Sep 11th, 2013

For those of you that follow Nintendo closely, you’ll know that earlier this year there was a huge petition to end region-locking for both the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS once both Microsoft and Sony announced their consoles would not be region-locked. Nintendo was very quiet about the issue for a while, but finally issued a statement that region-locking is necessary in order to conform to local laws and other territorial restrictions.

Danel Adelman, a representative of Nintendo of America recently expressed his sentiments about region-locking on Twitter to some loyal fans who lament not being able to play Japanese or North American games on their respective consoles. It looks like Nintendo realizes this is a thing that their fans want, but they seem unwilling to find other ways to adhere to local restrictions when dealing with world-wide releases.

Hopefully if gamers put enough pressure on them to end region-locking and find better ways to deal with localization issues, Nintendo could become an open company as well.

local_offer    dan adelman  Nintendo  wii u  
  • bizzy gie

    Region lock doesn’t effect 90% of the people who complain about it.

    • Many times I hear this complaint if someone wants to get a game early from overseas a few weeks earlier than when it is released in their region. Many things are region locked including Movies, Music, Video games and the electronic devices that play them. Even while the consoles from MS and Sony are NOT region locked I think the game publishers can region lock the titles if they want to.

      • RockieOllie

        Region lock means no one outside of Japan can experience games like Jump Superstars

        • I sympathize, I truly do and I agree that Nintendo needs to rethink this policy even though the majority are not really affected.. Some of the reasons for region locking make sense and others do not.

          • RockieOllie


    • Daniel Gonzalez

      Not usually.

    • Graeme Lynch

      Maybe then 90% of people don’t realise the huge benefits of consoles being region free. It is a huge bonus that PS3 is capable of playing region free games. Not only to be able to play games released earlier in different regions but also the cost of such games. It is simply exploitation in my opinion and a very archaic business model.
      I still haven’t played Scribblenauts as it is not released in EU nor may it ever be. If the WiiU was region free i could simply purchase overseas.

      • Andreas Sunde

        We’re getting it in December.

    • Magnus Eriksson

      Region lock, yes. It affects us all, tree, root and twig. But you must understand, young Hobbit, it takes a long time to say anything in Old Entish.

  • Jon

    region lock only affected me once, I wanted Xenoblade and it was not in North America but… it came and I bought it. Other than that, region locking never really mattered to me.If a game is only in a one language I don’t know, I probably don’t want it.

  • While this rarely (if ever) affects me maybe this is something Nintendo needs to put in the discussion to eliminate. Many people complain about this but the vast majority of people are unaffected and they do not realize that there are regional laws that Nintendo has to consider. I am sure it can be done but I am also pretty sure it has to be submitted, reviewed, and approved by the laws of that region. There may be costs to Nintendo and ultimately to the end user to make this happen as well.

    • BarbieOnWeed

      Still it works for Sony and Microsoft.

      • I understand that… I do not know the details but with Copyright laws and game rating laws that vary from country to country it is not a simple process of just shutting it off. Also the 3rd party game publishers can still region lock their games for the Sony and Microsoft consoles if they want to or have to.

        Basically there is a whole lot more to consider that could be harmful to more people than the small percentage of people truly affected by region locks.

      • Wayne Beck

        You don’t know that yet. Sony and Microsoft have made region free consoles, that doesn’t mean it’s not going to hurt them. Currency conversions can be detrimental, they have already dramatically increase the loss Sony is taking on PS4. Certain overly sensitive country may also bring law suits against the companies which could hurt them in the future.

      • Baum 「ツリー」

        It doesn’t work for Sony and Microsoft…at least not very well…There’re LOTS of countries, where (especially PEGI 18+/M-rated) games aren’t released, because they are against some laws.
        I live in Germany so I’m talking out of experience and believe me it’s fucking ridiculous how many games are either not released here or not advertised at all, because it’s simply forbidden to do it from 6am-10pm on TV. There were games I really enjoyed, but I didn’t Play for quite a Long time (in one case over a whole year after release) because I didn’t know about them and I also didn’t see ’em on sale anywhere, because the Shops aren’t allowed to have them at the same place like the other games…

  • Wayne Beck

    Could not possibly care less about Region locking. If I cared about games that never make it out of Japan that much, I would order a Japanese console from amazon.

    • Clel

      I really do care though, because I’m someone who has to move every 6 months-2 years. And when I move, it’s usually a change of continents, not to the new apartment down the road.

      That with the fact that Nintendo has digital games linked to the Wii U, I’m kind of pissed off about it. I haven’t been able to get any new Wii U games since NSMBU and Nintendo Land (other than NSLU and Super Mario World).

      • Wayne Beck

        Have you tried calling Nintendo? Last I heard, if you contact customer service, they will allow you to send in your Wii U and return to you a new one with the appropriate region.

        • Clel

          Considering I change regions regularly, that still doesn’t work. Also, my current games won’t be compatible.

  • Arthur Jarret

    I have over 30 US DS games that never came to european shores.

    Region locking sucks and their reasoning is complete BS – because if it had an incling of truth then their competitors would be region locked as well.

    Why do companies have the tendency to lie to your face?

    Nintendo is a great company… except for their PR-Department and Repair centers, which both have more powerful moves than Kirby.

    • Jon

      Repair is bad? Nintendo Repair has always been great for me. I never had one Issue with them

      • Arthur Jarret

        The repair here (Benelux) is handled by an external company and is pretty bad.

        For instance – I wrecked my 3DS and sent a letter with it asking to only repair if they could transfer ALL data. I get a quote (logical, it was user damaged) for a replacement model, costing 195,- euro (average retail price is 170,- here, including a game).

        I emailed wether they would transfer ALL data.
        They answered and said they would.
        I pay the quotation – as they are effectively holding over 150 bucks of digital purchases hostage.

        I get it back… and no data is transfered whatsoever. I lose all my data, they just reflashed the serial so I can redownload…

        Also, despite paying way over the average retail price – only the console was returned. None of the accessoiries like a stylus or SD card you’d expect to come with a new model (as was quoted).

        I made it very clear that if they couldn’t save my data, I’d rather repair it myself as I’m fully capable to at least get it patched up to system transfer… but they lied.

        I then repeatedly contacted them by e-mail with my complaint, but they are simply ignoring it… if I call, they say they’re transfering me and then the line goes dead.

        Nintendo Benelux repair is terrible and I would advice against ever using it.

        • HSN1

          You know, I think what they did actually is illegal, and scares me as I live in Belgium too.
          Anyhow, back to the region lock… yep, Europe sometimes gets games later or simply doesn’t get them, and the only example I can think of America having this problem was with Xenoblade. Hopefully the most popular ones come without problem but sometimes you come across that one underrated gem and BAM, it isn’t out in here. What should we do, hack our consoles to unlock it ourselves? But it’s wroooong, isn’t it?

          • Arthur Jarret

            It IS illegal – and I’m building a case with the consumers league against them (Comserve, the repair center… not against Nintendo) – I’m actually hoping to find more people with bad experiences by ranting about it on random websites!

            Regarding modifying consoles, it’s not illegal according to our local laws… and our laws always invalidate any user agreement. We’re allowed to modify our device as we see fit – although we might lose use of online services and warranty (but seeing as the repair center is bad anyway, you’d be better off finding a technician and spare parts yourself anyway).

            So, my advice would be to mod it when the new console arrives to play the games our region missed – so there will be no possibly bricking updates and you can use all online functions while the console is relevant.

    • You apparently do not know the reasoning of Region locks. There are many laws involving copyright and ratings of games, music, and movies along with the import laws that need to be considered. So it is NOT complete BS and despite the XB1 and the PS4 being region free there is no guarantee that games from other publishers will be region free. The console still has a region code on it so if a game or movie to be played on that console has a lock on it then it still may not work.

      • Arthur Jarret

        But my US and japanese PS3 games work fine on my european PS3 – obviously it’s not a forced limit on the current gen consoles, why would that change in any way the next gen?

        The region codes on PS4 (like the ps3) and Xbox one are in reality, meant for non-game content -like blurays – for which the region lock is not a legal obligation – but coerced by the retail market in an attempt to keep prices at what people can afford, not what the product is worth.

        • Hmmm are you a lawyer? There are definitely legal obligations on Movies and Music from region to region. Different rating systems, different content that is allowed, other countries may have bans on such things. I know you think it’s “Da Man” keeping you down but there are bigger things out of the control of the companies that make these products.

          • Arthur Jarret

            Oh, I know – and that halts the mass import and retail sales of all media that didn’t pass the legal requirement (ranging from the materials of the protective foil to the indication of local age recommendations). Although you are allowed to import a limited amount of media content – as long as it’s for personal use – in almost every country in the world.

            However – nowhere do they legally limit the media a device is able to play. I’m not a lawyer, but my work at an importer/exporter does involve having to be well aquainted with these laws in various countries in western europe and the US.

          • I can respect that but what about all the other nations of the world? Like I said I think it is outdated and needs to be reconsidered but there is more to consider than just the US, Europe, and Japan. See my reply to you up above.

          • Michael DeVore

            As long as you have countries like Australia banning games like Saints Row 4, and China banning all consoles, and games not manufactured in China you’re going to have companies like Nintendo choosing region locking to ether get into, or stay in those countries.

            Sony, and MS might not have a China strategy, but I doubt it. They’ll probably make systems that are region locked, but just for China. It’s a waist of an assembly line to me, but they’d do it to get in China. After all, that’s what Nintendo had to do to sell their “Region Free” DSi in China (sarcasm the DS is region free everywhere, but China).

            Australia is another story. They hate region locking because it helps keep their prices high, but it’s one of the few things that enables their idiotic bans.

            They should probably considered multi-region releases since NA, Eruo, and Japan have no reason outside of their different rating systems to region lock. Australia should be left region locked to pressure them to get their Conservative Ban Hammer under control, and China since that’s the only way to sell any product there.

          • Arthur Jarret

            I completely agree.

            Except that they don’t even really need limitations to sell in china – as they have always imported the systems anyway (despite risks). Except they can’t analyze the regional markets very well if they would do that.

            It’s pretty odd to see Chinese voluntarily buying Japanese products anyway – as there still seems to be a lot of resentment on both sides due to past wars.

            For Australia – interestingly enough they actually have a law that requires manufacters of movie players to supply a method to unlock any regionlock free of charge – as to promote a free market.

          • Exactly… A big part of this is the rules and laws of the countries.. Sure Nintendo could work around it and maybe they should but Nintendo is not the sole blame here.

      • Arthur Jarret

        I feel oblidged to adress your other arguments as well, hence my second reply:

        Copyright and game rating laws limit what you can Sell as a retailer in a certain country – but not in any way what content your device plays. (or what is being sold privately or imported for private use)

        It’s not like Nintendo will be importing US games to europe themselves… then the excuse would apply – now it doesn’t

        Music is copyrighted and rated too, but there’s still no region lock on CD’s, you know… I can also put music from the US itunes or zune store on my european iPod or zune player, despite an album not being available in the iTunes or at retailers in my country.

        • Still the bigger picture goes beyond Nintendo. Don’t get me wrong I think most of the reasonings behind region locking are outdated in this global market/economy but I think the outlash towards a company that still does it to appease the nations of the world is unwarranted.

          Also there are some laws that could affect importing goods from other countries even for the intent of private use. Countries like China and middle-eastern countries have bans on certain products and even importing them for private use is a violation of the law. Maybe that does not affect you personally or some other people in certain nations but it is a reality of the world. It is also possible that removing the region lock could prohibit Nintendo from selling their console and/or games to certain countries at all. Lots of things to consider.

          • Arthur Jarret

            Yeah – sure, but does a arbitrary device lock solve anything?

            A chinese man wanting access to US or european products can simply go to ShenZhen (which is like hong kong nowadays, but without customs go through due to the different administrative zone) and buy the us and euro version of the player (DVD, game console – whatever and all government-banned content) at a ‘legitimate’ store.

            The main limitation comes in the form of customs holding your package, fining you and – if you repeatedly are found breaking import laws – raid your home. Not this arbitrary system-based lock.

            No, the main reason it still exists both for movies and games, is to be able to control and adjust release dates and pricing within each region.

            It made sense when Nintendo invented region locking on the NES (look it up! You can play european atari, msx or collecovision games on your us console!) – as it was very region-specific in it’s selection of games and the way these were presented to the public…

            But now the world has somewhat reduced in cultural diversity due to the internet – it really feels like an outdated relic, an unneccesary limition – especially for collectors! (like me, obviously)

            As their main excuse refers to a limitation already enforced by customs of each country – especially outside the ‘big three’ regions, so I really wonder what the actual reason is for this.

            Let’s review:
            -The marketing / brand protection reason is no longer valid… internet and all
            – Neither is price-setting, as this is also ruined by internet retailers nowadays…
            – Countries have customs that check imported goods, so there is not much reason from a legal stand point…
            – In case of market control (to avoid mass import) in case releases in the same languages are months apart due to ratings testing… they could’ve left the choice to publishers (like the ps3 with persona 4 arena, the only region locked game on it)

            You know, I can’t really think of a single reason why they would keep the region lock, especially as it’s a negative point when compared to their competitors by potential buyers.

            I also fear it may attract crackers to find exploits in the system to install custom software on it, allowing region-free gaming… that’s not bad, but the fact generally lazier groups with intents to create a simple mod-to-play-copies will use those exploits to put a mod chip on the market and ruin game sales is (like they have done countless times with originally well-meant system cracks).

            Ah well, time will tell… I’ll search for cracks as soon as the first US game I want isn’t released in europe.

            For Snes, it was mario RPG – for N64 it was Sin & Punishment, for gamecube Baten Kaitos origins and for Wii Excitebots that forced me to mod… I’m afraid a game will come along for Wii U too.

            Also: sorry for ranting, dude…

    • Christopher Acuna

      nothing….NOTHING is more powerful then Kirby! Take it back now!

      • Arthur Jarret

        The local repair center here sure sucks a lot harder than kirby…

        Then only difference is they just don’t make you a star when they eat you up and spit you out – they only make you (195 bucks) lighter.

    • Daniel Gonzalez

      True story bro.

  • Magnus Eriksson

    Region lock is clearly the fascist multinational companies way to implement technological racism in their greedy plans of chauvinistic imperialism. Proletairians! Raise your fists against this capitalist madness!

    • Merrfn

      I concur! ONWARDS BROTHER!

    • Super Buu

      Indeed. Down with Region Locking!

    • Daniel Gonzalez

      Region locking needs to go. No doubt.

    • gtosheex

      too many big words… you lost me at region

    • What a load of ostentatious nonsense. It’s a mere video game companies simply not allowing consoles sold in some countries to play some games–not some sociopolitical revolution.

  • Agent721

    Region lock blows… above is yet another Wii U game we can’t play due to this. If Sony & MSFT can get it done, theres no excuse from Nintendo.

    • TCar

      Just what I want to do, play a game where I can’t read a darn thing!

    • Looked at the gameplay of this series. To be frank, I don’t think we’re missing much.

  • Chompy

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE remove the region lock!

  • Anthony K Aurelia

    Nintendo first and foremost always follows the CYA(Cover your a**) when it comes to legal issues. They were the first to include warnings about seizures and video games and had multiple ways they informed you of this. I believe this is also why they have less M games for the worry of being sued over content “influencing” someones child to do something. I think it is time for the region lock to go though…at least after the WiiU since Sony and M$ should show there isn’t an issue. They also could be afraid of one region buying out another smaller one due to a later release of something and skew sales in other areas.

    • Stuart Thomas

      “They also could be afraid of one region buying out another smaller one due to a later release of something and skew sales in other areas.”
      Seems plausible, region locking had affected me when i moved to the states, I brought my pal snes, but as we know 50hz consoles don’t work right on 60hz T.Vs. So i bought a US console and used the adapter for playing my PAL games, the problem was metroid knew that i was running in 60hz and wouldn’t play and same with mario world 2. So i added a 60/50hz switch then i could get metroid and mario to run by starting in 50hz and switching to 60hz, but the games ran too fast, so i broke down and bought the US game. This was recent so i didn’t suffer too bad, a US metroid is $10-$40 for cart only. Back in the early 90s if the same situation had been apparant, i wouldve been buying new $50-$60 games and a new console, exactly what Nintendo wants… Control!

      • To be fair, just how many people have to deal with this issue of gaming in another country that they moved to during a console’s lifecycle? Most gamers in the world never leave their own countries. You make a good case for just the kind of issue you can run into with the region-locking, but overall, it’s not a strong one to prove the interest of “control” here with them, given that the vast majority of gamers simply don’t move across countries.

  • DragonSilths

    Tsk, I still remain SUPPORTIVE of Region Locking. Why on earth would I pay extra to get a Japanese game shipped all the way across the world then what? I have a game thats in Japanese and I cant understand the story, the characters talking the controls or anything? So usless. Not once have I seen a game thats only in Japan and I say DAMN wish I could play that.

    • Arthur Jarret

      Did you enjoy Another Code R, Project zero 2: Wii edition (aka Fatal frame 2 remake), Secret files 2, Wii Chess and Disaster: Day of Crisis on the Wii?

      Because us europeans sure did!

      I also enjoyed Mario super sluggers, excitebots, no more heroes with blood instead of coins, arc rise fantasia, castle of shikigami 3, dragon’s lair trilogy, kirby dream collection, phantom brave, shiren the wanderer and trauma team – unlike most europeans, as these never appeared here.

      (Think of that list the next time you see someone complaining europe gets a release a week or a month early… the wii was not even that bad compared to other platforms)

      • The Clockwork Being

        Don`t forget to mention a higher amount of copies of Xenoblade Chronicles while in freakin North America we got a Gamestop exclusive deal with like 50 copies at each gamestop. Getting in Canada was a pain.

      • DragonSilths

        I have no interest in any of those lol. When it comes to Nintendo I JUST WANT ZELDA, SMASH, STARFOX, MARIO, DK, POKEMON, and so forth. I dont give a shit about 3rd party devs period besides Namco’s Tales games.

        • Arthur Jarret

          So, that means you won’t even get Bayonetta 2, Sonic lost world, Wonderful 101, Rayman legends, Monster hunter 3 ultimate and Zombi U?

          You completely missed out on Muramasa: The demon blade, No more heroes, Sonic colors, Bully: scholarship edition, Okami, Madworld, Red steel 2 and Tatsunoku vs. Capcom on the wii too?

          I really feel bad for you… you’re missing out on amazing games.

          • DragonSilths

            I’m getting Wonderful 101 on Sunday cause it reminds me of 1990’s cartoons. Will get Bayonetta 2 even though I have no interest in the 1st one. Sonic Lost Worlds….Ehhhh maybe eventually but not at launch. (No money for that) Rayman Legends? FUCK NO. I hate Ubifail and I haven’t done business with them for a few years now. Watch Dogs I am getting but after the betrayal from them with Rayman I wont get that at all. I have MH3U. Have ZombiU but what a terrible game I never got to finish it cause of game breaking glitches not once but twice I was unable to move on in the game.
            That list of games though is irrelevant. All of those ARE localised. I should have said I have yet to see a game I WANT TO PLAY THAT I CANT.
            I played Madworld, enjoyed it a lot. Red Steel 1 and 2 I have and enjoyed them. As for the rest I have no interest in them especially in games like Bully: Scholarship Edition….like really now.

          • Arthur Jarret

            Bully was better than the GTA games, in my opinion. Muramasa and Okami are must haves on wii too.

            Anyway, my opinions won’t (and shouldn’t) convince you – glad to see you aren’t blindly buying nintendo-only.

            It’s always a shame to see any gamer miss out on great games.

            I do suggest getting Rayman – it’s a good game. Get it used if you really don’t want to support the company.

            ZombiU was patched – the breaking glitches are seriously lessened now. I’ve been able to complete it without a problem – and liked it a lot better than Resident Evil 6 (but not better than the highly polished gamecube resident evil remake).

            Unfortunately – I constantly see games I want releasing in the US but not in Europe. Especially RPGs… it turns out it’s too much hassle to translate in German and French as is the requirement for those countries – and for some silly reason that means they won’t even attempt to release it in the other 90% of europe where this isn’t a requirement.

            The region lock is only to ‘protect’ companies that suddenly get their head out of their behind and decide to localize a three-year old game here (often – without any german or french translation… yeah – I know), so they can sell it for 60 bucks while the US version is sitting in a bin for 5 USD.

            A casual gamer won’t care about it… but for even a newbie collector these region locks are really restrictive and don’t seem to serve much purpose or cause mass influxes of import – as proven by sony and microsoft already

          • DragonSilths

            I don’t like the GTA franchise. And yes I don’t blindly buy just Nintendo games. Forgot to mention Bungie I like them. Destiny!!!
            Doesn’t matter if ZombiU was patched Im not going through the WHOLE game again for a 3rd time.
            I just don’t much care for 3rd party devs. A game has to be something crazy and unique and random for me to give a damn.

      • DragonSilths

        Excite Trucks was so much better then ExciteBots.

        • Arthur Jarret

          I respectfully disagree with your opinion – robots make everything better.

          Tekken, for instance: Tekken without JACK, cool. Tekken with JACK: Awesome

          Transformers without robots would be a terrible montage of women Michael Bay was trying to sleep with. Transformers with robots is a slightly less terrible montage of women Michael Bay was trying to sleep with with CGI robots fighting behind them.

          • DragonSilths

            I don’t care for fighting games except Smash Bros. Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Tekken, Killer Instinct, Soul Calibur, there all the same to me. Punch, kick, kick, punch, finisher. And I was never a huge fan of Transformers. Its okay. Mostly watched them for Megan Fox…

  • david jarman

    I got two SNESs and a microphooone!

  • TCar

    I wonder why the people on this story keep blaming Nintendo for not getting these games that are only in one territory. Shouldn’t you be upset at the developer for not releasing it to every region, not just Japan? On top of that, how much money would the developer need to drop to get translations for every language? How expensive would the game then become? From the sounds of these comments, you guys just don’t care; you just want these games playable on your system. Even if it means playing a game where you have no idea what is being said!

    • Arthur Jarret

      How ’bout games from europe (english!) to the US and vice versa? It’s not just about Japan, you know. Not to mention that some games don’t even contain any text…

      Then there is the rare case of a japan only release with english Voiceovers (Sin & Punishment).

      Did you know chibi robo DS, shin megami tensei: strange journey, Etrian oddyssey 2 and 3 and radiant historia (my favorite rpg since final fantasy 6) never saw release in europe? Neither did 999 or many other titles that scored high in reviews. If these titles were on the 3DS, I wouldn’t even be able to play them!

      • TCar

        I understand that many games come from many different areas. But, I hold the developers more accountable to the non-release of their games worldwide. The best question I see from all of this that should be answered is why do games only get released in certain regions? Why don’t the developers make them for all regions? I am sure having an unlocked system would help the matter but it would still be up to the developers to make sure that their content follows the laws of other countries. I don’t think America would like a game released in the states where the main objective is to assassinate our President. Much like the game that was released in America where the objective was to assassinate Saddam Hussein wouldn’t go over well if released to the Iraq at the time. Personally, I don’t see the need for a system to be unlocked. I only play the games that I have access to and from what I have heard and seen, none of the games in question are ones I would even care to own or rent. I only speak for myself but on a company level, I can understand why they are doing what they are doing. MS and Sony have so much clout that they can afford any potential lawsuit issues that arise. Nintendo, they like to play it safe so that they can continue to be a business that makes games and systems.

        • Arthur Jarret

          Well… for chibi robo: park patrol, Trauma team (trauma centers were published by nintendo in europe), Excitebots: Trick racing and Mario super sluggers getting no PAL release… I can still blame Nintendo!

          • TCar

            Why did they not get released to the PAL region though?

          • Arthur Jarret

            As I said, Nintendo, rabble rabble. They actually tested the western waters with chibi robo in the us – but it never got a fair chance, apparently getting no advertising and being part of an exclusivity deal with wallmart, of all places.

            Similar to this, mario superstar baseball’s euro sales were a deciding factor for super sluggers… it sold poorly in europe, yes – but that’s because superstar baseball is the rarerst PAL release on gamecube (rarer than Ikaruga!) so based on biased numbers…

            Excitebots was asked for a lot by euro wii fans, but never answered.

            Mario RPGs localization would be too close to N64’s launch, so was cancelled in europe.

            Trauma team: I really don’t know – under the knife 2 for DS also wasn’t released here either … I had to import it so I could at least give the developer some deserved profit.

            Anyway, seeing the games I almost missed out on on my region free (or adjustable) devices, region lock implementation makes me a sad panda.

    • darkcreap

      Yes, but the issue here is that we are not asking for localisations: what we ask for is simply that they allow us to buy the game. I speak English, so what’s the problem if I buy the game from the US? Or, if I spoke Japanese, what problem would it be for me to buy it in Japanese?

      • TCar

        I don’t get your point. If you want a game that uses whatever your language is, why wouldn’t you just get it from the region you are in need of? Or are you saying that you want every game to have every language available? I don’t see why anyone would want to buy a game that they can’t understand. It isn’t up to Nintendo to make these games available to everyone, it is up to the developer. Most of the Japanese games I have heard people talk about have no English in them what-so-ever. That isn’t Nintendo saying, only make it Japanese. That is the developer only wanting to release the game in Japan. People are so upset that they don’t get to play certain games but never explain the reason they weren’t able to. I find it kind of dumb, and sad, how people complain about not getting to play a game when there are hundreds of others to choose from.

        • darkcreap

          No, I did not mean that. For instance, I live in Europe. I belong to a country where English is not the official language. But I also speak English.

          If a game is released in Europe, fine, I have it in my mother tongue and English (for Europe all Nintendo and Sony games, likely XBox 360 too, are translated to English, French, German, Italian and Spanish). If it is only released in the US, I can also understand it, but I cannot buy it due to region locking.

          If I could understand japanese (which I don’t, but let’s imagine I can), the same thing would happen.

          • TCar

            This still begs the question, why do the developers keep releasing games for only one region?

          • darkcreap

            Probably, because there is no market for those games in the other regions. But the issue is, if I want it and I don’t mind importing it, what is the problem? They don’t have to localise it or to sell it to retailers. I would import it from the US or Japan.

          • TCar

            I don’t want to pay more for features on my system that I will never use. If unlocking a system raises the cost at all, I am all for keeping it locked! If the game isn’t in English, it isn’t worth my time.


    I know this is not related, but i made this new Wii U website today, it is called

    I should have my NSMBU review on today

  • Mason742

    You’d think they would learn from Xenoblade and Pandoras Tower. I understand why its limited sort of, but still.

  • Agent721

    People come here all the time and accuse Wii U readers to be toally Nintendo biased. The reaction here, where many defend Nintendo for doing what no one else is doing, proves their point. The customer does not come out ahead with region lock & arguing otherwise proves you cannot look at Nintendo on an unbiased level. Im not a troll, I love the Wii U, but I can at least be honest when Nintendo truly fs up. And this is surely the case.

    • What the problem is there are other forces at work here that are responsible for keeping region locking alive. I agree that Nintendo should do their part but many people that are attacking Nintendo do not think of the regions where consoles are banned, games are banned and rating systems and what is allowed int hat country differ. In some countries it is illegal to import certain products like games and movies despite if it is playable on the device you have. Sometimes the countries themselves hold the maker of that device responsible for the playing of that product in that country by NOT locking it to the region.

      Point is consider all points and keep in mind that Nintendo has one product which is video games where Sony and Microsoft have many products and it is very possible the allowing of those other products gives Sony and Microsoft the door in to be more open with region locking. This is not entirely Nintendo’s fault is the point many of the defense is making.

      • darkcreap

        Nintendo has a history of applying restrictions due to legal reasons that proved in the end that they were being too conservative. For instance, the age restriction in the eShop due to Nintendo Europe being based on Germany. What happened in the end? Nintendo validate their parental controls with the German authority that said that they were fine and no other measures were needed, so we could have M-rated content in the eShop at all times, not only between 11PM and 3AM. They could have simply relied on their parental controls as they do now, but they didn’t. Why? They had a very nicely implemented system. It was simple fear that stopped them. The proof is that the German videogame authority said everything was OK. They could have instead asked before applying restrictions.

        Furthermore, I don’t buy the ‘Sony/Microsoft have a wider variety of products’ argument: if that were the case, it would no be a problem for the local government to simply ban their consoles. I do not imagine the Chinese government saying ‘Oh, shit, we want to ban Sony’s console but we can’t because they already sell so other things’. No, Nintendo does it because probably they haven’t thought of a way to not have region locking and abiding to local restrictions at the same time. I think it’s the same issue as in the European case: too much fear. They are taking the simplest solution, locking everything.

        And what about the DS? It sold like hotcakes despite being region free. I didn’t hear about any legal issue because of it.

        No, I think Nintendo is not managing well the situation. They have to end the region locking. The positive thing is that they are at least listening to their customers, so I believe in the end they will change it, but they need time to implement it both legally and technically. In that point I agree with you: they can’t do it in a rush.

        • You are right, Nintendo is very conservative and sometimes that can be good and other times not so good. I only mention Sony and Microsoft having other products because they deal in other products in media such as software and movies and that can play a role in getting other products into a region to be sold with different restrictions. That is why it is not uncommon for a big company (let’s say a US company) to buy a company in Europe or some other region to be used as an outlet to get their other products made available in that region.

          China’s ban on consoles is a unique case as they ban and block so many things. They are not allowed to have access to certain movies or media delivery services and a whole wide variety of things on the internet. It was just one example trying to illustrate how a region’s governing laws can affect a company selling a product in a totally different region.

    • Elem187

      Or you can try to analyze it from a business perspective and understand why Nintendo does it.
      Sony./Microsoft do not rely on their reputation to sell games to families… Nintendo does. So of course they will reserve their control over content going to each region is maintained.
      It would be a calamity for Nintendo as a business to lose their family friendly reputation because .001% of gamers like to complain about nothing burgers.

  • Daniel Gonzalez

    Region locking is an old tradition for Nintendo. They need to move on from it and let it go. Besides, most of us prefer being region free.

    • Old tradition for many companies including movie studios and other media outlets. I agree that it is time that it ended and NIntendo should put a business plan in to try and make that happen. I wish it was as simple as turning off a switch but it is not. It can be done but it takes some work and planning and legality issues that need to be worked out.

      • Elem187

        I don’t think it can be done without Nintendo just creating a single build for the entire world for each of their games… Which would be a calamity for us as gamers.

        In other words, their games will have to be censored to make the game acceptable for families in every single region…. so some regions might have them change the script, other regions might have them change a graphic somewhere else and by the time the game has been modified to meet all the sensibilities of every region in the world, the resulting pile of trash they will end up with will look nothing like the original intent of the game designers/directors.

        If region locking is this important to gamers, then they should buck up and go buy a Japanese version of the console, they aren’t that expensive…. Well maybe if you live in your moms basement still, it might be expensive.

  • JonBoy

    I really like how honest Dan Adelman has been lately. It’s nice to hear from someone who isn’t constantly spilling PR talk.

  • Ford Crews

    So Nintendo has zero problem lying to customers, makes them no better than $ony or M$. Region locking is for no reason but to screw customers in regions they consider rich. If congress wasn’t corrupt, they would have outlawed sales of any console that included region locking, instead they passed laws specifically making it legal. ;-(

    • I urge you to check into some of these local laws as there is merit to Nintendo’s claims. Could they take steps to work around them, probably.

      One other thing to consider is Nintendo is in one market which is making video games where as Sony and MIcrosoft are in multiple markets with their products and that also plays a role on how easy it is for them to work around region locking.

      Sure some of it has to do with pricing and availability and launch dates but some of it actually has to do with the restrictions of the countries themselves.

      Think about that before you go around making accusations of lies and lash out in anger.

      For the record I think Nintendo should take steps to eliminate region locking too but I am also a realist that thinks of more than just myself and my little part of the world.

      • Ford Crews

        I suggest you get a brain before replying, good god there are no laws preventing non region locked games from being sold, you are a complete idiot. There may be some laws saying games with certain content can’t be sold, but region locks in noway prevent that, they are 100% to control pricing. What an idiot.

        • Thank you for your insightful reply.. I suggest you look up what some countries ban on allowing into their country. Heck China bans gaming consoles all together. Australia bans some games from their country but I am not certain if they will allow you to import it from another country. So there are laws and rules that other countries may have that affect region locks and codes.. Pricing is a big part but not the only part.

          Sorry you think you know everything but clearly I am not the idiot here.

          Have a nice day.

          • Guest

            Link: 2 Ganon: 0

      • Elem187

        You will never talk sense into these “gamers” They don’t understand business. They don’t understand that publishers are in the business to make money.

        People that will slam you for being knowledgable on the subject seem to think Nintendo is here to stroke their incredibly frail egos.
        From what I gather, most “gamers” appear to be marxist. They get mad at companies that want to make money. They don’t seem to grasp the concept that companies make money. They seem to think “the customer is always right”, even though if Nintendo listened to these “know it all gamers”, Nintendo would have been out of business a LONG LONG time ago.

        Nintendo, keeping their games at the ‘E’ for everyone rating or Pegi 8 or whatever rating system you have in Europe is the bread and butter of Nintendo’s business..Parents feel they can always rely on buying Nintendo products because they know the content is safe for children. If Nintendo stopped having that reputation, where do you think their business will end up? Most of the ‘core’ market despises Nintendo because they aren’t evolving into a gritty brown/grey space marine shooter console…… Go ahead, take a look at the internet, all those “hardcore” gaming sites RIP Nintendo to shreds in every single thread. So what motivation would Nintendo have to please this incredibly tiny tiny tiny corner of the market??

        Nintendo relies on the reputation of their games, so Yes, there literally is millions and millions of families who only buy games with a rating that is acceptable to them…. And look at the gamers complaining about region lock. Look at that petition. A few thousand signatures (did it even hit 10,000?) vs. the MILLIONS and MILLIONS of parents who buy rated ‘E’ for everyone games for their families.. Sorry, Nintendo is in the business to make money, and until you niche gamers start to be represented by the MILLIONS, your little egos will not be stroked by Nintendo.

        Do you really think Nintendo will bend their policy to stroke the egos of .001% of their customer base at the expense of 90%+ of their customers?

        That .001% of gamers sure do think their opinion matters and if Nintendo isn’t willing to stroke their egos, Why, why, why why, they will take to those interwebs and complain.. so there!!!, take that Nintendo!!!! that will teach you to not listen to us smart know it all gamers.

  • Petri

    Where was this huge petition?

  • Anthony Brinklow

    Vita being region free is one of its best features. Being able to import US only games is amazing – since the summer alone I have imported Muramasa, Dragon’s Crown, Walking Dead Season One (retail edition) and have Ys pre-ordered for October. Brilliant stuff.

    Nintendo are living in the past – as long as people happily buy their systems they will treat you as if its the 90s. I’ve owned every Nintendo system up to and including 3DS but I just can’t support their stingy and lazy business practices of recent times. Wii made them arrogant and they have lost a large proportion of core Nintendo fans.

    • That’s quite true. I wish they’d put to rest their constantly using the Wii’s success as their measuring stick. At large, the Wii was popular for all the wrong reason. The top buyers weren’t core Nintendo fans–they were families who saw the motion-control games as novel.

      Nintendo doesn’t try hard enough to appeal to their core Nintendo fanbase much anymore. Otherwise, they would’ve had Retro Studios make another game besides another Donkey Kong game–a decision largely made because Donkey Kong did better on Wii than Metroid did, despite the core Nintendo fanbase desperately hoping for a new Metroid or Star Fox game on Wii U.

      Though, with that said, I’m not sure if the region-free issues is so much an issue of laziness as it is simply of Nintendo not wanting to be sued. It’s more a legal move than anything. There are some countries where even importing some banned games is illegal. Even though it’s the fault of the importer, it might still find its way back to Nintendo with a lawsuit.

      As long as people are lawsuit-happy, I can’t say I really blame Nintendo for the region-locking move when some countries make it rather easy for Nintendo to potentially get sued.

  • Johny

    YEAH… omg.. i want to play hatsune miku games, and taiko games SOOO BAD , but just CANT because of the stupid region lock… nintendo.. thats why people will try so much more to mod your consoles… we just want to play games that we can’t get here. i know theres a LOT to go through to localise a game, and translate, and taiko games for example wouldn’t even do that good (we dont want a shitty localised taiko with crap american songs anyways! we want the genuine taiko), and i dont mind the japanese, and i LOVE taiko japanese songs SOO MUCH! and there are alot of people who are the same… region lock is just so cruel >_>

  • BIG Franky

    at the end of the day….the vast vast VAST majority of people just don’t care. Most Nintendo customers don’t even know what region-locking is.

    • Elem187

      correct… I can’t believe people think that Nintendo would bend their policy for the vast vast minority of their customers at the expense of the vast vast majority of their customers.

      Just as silly as people claiming Super Mario 3D World is playing it safe. its not, its called Nintendo making bank by ignoring the inane ramblings of niche gamers on the fringe who think they know more about what sells and what doesn’t based on their own niche desires….

      Ninty aint in the business of stroking the frail egos of niche gamers.

  • Petri

    I think I’d rather fight for better localization of games.

  • Elem187

    “Hopefully if gamers put enough pressure on them to end region-locking and find better ways to deal with localization issues, Nintendo could become an open company as well.”

    Never going to happen.. just give up on it.. If you want to play Japanese games, go buy a Japan console.

  • devmiles

    region locking is soooooo redundant these days. also the bullshit that certain games are available in one region (or download) and not in the other, that pisses consumers off. you know what.. as a result of this madness people will just crack the system instead plus download the games.

    • In some countries, like Australia, there are actually some games they don’t allow on their market for legal reasons for the fact that their rating system is much more stricter. Saints Row IV, for instance, was completely banned in Australia, but then had to have an edited version to be able to sell there. Here’s a list of games that were banned, some of them having to be edited just for release:

      Australia’s not the only country with this issue. Brazil’s like that as well. For instance, Mortal Kombat was banned from Brazil. Sometimes, of the games that get banned, some get edited to a good extent, and you know people–there are people ready to complain about that–they won’t it uncut and uncensored.

      If I’m not mistaken, in most of these stricter regions, it’s illegal to even import these games. The region-locking help ensures that the problem’s eliminated completely on Nintendo’s end. If someone cracks the system or imports the game from abroad, it’s not their fault. But by region-locking the systems, they help those various regions combat their restricted games.

      Nintendo’s only trying not to get sued, since they seem to attract lawsuits. I think Nintendo just wants to avoid that as much as they can, so they go to this extent. I don’t like the decision much, but I don’t blame them either. It’s just a legal thing.

      Pretty much the loudest ones complaining on the issue are North America, the UK, and some European countries, who have the freest system of all, and want to enjoy games from overseas (there’s been only one such game I can find banned in the U.S.– the adult-themed “The Guy Game,” which was only banned because one of the models was underaged at 17).

      Again, I don’t like the situation much myself, but I can’t say I really blame Nintendo in the matter. Nintendo does seem to never hear the end of it with lawsuits. Though, I do think there are perhaps some creative ways around the issue legally. But it’s probably more effort than they care to try. They see most of their business from family sales, so they play on that the most.

  • Put international games on the eshop. That should make these local laws disappear.