Nintendo Wii U to be region-locked

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Nic Healey can usually be found on a couch muttering about aspect ratios and 7.1 channel sound - which is helpful given that he's the home entertainment guy at CNET.

Nintendo let slip the news that its next-generation console will include region coding for its games.

Nintendo's Wii U.
(Credit: Nintendo)

In a not-particularly-surprising move, it's been confirmed that the Wii U will feature region-coding to lock down games to particular parts of the world.

In an interview with gaming-magazine Famitsu, Nintendo said, "What can be played on the Wii U is restricted by a region-lock feature; software not sold in the same region cannot be played".

The line was picked up and quickly posted to NeoGaf, and then later confirmed by the company to gaming website CVG.

Nintendo has a long history of region-locking its consoles, right back to the original NES. In the past, this has been of particular irritation to some gamers, as certain Japanese titles are often changed significantly for Western releases, or never sold out of that region in the first place.

Both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 have region lockout functionality, but it's up to the gaming publisher to decide whether a title will be region locked or not. For example, from 2006 to mid-2012, all PS3 games were released region-free.

In Australia, the perception that games are sold at an unnecessarily high mark-up compared to international pricing has lead to a portion of gamers choosing to buy via overseas websites or grey-importers, taking advantage of the region-free nature of the Xbox and PS3 where possible.

Nintendo's Wii U will launch on 30 November in Australia, with two bundles hitting the market: a basic pack, which contains a white 8GB Wii U console with a white GamePad controller for AU$349.95; the second pack has a black 32GB Wii U console and black GamePad controller for AU$429.95.

Does region-locking affect your ability to play the games you want? Let us know in the comments below.

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ADSLNerd posted a comment   

Here we go again, Nintendo at their old tricks. There is only one reason they are doing this - money. See the implementation of region locking means each owner is forced to purchase the game at the price Nintendo want, and when Nintendo want you to purchase it. So if you want to purchase any game from overseas to play it, due to release date or price differences or both, NIntendo have said No you cant do that. This is all about market manipulation and profiteering by technological controls which are basically financial extortion.

This is why I will never ever purchase a Nintendo system again, and they wonder why people try to crack the protection scheme because they are telling consumers what they can buy and when - they all have a right to get peeved and crack it no matter what Nintendo says, and I hope to god a massive backlash causes this thing and anything region locked from Nintendo do be a big failure.


barrett posted a comment   

Absolutely despise region locking of any kind.
All this goes to show is that Nintendo think it is still 1984 and the only reason to do this is to control pricing.You only have to look at current Wii prices for games that have came out years ago and are still at the original release day price.No competition = no need to change / lower prices.
I will do as i have always done with Nintendo consoles and wait till they are on their death bed and swoop in and get everything on the cheap.

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