Iwata: Nintendo Will Consider Region Unlocking in the Near Future

Iwata Region Locking Plans

Region locking has always been an issue in the digital media industry since the concept was first conceived. Consumers found no benefits from it, meanwhile businesses only did it to help with localization. Finally, Satoru Iwata himself has given his opinion on removing region locking from Nintendo products. This is what he had to say on that matter:

“Q4: 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?

A4: 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 has been looking into removing the feature, but it would definitely be a project in the future due to the amount of issues that would surface in its removal. Region locking only serves as an issue for people who constantly move from country to country, or fans who grab games from international releases so though it isn’t an issue for most, it definitely would be something many could do without.

What are your thoughts on Iwata’s plans to consider removing region locking? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Source: Nintendo Japan Translation: NeoGaf

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About The Author

Editor/Game Reviewer

He is a Hylian who has a knack for Nintendo. When he is taking a break from exploring Hyrule he can be found honing his tennis skills, taking part in musical theatre, or surfing the internet.