Nintendo Fans Fight For Region-Free Consoles

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Nintendo Fans Fight For Region-Free Consoles

image

Fans have taken to the Wii U's Miiverse message board with hundreds of artistic representations of their desire for region-free systems.

Nintendo fans on the NeoGAF forums are refuting Nintendo's "year of Luigi," instead declaring this year to be the year of region-free gaming. There's a concentrated effort to get the word out to Nintendo in any way they can that removing the region restrictions on the Wii U and the 3DS is something every Nintendo fan wants. The campaign's main battlefield is the Wii U's Miiverse message board, where artistically inclined fans have created graphical expressions of their desire for region-free systems.

One of the key features of the PlayStation 3 was the fact that it was region-free, a big deal considering all previous consoles had been restricted to only play games from the region they were bought in. They continued this policy with the PS4, and while Microsoft was initially planning to impose heavy DRM with its Xbox One, it reversed those decisions following intense public and critical pressure and now the console will also be completely region-free. This leaves Nintendo, with its Wii U and 3DS, as the only one of the "big 3" to still impose region restrictions.

What is more perplexing is the predecessor to the 3DS, the DS, was region-free, meaning Nintendo has actually taken a step backwards in regards to region locks. Rampant Piracy on the DS was most likely the cause of this, but as Nintendo has done a pretty good job keeping flash-carts off the 3DS so far, I don't see why it should remain the deciding factor.

The campaign urges fans to have their voices heard by taking to Miiverse, using the hash tags #EndRegionLocking and #NintendoRegionFree On Facebook and Twitter, and contacting Nintendo representatives directly.

Source: NeoGAF

Permalink

No reason to keep the region lock, especially for a Japanese company. Many of their games would find a huge home in the US if Nintendo removed it.

I recently bought Sengoku Basara 3: Utage from Japan, and despite not being able to read a word, I'm having a blast and will likely order Sengoku Basara 4 when it releases. This kind of thing happens.

Yeah, region lock is silly in the modern day and age. Nintendo could very easily remove Region lock and allow the WiiU (And 3DS for that matter) to be Region Free. Especially considering that Nintendo is trying to release games to America and Europe first before Japan (At least this year), this might be a good thing.

I guess they keep it region locked because people would import games, which is like preowned and doesn't get them money.

I could be wrong but considering its working for everyone else maybe they should consider it at least, clearly it worked for sony since they are sticking with it for the ps4.

I thought it already was region free?
Still, hopefully there's a response to this. Region lock sucks a big one and any way to stop it is a good thing really.

Well the PS3 may be region free, but your account is locked to a specific PSN store. If I play a US game on my Dutch PS3, I cannot get DLC for it unless I log in to an account where I claim to be a yank, as the region code on the disk does not match with the DLC otherwise.

But that is for most older games not much of an issue I'll grant.

Nintendo is very lucky with its dedicated fan base in that they still seem to be accepting of stunts like region locking, and simply not releasing desired games in all regions.

I do hope that Nintendo will finally drop it. The concept of region locking is so outdated.

Region locks are the least of my concerns, how about a dedicated account system so I don't feel like being punished for buying digitally and I have some security?

My launch 3DS broke a few weeks ago and I had to pay £58 so I didn't lose all my stuff, how is that fair?

I really don't understand why they'd region lock the 3DS. The whole point of a handheld is to take it wherever you go and people who travel a lot can easily buy games from whichever country they happen to find themselves in. All the Game Boys were region free, the DS was region free. Why lock the 3DS?

Dark Knifer:
I guess they keep it region locked because people would import games, which is like preowned and doesn't get them money.

How does that work? They're still selling it to retailers either way.

Toilet:
Region locks are the least of my concerns, how about a dedicated account system so I don't feel like being punished for buying digitally and I have some security?

My launch 3DS broke a few weeks ago and I had to pay £58 so I didn't lose all my stuff, how is that fair?

No shit? I was honestly unaware of this. How is Nintendo selling digital products and not linking them to an account of some sort. Are they one time downloads? Are they linked to the hardware? I can't believe there isn't more of an uproar over this. This just seems absurd.

I'm a big digital guy myself. I have bought hundreds of apps for my Android phones and tablets and I still download stuff I bought for my OG Droid a half decade, 8 phones, and a carrier ago. Hell, I'm even able to have my Android content on multiple devices at no additional cost. I have many of the same apps on both my phone and my tablet. Also, I'm on my fourth PS3 and I still have all my content I've purchased from PSN freely available to me. Sure, I've had to deactivate my systems but that's a simple process that takes less than a minute.

The fact Nintendo can't or won't handle their digital products like most every other seller of digital goods is completely appalling to me and I'm genuinely surprised Nintendo customers put up with it. There is no reason that if you bought those games already you should of had to pay a single dime to use them on a different piece of hardware.

Nintendo seems to have its fans by the balls. It's not like fans can play the newest Nintendo first-party games on other consoles. I wonder what will become of it.

Super Not Cosmo:

Toilet:
Region locks are the least of my concerns, how about a dedicated account system so I don't feel like being punished for buying digitally and I have some security?

My launch 3DS broke a few weeks ago and I had to pay £58 so I didn't lose all my stuff, how is that fair?

No shit? I was honestly unaware of this. How is Nintendo selling digital products and not linking them to an account of some sort. Are they one time downloads? Are they linked to the hardware? I can't believe there isn't more of an uproar over this. This just seems absurd.

I recall someone mentioning this on the forum once, but then the Nintendo Defense Force came and diverted the discussion to something else.

Where are those guys anyway?

Doom972:
Nintendo seems to have its fans by the balls. It's not like fans can play the newest Nintendo first-party games on other consoles. I wonder what will become of it.

Super Not Cosmo:

Toilet:
Region locks are the least of my concerns, how about a dedicated account system so I don't feel like being punished for buying digitally and I have some security?

My launch 3DS broke a few weeks ago and I had to pay £58 so I didn't lose all my stuff, how is that fair?

No shit? I was honestly unaware of this. How is Nintendo selling digital products and not linking them to an account of some sort. Are they one time downloads? Are they linked to the hardware? I can't believe there isn't more of an uproar over this. This just seems absurd.

I recall someone mentioning this on the forum once, but then the Nintendo Defense Force came and diverted the discussion to something else.

Where are those guys anyway?

It's ridiculous, the games are tied to the hardware and if you want to move your stuff to another 3DS you have to do a system transfer which consists of having both the consoles fully charged and leaving them for an hour or so depending on how much downloaded content you have saved (in my case a lot). The downloads from the store are painfully slow as well, we have no indication of how stable the connection is or how fast the download speed is. The bubbles are cute but damn it isn't useful in any way.

I love the 3DS but it's just painful how user unfriendly some aspects of the system are.

Nintendo, this is one thing people AREN'T nostalgic for.

While i support this movement 100%, its also cute (and a bit sad) that people think Nintendo will do anything about the region lock. Unlike Microsoft and Sony, Nintendo does not care at ALL about territories outside of Japan. We may get a bone thrown here and there, but Nintendo could possibly be happy if they abandoned all markets except japan.

Too bad I don't own a WiiU yet and can't draw worth a damn otherwise I would spport this. Also I didn't know the Ps4 was reigon-free, good to know.

The worst thing about region locking for me is that I live in Australia and it takes FOREVER for pal localized versions to make it here.

I remember importing a copy of tales of graces f from the US amazon 6 months before it was set to release here... the game has already been localised into english, I just don't have any idea what takes them an extra 6-12 months (in most cases) to "localize" it into a PAL version.

Does it take 6 months to add the letter U into words like colour and honour? or maybe it's the subtle Z to S changes in certain words.

Why even bother?

Would the English and Australians be pissed off if we didn't have those extra letters?

It's not like we can't understand it or anything.

If it's not the tiny language changes that takes so much time then it must be re-coding for the new region which is just mindless, arbitrary and unnecessary... especially if it takes that long just to lock a game to a certain region.

The US localisations on most games already take 1-2 years, I don't want to be forced to wait yet another year before I can play it.

That's why I have a PS3 and a Vita - The games I import are not only cheaper but generally released way before Australia's official release. (then there is also certain limited editions only being available in other regions, Australia didn't get the persona 4 golden solid gold edition)

There are so many games I want on the 3DS that literally won't get a release here, Shin megami tensei devil survivor overclocked being a big one and yes, I could import the ghostlight version from UK, problem is it has a game breaking bug and they won't release the patch for it on the Australian nintendo store because you can't get it here (and will never be able to).

Sorry about the rant... I guess I'm just angry

Whatislove:
The worst thing about region locking for me is that I live in Australia and it takes FOREVER for pal localized versions to make it here.

I remember importing a copy of tales of graces f from the US amazon 6 months before it was set to release here... the game has already been localised into english, I just don't have any idea what takes them an extra 6-12 months (in most cases) to "localize" it into a PAL version.

Does it take 6 months to add the letter U into words like colour and honour? or maybe it's the subtle Z to S changes in certain words.

Why even bother?

Would the English and Australians be pissed off if we didn't have those extra letters?

It's not like we can't understand it or anything.

If it's not the tiny language changes that takes so much time then it must be re-coding for the new region which is just mindless, arbitrary and unnecessary... especially if it takes that long just to lock a game to a certain region.

The US localisations on most games already take 1-2 years, I don't want to be forced to wait yet another year before I can play it.

That's why I have a PS3 and a Vita - The games I import are not only cheaper but generally released way before Australia's official release. (then there is also certain limited editions only being available in other regions, Australia didn't get the persona 4 golden solid gold edition)

There are so many games I want on the 3DS that literally won't get a release here, Shin megami tensei devil survivor overclocked being a big one and yes, I could import the ghostlight version from UK, problem is it has a game breaking bug and they won't release the patch for it on the Australian nintendo store because you can't get it here (and will never be able to).

Sorry about the rant... I guess I'm just angry

With all that in mind, I'd say soft-mod the thing to remove region locking, and then import your games. You only got a few weeks before SMT IV, so I'd get crackin.

Dark Knifer:
I guess they keep it region locked because people would import games, which is like preowned and doesn't get them money.

Explain, why doesn't it get them money? Do games duplicate as they pass over vast bodies of water?

They just don't like games traveling overseas because....um. I don't know. Why does region locking exist?

Honestly I've been against region locking for years now. There is no reason for it in this day and age and all it does is restrict people and their buying choices. Heck the region locking thing has been one of my major complaints with Nintendo as there are many games I would import in a heartbeat if I didn't have to go through so many hoops just to try and get them to play here in the States.

RatherDull:
They just don't like games traveling overseas because....um. I don't know. Why does region locking exist?

Some of the main reasons for region locking is to "protect profits" of other countries as the pricing of the games is different in other countries as times. The other main reason is so it can prevent banned games from getting into certain countries. In the end though region locking is completely arbitrary and needs to be done with. Heck now Nintendo is the only company that has region locking.

Also guys, just so you know....

The Vita is region free.

:)

Dryk:

Dark Knifer:
I guess they keep it region locked because people would import games, which is like preowned and doesn't get them money.

How does that work? They're still selling it to retailers either way.

Adam Locking:

Dark Knifer:
I guess they keep it region locked because people would import games, which is like preowned and doesn't get them money.

Explain, why doesn't it get them money? Do games duplicate as they pass over vast bodies of water?

I just meant games that people import don't give them profit if they buy them from ebay and what not and companies don't seem to like preowned stuff.

If they set up official stores then that would solve all the problems.

Sorry I didn't explain that the first time.

Seems clear to me that region locking is not about protecting profits at all. If it were, why would MS have allowed region free games on 360 or Sony the same on PS3? Getting more region free games next gen is a bonus reason to get a PS4 and Xbone.

Nintendo like to pick and choose which strength of bs they sell gamers. GC benefited greatly from being region free, especially when its official release catalogue got bleak and absent. Considering the Wii U's current woe, they should certainly lift their region locking, allowing gamers access to a wider amount of games.

Who knows, doing such a thing could vastly change the Wii U's dire fortune. Certainly a great thing to use Miiversse to fight for.

They really should just dump the region lock. With Homebrew the Wii and WiiU have been region free for a long time anyway if you have some time and a search engine. Originally when I moved from the US to Taiwan, I brought my Wii with me. I was pretty annoyed to find out that I couldn't buy any games over here because they were all made for the Japanese systems. But eventually I was able to figure out how to make it work and now I'm happy, I buy games, and Nintendo is making money from me again. Before, I was planning on just getting a PS3 because they were region free. Region locking simply made Nintendo lose money in my case.

Kittyhawk:
Seems clear to me that region locking is not about protecting profits at all. If it were, why would MS have allowed region free games on 360

Sorry to chime in but all of Microsoft's consoles have been region locked actually. The Xbox One is the first Microsoft console to not be region locked.
The GameCube was also not region free as you needed a program called Freeloader in order to break the region locking. The only things Nintendo had never region locked was the Gameboy line and the DS and DS Lite. The DSi started region locking by only locking out the software, and the 3DS is fully region locked when it comes to 3DS software and 3DS games. It can still play DS games from other regions though because the cartridges for the DS were never region locked at all.

Edit: Here's my post on the Escapist News Now thread about this region locking stuff and how people have gotten around it:

I am really hoping that Nintendo removes region lock. I recently got a 3DS, and I'd love to be able to import games from other regions.

Region lock is dying, and it's time for ol' Nintendo to put the final nail in the coffin.

I hope this campaign succeeds

I'd love it if my 3DS was region free, just incase Monster Hunter 4 doesn't get localized. That's about my only reason, though I'm sure there will be more... Let's hope this campaign works out! :3

Neronium:

Kittyhawk:
Seems clear to me that region locking is not about protecting profits at all. If it were, why would MS have allowed region free games on 360

Sorry to chime in but all of Microsoft's consoles have been region locked actually. The Xbox One is the first Microsoft console to not be region locked.

Umm... Kittyhawk said that there were region free games on 360, not that the console was region free. Kittyhawk was correct. There are several games that are region free on the 360.

FoolKiller:

Neronium:

Kittyhawk:
Seems clear to me that region locking is not about protecting profits at all. If it were, why would MS have allowed region free games on 360

Sorry to chime in but all of Microsoft's consoles have been region locked actually. The Xbox One is the first Microsoft console to not be region locked.

Umm... Kittyhawk said that there were region free games on 360, not that the console was region free. Kittyhawk was correct. There are several games that are region free on the 360.

Ah my mistake. Usually whenever the console is region locked the discs are region locked as well. This is the case with the Nintendo Wii and was the case with the PS2. My mistake.

/support

Recently bought my girlfriend the 3DS, but seeing as we live in Serbia, we can't access any of the online content for it, can't buy games online (and they're ludicrously expensive here), so we're stuck ordering games from the UK (and mostly going for pre-owned ones as we have to pay a shipping fee). I love digital retail, especially as it can often offer discounts just not found on the local market (not as big a deal in bigger countries where there's tons of retailers, but in Serbia, there's few of them, so all of them jack up the prices like crazy, it's actually cheaper to buy a new game AND have it shipped for some 10 quid from UK than buy it here) and having it region locked just plain sucks and seems completely unnecessary.

Dark Knifer:
I guess they keep it region locked because people would import games, which is like preowned and doesn't get them money.

What magic land are you thinking of where Nintendo games are produced without Nintendo making money?

If this was a Nintendo of America-only decision, maybe. It's not.

(yes, I read your clarification but that only works in the case of preowned, so the "like preowned" bit kinda negates it)

Zachary Amaranth:

Dark Knifer:
I guess they keep it region locked because people would import games, which is like preowned and doesn't get them money.

What magic land are you thinking of where Nintendo games are produced without Nintendo making money?

If this was a Nintendo of America-only decision, maybe. It's not.

(yes, I read your clarification but that only works in the case of preowned, so the "like preowned" bit kinda negates it)

I guess my understanding of importing was basically just ebay but yeah, I'm completely wrong, sorry about that.

captcha: cold shower

Glad you agree.

I really hope they listen to this. It's one of the reasons I hate my 3DS. One of my most favourite games from the original DS was Jump Ultimate Stars, which I had a relative buy for me. It had all my favourite Shonen Jump characters in a more complex but admittedly unbalanced version of Smash Bros. Due to licensing issues, there was no way to get this outside of Japan. I also preferred the Japanese version of Elite Beat Agents (Osu).

Even if you don't have someone to buy Japanese versions for you, you can easily get original copies via ebay or a couple of online stores (at higher prices). These are not preowned games, so that argument is not valid.

Dark Knifer:

I guess my understanding of importing was basically just ebay but yeah, I'm completely wrong, sorry about that.

Oh boy are you missing out! I'd recommend you head over to head over to a site like Play Asia or Videogame Imports. They tend to have some pretty cool stuff and unless marked it's brand new, so all the profits go to who they should. Loads of soundtrack and artbooks are Japan only, so it's really worth the time.

I've been toying with putting together a Japanese gamers phrase pamphlet with terms like 'yes' 'no' 'buy' and 'memorycard'. You'd be surprised how far you can get on those words alone!

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here