Nintendo May One Day Lift its Region-locking, But Nothing Solid Yet

Nintendo May One Day Lift its Region-locking, But Nothing Solid Yet

Region-locking in this day and age is a little annoying, especially in such an interconnected world. It sucks how certain regions get their release of a game / product up to months after said game / product releases in another region. Good examples of companies who region-lock are Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, though Nintendo is arguable recognized more so for it.

Sony and Microsoft both region-locked their new consoles–the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One respectively–but the Xbox One did take it further, as it locked several countries out of the console’s initial release until a few months afterwards .

While Nintendo also has a reputation of region-locking its games and products, word has come around from a handful of outlets that the company may one day ditch its region-locking policy. The information comes from an unofficially translated Q&A session in a meeting between Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata, and investors, a snippet of which was posted on NeoGAF.

In response to a particular question regarding region-locking, Iwata acknowledged that localization, markets licenses and other kinds of circumstances have attributed to region-locks, but none more so than the seller’s side of things rather than the consumers

Question #4: At present, your company’s hardware and games make use of region-locking, by which games purchased in one region cannot be played in another region. Are there any plans to unlock this restriction?

Answer #4: Iwata: 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.

In short, Nintendo is looking to one day drop its region-locking policy, but it’d first have to go through a few hurdles before both it and consumers could benefit from non-region-locked products and games from the company. Even with that, it’s a positive step Nintendo is taking, and this author supports the company in doing so.

You can read the unofficial translation of Satoru Iwata Q&A via the source link below. We’ll bring you more news on this should further information reach our ears.

[ NeoGAF ]

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