Wii U is region locked because of legal restrictions

by Ben Salter 29 Comments 22 Likes 2,579 Views 04/07/2013 Back to Wii U news Wii U
Wii U is region locked because of legal restrictions

In respond to a petition asking for the Wii U and 3DS to have their region locking removed -- which has more than 12,000 signatures -- Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has stated that legal issues make it impossible.

The Wii U and 3DS are both region locked to make it easier for Nintendo to appease local laws.

"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," Iwata told IGN. "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," he went on.

"I hope that game fans can understand that the industry isn't doing this solely out of business ego," he added "There are some reasons behind it."

The original DS was Nintendo's last platform not to be region locked. However, the DSi and DSi enhanced games restricted users to the region of purchase.

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Wii U is region locked because of legal restrictions Comments

  • Pilot 1547 XP 04/07/2013
    "I hope that game fans can understand that the industry isn't doing this solely out of business ego,"... so it's partially out of business ego? :P

    While I'm sure what he's saying is a form of the truth, this isn't the first time I've gotten a whiff on Nintendo deciding they want to play nanny to consumers.
  • chucky110 35978 XP 04/07/2013
    I call bulls#* t
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  • 1wiierdguy 8246 XP 04/07/2013
    If its a legal requirement how come Sony and Microsoft don't have to comply?
  • Gryllis 341022 XP 04/07/2013

    @1wiierdguy said: If its a legal requirement how come Sony and Microsoft don't
    have to comply?


    Because Nintendo thinks its 1982.

    But more seriously, they just can't be bothered dealing with it, so they just take the easy option.
  • Jackie 15041 XP 04/07/2013 +3
    Utter rubbish, it's a business decision.

    I respect that, it's understandable.

    What's not understandable is the bloody time differences between release dates, especially between EU and NA. Japan ones I can understand, but remember the Brawl one? It took half a bloody year from NA to EU. That was AWFUL.
  • PlayStation 52116 XP 04/07/2013 +2
    Nintendon't what PS4 and XBONE do!

    Stuff U Nintendo!!!
  • Tano 336826 XP 04/07/2013
    Yeah, business decision.

    I'd have thought it's more the obligation of the retailer and consumer than the manufacturer. As long as they supply companies within the region dictated by the console.
  • Makra 25427 XP 04/07/2013
    So the PS4 and Xbone are except from these legal restrictions? What BS.
  • PlayStation 52116 XP 04/07/2013 +2

    Makra said: So the PS4 and Xbone are except from these legal restrictions? What BS.


    exempt*

    And....no...The bosses at SONY and Microsoft are forward thinkers, whereas Nintendo are still living in the past. They're idiotic.
  • sjt333 230488 XP 04/07/2013 +4

    PlayStation said:The bosses at SONY and Microsoft are forward thinkers


    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
  • Pilkingbod 99599 XP 04/07/2013 +1
    Sam laughs like an evil overlord.
  • Makra 25427 XP 04/07/2013
    How is it that since I responded, Jackie's post is no longer the first post and there are 4 other posts above it? Noticed similar things with the Xbox One and PS4 channels as well.
  • Harry 77521 XP 04/07/2013 +2

    PlayStation said: And....no...The bosses at SONY and Microsoft are forward thinkers, whereas Nintendo are still living in the past. They're idiotic.


    Is that why they had analogue sticks and motion control before Nintendo?

    Oh, wait.
  • sjt333 230488 XP 04/07/2013 +2

    Pilkingbod said: Sam laughs like an evil overlord.


    like?

    Makra said: How is it that since I responded, Jackie's post is no longer the first post and there are 4 other posts above it? Noticed similar things with the Xbox One and PS4 channels as well.


    our top scientists ponder the same thing
  • rizzod 613 XP 04/07/2013 +2
    And this is why Nintendo is now a joke. They treat their loyal customers like children. So screw it, this thing is getting sold.
  • Tsunamo 74389 XP 04/07/2013
    Please understand.
  • Pilkingbod 99599 XP 05/07/2013
    *same as Wii and DS*

    "DIE NINTENDO, DIE!!"

  • Harry 77521 XP 05/07/2013 +1

    @rizzod said: And this is why Nintendo is now a joke. They treat their loyal customers like children. So screw it, this thing is getting sold.


    This is ridiculous. It's no different to any Nintendo home console ever previously released. It doesn't hinder your ability to buy and play games or use the system at all.. what's the issue?

    You can't import games from overseas to get $20 off?

    You can't rebel against the retail market?

    The only real issue with region locking is the inability to play regional exclusives, but hey, here's a heads up: they're region exclusives because the publisher didn't want them to be sold outside a certain region!

    For what it's worth, yes, I do think Ninty consoles should be region free. But to vilify them as if they've done something unheard of and as though they're ruining your capacity to game is childish.
  • Tj866 488 XP 05/07/2013
    Since when is xbox one region free
  • rizzod 613 XP 05/07/2013 +1

    @Harry said:

    @rizzod said: And this is why Nintendo is now a joke. They treat their loyal customers like children. So screw it, this thing is getting sold.


    This is ridiculous. It's no different to any Nintendo home console ever previously released. It doesn't hinder your ability to buy and play games or use the system at all.. what's the issue?
    You can't import games from overseas to get $20 off?
    You can't rebel against the retail market?
    The only real issue with region locking is the inability to play regional exclusives, but hey, here's a heads up: they're region exclusives because the publisher didn't want them to be sold outside a certain region!
    For what it's worth, yes, I do think Ninty consoles should be region free. But to vilify them as if they've done something unheard of and as though they're ruining your capacity to game is childish.



    Please, your fanboyism does not validate anything.

    @Tj866 said: Since when is xbox one region free



    Since 2 weeks ago.
  • EKP 62 XP 05/07/2013
    Sounds like crap to me... Personally I hope all consoles remove region locking so I can tell the Australian government to go **** THEMSELVES
  • Harry 77521 XP 05/07/2013 +1

    @rizzod said: Please, your fanboyism does not validate anything.


    What fanboyism? The part where I admitted there was room for improvement but that gaming isn't ruined on the platform due to region locking?

    I'm not surprised by your response to be honest. Stating I'm a "fanboy" as your main argument and therefore that my opinion is wrong is the sort of thing that I'd expect from someone who labels a company as a "joke" that "treat their loyal customers like children" simply because their latest console is region locked.

    Just because I am happy with my purchase and can justify the Wii U's place in my home, doesn't make me a fanboy. Please try to put together a proper argument if you want to dismiss mine as bullcrap :)
  • Blob 40566 XP 05/07/2013 +4

    @Harry said:

    @rizzod said: And this is why Nintendo is now a joke. They treat their loyal customers like children. So screw it, this thing is getting sold.


    This is ridiculous. It's no different to any Nintendo home console ever previously released. It doesn't hinder your ability to buy and play games or use the system at all.. what's the issue?
    You can't import games from overseas to get $20 off?
    You can't rebel against the retail market?
    The only real issue with region locking is the inability to play regional exclusives, but hey, here's a heads up: they're region exclusives because the publisher didn't want them to be sold outside a certain region!
    For what it's worth, yes, I do think Ninty consoles should be region free. But to vilify them as if they've done something unheard of and as though they're ruining your capacity to game is childish.


    Seriously? There's no defense for region locking. It's just as anti consumer as the DRM the XBOne was going to have.
    Just because it's always been there doesn't make it ok, especially when both Sony and Microsoft have removed it, while Nintendo have ADDED it to their handhelds.
  • Harry 77521 XP 05/07/2013 +1
    @Blob
    Actually, there is defense for region locking, and that's the wellbeing of the retail industry. But that's a whole new issue, and one that at this point isn't entirely relevant.

    My main goal wasn't to defend region locking, rather point out how it's now such a huge issue to many when it didn't seem to bother them before. It seems to me to be just another opportunity for tough people to try to put down the big N.

    I do however find it interesting that you believe region-locking is as hindering and intrusive as being unable to lend games to friends or having to check in online every 24 hours.. Can you expand on this a little more? (Not attacking this notion, simply trying to understand how you see the issue)
  • Blob 40566 XP 05/07/2013 +3
    It didn't bother people before? Earthbound will only be legally playable in PAL regions when it releases on the VC this year!

    I've imported plenty of DS games from the US, hell, even a GBA game. Why? Because they're either impossible to find or flat out not released here. And now I don't even have that option on the 3DS.
    Look at the Atlas release schedule for 3DS games, Etrian Odyssey 4 has been "TBC" for like a year now for PAL gamers while comfortably sitting on US shelves (heh, now that I google it it's exactly a year, July 5 2012 in the US). If it wasn't for Adventure Time getting a DS release, or if the DS was region locked, I wouldn't have been able to play it.
    I can't play Exitebots on Wii. Nintendo Australia's excuse? "The market isn't large enough to justify the cost to release." Ok fine, let me import a US copy then and I'll happily go to the extra effort to play it.

    If flat out not letting people play a game based on where they live isn't anti consumer I don't know what is.
  • Pilkingbod 99599 XP 05/07/2013 +2
    YEAH
    FIGHT THE CORPORATE POWER

    DOWN WITH GREEDY FATCATS

    etc
  • Pugszly 436 XP 06/07/2013
    Yeah, I'm sorry...but this is definitely anti-consumer no amount of damage control will change that.

    And I have never been a fan of region locking. I hate the fact I can't buy Criterion blu-rays because they're region A.

    Region locking can go straight to hell. Oh, I just remembered....I can't buy Clannad on Blu-ray because you guess it? It's bloody region locked. Nintendo fan out, peace.
  • rizzod 613 XP 07/07/2013 +2

    Harry said:

    @rizzod said: Please, your fanboyism does not validate anything.


    What fanboyism? The part where I admitted there was room for improvement but that gaming isn't ruined on the platform due to region locking?
    I'm not surprised by your response to be honest. Stating I'm a "fanboy" as your main argument and therefore that my opinion is wrong is the sort of thing that I'd expect from someone who labels a company as a "joke" that "treat their loyal customers like children" simply because their latest console is region locked.
    Just because I am happy with my purchase and can justify the Wii U's place in my home, doesn't make me a fanboy. Please try to put together a proper argument if you want to dismiss mine as bullcrap



    Your argument is bullshit. Enough Said.
  • PlayStation 52116 XP 07/07/2013 +1
    Stuff U Nintendo! Hardly any of those awesome Japanese games ever make it to western shores!!! [Rage]
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