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Why Region Locking Is A Total Non-Issue

Nintendo Life - Before we get down to business, here’s a little background on my life as a gamer. My first console was a Japanese Sega Mega Drive, purchased by my father prior to its launch in both the US and the UK. I grew up playing Japanese games and when the 16-bit system eventually hit British shelves, I quickly became aware that restrictions were in place which prevented me from borrowing Mega Drive titles off my friends and plaything them on my Japanese system.

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dedicatedtogamers1509d ago

It matters to people who import...duh. A lot of people outside of North America and the UK don't get games in a timely fashion (if they get them at all), and often their prices are very inflated (Australia).

AsimLeonheart1509d ago

I completely agree with you. Regions locking means a lot to people living outside the first world countries. For example, I live in Pakistan and I want to buy a 3DS but I cannot because of region locking. In the market games are available belonging to various regions and it is often very difficult to find a game belonging to a specific region. If I buy a US 3DS then I will have to keep searching for US region games for the rest of my years while I own the 3DS. It is really frustrating when you find a game you always wanted to play but then realize that it belongs to a different region than your console. >_< Region locking makes life very difficult for gamers who live in second and third world countries.

Dj7FairyTail1508d ago

yeah right how many people imported Tales of Xillia

boybato1509d ago

For consumers it does matter.

just-joe1509d ago (Edited 1509d ago )

Right now, it doesn't not for the Wii U. There are more problems than whether you can pay $70 dollars to import a game or not. As of off now to point to this as a reason for getting a Wii U is petty.

PopRocks3591509d ago

Not all imports are that expensive. But either way for Wii U it's not a huge issue right now because the western and eastern markets are all the same. As far as I know there are no games for Wii U that are exclusive to any one region, at least for the major three.

knifefight1509d ago

From the article:
"One of the main reasons I can’t see why the abolition of region-locking will make any difference is purely personal; despite my background as an importer, I have yet to purchase a single Japanese or American game for my region-free PS3"

^ So in other words, "If it doesn't matter to ME then it shouldn't matter to ANYONE, right?"

Yeah, no.
Nice try, Nintendo Life, but no.
*I* have plenty of Japanese games for my region-free North American PS3. Not all of them make the swim, you know? I don't want to have to buy 2 consoles to play all of the games that interest me, thanks.

Just because YOU don't care for a certain feature doesn't mean EVERYone shares your feelings or your life situation.

Hicken1509d ago

There's a lot of that going on in the industry right now. It's why people were suddenly okay with DRM.

"It doesn't affect me, so I don't care."

Really, it's a pathetic way to look at things. Frankly, I would literally punch people in the face if they said things like that in front of me. And I'm not a violent person. It's just that such selfishness pisses me off to no end.

Chrono1509d ago

Nintendo says it's for more parental control. Are they treating gamers as kids?

dark-kyon1509d ago

they mostly cares for the kids and his moms and dad.to nintendo the olders players are fanboys what buy his games for what are the best of the world.

Narutone661509d ago

Funny though, if history serves me right, Nintendo have ties to the Yakuza. They made their money first by selling cards to the mob (Yakuza) before venturing out to the gaming console. They even opened some Love Hotels some decades ago.

plsburydoughboy1508d ago

No, I think what Nintendo (not Nintendo Life, basing this on NoA and Iwata's statements) says, removing region locking would be problematic when it comes to complying with global ratings systems.

First off, Nintendo is in a unique position different from Sony, Microsoft, Steam, etc. Sony and Microsoft like to say they have games for kids, but realistically, families and kids buy Nintendo products. Nintendo in turn has to take the trouble their competitors don't to keep their products safe.

Now, this is connected to region locking by way of global ratings systems. As you now, the US has the ESRB. Japan has CERO, Europe has PEGI, Australia has their very harsh Classification Board, and so forth.

Nintendo goes out of their way to localize games to make sure they will pass rating systems for different regions. On the surface, this may look like a simple case of classifying games for kids and for adults, but in real life they run into even more roadblocks than that, prompting changes in content, words spoken, graphics, etc.

Why should Nintendo, or you personally care, about other regions? Look at what happened in Australia last week, outright banning two games and forcing delayed releases as Volition and Microsoft will have to make necessary changes to make acceptable versions of those games. Sucks for gamers there, but this also leads to additional expenses for the developers.

So, if Nintendo removes region locking as Sony and Microsoft has done, they'll lose control of the situation with all the rating systems. Countries will ban games, and Nintendo won't be able to help the developers when they do. Volition already has to take care of the Saints Row ban in Australia on their own.

TLDR, Nintendo is trying to balance needs of the people who buy their consoles, the developers, and other stakeholders. They have to follow different rules in different regions, and region locking helps them there.

I think there is some merit to the argument that region locking discourages localizing some games, but Nintendo never brought it up so I'm not holding on to it.

Anyway, there's another sense that region locking doesn't matter to many of us that even the Nintendo Life article hasn't brought up. And what that is is for places where Nintendo and Microsoft doesn't officially sell, like say, Qatar, or the Philippines, game retailers there buy the US version. More often than not, they stick with the US version, because most of the global market follows the US gaming market. We play games by US companies, read news and reviews from US gaming sites. It would be nice if we could get games exclusive to Japan, or Europe, or Brazil, but if you had to choose, wouldn't you stick with the US gaming market? Everyone here is commenting in English, after all?

Ultimately, if fans want to see Nintendo get rid of region locking they actually have to help Nintendo come up with a solution to that problem. Bear in mind that the people who would benefit really are a small minority versus the interests of all those other parties.

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