crime

Man arrested for selling modified Super NES Classics with extra games

13 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Nintendo’s Classic Mini Super Famicom, the Japanese-spec version of the Super NES Classic Edition, is a pretty cool piece of tech. The self-contained retro system has 21 old-school games stored inside, which should be enough to keep anyone with an appreciation of the hobby’s history, or just fun, straightforward gameplay, entertained.

But 39-year-old Tomoyuki Miyamoto, a resident of Kashima in Ibaraki Prefecture, felt the Mini Super Famicom could use a bit of a tune-up. Since it’s got the processing power to run any Super Famicom/Super NES game, Miyamoto decided to add in the ROMs for a few more.

Had he stopped there and simply enjoyed his upgraded system in the comfort of his own home, he probably wouldn’t have gotten in trouble. Unfortunately, Miyamoto’s next move was to offer his upgraded Mini Super Famicom for sale through an online auction site. Between April and May, he sold three systems, with his total income from them coming to 61,500 yen, a pretty nice profit margin on the 24,000 yen it would have cost him to but the systems new, since they retail for 8,000 yen in Japan.

But Miyamoto’s entrepreneurial spirit didn’t impress law enforcement, and he was arrested on Nov 19 by officers attached to the Yasugi Precinct in Shimane Prefecture, way on the other side of the country (where ostensibly one of Miyamoto’s customers was located). He now faces charges stemming from violations of Japan’s trademark and copyright laws. Miyamoto has admitted to selling the systems, which he says he modified himself, implying that no one else was involved in his money-making scheme.

Given that his customers were willing to pay more than double the cost of a regular Mini Super Famicom, you might be imagining that Miyamoto stuffed them full of the entire catalog for the 16-bit system. Actually, though, he added a mere five games to the systems, with their copyrights split between four publishers. And though there are exactly five different games in the pre-bundled lineups for the Japanese and overseas versions of the retro console, Miyamoto wasn’t trying to create some best-of-both-worlds hybrid by combining their two libraries. One of the games he added is reported to be plain-old Super Mario Bros, which wasn’t even released in a stand-alone version for the Super Famicom/Super NES, so it’s unclear if Miyamoto slapped the 8-bit NES game into the 16-bit retro box or simply cut out the Super Mario Bros. portion that was one-fourth of the 16-bit Super Mario All-Stars remake bundle and tossed away the rest.

Either way, despite the relatively minor scale of the operation and modest economic gains it brought Miyamoto, it was still enough to get arrested, serving as another example of how the Japanese justice system doesn’t give video game bootleggers much leeway, even if they have the same last name as Mario’s creator.

Source: Asahi Shimbun Digital via Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Super Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto performs Mario theme with hip hop’s The Roots 【Video】

-- The reason why Nintendo’s Super Mario smartphone game won’t have in-app purchases is brilliant

-- After years of stomping on enemies, Nintendo’s Mario becomes a stamp series in Japan

© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

13 Comments
Login to comment

With knowledge does not come "smarts".

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

he was arrested on Nov 19 by officers attached to the Yasugi Precinct in Shimane Prefecture, way on the other side of the country

A criminal investigation already running into millions if yen to catch a guy who generated a a fraction of that. Couldn't they have just telephoned him and told him to stop?

13 ( +13 / -0 )

There’s so little crime in Shimane that the J-Cops will investigate across prefectures to get their perp....

3 ( +3 / -0 )

And all the Youtubers and twitch vloggers that vlog about mame rom games or superfamicom games, emulated game machines what happens to them?

Come on... Nintendo is overly protective when technically emulated game machines from China coming out and vloggers are in a sense providing free marketing..

3 ( +3 / -0 )

it’s unclear if Miyamoto slapped the 8-bit NES game into the 16-bit retro box or simply cut out the Super Mario Bros. portion that was one-fourth of the 16-bit Super Mario All-Stars remake bundle and tossed away the rest.

Don't try to write tech if you have to guess.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I wonder if the j-cops “seized “ the evidence spent time playing..I mean investigating for more possible clues.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

this guy they find and arrest.

but others doing crime in the open without even getting a warning!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The real crime here was just adding 5 games, the memory had enough to house over 200. Come on now player!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Instead they should appreciate his skills and Nintendo should reward him or hire him for their own benefit.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

hmm, no , just someone at nintendo seems to be jilted they lost to the mario kart fools and using the prepayed lawyer to rough up actual enthusiasts... prosecutors must either be bored out of their minds to pursue this, or paid well under the table

3 ( +3 / -0 )

this has zero public interest too, why is it being followed on with my tax money, is the real crime here

4 ( +4 / -0 )

this has zero public interest too, why is it being followed on with my tax money, is the real crime here

@Alex - That's a very good point.

Criminalising copyright and trademark infringement is basically a clever way for companies to use public resources (police time) to protect their private financial interests. If Nintendo really wanted to pursue this guy, they should have to paid for it themselves. It was Nintendo's own business decision to make a product where the games come preload on a hard drive without any mechanism to prevent other roms from being added easily. Why should taxpayers bear the cost for this poor business decision/oversight?

That said, I think there may be a general public interest in criminalising IP infringement when it comes to particular products like medicines, food, safety equipment, etc, but definitely not for videogames, handbags, music and movies.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

He should've incorporated as a business - then he would just have to make a public bow and all would be over.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites