Good news for importers?
The daunting era of region-locked hardware may soon come to an end as Nintendo President & CEO Satoru Iwata provides a key statement during the latest investor’s meeting.
Nintendo held a Q&A session that pertained to the investor’s briefing that occurred last week. Given the fact that the whole segment is in Japanese, anyone who isn’t familiar with Kanji is going to have a tough time interpreting the details — even if they used Google Translate. The highly credible user Cheesemeister posted an unofficial translation on NeoGAF of the snippet regarding the stance on region-locking:
“The game business has a history of taking a very long time with localization among other things, such as having to deal with various issues of marketing in each particular country, or games that have made use of licensed content that did not apply globally, and had all kinds of circumstances, so to say, that region-locking has existed due to circumstances on the sellers’ side rather than for the sake of the customers. In the history of game consoles, that is the current situation. As for what should be done going forward, if unlocked for the benefit of the customers, there may also be a benefit for us. Conversely, unlocking would require various problems to be solved, so while I can’t say today whether or not we intend to unlock, we realize that it is one thing that we must consider looking to the future.”
Region-locking has always plagued the console line ever since the arrival of the Nintendo Entertainment System. However, that simply wasn’t the case for the handheld series — that is, until Nintendo decided to incorporate that policy into the Nintendo DSi. Since then, future iterations and successors have continued to follow that trend where the proper software had to be played on the appropriate regional hardware.
Lately, Nintendo has been rather consistent with their first party releases on both platforms. Upcoming releases such as “Super Smash Bros. for Wii U” and “Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker” are launching fairly close to each other in different territories. Then again, the same can’t be said for “Fatal Frame: The Black Haired Shrine Maiden,” which is destined to remain exclusively in Japan (which can be read here). Nevertheless, the luxury of playing a foreign title without shelling out more money on the same product is what importers have been yearning for years.
Are you excited that Nintendo is considering on removing their region-lock policy within the horizon? Let me know in the comments below.