I Hate Nintendo

14 Mar 2024

Look, I don't know where you fall on the spectrum of "does emulation promote piracy?", but the idea that a video game company like Nintendo can let off its army of lawyers on a bunch of hobbyists/programers/geeks like a pack of hungry wolves and force them to shut down AND pay over 2 million in dollars just because it thinks emulation promotes piracy should alarm any and every one in the tech space.

To quote Steam Founder Gabe Newell: "Piracy is not a pricing issue. It’s a service issue." Amen to that, brother, AMEN!

Microsoft's Xbox understands this. Sony's PlayStation understands this. But somehow, the memo was lost on Nintendo which thought it was absolutely ok to force Tropic Haze, the company behind Switch emulator Yuzu and 3ds emulator Citra, to shut down its websites, take down its code repositories AND pay $2.4 million because, apparently, its software allowed people to illegally play Zelda.

Nevermind the fact that thousands of people legally pay for Nintendo titles and emulate them on a different hardware because it plays better or because it provides more accessibility. But of course, that's the kind of rhetoric that would fall on deaf ears at Nintendo HQ.

Instead, you have Nintendo coming out of the woods to protect its iNtElLeCtUaL pRoPeRtY whenever someone makes a fan project, a ROM website full of abandonware titles, or literally dozens of instances where people just want to do cool and different things with its video game titles.

Ironically, except for a handful of titles that Nintendo offers through its online subscription service, there is no "legal" way to play games from the yesteryears without actually emulating them. Emulating video games also ties into video game preservation, but that's a whole different topic altogether.

On top of that, Nintendo won't even port its major titles to the PC. Perhaps because it doesn't want to share revenue with others OR it wants to keep selling the Switch consoles. Whatever the case may be, it still SUCKS that Nintendo would just blatantly shut down a project like Yuzu.

In some ways, one could argue that this is an attempt by one of the most successful companies in the world to make an example out of a project that is born out of passion. But what does that get the company ultimately? It's already massively rich, and all it's achieving out of these intimidation tactics is to scare off gamers and those who create emulators for them. There's no telling where the scales will tip for emulators for older Nintendo consoles like the Wii or the Wii U, but it wouldn't be surprising if more and more developers decide to not create emulator software because they don't want to fall foul of Nintendo's legal antics.

So, yeah. Nintendo sucks and this is the world we live in.

Biden Administration to Dole Out Billions in Federal Grants to Chipmakers🤑🤑

The who's who of the semiconductor manufacturing industry have put a gun to the US government's head and are trying to milk billions of taxpayer money to build their projects on American soil. OK, that's a bit of an exaggeration.

The truth is that the Biden administration really, REALLY wants companies like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Intel and Micron Technology to build their products in the US, so much so that it's willing to throw billions of dollars at them.

How much, exactly? Well, the US government plans to dish out over $28 billion in federal grants to each of the companies plus Samsung Electronics to entice them to boost semiconductor manufacturing in the United States.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing is expected to win more than $5 billion in federal grants to support the development of two fabrication facilities in Arizona. Topline numbers for the other companies continue to fluctuate but an announcement for the major advanced chipmakers is expected by the end of this month.

Keep your eyes peeled for that development.

Elon Musk Takes Exception to OpenAI's Company Charter🤖

Wow, it's been quite a while since we reported on Elon Musk. But we're happy to let you know that the world's richest man is still up and about with his antics and this time, it involves his old nemesis Sam Altman's OpenAI.

Yes, everyone's favorite billionaire has decided to hold OpenAI's company charter to court. He’s arguing in a lawsuit that the (former?) non-profit company, of which he apparently was a co-founder, abandoned its charge to benefit humanity by developing powerful artificial intelligence. Instead, the company rolled out generative AI products like ChatGPT that were essentially Microsoft products to make big bucks.

Of course, Musk knows all about benefiting humanity given that he owns Tesla; in fact, so concerned was he with humanity's benefit that he decided to burn his own money to buy X (formerly known as Twitter) for reasons that are not yet clear (but should be in a decade or two).

OpenAI is certainly not having Musk's BS, so it has hired a law firm that Elon Musk really hates, to have his lawsuit thrown out.

Just another day of tech bros duking it out against each other. Sigh!

In Other News.. 📰

  • Ethereum Finalizes 'Dencun' Upgrade, in Landmark Move to Reduce Data Fees — via CoinDesk
  • Startups are hiring fewer workers and paying out less in equity comp — via TechCrunch
  • EU approves landmark AI law, leapfrogging US to regulate critical but worrying new technology — via CNN
  • US House passes bill to force ByteDance to divest TikTok or face ban — via Reuters
  • The road map to AI's next level could be nature — via Axios
  • Palantir CEO says short sellers bet against great companies ‘so they can pay for their coke’ — via CNBC

And that's a wrap! Don't forget to share this newsletter with your family and friends! See y'all next week. PEACE! ☮️

— Sheharyar Khan, Editor, Business Tech @ HackerNoon

*All rankings are current as of Monday. To see how the rankings have changed, please visit HackerNoon's Tech Company Rankings page.