Iwata: Region-Free NX Considered a Possibility

Since the dawn of time, Nintendo home consoles have specialized in region locking games between territories, be it by physical or software means. Handhelds have gotten off easier, with the Game Boy through the DS were region free, but from the DSi onward, it was introduced as a means to curb piracy. The Wii U and 3DS stand locked down to this day, but in the company’s latest investor Q&A, Satoru Iwata hinted that there was a chance that the NX could be freed from the region lock.

According to Iwata, it is unlikely that region-locking will be removed from the current hardware, but they are more optimistic on making the NX more consumer friendly in that regard.

Removing region-locking from current game machines presents various issues, so we don’t consider that to be very realistic. However, regarding NX, given the customer feedback and proposals from the market, while nothing has been decided yet, we’re currently investigating internally what problems there would be in realizing it. You can think of that as the current situation. I understand your desire, so I’d like to look at it optimistically going forward.

In previous inquiries, Iwata made the argument against lifting the region-lock with considerations of cultural differences, regional sales, and having control over localization decisions. The noise being made from those who want a region-free Nintendo console seems to have become too great to ignore. To compare, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are both region-free without controversy.

With a bit of luck, we could see #endregionlock become true. Let us know if you’re hopeful of Nintendo’s NX being region-free in the comments.

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A man with a plan. My favorite video game franchise is Pokemon, but his favorite video game is Resident Evil 4. I can also tell you trivial cartoon factoids.