Japan Makes Modding Consoles Illegal

This is a pretty interesting development in the world of modding:  If translations are correct, it’s now illegal to mod a console in Japan.  The law specifically prohibits:

  • Distribution of game save data editors and programs
  • Distribution, selling, auctioning serial codes and product keys without the software maker’s permission
  • Services that offer the editing/hacking of save data, and/or modifying/hacking game consoles

Not allowing product keys to be sold makes sense and is common practice in the US (try selling a Windows product key on eBay), but the rest brings up a few questions:

Why make it illegal to back up save games?

How is “hacking consoles” defined?  If they mean “modified to play roms”, that makes sense.  Too many people are selling 3DS’ pre-hacked with games on it.  What about adding a Voultar board to a SNES Mini?  Could adding RGB for someone technically count as being illegal?

You can check out the full article on siliconera…and maybe some of my Japanese friends can clarify?:


Liked it? Take a second to support Bob on Patreon!