Nintendo Confirms Wii U Is Region-Locked

In news that will surprise no one, unless you’ve never purchased a Nintendo system before, it has been confirmed that the Wii U will indeed be region locked.  Every single Nintendo home console has been region-locked through various means dating all the way back to the original NES.  Typically Nintendo home hardware was locked and their portables weren’t, but with the 3DS Nintendo changed their stance on that.  So what does this mean, well it means that if you want to import games from Japan or Europe, you won’t be able to play them on your North American system, and vice-versa.  As someone who used to import games almost on a monthly basis, news like this always makes me sad.  There are almost always games Japan gets that take a ridiculous amount of time to get released in North America, games like Fire Emblem and titles like that.  While I am in no way, shape or form surprised by this move, I was hoping we would finally see the end of region-locking by Nintendo, but alas no.

It should be noted that the Wii was also region-locked, but through some nice software exploitations people were able to break the region encoding and play whatever they wanted, so hopefully the same happens with the Wii U.  I’ve got to get my Fire Emblem fix on ASAP.

3 thoughts on “Nintendo Confirms Wii U Is Region-Locked”

  1. Well, I’ll have to wait a couple of years until our awesome modders come up with a easy and safe software alternative. I’m glad that I can do that with the Wii and bypass region locks because there has been quite a handful of games that are stuck in Europe.

    Yeah, nothing has basically changed with game region locks these days. Sony was the first and only company to have a fully functional region free console and it looks like the competition won’t follow their footsteps anytime soon. Maximizing sales of games in all regions seems to be the biggest priority despite some wide gaps in release dates. It makes me wonder whether PS3 and Vita game sales are negatively effected by the region free stuff.

  2. No surprises here, but what they were meaning to do with the 3DS still eludes me. For a person who travels internationally quite often, I will never understand their decision to region lock a portable of all things.

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