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.