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."

Read Full Story >>
The story is too old to be commented.
PopRocks3592180d 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.

nukeitall2180d 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.

MikeMyers2180d 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.

ScubbaSteve2180d 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.

ronin4life2180d ago (Edited 2180d 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.

3-4-52180d ago

And by slowly kill it self you actually mean make millions and millions of dollars right?

ShaunCameron2177d 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.

nukeitall2176d 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.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 2176d ago
ElectricKaibutsu2180d 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?

Chrono2180d 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.

esemce2180d ago (Edited 2180d 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.

Baka-akaB2180d 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

ronin4life2180d ago (Edited 2180d 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.

Show all comments (19)
The story is too old to be commented.