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Nintendo cracks down on pirated game toys

Nintendo won a court order Monday against the sale of small game machines that run pirated versions of its classic games such as "Donkey Kong" and "Mario Brothers."
/ Source: Reuters

Japanese video game maker Nintendo Co. Ltd. Monday won a court order against the sale of small game machines that run pirated versions of its classic games such as "Donkey Kong" and "Mario Brothers."

The restraining order, issued by the U.S. Western Washington District Court, prohibits retailers from selling products that look like Nintendo's game controllers from its older Nintendo 64 game console, which can be plugged directly into televisions to play games.

The gaming toys, which retail by various names such as "Power Player" and "Super Joystick", are essentially miniaturized versions of Nintendo's older game console that contains several games.

"Nintendo won't tolerate these illegal products," Jodi Daugherty, Nintendo of America's director of anti-piracy, said in a statement.

Redmond, Washington-based Nintendo of America said that hundred of thousands of the game machines are already in shopping malls across America, which is heading into the annual holiday shopping season. Authorities were instructed to seize the counterfeit products at stores and at customs, Daugherty said.

The game machines were made by Kirkland, Washington-based What's On Inc., which also operates as "Virturality". Representatives for the company were not immediately available for comment.

Nintendo said that many of the gaming toys were being sold in mall carts set up outside video game retailers, and that the losses in sales were expected to be "in the millions of dollars." Nintendo has re-released "Donkey Kong" and "Mario Brothers", which helped the company build its franchise 20 years ago, for its flagship Nintendo Game Boy Advance SP portable gaming devices.