Nintendo is doing everything in its power to stop the public from playing pirated games on the Switch console.
Their major adversary is the infamous hacking group Team-Xecuter, which released several ‘jailbreak’ hacks for the games console.
After cracking Switch’s original technical protections in 2018, Team-Xecuter released a new range of products this year. These SX Core and SX Lite chips work on all Switch classic and Lite consoles, while previous ‘hacks’ were limited to a subset of devices.
Nintendo Sues Uberchips.com
As Nintendo’s efforts to go directly after Team-Xecuter failed, the games company targeted several stores that offered these new hacks for sale instead. They included Uberchips.com, which is operated by Ohio resident Tom Dilts Jr.
Soon after the lawsuit was filed Uberchips went offline, but the lawsuit didn’t disappear. Uberchips’ owner realized this and in June he responded in court through his attorney, denying pretty much all allegations.
After this initial response things went quiet, at least in court. Behind the scenes, however, both parties got together to see if there was a way to resolve the matter. This week, they reached an agreement.
Uberchips Agrees to Pay $2 million
In a joint filing, Nintendo and the Uberchips operator submitted a proposed final judgment and a permanent injunction. As expected, Dilts is prohibited from selling Team-Xecuter chips or similar devices going forward. In addition, there’s also a hefty damages award of $2 million.
“Plaintiff is hereby awarded judgment against all Defendants, jointly and severally, in the amount of US$2,000,000.00,” the proposed judgment reads, adding that both parties will cover their own legal costs.
It is not uncommon for settlements to be higher on paper than they are in reality. We can’t say whether that’s the case here, but considering the scale of the award, it’s certainly possible.
The permanent injunction both parties agreed on prohibits the site operator from trafficking in any circumvention devices, including SX Pro, SX Core, and SX Lite. Infringing Nintendo’s copyrights in any other way is not an option either, and all remaining stock must be destroyed.
“The Court further orders […] the seizure, impoundment, and/or destruction of all Circumvention Devices, all copies of SX OS, and all other electronic material or physical devices within Defendants’ custody, possession, or control..,” the proposed order reads.
Finally, Dilts can no longer maintain the Uberchips Facebook group or any type of related social media, and must hand over the Uberchips.com domain name to Nintendo.
The proposed judgment has yet to be signed off by the court. However, considering that it has been submitted with the consent of both parties, that shouldn’t be much of a problem. When signed off, the case will effectively end.
Lawsuit Against Eight Other Stores Still Ongoing
Uberchips was the only known operator of the ‘Team-Xecuter’ stores Nintendo went after. A separate case, filed against eight presumably foreign site operators, remains ongoing.
In that case, the game giant has thus far been unable to identify the owners. For this reason it recently asked for a permanent injunction so it can ask domain registrars and hosting companies to shut them down.
Team-Xecuter is not a party in any of these lawsuits but denies that it’s a “piracy” group producing piracy tools. Instead, it accused Nintendo of censorship, monopolistic control, and legal scare tactics.
A copy of the proposed final judgment and permanent injunction against Uberchips.com and its operator Tom Dilts Jr is available here (pdf)