Iwata Open to Dropping Region Locking on Nintendo Consoles

By Jorge Ba-oh 01.11.2014 6

Iwata Open to Dropping Region Locking on Nintendo Consoles on Nintendo gaming news, videos and discussion

Speaking to investors, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata was asked about whether the company plan on ending region locking.

At the moment, titles purchased on Wii U and 3DS can only be played on hardware also purchased in the same region. Games bought in Japan can only be run on consoles bought in the country; the same applying to Australia, North America and Europe.

Iwata was asked "are there any plans to unlock this restriction", to which he replied that the restriction has "existed due to circumstances on the sellers' side rather than for the sake of the customers." Despite this, Iwata does admit that if region-locked were to be no more, "there may also be a benefit for us."

Iwata did highlight how "unlocking would require various problems to be solved," so can't firmly commit to the move, but he does acknowledge, at the very least, that unlocking is "one thing that we must consider looking to the future."

Do you think Nintendo should remove region locking?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post


Our member of the week

Woot! Never thought I'd hear this! Seriously Nintendo, in this day and age of all TVs being rid of PAL and NTSC restrictions, and handhelds being essentially the same no matter which region they're sold in, this should definitely be the case already.

Make it wide open, there's really no reason not to make it so. Few people are going to import a unit just for one or two game but if the console they already have let them play imports, they might import more software and more software sales leads to a healthier platform, more releases, and more customers wanting to buy your system.

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

Sweet baby jesus, that would make me happy and annoyed at the same time. Ive been waiting for region lock to be removed for ao long i bought a few japanese consoles already but that would save me the hassle of buying a "New" 3ds for xenoblade, sword art, etc.
Certainly would boost japanese import sales a bit. I can see why it would affect sellers though seeing as many would buy the american version of smash bros wii u rather japanese seeing as it releases on our soil 1st

I wouldn't get your hopes up with the 3DS being region free any time soon but maybe in the future. 

I tjink that's why the original DS line sold so well, I hate region locking but at the same time there isn't much I'd get from Japan. I only got the 2 Jump superstars games from Japan.

However my original DS phat was American as I happened to be there on the release date. I eventually traded it in for a UK DSlite but I still got a few games from the US as the exchange rate was so good back in 2005-2007 when it was practically £1-$2. 

Unfortunately this is probably why Nintendo won't do it, as it's probably less revenue for them overall for not shafting us with ludicrous prices. Europeans would just import from everywhere else. 

Our member of the week

Flynnie said:
I tjink that's why the original DS line sold so well, I hate region locking but at the same time there isn't much I'd get from Japan. I only got the 2 Jump superstars games from Japan.

While I do personally own quite a few Japanese games (the 2 Nanashi no Game episodes are definitely worth importing, and I played through both without understanding a single word, though now there's a translation patch for the second), it's especially all the great RPGs that America got and which we never got which were worth importing and for which we can be glad that the DS was region-free. Sands of Destruction, Nostalgia, Radiant Historia (best RPG on the console) and then you have 999: Nine Person, Nine Hours, Nine Doors. The 3DS itself has fewer north american exclusives, but I do wish it was region free so I could get some games PHYSICAL which are only on the eShop over in Europe and which are getting physical releases over there :'( !

Flynnie said:
However my original DS phat was American

So was mine Smilie! But for different reasons, there simply were American units available in the local store when I went to buy my original one, and America had colours available that we never got in Europe. When I bought my electric blue DS phat, all my European mates were stuck with the horrible silver one (the paint on which would rub away after a while of playing with it), so mine would stand out (and mine never lost its colour over time Smilie ).

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

I don't know if they'd lose more money from more people importing, but I do know that a heck of a lot of people refuse to buy the 3DS due to region locking.

So many people were hoping the New 3DS would be region free, and it would have been the first time they bought the system if it would have been. As it is, region locking does put a lot of people off buying Nintendo's systems, the 3DS especially so.

Just sort it out already, Nintendo. It feels like such an ancient thing to do.

Not a megaton, but at least it's *something*, especially since it's coming from Nintendo themselves.

Still, I'll be importing my New 3DS XL from the US. Sure I'll keep missing a few Japanese exclusives, but at least I won't wait ages for an eShop game to come to Europe, or see nice retail special editions getting overpriced, digital-only releases anymore.

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?

There are 1 members online at the moment.