IGN: Iwata "explains" Nintendo's use of region-locking

Discussion in 'User Submitted News' started by soulx, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. soulx
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    soulx GBAtemp Legend

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    During E3, IGN spoke with Nintendo's president, Satoru Iwata regarding their use of region-locking on the Wii U and 3DS consoles. It's worth noting that this interview occurred before the 15,000+ strong petition that asks them to remove these restrictive policies. A petition they have thus far declined to comment upon.

    http://ca.ign.com/articles/2013/07/03/nintendos-president-discusses-region-locking

    Microsoft has since reversed its stance on region locking and the 360 had optional locking anyway, the PS3 was region free save for the blu ray, a single game and downloadable content and Nintendo's pre DSi handhelds have all been region free give or take the iQue (the Chinese brand for their consoles).
    Most technical reasons for the region lock have long been unnecessary (PAL region TVs fully support NTSC signals and have done for decades at this point) to say nothing of handhelds having their own screen, the Wii U having its own screen and everybody supposedly using HDMI or an equivalent as well these days. Most power adapters do all the voltage and frequency combinations and things like Audio restrictions, censorship, safety and RF/Wifi compliance usually fall on the head of the one doing the importing though with the exception of the audio and censorship if you pass one in North America or Japan you will probably pass in Europe and Australia and vice versa.
     


  2. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    This doesn't explain region locking. At all.

    Games that violate the so-called "cultural acceptance and legal restrictions" can simply... not be released in given regions. It's that simple and that's how it works on other platforms these days. Funny how this wasn't an issue on the Region Free Nintendo systems like the DS.
     
  3. chavosaur

    chavosaur Austin Trujillo

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    And here I am, still giving no fucks about region lock :mellow:
     
  4. DinohScene

    DinohScene Capture the Dino

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    Piracy says Hi Nintendo.

    Importing games is pretty much useless since pretty much every game comes out in all regions.
    Except Japan only games.

    Guess that's a valid reason for importing games..
     
  5. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Clearly you don't remember the shi*storm caused by "Xenoblade Yawnicles" that had a delayed release in the U.S despite the fact that the game was already localized to English for the European release. Some people just aren't patient y'know, it's not always about the Japanese titles.

    That being said, I too think it's pretty silly to play games in languages that the player doesn't understand (like Japanese, at least 99% of the time), but that being said, I'm against region locking because it goes against my principles.

    Don't introduce restrictions that have nothing to do with the capabilities of the hardware and don't have to be there - region locks made sense when the NTSC/PAL/SECAM divisions were in place and the consoles were too simple to work in both modes or it was simply bothersome to introduce support for both modes at the same time, but now that they're a thing of the past due to "going HD" (plus most TV's are both PAL and NTSC-compatible) I just don't see the point.

    There is no hardware-related reason whatsoever to keep them around anymore, so don't keep them around.
     
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  6. Celice

    Celice GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    And region restriction prevents games from other regions as being used on systems purchased in that reason. This still doesn't prevent importing, no, but it does work with each country's requirements for media.

    It's not unreasonable. It is inconsistent though, given that one could import an outside region system and enjoy games regardless of their country's regulation of media. It's not a token effort on the part of Nintendo, but in practicality, it might as well be.
     
  7. GameWinner

    GameWinner Take your heart

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    It feels like he just dodged the question rather than just flat out saying "We don't want Japanese players importing NA games at a cheaper price!!" or something like that.

    Don't forget the Persona 4 Arena chaos. I think emigre is still out for blood.
     
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  8. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    It's not a token of effort and everybody knows why Nintendo introduced the region locks. They're there to evenly distribute profits between the main branches of the company (NOJ, NOA and NOE) - that's the only reason why those locks exist.

    They're an inconvenience for the End User and they should be eliminated when there are better software-based alternatives (see: PSN - each region has its individual online store and those games that are banned in given countries simply don't pop up. As for physical copies, retailers are banned from carrying them, so that's not a problem. If you want to go the extra mile though and import, you're free to do so because why the hell not - it's your own responsibility if you want to possess a game that's been banned), we're not living in 1990'ties anymore, region locking on contemporary systems makes no sense.
     
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  9. luigiman1928

    luigiman1928 Most original Custom Title

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    I personally think it's so that people don't import the news Smash Bros. so they can get a tourny advantage when they do the Gamestop launch tournament. And I do think Iwata wants Region Locking to be gone, but if it is due to the new Smash, they will wait until after it's launch to remove it.

    In my opinion it's kinda a smart move for the competitive Smash scene, yet I do hope Region Locking is removed.
     
  10. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    You're not serious, right? :wtf:


    ...I seriously doubt that Nintendo would build a world-wide infrastructure supporting Region Locking across two platforms for the sake of one game.

    Also, #CompetitiveSmashScene - Super Smash Bros. - serious business.
     
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  11. Nathan Drake

    Nathan Drake Obligations fulfilled, now I depart.

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    wut? No. Region locking exists purely for an even region to region profit distribution. No more, no less. It's an entirely unnecessary move. Have more timely game releases in each region, and importing won't even be a problem. For example, I would happily import Mario & Luigi: Dream Team instead of waiting a month over the rest of the damned world if I could, but due to region lock, I'm entirely shut out until Nintendo moves their asses and releases the game over here. Even then, if the game will never hit the region that the game is being imported to, profit is no longer actually an issue because the branch for the region the importer is from wouldn't have made that money to begin with.

    All in all, it's just stupid. There is no real justification for region lock.
     
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  12. emigre

    emigre Has complex motives

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    Personally I like how Nintendo consoles have the most anti-consumer restrictions in the market.
     
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  13. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    With a half-assed excuse like "regional restrictions" or "parental rating systems" no wonder people hack consoles. I'm glad I hacked my Wii when I did, and could play any game from any region. It needs to die an ignominious death, DRM/region locking has no benefits; its removal is hardly detrimental to overall sales, just look at the DS,

    What the hell are they smoking?

    There is no justification for region locking, like, at all. It's very anti-consumerist of them to restrict games in certain regions. EU and Australia is a good example of this; games are overpriced and are often delayed due to region locking and other BS.
     
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  14. DiscostewSM

    DiscostewSM GBAtemp Guru

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    German law did prevent sales of 18+ games on Wii U before 11pm for some time.
     
  15. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Couldn't agree more, they are very anti-consumer measures and downright asinine. There is absolutely no reason to impose such restrictions.


    All I can say is that the whole region-locking system is too convoluted and needs a serious overhaul. I bypass the region lock in DVDs I buy from Japan purely out of spite, because I'm evil that way. Same with games from other regions. :evil:
     
  16. 2ndApex

    2ndApex GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    That's a pretty shitty excuse considering that Nintendo has been doing region free handhelds for a million years before the 3DS.

    Hopefully we'll get a real response from him afterwards.

    People played Smash before the western releases of the other games. I don't see how giving people less time to learn a game is a smart move, after they're done nobody cares about launch tournaments.
     
  17. KingVamp

    KingVamp Great... AETHER!

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    Oh, please. They could do much worse, pre- X1 style.

    You making something small into something big.
     
  18. Hop2089

    Hop2089 Cute>Hot

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    Like others said region locking is nothing more than marketing control, the only problem they have is reverse importing by the Japanese, an average 3DS game costs 6480 yen ($63), the average game in the US is about $20 cheaper. Seriously, no console maker has to worry about a porn game anymore as it would never get their approval anywhere even in Japan (due to it having to be rated by EOCS), it's not the 80's-90's where that flew. Also there are rating systems everywhere and thanks to internet anyone curious can find them on any game from any region.
     
  19. GamerzHell9137

    GamerzHell9137 GBAtemp Psycho!

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  20. GreatZimkogway

    GreatZimkogway Still a Touhou Fanatic

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    Region-locking is no excuse for piracy. Anyone trying to say it is, is just trying to justify themselves and not look like a pirate. You want to import something? Okay. You have a few options:
    1. Buy that regions' console, and then import the game, and go to town
    2. Import the game, and then download it, as well as hack your machine. You've then paid for the game.
    Yeah, we've not accomplished this for the WiiU or 3DS, but then you know what? Gaming isn't a right. You don't need that game. Yeah, region-locking sucks, but that's still absolutely no reason to pirate games.
     
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