Nintendo's Legal Hounds Torpedo Game & Watch Hacking Videos On YouTube

Nintendo Game Watch
Back in early November, Nintendo Launched its diminutive Game & Watch portable console, which brought the joys of playing the original Super Mario Bros. game that first launched nearly four decades ago on the NES. Besides Super Mario Bros., the console also included Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels.

In addition to the usual D-Pad and B/A button controls, the Game & Watch includes a USB-C port for charging and not much else. Needless to say, tinkerers ripped off the case and started mucking around with the PCB to upload their own NES ROMs to play on the console. Some even went one step further by loading Doom on to the Game & Watch, although its performance left much to be desired.

Modder stacksmashing cracked open the console and used custom hardware to transfer NES ROMs onto the console, and uploaded their steps to YouTube. The custom hardware was needed because the USB-C port is only used for power (charging) and there is no expandable storage; hence data doesn’t pass through. This is where stacksmashing ran into problems, because Nintendo complained to YouTube to have the videos being taken down reports Gizmodo.

Nintendo is claiming infringement via the Digital Millennium Copyright Act on videos that showed him playing Super Mario Bros. on the “hacked” console. The fact that this particular video was removed is rather curious, as that is a game that is already preinstalled on the console. The second video that was removed, however, showed stacksmashing playing The Legend of Zelda after he hacked the console and included instructions on how to backup the original firmware. 

While Nintendo might be on more firm footing with the second video that was removed, we must wonder why the company is so hellbent on going after hackers like this. The Game & Switch is not easily hackable (like the NES Classic Edition which could sideload games via USB), and you'll need special hardware to transfer ROMs back and forth. And the console isn't powerful enough to run any of Nintendo's newer games, so you're still relegated to Nintendo titles from 30 to 40 years ago.

At this time, stacksmashing claims to be editing its videos to come into compliance with Nintendo's Digital Millennium Copyright Act and will appeal the takedowns.