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WiiU

Wii U Will Be Region-Locked

by Tom Malina - September 24, 2012, 6:01 am EDT
Total comments: 24 Source: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=49282..., NeoGAF.com

Those hoping to import foreign Wii U games are out of luck.

The Wii U will be region locked, as reported in the most recent issue of Famitsu and confirmed via translation on Twitter.

This means that Wii U systems in a given region of the world will not play any games sold in a different territory. For example, a North American Wii U will only read NTSC-encoded software, whereas a European Wii U will only read PAL-encoded software.

Regionally-locked hardware has been a standard of Nintendo home consoles going back to the NES, and their handheld systems have adopted the practice since the release of DSi.

Talkback

S-U-P-E-RTy Shughart, Staff AlumnusSeptember 24, 2012

Hopefully it will be as easy to hack/mod as the Wii!

Pixelated PixiesSeptember 24, 2012

Dissappointing but expected. However, I'm sure it won't be long before someone manages to hack a Wii U version of Gecko?

geoSeptember 24, 2012

Quote from: Pixelated

Dissappointing but expected. However, I'm sure it won't be long before someone manages to hack a Wii U version of Gecko?

I bet they find an exploit with the system's wii u mode.  That'd be my guess.  The online persistence and connectivity will probably be the factor that prevents me from ever modding it though, as typically you give up those features once you start to mod.

broodwarsSeptember 24, 2012

Unfortunate, but not unexpected. Hopefully the fan community cracks the system fairly early on to enable the Homebrew Channel and disable the region locking. I'm expecting to order some EU-only Wii games at the end of the week, so if I DID get a Wii U I'd want to make sure I could still play them. Besides, I'd want a way to import Wii U games in preparation for Reggie's inevitable next ****-up in not bringing interesting-looking games to NA when he has nothing else.  :-\

Hey Einstein!September 24, 2012

I'm surprised to see so many people expecting a Wii U hack like it's a very simple thing to achieve. I guess everything does get hacked eventually, but nobody has got home brew or multi region stuff to run on 3DS yet and it's getting on for 18 months now. I loved tinkering with the Wii so I hope Wii U and 3DS user hacks aren't too far off, but it certainly seems like Nintendo have learned how to tighten things up.

MrPhishfoodSeptember 24, 2012

Hacking, well... depends really. If you've invested enough time in the social side of the Wii U then you probably won't risk getting your account (or even console) banned.


Still I am disappointed over region locking because one of my favourite game's Taiko no Tatsujin is what I really want to play, I couldn't play it on 3DS because of region locking.


I was hoping Nintendo would go the optional region locking route whereby a console is assigned a region code and then game discs say what region consoles they can be played on.

TenserSeptember 24, 2012

Nothing to be gained, everything to be lost by region locking.

The Wii-U is looking far and far less appealing the more I learn about it. NoA consistently refuses to localize the games I want. Instead the try to cater to the casuals with titles like Wii-U Fit, SiNG, and Nintendo Land. Then offer backhanded tokenism to what they think the core wants; Batman, ME3, and the like. I fell for the whole spiel once with Wii. Third party developers are on board, just look at Red Steel! Not this time, Ninty has to prove themselves to earn my gaming dollars now.

I've never done this since I had an NES at launch (yeah I'm a grumpy, old bastard) but maybe it's time to jump ship to Sony. At least they want my money, even if it is in spades.

Ian SaneSeptember 24, 2012

I kind of wish these companies claimed a region lock but made it very easy to disable if you knew what to do.  Like you could literally do a cheat code to turn off the region lock.  Then importers would know to do it and most of the world would not.  The idea is to prevent widespread importing.  A small amount of people doing it doesn't matter and only a small amount would spend more than five seconds trying to get import games to work.

Of course the Game Boy had no lockout and I don't think it had any negative effect on the system whatsoever.

AdrockSeptember 24, 2012

Weren't all Nintendo handhelds region free pre-DSi? I wonder why Nintendo shrugged their shoulders at the handhelds region locking. I get the idea of region locking. These companies don't want anyone importing even if it's never been rampant.

broodwarsSeptember 24, 2012

You could listen to NFR episode 2 (I believe) if you want to know why these things are all region-locked now, but suffice it to say that Japan's been getting paranoid over the myth of reverse-importation for decades.  They don't like the idea that someone in Japan could get around paying their artificial, extortion-caliber prices and actually pay what a product is worth by importing these things from other countries where we aren't quite so insane.  Just look at the price discrepancy between the Japanese Wii U console prices (converted into dollars) and what the thing will actually cost in NA, and you'll see why Nintendo's desperate to keep their Japanese consumers from being able to import the things.

That's the one upside Wii U owners might have by having region encoding: you don't have to deal with the reverse importation paranoia that PS3 and 360 owners (because their games often get ported to PS3) have to deal with now, where finished games like Anarchy Reigns get delayed a year so Japanese consumers have no importation option (or where anime like Persona 4 The Animation gets a relatively shoddy release on BluRay in NA so the Japanese BluRays still retain their overpriced value).

Of course, Japanese companies could just face-up to the facts that they've been gouging their home customers for increasingly-worse and more irrelevant product for decades, and perhaps that's the reason why their sales have been dropping (and why a relative handful of consumers in Japan just import the cheaper versions).  But that'll never happen.

Quote from: Ian

Of course the Game Boy had no lockout and I don't think it had any negative effect on the system whatsoever.

Reggie actually touted DS region-free capability as a feature. And then, DSi.

Chozo GhostSeptember 24, 2012

This region lock means we are completely at Reggie's mercy. If he doesn't want to localize a game we want to play, we're screwed because importing won't be an option.

Pixelated PixiesSeptember 25, 2012

Quote from: Chozo

This region lock means we are completely at Reggie's mercy. If he doesn't want to localize a game we want to play, we're screwed because importing won't be an option.


(Until a hack becomes available.)

Quote from: Pixelated

Quote from: Chozo

This region lock means we are completely at Reggie's mercy. If he doesn't want to localize a game we want to play, we're screwed because importing won't be an option.


(Until a hack becomes available.)

As has been pointed out, we're 18 months into the 3DS's life and we've seen nothing in terms of hacks. I wouldn't consider the Wii U receiving a homebrew solution anytime soon a given.

broodwarsSeptember 25, 2012

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

Quote from: Pixelated

Quote from: Chozo

This region lock means we are completely at Reggie's mercy. If he doesn't want to localize a game we want to play, we're screwed because importing won't be an option.


(Until a hack becomes available.)

As has been pointed out, we're 18 months into the 3DS's life and we've seen nothing in terms of hacks. I wouldn't consider the Wii U receiving a homebrew solution anytime soon a given.

I wonder how much of that is due to technical competence on Nintendo's part, and how much is due to the fact that Nintendo hasn't yet given the hackers much of a reason to go after their device (i.e. a game from a major franchise is released in Japan or Europe, but not NA).

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorSeptember 25, 2012

Quote from: Chozo

This region lock means we are completely at Reggie's mercy. If he doesn't want to localize a game we want to play, we're screwed because importing won't be an option.

I love how, one minute, Reggie is this useless figurehead that sits atop the US Nintendo Empire but does nothing but carry out orders from his Japanese masters... then, the next minute, he's some diabolical mastermind out to kill US Gamers and kittens.

Pixelated PixiesSeptember 25, 2012

Quote from: UncleBob

Quote from: Chozo

This region lock means we are completely at Reggie's mercy. If he doesn't want to localize a game we want to play, we're screwed because importing won't be an option.

I love how, one minute, Reggie is this useless figurehead that sits atop the US Nintendo Empire but does nothing but carry out orders from his Japanese masters... then, the next minute, he's some diabolical mastermind out to kill US Gamers and kittens.


That is what is so frightening about him. He appears ineffective and affable but deep down he's a cold blooded killer...of video game importation.

AnGerSeptember 25, 2012

I'll be frank here: I think America will be far better of concerning available titles. Yes, I know, you didn't get all of the Rainfall games, but Europe is even more treated like the unwanted step-child of the industry.

NinSageSeptember 25, 2012

Region-free would be nice, but, did anyone, ANYONE expect it?

AnGerSeptember 25, 2012

Quote:

Region-free would be nice, but, did anyone, ANYONE expect it?

I believe not. Not after the 3DS got locked.

Chozo GhostSeptember 25, 2012

Quote from: UncleBob

Quote from: Chozo

This region lock means we are completely at Reggie's mercy. If he doesn't want to localize a game we want to play, we're screwed because importing won't be an option.

I love how, one minute, Reggie is this useless figurehead that sits atop the US Nintendo Empire but does nothing but carry out orders from his Japanese masters... then, the next minute, he's some diabolical mastermind out to kill US Gamers and kittens.

The truth is somewhere halfway in between. Reggie isn't a dictator with absolute power over the company, but at the same time he isn't just a powerless figurehead either. He does have some power and influence over what happens in NOA. He is the president of NOA, afterall. But when it comes to NCL as a whole, he really is powerless.

Anth0nySeptember 25, 2012

Not surprising at all. Every Nintendo console has been region locked. Expecting the Wii U to break that trend would be silly. The 3DS' region lock, on the other hand... that hurt.

The question is, do I hold out for a potential homebrew solution for region free gaming, or do I bite the bullet and import a Wii U from Japan? Play Asia is asking for $450 + shipping for the Base model.

hmm.

TJ SpykeSeptember 25, 2012

Quote from: Anth0ny

The question is, do I hold out for a potential homebrew solution for region free gaming, or do I bite the bullet and import a Wii U from Japan? Play Asia is asking for $450 + shipping for the Base model.

hmm.

Play Asia wants $450 PLUS shipping just for the Basic model? That is really gouging importers since the Japanese Basic model is about $337.

LithiumSeptember 25, 2012

reading from the forum index:
"WiiU will be region..."

http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/131/896/gaijin4koma2_peersblog_1200684608.jpg?1307579749

after i clicked the link:
"...locked"
http://media.ign.com/games/image/article/738/738102/gaijin4koma_peersblog_1200684654.jpg

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