew channel. Google it and enjoy it. Wii Updates break it from time to time but they normally get it working again pretty quickly.

    • rich

      No open source product would be so stupid as to include region coding. It’s a total anti-feature. It makes the product harder to build and support, and you’ll get less revenue from the product, and it makes it less useful for your customers.

      Edit: I’m going to look into the homebrew channel though.

  3. Hi Rich,

    If it came down to train simulator vs. no train simulator, for me, I would just buy a Japanese Wii to play it on :).

  4. df:

    Based on his post, Rich knew what he was getting himself into, and it wasn’t a Faustian bargain. Nintendo held up their end of the vendor-consumer agreement:

    They would provide the ability to play region locked games on a closed system, and they would blow away firmware hacks, in return for whatever it cost to purchase the machine.

    Yes it doesn’t sound pretty… but the games sure do don’t they! 🙂

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