Wii U Still Has Region Locking

Wii U Still Has Region Locking

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Nintendo will continue its time-honored tradition of keeping that one Japanese game you want from playing on your console.

Sometimes it just feels like Nintendo is sending mixed messages to gamers. Take the Wii U, which is currently shaping up to be Nintendo's most open platform to date. The new console will allow access to third-party networks like Steam, and Nintendo has even signed a multi-year deal to bring the Unity Engine to Wii U developers. But when it comes to region locking, the practice of making games purchased in a given country inaccessible to consoles from other regions, Nintendo isn't quite willing to change its practices just yet.

There are a variety of reasons why Nintendo has historically favored region locking, such as the ability to manage international game prices and release dates, but the practice is increasingly out-of-place in a digital marketplace. Nintendo is the only console publisher with region locking built into its hardware, while Microsoft and Sony have left the decision to third-party publishers. All of Nintendo's consoles have featured some form of region locking except for the original DS.

While region locking is usually nothing more than an inconvenience, it can pose some problems for online shoppers. On multiple occasions, I've ordered games from Amazon or eBay only to discover that I'd purchased a Region 2 European copy. In those instances, it was a lack of region locking that allowed to me to play the game anyway, something I need to be more cautious about when ordering Nintendo products. The decision seems especially odd in light of the recent efforts of Operation Rainfall, which proved that gamers are deeply interested in titles that would usually be restricted to other regions. Perhaps Nintendo will one day change its mind on this practice, but for now that change appears to be at least another console generation away.

Source: CVG, via Joystiq

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That cancels my preorder for the system.

And here come the Pirates!

Nintendo, Nintendo, Nintendo... When will you ever learn? Sometimes, people want to be able to play every game that is available for a system. Why would you want to stop them from having what they want, as well as losing a possible market?
I mean, you approved games for the Wii that I've never even heard of being in some people's game cabinets, notably the Gummy Bear Golf game. Maybe, you could give us some more nice things. Believe it or not, we do like nice things.

Was this really any surprise to anyone?

Dammit Nintendo, what the hell is with this sudden obsession with region locking? NO ONE likes region lock (ONLY reason I didn't buy a 3DS months ago was the cursed region lock) get that through your head, even Sony is ahead of you in that respect.

Really is this a shocking revelation?

TizzytheTormentor:
Dammit Nintendo, what the hell is with this sudden obsession with region locking?

Sudden? Ninendo has been region locking games ever since the NES, or the very start.

gigastar:
Really is this a shocking revelation?

TizzytheTormentor:
Dammit Nintendo, what the hell is with this sudden obsession with region locking?

Sudden? Ninendo has been region locking games ever since the NES, or the very start.

I mean in regards to the DS and DS lite, they were both region free but then the DSi and DSi XL rolled in and shoved region locking back in.

I actually wonder if Nintendo has EVER considered the fact that some people would like to buy games while on holiday. I bought an American 3DS, knowing it was region locked, you don't even get the option to say you are somewhere outside the US, the system thinks you will NEVER go abroad.

Region Lock. The O.G. of DRM.

Seriously, why do this in today's market? It's like Nintendo hates money or something...

Restrictions just encourage hackers. And nintendo isn't exactly known for robust security.

I didn't know steam would work on the system. I'm totally buying one.

Vitriol aside, I've never understood region locking
If someone wants to by your product, why stop them?

Zombie_Moogle:
Vitriol aside, I've never understood region locking
If someone wants to by your product, why stop them?

Money, of course.

Zombie_Moogle:
Vitriol aside, I've never understood region locking
If someone wants to by your product, why stop them?

Region locking is there to stop consumers buying games from other regions where the games are priced cheaper, and so means profit margins for the company are higher as they can charge higher in certain regions like Australia without the risk of gamers importing to save money.

I don't really understand region locking myself and yet I find myself not really caring, People who import their games make up a very small part of the consumer base anyway.

I mean in regards to the DS and DS lite, they were both region free but then the DSi and DSi XL rolled in and shoved region locking back in.

DSi and DSi XL were only region locked games exclusive to it's format like the DSi Enhanced games.

Fanghawk:
All of Nintendo's consoles have featured some form of region locking except for the original DS.

If we're counting the DS, we should probably also count every single Game Boy ever.

As someone else mentioned, even Sony is ahead of Nintendo here. Come on Nintendo!

Screw you too Nintendo. One more feather in the hat of colossal failure that will hopefully be the WiiU.

Looks like Nintendo just went and...sold me a second console. I'm not going to lie everybody, I plan on grabbing a Japanese 3DS and have no qualms with getting a Japanese Wii-U if it gives me access to potential Starfy, Fire Emblem, Mother, Pandora's Tower sequels, Last Story sequels, Professor Layton vs Pheonix Wright...and whatever ends up on the Japanese E-Shop/Virtual Console. Also crossing my fingers for more Goemon, Japanese or not.

This is most likely in response to pressure from the publishers. Hardware dev's don't care about regions but publishers care a great deal about them. If this can get Nintendo some decent third party support and a few more exclusives I'm a happy camper. The 10 people who this affects can buy a second console.

DVS BSTrD:
And here come the Pirates!

I'm not gonna lie, I hacked my Wii to play games that never came out in America.

OT: This is just stupid. I mean, c'mon Nintendo. A lot of us gamers are trying to throw you a bone by even trusting this system won't be a dust collecting machine like the Wii turned into. I mean, there is one year not a single thing came out that I wanted to play.

JoJo:

Zombie_Moogle:
Vitriol aside, I've never understood region locking
If someone wants to by your product, why stop them?

Region locking is there to stop consumers buying games from other regions where the games are priced cheaper, and so means profit margins for the company are higher as they can charge higher in certain regions like Australia without the risk of gamers importing to save money.

That makes sense in theory, but a few logical questions come to mind:

1) Anyone with a business will tell you that a 1% profit is still better than 0%, so if someone wants to buy it, it doesn't make much sense to stop them

2) This would only apply to games that have been released in all regions. If someone wants a game from another region that wasn't released where they live, why wouldn't a company want to sell it to them? It took an unbelievable amount of bitching & moaning for Nintendo to allow american Wii owners the privilege of playing The Last Story. Why?

3) Considering price inflation & exchange rate differences from country to country, are games cheaper in other countries?

No clue what they're thinking here. This was the smartest and best opportunity for them to really show people that they're taking those extra steps to make themselves everyone's "go-to" for gaming, and they're really dropping the ball with this one. I've been otherwise impressed with the steps Nintendo has taken to improve the system's qualities, but....this is still a pretty nasty thing to have involved in your next big console, especially when your competitors don't actively pursue the policy themselves.

That said, if you were thinking about the console, this honestly shouldn't be a deal breaker to you anyways, since you were most likely buying games from your region anyways (with the primary exceptions being Australians and the handful of "gamer elite" who buy games online instead of at retail these days). So while it's a bad decision and one worthy of scorn and disapproval, the people in here saying "I just canceled my pre-order" over this....yeah, that's kind of dumb. I can see canceling a pre-order over something substantial, but this ain't it. >_>

It's mainly a Japanese thing. I don't know if you guys are aware, but games are fucking expensive in Japan. They, at a base, pay about Australian prices for games. Think 110-150 USD for a single game.

What happens, then, is if a game releases in NA and has language options (or they know English), the cost of ordering t from NA and shipping it is less than buying it new in Japan. Region locks prevent this. The same thing was happening with Anime recently.

Anime fans like Japanese language options, but unlike the Japanese, refuse to pay $400 for a 12 episode TV show, so people in Japan were importing it from the US for a fraction of the cost. This is why shows come out like 2 years later here now.

What exactly does Nintendo expect to happen when somebody wants a game that they just wont sell in their region?

PIRACY.

That's what happens. Don't go whining that pirates are doing their thing when you just wont LET them play the games they want, legally.

 

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