Nintendo May Remove Region-Lock Restrictions in the Future

Nintendo May Remove Region-Lock Restrictions in the Future

new 3ds buttons

While Nintendo's new 3DS will be region-locked, the company may reconsider its stance for the future.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has considered changing the company's policy on region-locking in the future, according to an unofficial translation of a briefing.

Replying to a question about removing the region restrictions, Iwata explained why region restrictions have existed.

"The game business has a history of taking a very long time with localization among other things, such as having to deal with various issues of marketing in each particular country, or games that have made use of licensed content that did not apply globally, and had all kinds of circumstances, so to say, that region-locking has existed due to circumstances on the sellers' side rather than for the sake of the customers," Iwata said, according to Zelda Informer's translation.

"As for what should be done going forward," Iwata continued, "if unlocked for the benefit for the customers, there may also be a benefit for us. Conversely, unlocking would require various problems to be solved, so while I can't say today whether or not we intend to unlock, we realize that it is one thing that we must considering looking to the future."

The Nintendo 3DS and Wii U are both region-locked, which means the systems will only play games from the same region. For example, a Japanese copy of a game will not work on a North American Wii U. Nintendo's New 3DS will also be region-locked, Nintendo confirmed in September. Comparatively, the PS4, and Xbox One are both region-free; however, companies may choose to region-lock individual games.

While Nintendo hasn't firmly decided to remove region-locking, the issue is something the company at least acknowledges is important for consumers.

Source: Nintendo via Zelda Informer

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Progress...?

Hmmm. Well, at least their acknowledging it but I'm not holding my breath on this one.

"One day, we hope we'll make consoles that aren't a generation behind too. We're a bit slow."

It's quite funny how, after completely failing to protect the DS/DSlite from piracy and suffering dire consequences as a result, Nintendo are now completely terrified of any kind of de-restriction of their hardware, even a tiny, obvious money saving one.

One extreme to the other I suppose, at least they got over keying downloads to individual consoles.

Yeah, how about lifting the digital lock first, so that I won't be forced to re-buy my games in case the console is bricked? I can live with region locks. A significant portion of my library made useless - not so much. Until then, no Wiis for mee.

Do it, do it Goddammit!

Well, at least they're thinking about it. I have a feeling they won't really do anything about it until their next console at the earliest.

Woo hoo, time to party like it's 1999... because that's what year Nintendo apparently still thinks it is.

Redlin5:
Progress...?

Hmmm. Well, at least their acknowledging it but I'm not holding my breath on this one.

Same here.

If Nintendo removes the region lock, then my biggest gripe with them will be gone. Region locking in this day and age is asinine seeing as how often people move around, and sometimes to other countries or are on deployment via the military. One thing that hit Microsoft big was the region locking and original online requirement, since the US military generally has consoles set up on some bases for deployed people to play games.

If you're going to region lock something, you better damn make sure every game is coming to every country that has the different standards. Europe and Australia have been screwed over for decades by region locking things, and in many cases the games never come over. It's especially stupid to region lock a handheld since it's obviously gonna be going to other places for on the go gaming.

Fiz_The_Toaster:
Do it, do it Goddammit!

Well, at least they're thinking about it. I have a feeling they won't really do anything about it until their next console at the earliest.

I dunno if they will do a new console. At this rate it will be called the new new wiiu that can't run old new wiiu games.

Nintendo is silly.

Dark Knifer:

Fiz_The_Toaster:
Do it, do it Goddammit!

Well, at least they're thinking about it. I have a feeling they won't really do anything about it until their next console at the earliest.

I dunno if they will do a new console. At this rate it will be called the new new wiiu that can't run old new wiiu games.

Nintendo is silly.

Seeing that their latest consoles had backwards compatibility, it's very unlikely.

mechalynx:
Yeah, how about lifting the digital lock first, so that I won't be forced to re-buy my games in case the console is bricked? I can live with region locks. A significant portion of my library made useless - not so much. Until then, no Wiis for mee.

"How else are they going to sell you Super Mario Bros 3, a game that probably has made its budget back 10,000 times over, again for the fifth time?" Yes, region locking and that really needs to go the way of the dodo.

OT: Oh, nice they're "looking into" it. So, does that mean the next home console will also be region locked and the frothing rage of their customers then will tell them if they should finally get with the times?

Nintendo, continuing to be a few generations behind the times, maybe some day they will catch up to the pack. Every other system is region free, there is literally no excuse for it anymore.

Finally someone at Nintendo actually used brain. Less restrictions = more people will buy games. I would buy Rune Factory 4 but i CAN'T as it was cancelled in EU , only way was to buy American console to play it, ridiculous! Good thing that Xseed picked up Rune factory 4 for EU recently.

CaitSeith:

Dark Knifer:

Fiz_The_Toaster:
Do it, do it Goddammit!

Well, at least they're thinking about it. I have a feeling they won't really do anything about it until their next console at the earliest.

I dunno if they will do a new console. At this rate it will be called the new new wiiu that can't run old new wiiu games.

Nintendo is silly.

Seeing that their latest consoles had backwards compatibility, it's very unlikely.

It was more of a joke at their 'new' 3ds but what you say is correct.

Nintendo, i welcome thee to the 21st century. It seems that they are finally catching up with basic decency. Now if only they also applied that to everything else they do....

ArinaLove, dont worry. RuneFactory 4 will get to us, because its been announced that they are looking into releasing it in the eu via the e-shop

http://www.siliconera.com/2014/10/03/xseed-trying-release-rune-factory-4-europe-via-nintendo-eshop/

now we just have the wait for it....

as for region locking, i understand that they dont want the homebase to be able to buy cheap games imported from the usa, but hey, they WILL get the money back from people by the rest of the world importing games from japan. from more games sold in other regions because of importing. the emount of times a game i wanted is only comming out in the usa.... i mean, we never even got harvest moon animal parade (wanted that and the N64 versions so badly)

So the news is that everything remains the same, but maybe it won't in the future.

For the love of God get rid of that fucking lock.

The region lock is literally the only reason i haven't bought a Wii U yet. A european studying abroad in america, of course i didn't buy the console. I'm graduating in may and will only be going home then so if i bought the console now that'd mean all games i purchase in the future would have to come from the US and frankly: fuck that.

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