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Just before the holiday season, Nintendo of Australia is cracking down on NDS gaming pirates.

The hand-held Nintendo DS is expected to be one of the biggest-selling toys this Christmas, with company officials predicting sales of 750,000 by the end of the year.

But with legitimate game cards costing up to $70, there are reports of a boom in parents buying pirated gaming software that allows users to play games that have been illegally downloaded from the Internet.

Greg Arthurton, director of marketing at Nintendo, said the company was taking steps to protect its intellectual property.

The company has sent cease and desist letters to backyard operators in Australia who are selling equipment that allows users to play pirated games. More PlayStation 3 News...