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Submitted by NintendoNationBlog 1220d ago | article

Region locking, and why Nintendo won't drop it

Stevo writes: "A massive debate is going on between gamers and companies at the moment regarding region-locking of video games and video game consoles, more recently the Wii U. Let's look at both sides of the debate, and then you can make your verdict." (3DS, Culture, Dev, Nintendo DS, Wii, Wii U)

PopRocks359  +   1220d ago
If general western audiences cared more about playing eastern games and general eastern audiences cared more about playing western games then I reckon Nintendo would drop the region locks. Personally I feel if you HAVE to lock regions, do so for your online shop, not for physical games. I'm curious to know how much piracy the process even eliminates.
nukeitall  +   1220d ago
This is an example of why I think Nintendo will slowly kill itself. It makes innovative products, but has these weird restrictions every now and then.

Sony got it right, with no region locking on PS3 games.

MS is hit and miss with their games.

Hopefully next gen MS and Sony will offer no region lock.
MikeMyers  +   1220d ago
Things are different now, we live in a global market. Region locking just creates barriers that simply don't have to be there. Consumers are well aware that if they buy games from Japan for example that there could be language issues, but that's the price you pay for importing.
ScubbaSteve  +   1220d ago
Region locking is horrible for gamers. I didn't think much of it until I imported the chinese version of Demon's Souls and was able to play that fully voiced in english months before it was released in the US.

If you are a Nintendo gamer you should understand this with how a number of Wii games were handled. Wii had a number of games that were translated but unavailable in the states for a great many months (Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, and Pandora's Tower). I would never have imagined at the begining of this generation that I would be wishing I bought a PAL console instead of a NA one.

In lieu of playing these games I've just made it a tradition to hang a Reggie effigy outside during E3 and pretend I'm Stewie from Family guy asking for my money back, except I want my games. Sometimes he even drops a game or two, albeit months later than I'd like.

Additionally, if you're from Australia region free gaming would let you purchase versions of the game that aren't butchered.
ronin4life  +   1220d ago
Reggie has little say in his own regions affairs; Nintendo proper controls its various regions. At least if this report is accurate:


(Theory alert)And the European games situation came down to money: before this occurrence importers bought American systems. Making the game available in the USA would have hurt overall profits as the Euro is worth far more than the dollar. They were always meant to come to America in time.
#1.1.3 (Edited 1220d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report
3-4-5  +   1220d ago
And by slowly kill it self you actually mean make millions and millions of dollars right?
ShaunCameron  +   1217d ago
<Sony got it right, with no region locking on PS3 games.>

Not exactly. The game itself might be region-free but the DLC, additional content access to out-of-region online stores and your PSN account are region-locked.
nukeitall  +   1216d ago

True! However, I praise a company when they do something right and b!tch when they do something wrong.

Region free is a step in the right direction for Sony.
ElectricKaibutsu  +   1220d ago
I don't really care about region locking when it comes to games that are released in all regions, but when a game is only released in one region with no plans to release it elsewhere why region lock it?
Chrono  +   1220d ago
Exactly. Some people think only those who import Japanese games care about region lock. A bunch of fine Wii games such as Pandora's Tower were never released for the North American market, and some games released in North America were not released in Europe.
esemce  +   1220d ago
Cuz they bitches ? But seriously it's crap, I hate this region locked bs it has no benefit for us the consumer.

I think this and many other anti-trust measures just give some the excuse and incentive to hack/mod their consoles or not even buy the console and play the games via an emulator.

Would Nintendo/devs prefer a legit import sale or have someone download a pirate version?

In the end region locking is bad for the gamers and the industry.
#3 (Edited 1220d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
Baka-akaB  +   1220d ago
They are just making sure i ake forever to buy a nintendo console as i got three possibilities :

-Wait for the funds to import a console

- wait for a crack of said console , physical or software in Nature to play the games i actually want . And then like many other risk me simply pirating games (usually not happening but i can see many just making that easy leap).

- Wait for a working emu . Wich is what i did with the wii , resold mine and just play my purchased game on emu . At the risk again of just increasing piracy
ronin4life  +   1220d ago
Regional currency differences will only make the situation worse. Regional profits are important to the companies who region lock and with the weak dollar and strong yen it is even more so.

And what about those games that don't come over? If the system were region free than imports would further discourage that games localization(why localize a game that people can get from another region? SEE: Way of the samurai 4) and (crazy theory alert ) may even discourage further localizations from that company(SEE: ATLUS in europe).

I hate region locking. But I also dislike when people sling mud and curses without actually thinking about the situation. To understand all the facts and points and disagree, even vehemently is one thing. I can understand that. but to just look at a glance and say "huuurrr region locking Damn you blallajshsb" is another.

My point: this isn't a random trend. These companies, whether they are correct or not have reasons they feel are legitimate enough to warrant their imposition. And more and more companies are following in this trend.
#5 (Edited 1220d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Nutsack  +   1220d ago
That is why you just softmod that Wii and make it region free yourself...

If Sony doesn't do it, do it yourself!
samtheseed  +   1220d ago
I can't believe how long his region lock S*IT has been rumbling on, and how, somehow, it's all Nintendo's doing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ! !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Write about how MS and Sony do it too instead of trying to make Nintendo look like the devil.

Games journalism needs a massive cull to clear all the deadwood, which accounts for 85% of them.
#7 (Edited 1220d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(4) | Report | Reply
NintendoNationBlog  +   1219d ago
As you may not know, Nintendo is clearly the worst offender. The only PS3 game so far to be region locked is Persona 4 Arena; publisher Atlus has received a lot of criticism for this.

Also, don't hate on us for providing the facts. Thanks.
auragenz  +   1220d ago
I am of the opinion that region locking only serves to encourage piracy among consumers, which both Nintendo and developers take a hit on in order to support their local distribution channels.

If a game is not released in your region or is released a year after the rest of the world, there are a number of people who would find this unfair and look to correct that unfairness. Add fuel to the fire that if it is released in that region at a later date it will cost substantially more than the rest of the world, people start feeling personally marginalized and even discriminated against.

Once that bitterness is realized and they also have the means to un-region lock their console, there is likely little in the way at that point for them morally or technologically to pirate instead of purchase.

That said, I don't pirate and I certainly don't support piracy, but I can sympathize with others frustration with the current distribution model.
#8 (Edited 1219d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
Shnazzyone  +   1219d ago
Massive debate my ass. It's between people who know that nintendo always region locks and people who just want anything to criticize nintendo for as if they didn't know that already.
Thepcz  +   1219d ago
big deal
well, the ps3 is unlocked, but do i own any import games? no. and blu ray movies are region locked anyway, so it makes no difference to me.

only the very avid gamer imports games nowadays. its not like the early 90s where big games dont get released in the west.

its only certain editions that will only get released in a specific region. hardly worth not considering buying a console over

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