R4 being used by 90 percent of Americans? Is that right?

Unless you’ve had your face in a first-generation, un-backlit Gameboy Advance this whole time, you know that the R4 is an incredibly popular (and illegal) accessory for the Nintendo DS. But one newspaper says that the device may be popular than we thought, claiming that 90 percent of American DS owners may be getting their pirate on. Wait — what?

This figure comes from The Sunday Post, a Scottish newspaper. John Hillier, Manager of ELSPA’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit, was more than happy to speak up for the article.

“The implications are massive. In America it’s thought 90 percent of Nintendo users are playing pirated games because of R4s,” said Hillier. “That’s the real danger – you may think you’re getting a good deal but using the R4 is risking the future of the games industry.”

Doesn’t the number seem a bit high to you? A very rough, quick poll of my friends and acquaintances gives me a figure of about 50 percent. Sure, that’s a pretty high number for piracy, and I hate to think about how much money Nintendo is losing to the R4, but it’s still a big difference from claiming that most of the nation is using the device.

If this is true, are you with me in the silly minority that enjoys having a collection of fine games on your shelf?

[Via StrategyInformer — Thanks, JR]

Dale North