Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Nintendo remains unwilling to end region-locking

6:00 AM on 07.04.2013 // Tony Ponce
  @megaStryke

Oh, come ON!

PS Vita is region-free. PS4 is going to be region-free. Xbox One will be region-free as well. Sony understands that when it comes to today's consumable media, we live in a border-less world. Microsoft is just trying to ride Sony's draft, but the benefit to gamers is the same. The message is clear: the fewer barriers between us and our games, the better.

Nintendo doesn't get that message.

Nintendo fans are understandably upset and have recently begun campaigning to effect a change in Nintendo's regional policies. But before the campaign, before even Microsoft's heel face turn, IGN's Richard George met with Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata at E3 and inquired about his company's insistence on region-locking both the 3DS and Wii U. The response was no different than what we've heard a million times before.

"From some people's perspective, it might seem like a kind of restriction. However, we hope people can appreciate the fact that we're selling our products worldwide. There are many different regions around the world, and each region has its own cultural acceptance and legal restrictions, as well as different age ratings. There are always things that we're required to do in each different region, which may go counter to the idea that players around the world want the freedom to play whatever they want."

But as I said, this was all discussed three weeks ago, before Nintendo became the odd man out in the console manufacturer trio. Perhaps all the heat Microsoft bore, along with the massive fan petition -- more than 17,000 signatures as of this writing -- had some small impact.

If they did, Nintendo is putting on quite the poker face. Case in point, a Nintendo of America rep responded to Barrel Roll Gaming yesterday with the statement: "Nintendo has no plans to remove region locking from our systems. By taking this approach, Nintendo is able to include parental controls and ensure compliance with regional standards and rating systems."

I think we are asking Nintendo the wrong questions. Instead of asking Iwata and crew about why they are implementing region-locking today, we ought to be asking why they seemingly had no problem with it in the past.

So Nintendo home consoles have always had regional restrictions, but not Nintendo portables! Every handheld right up until the DSi could play games from literally anywhere without any hassle whatsoever. And in the case of the DSi, only specific "DSi-enhanced" games were gated while the rest of the library would continue to work.

Remember Jump Super Stars and Jump Ultimate Stars, the Nintendo-published DS fighters that pitted manga characters from Dragon Ball, One Piece, Fist of the North Star, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Rurouni Kenshin, and more against one another? Those gained a hefty cult following outside of Japan. I bet you anything that Nintendo would have loved to work out a proper localization had the various characters not been licensed by fifty bazillion different companies out West.

What about Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, the cheer squad rhythm game from the studio that made Gitaroo Man? Nintendo noticed its popularity amongst importers and decided to greenlight an original Western entry, Elite Beat Agents.

What about the Rhythm Heaven series, which has consistently seen worldwide release following the positive reception of the original from both Japanese and Western press? Former Destructoid editor Colette Bennett was a huge fan of Rhythm Tengoku on GBA, and she and current EiC Dale North even wrote an import review of the DS sequel long before it was confirmed for wider release.

And don't even get me started on Mother 3.

Nintendo knows the allure of import games, which is why the Wii Virtual Console showcased the odd import from time to time. Dracula X: Rondo of Blood, DoReMi Fantasy, Monster World IV -- all had been hotly anticipated and were welcomed with open arms once they finally arrived. And Sin and Punishment performed so well that it directly resulted in a Wii sequel!

What's truly bizarre is that Nintendo is pushing towards greater interaction between regions yet while simultaneously acting like there exists an impenetrable wall. It came as a complete shock to me the first time I took my 3DS to PAX East and StreetPassed people from the all over the world. Not only are the different countries marked in the Mii Plaza, icons for the region-specific game they had been most recently playing would display as well.

How dickish is it that you can see a Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney icon on your screen, yet you can't actually play Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney on your device? What a tease!

How come two people, one from the States and one from the UK, can play Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate together online, yet their discs won't run on the other's Wii U? How does that make any sense? It's the same game! Both copies are directly communicating with one another! It's not like one person is on a Wii U and the other is a PS3; it's the same damn console!

Nintendo's excuse is that it's trying to comply with regional laws and ratings bodies. So how is it that Sony and Microsoft don't seem to be having any such compliance issue? Hell, they didn't have any issues with the PS3 or 360, which left the decision to region-lock individual games up to publishers. In PS3's case, that resulted in all of one region-locked title in its entire library!

The only excuse I can think of is that certain regions like Australia that charge exorbitant prices would then be forced to compete with cheaper import options. To which I ask, uhhhhh, who's problem is that? Lower your prices, you greedy bastards! Welcome to the global market! Get competitive or get lost!

There is no excuse.

Nintendo's President Discusses Region Locking [IGN via GoNintendo]



Tony Ponce, Former Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure megaStryke Tips
(Decommissioned) Super Fighting Robot more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Dreamweaver avatarDreamweaver
I can't choose simply one waifu for myself, so I've been obsessed with looking up netorare hentai. That way, I know every trick to steal all of your waifus away and keep them all to myself. It's the perfect plan! The only problem: I only have one dick. :(
Parismio avatarParismio
Aw shit, just 100 left to go til the big 9!
lewness avatarlewness
I am so late for the party. Where the hell do I get Fire Emblem Fates Special Edition
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
There you go, my season 2 vehicle. You happy Mr. Destructoid?
siddartha85 avatarsiddartha85
Just started Gravity Rush. I'm finally playing this.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Well friends, its almost time for my blog to exit the large intestine of page one into the cold, dark bowl of page two, to be flushed and forgotten. Why not throw a fap on there to ease the journey, and give it one last look before its gone?
Ckarasu avatarCkarasu
Do not believe Chris' lies. Cyber Sleuth is nothing like Persona. It's all lies, I tell you!
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
They put season 2 of Young Justice on Netflix finally. Apparently, if lots of people watch it they'll consider a 3rd season. So do it now! [url]http://comicbook.com/2016/02/03/greg-weisman-teases-hope-for-young-justice-season-3/[/url]
bigboss0110 avatarbigboss0110
I heard from a little birdie that a store near my house will be getting Street Fighter V a day early. Will I get banned from PSN if I play it online that day?
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
I try to hold myself to just one waifu, but games like Persona 4 and Overwatch make it so very hard.
Parismio avatarParismio
Woot! I hit 8888 comments!
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
FEAR and Resident Evil 4 were great action/horror games. It's a shame that nowadays such ideas either go one way or another. I would like to see a resurgence of that style where it's a scary/tense experience but the player has power and control.
ThrillDyl avatarThrillDyl
Hey, Dyltheman here, just telling that it is just me who changed their username. That is all, go about your day.
BaronVonSnakPak avatarBaronVonSnakPak
I just got into a beta (the email didn't mention NDA) for a moba on xbox one. I know what I'm doing tonight.
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I just took the Pewdiepie Undertale Playthrough Challenge - I managed to get through 2mins 29sec before getting a migraine and escaping the page. Where is my trophy or Vicodin reward oddammit???
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
[img]http://i.imgur.com/5Yz281M.gif[/img]
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Also I can't even see the comments anymore, anyone else having this issue...not that I will be able to see...I'M LOCKED INSIDE A BOX OF MY OWN THOUGHTS WITH NO ROCKET LEAGUE!
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Rocket Leagues 1st Season just ended at 4PM EST. There aren't any ranked matches for right now...what am I going to do with my life?!?!
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I GOT YAKUZA 3 IN THE MAIL! Gonna emulate 1 and 2 first but this is great news
TheBlondeBass avatarTheBlondeBass
Dragon Quest Builders seems to be selling well in Japan. Can we have a port plz?
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -